Allowing schools to choose whether they receive Queen Jubilee book part of independence push, Tory MS says
A Conservative Senedd Member has suggested that the Welsh Government’s decision to let schools decide whether children will receive a book celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee is part of a push towards independence.
The UK Government want every school child in Wales to receive a copy of the “patriotic” book, but the Welsh Government has said that the decision will rest with schools on whether they want to ‘opt-in’ to receive it.
BUT Brecon and Radnorshire Senedd Member James Evans said that refusing to distribute the book to all children in Wales was part of a drive towards separation from the UK.
“The Welsh Government are on a clear path to slowly withdraw Wales from the UK and this is another tactic towards achieving their goal,” he said.
“I will be reaching out to all schools in Brecon & Radnorshire and encouraging them to sign up to receive this amazing book.”
The contract awarded to DK books notes that 211,000 copies of a bilingual version of the book will be sent to pupils in 1,290 schools and other educational establishments in Wales.
But the Welsh Government told Nation.Cymru last month that the decision on distributing the book in Wales, which will cost £12m to produce, would be up to Education Minister Jeremy Miles.
They said: “Education is a devolved matter. We have been clear that the book should be available in Welsh and English and schools only receive the book on an opt-in basis.”
They added that a number of events to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee were planned in Wales and there was nothing stopping schools from ordering the book in May.
The Welsh Conservatives have criticised the decision, suggesting that Mark Drakeford’s own republicanism had influenced his stance to distributing the book.
Senedd shadow education minister Laura Anne Jones said: “This book is about teaching the next generation about how our country functions and its history.
“The only reason Labour would not want children to have them is because they believe it is not in its interest for them to take pride in British institutions and the UK’s past.
“Of course, it might also be down to Mark Drakeford being a republican who would rather not have the Queen at all. Either way, it’s Labour that needs to go back to school and learn how to govern.”
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