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."