Wales politics

Welsh Government 'special measures' call over education

Chris Davies

Westminster should have the power to put the Welsh Government into "special measures" over its education record, a Conservative MP has suggested.

Brecon and Radnorshire MP Chris Davies said the UK government should have a way of being able to "take powers back" from Cardiff after the Pisa results.

Wales fell behind the rest of the UK for the third time in the international tests published last week.

The Welsh Government said it recognised there was "work to do".

During a meeting of the Welsh affairs committee Mr Davies asked Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns if he thought Westminster should be able to put the Welsh Government into the high intervention category.

He said: "Do you not wish there would be a mechanism in there to take powers back to this place to be able to sort out, just as the Welsh Assembly have the powers to put local authorities under special measures and hospitals into special measures.

"Don't you think there should be an opportunity for us to do the same?"

But Mr Cairns said people would be able to have their say at the assembly elections over the devolved matter.

"I think that people, parents, will be able to express their disquiet at the ballot box and challenge the Welsh Government ministers and the Welsh Government as a whole on their success or failure of any particular area of policy," he said.

Image caption Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns said parents would be able to "express their disquiet at the ballot box" every five years

A Welsh Labour spokesman said: "Devolution is the settled will of the Welsh people, it's sad but unsurprising to see Tory politicians advocating overriding a democratic decision in such a way.

"Rather than pointless politicking, maybe Mr Davies should look to devolution for some inspiration."

A Welsh Government spokesman said: "We remain confident that our emphasis on leadership, teacher development and collective responsibility - rather than grammar schools - will continue to drive up standards in our system.

"The hard work is underway, but we recognise there is more to do."

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