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Calls for Gillian Keegan to apologise for ‘denigrating and running down Wales’

08 Nov 2023 2 minute read
UK Government Education Secretary Gillian Keegan – Image: Danny Lawson / PA

Gillian Keegan has faced calls to apologise for “denigrating and running down Wales” after she criticised the Welsh Labour Government’s education system.

Speaking during today’s debate on the King’s Speech, the Education Secretary said: “Even before the pandemic the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) said the Welsh education system hadn’t just under performed, it’s seeing its performance decline.

“There is nothing that stifles opportunity more than an education system in decline under Labour.”

Intervening during her speech, Cardiff South and Penarth MP Stephen Doughty said: “As a Welsh MP I think that learners and indeed teachers in my constituency in Cardiff South and Penarth would be shocked to hear her denigrate their work and efforts.

“The reality on the ground in Wales is that in my constituency I have seen new schools in Eastern High, Penarth Learning Community, a brand new further education college, we’re just opening a brand new school in Fitzalan – all of which have had significant issues with performance in the past but have turned things around thanks to the dedication of their teachers and support they’ve had from Welsh Labour councils and the Welsh Government.”

In response, Ms Keegan said: “Of course I always want things to improve in Wales, I very much do care about the Welsh children.

“It’s not my words, it’s the OECD, the international league tables, which I believe they’ve actually withdrawn from now because they don’t want the scrutiny.”


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Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
5 months ago

Pretty disgusting when all so called league tables are not intended to be comparison tables but rather measures of achievement that only mean anything in comparison with the previous performance of the schools/education systems under scrutiny – they are not supposed to be league tables at all, not the OECD measures and especially not the PISA measures. Long term I think that Wales will once again outpace England in education, as, at the very least Wales has not gone down the road of privatised education as has England. Even primary schools there are now being prised away from the state… Read more »

Linda Jones
Linda Jones
5 months ago
Reply to  Padi Phillips

I agree with much of your comment but I am baffled that most Welsh politicians, both in the Senedd and in Westminster, appear to be doing very little to fight the Welsh corner. They should be battling and shouting from the rooftops about the lack of funding to Wales and the huge amount of wealth extraction to Westminster and England from Wales.
As politicians they are failing us. They are not of the calibre we need to take Wales forward.

Blinedig
Blinedig
5 months ago
Reply to  Linda Jones

There is much to fight for. Slightly off topic, I’ve noticed the major British news media corporation gives disproportionate, almost daily opportunity (or incitement) for reader comments (HYS) on items pertaining to Wales. Many of those comments are anti WG, anti Wales and sometimes actionable. Does anyone feel the same?

Jeff
Jeff
5 months ago

What was that she said when she forgot the mic was on over school closures with Raac?
When she was too busy on her holibobs?
its not really repeatable here.

Riki
Riki
5 months ago

You see what they are trying to do! Don’t you all? They are trying to make it seem as though we don’t have the ability to run our own affairs. This is clear sign they want to integrate wales fully into England. They constantly did this to the Irish pre 1920s in fear of them striving to free their country from English control. We must now do the same!

Gareth
Gareth
5 months ago

Dead cat strategy, remember when David Cameron was in trouble, it was our NHS he kept attacking, Johnson and Sunak have used Nicola Sturgeon as a diversion in the past, this is a continuation of that tactic.

Charles Coombes
Charles Coombes
5 months ago

Shes a tory. Distraction politics.
After Covid performances will improve.

Steve Woods
Steve Woods
5 months ago

Foot in mouth disease is endemic in London SW1.

Alun Gerrard
Alun Gerrard
5 months ago

Politicians never fight the truth!

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