Putting Team Wales to the test

 

The two lawyers who run Wales met this morning in Cardiff and according to David Jones, peace reigned. His meeting with Carwyn Jones was "business-like and cordial" (direct quotes from both Joneses as it happens) with the two men getting on "extremely well" on a personal level.

Not only that, on behalf fo the two governments they agreed to put the Welsh economy first and adopt the 'Team Wales' approach inward investors want to see - and that has been conspicuous by its absence over the past two years.

Time to put the slugging-it-out in the private briefings and public headlines to one side then?

"There have been difficulties in the past" he accepted "and I think in all honesty there's been a mutual feeling that somehow it's a competitive relationship. It is in not a competitive relationship - it should be a complementary relationship".

What, then, of the row over GCSEs, or as Mr Jones put it, "a very unfortunate spat that's been aired very publicly." Ah yes, the "more in sorrow than anger" tone was on display in Cardiff too.

What of the wider division over the future of qualifications in Wales and in England?

This morning Alun Cairns - Conservative MP and father to an 8 year old son - tweeted that he was "really worried that my son and other Welsh pupils will be subject to 2nd rate qualifications" if the Welsh Government decide not to fall in line with Michael Gove's plans for England.

A few minutes ago he took his chance to ask the English education secretary to "encourage" the Welsh education minister Leighton Andrews to "truly engage" in the move in England to an English Baccalaureate. "We can't let pupils in Wales be exposed to 2nd rate Quals".

Was he right to be concerned?

Mr Jones clearly thinks he has a point. Parents in Wales, he told me, want qualifications that are "recognisable," "understandable to employers and academic institutions outside Wales" and "portable".

That didn't, I suggested, preclude "different".

No, came the response but they must be "valuable". Parents, he said, would demand "no more".

He stopped short - for now at least - of adding "and no less."

 
Betsan Powys, Political editor, Wales Article written by Betsan Powys Betsan Powys Former political editor, Wales

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  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 53.

    #50. 'The bottom line is that education in Wales is a matter for the Welsh Government.'
    This is, of course, true. But Welsh education can no more ignore England than Finnish foreign policy can ignore Russia. If Welsh students want to attend universities in England, and get jobs in England, than they must have qualifications that are respected. Having WJEC over-ruled by a politician won't help.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 52.

    #49 Alf Good post
    Note #44 suggesting that it is all the fault of politicians
    He is of course right, Among AM's not one stands out as especially competent
    Given there are plenty of very capable people in Wales, why aren't they in Politics
    A browse back through MG posts gives a clue, who in their right mind would step into that snake-pit

    Devolution cannot work until the cultural poison is drawn.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 51.

    #48 Mab! Nelson Mandela was entitled to fight as a 'terrorist' because he had no vote. You have a vote. Thus far, as far as we know, you haven't 'fought for your nation's right to exist', you have taken part in a democratic process. The fact that you have failed to convince your fellow citizens does NOT give you the right to decide that they are deluded.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 50.

    The bottom line is that education in Wales is a matter for the Welsh Government.......it must stick to it's convictions and not be swayed by the pompous, patronising attitude of English Ministers or MPs sitting on the dusty back benches. The Welsh Government should be well aware by now, as I'm sure they are, that such behaviour is in the DNA of that institution, whoever's in charge.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 49.

    To true John, everything today seems to be about conflict and hatred. The whole world is embroiled in it. It makes you wonder and it all starts with the Media and Politicians. The Media for circulation and profit. The Politicians for power and control. What right have they got to say that they are right and we must all follow blindly. Whether we like it or not. Lemmings comes to mind.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 48.

    42 Pt2: According to PM Thatcher Nelson Mandela was a Terrorist, so did he have the right to fight against apartheid due to intolerance or was he just in his actions? Was the Black population's fight an over re-action to segregation in America or were they just intolerant of their station? Your sentence of spite is sickening because I fight for my nation's right to exist where you don't!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 47.

