Matt knows first hand the opportunities that are unlocked by a good state-sector education. He is concerned that Welsh Labour in its control of education policy through the National Assembly has presided over a series decline in education standards, damaging social mobility, reducing life outcomes and undermining the skills base of Wales’ workforce.
Education in Wales is devolved and as an area of policy controlled by Welsh Labour. However Welsh Conservatives have put forward positive plans to improve education standards in Welsh Schools.
Matt supports Welsh Conservative plans to raise School Standards, including the following measures:
- Fund schools directly, giving greater spending control to teachers, parents and governors, directing more money to the classroom;
- Ensure that Estyn inspections incorporate unannounced spot-checks;
- Ensure Welsh qualifications are sufficiently robust to be recognised internationally;
- Establish an HE institution focused solely on initial teacher training and educational research;
- Establish a college of teaching focused on continuous professional development and setting teacher standards;
- Scrap the unelected and unaccountable regional education consortia to reduce red tape and empower teachers;
- Recognise the school years from age eight to 14 as a distinct middle phase and consult with teachers on targeting improvement in the transition from primary to secondary school;
- Introduce modern foreign language learning in primary schools as part of a languages strategy, nurturing a trilingual nation;
- Establish a new teacher exchange programme, enabling teachers to develop their language skills;
- Overhaul the Welsh language in education strategy to include clear targets and to help all children in Wales become confident communicating in Welsh;
- Work with schools to highlight the importance of financial education and the study of home economics;
- Introduce mandatory emergency life-saving skills and public health education into the curriculum;
- Embrace international research to narrow the attainment gap between children from different social backgrounds.
Matt will also argue for the application of successful practices from Scotland, Northern Ireland and England here in Wales.