Wales issues guide: Education

Education is one of the 20 policy fields devolved to the assembly.

The Welsh Assembly Government is responsible for schools, colleges and higher education. Here are the education priorities of Wales' biggest parties in the 2011 assembly election.

Election issues 2011

Education

Conservative

Labour

Liberal Democrats

Plaid Cymru

  • Give more power to parents, teachers and governors. The party says these are the people that really know what's best. Funding schools directly from the assembly government to "cut out administrative waste and give these people much more responsibility".
  • Invest in a major school building programme.
  • Close a GCSE and A-level performance gap with the rest of the UK. Achieved by boosting standards & working with schools to improve and prioritise.
  • More funding for schools.
  • Free school breakfasts and school milk for the under-7s.
  • Support for Welsh students so they will not have to pay higher tuition fees.
  • Tackle the spending gap between England and Wales, providing more money for schools by targeting additional money at pupils who need it the most so schools can afford to invest in things such as smaller class sizes or one-on-one teaching.
  • Invest in new training opportunities for teachers, driving up standards and challenging teachers to deliver for our children.
  • Ensure people have the right to study their first A-level or equivalent for free, regardless of their age.
  • Pay any additional university tuition fees above the present level for students from Wales, wherever they choose to study in the UK.
  • Pay the fees and living costs of looked-after children and establish a mentoring scheme for children from underprivileged backgrounds.
  • Ensure children meet basic standards in reading, writing and counting, with the aim of halving illiteracy among 11-year-olds by 2016 and virtually eliminating it by 2020
  • Review and reform the education system with the aim of improving teaching methods, teaching standards, pupil attainment and increasing funding for schools.
  • Increase attainment in subjects such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
  • Support university students by meeting the extra cost of top-up fees for Welsh domiciled students.
  • Work with local authorities to ensure they measure and meet the demand for Welsh-medium education.

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