    For those who do not understand the difference between the Ebac and the Wbac. The Ebac is to be graded as are GCSE's. The Wbac is pass or fail, no grading of results at all. Therefore which is the elitist qualification? If the Ebac and the Wbac are to replace GCSE's they must also have an 'A' or advanced level. What chances for the acceptance of that to obtain a university place?

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 46.

    The wider matters being raised here is the 50 year descent and regression of the British Nation into a vasssal territory.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 45.

    43: You have the cheek to call me an intolerant small fry? LOL. It's You who's intolerant of anything Welsh and when patriotic citizens like me want to promote Wales, it's further Devolution culture & people whatever past ethnicity to the rest of the world in a positive light you opt for assimilation like a gigantic leviathan of hate? Get this and hear me clear… THE FAR RIGHT WILL NEVER WIN!

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 44.

    39: Those comment listed have to be taken in they're context, who made them, what party colours or outlet. Why? It mentions failure and the insinuating the entire Assembly’s a shambles? Is Parliament scrapping GCSEs per chance? NO! The Con/Dems are so point your bloody bile & criticise the WG if at fault who rule and not the bricks & mortar of Devolution. Parties make mistakes not buildings!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 43.

    ... possibly alf although if you read the latest "British Social Attitudes" report there are dark clouds ahead.

    Tolerance is diminishing everywhere,, towards immigrants, the disabled, the disadvantaged, and the elderly, to name but a few.

    The likes of your MG is small fry, although he is a Wales manifestation of intolerance, and he is not alone amongst the peoples of our valleys .....

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 42.

    Does that mean John the the common sense and less extreme 'Nationalists' are going to rise to the forefront.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 41.

    37: A country can have political differences but at the end of the day those factions want the best for that nation.You can now see why I attack these as I do because they don't want Wales to exist, who want in reality to destroy Cymru and to merge us into a greater England. Until Devolution came they were like pigs in the proverbial slowing dissolving until they we reminded who they are. Welsh!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 40.

    ... not so alf, no superiority either side of Offa's Dyke.

    Having said that, the Labour administration in Cardiff seems to be ticking the right boxes for the electorate, whereas the more extreme nationalist elements are shrinking to oblivion.

    Carwyn Jones is experienced enough to recognise opportunity, and Team Wales is right up his street, a British Baccalaureate meets a real need.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 39.

    "a mutual feeling that somehow it's a competitive relationship ... it should be a complementary relationship"
    Is there a glimmer of hope in that comment.

    Lets face it - the delivery of Education and Health by the Assembly is not good enough;
    Education plagued by political posturing only it seems to upset Westminster
    Health lack of vision & blind acceptance of NHS leadership views

    So a Challenge

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 38.

    33: Team Wales? What like batman & Robin with Captain Creep David Jones & Labour boy Carwyn Jones at his side to battle unseen forces. Yes! The Nationalist separatists that want to make Wales prosper but unlike them we are here to keep Wales in the luxury they're used to IE: Poor, trapped in Union that doesn’t represent them. Gee Whizz Flatulence Man (33) that’s not very satisfactory at all!

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 37.

    John of course everything to do with England is superior. Just like that gentleman on Newsnight last night discussing the benefits. How Superior he sounded. Wanting to take more money away from the low payed workers and unemployed.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 36.

    ... who knows Hendre, if it is good for the education of children Gove might just be convinced by someone like Alun Cairns, of course there might be another Conservative agenda that promotes an English aspect.

    With so many different peoples in the United Kingdom a "British Baccalaureate" would go a long way as new social glue for the future.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 35.

    #30 Elitist minority or those who decide to continue with academic studies post-16?

    Thanks to Michael Gove a British Baccalaureate is out of the question....unless of course Alun Cairns decides to direct his fire at his Tory colleague rather than the Welsh Education Minister.

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 34.

    30: Stop using the British terminology which we know you innately mean English! GCSE’s are so good and I quote: the same system you were lauding a few weeks ago for Wales to cling onto is to be scrapped and replace with a similar Baccalaureate as the Welsh Bac? Anyway, Britain won’t exist in 2014 when Scotland leaves and your sycophantic gerrymandering causing irritation will be fruitless.

 

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