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‘Historic day’ as curriculum bill passes – Plaid vote against due to ‘no mandatory’ Welsh history

09 Mar 2021 2 minutes Read
Education Minister Kirsty Williams. Picture by the Welsh Government

The Senedd has voted to pass the Curriculum and Assessment Bill, meaning the new Curriculum for Wales will be introduced in 2022.

Plaid Cymru voted against the bill, saying it provided no guarantee that national Welsh history will be taught to every child in Wales.

Education Minister Kirsty Williams has said that Welsh history is explicit in the mandatory guidance for the bill.

“This is a really historic day for Wales and a really important milestone in our national mission of education reform, ensuring a curriculum for the first time designed by teachers in Wales designed for the children and young people in Wales,” she said.

First Minister Mark Drakeford added that: “This historic Bill will help transform our education system, giving our children and young people the knowledge, skills and experiences they deserve.”

The bill’s detractors have said that while Welsh history will be mandatory, how much and what is taught will be up to schools, meaning that some children may not be taught it at all.

Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Education Minister Sian Gwenllian had earlier said that “It’s very disappointing to see this bill reaching its final stage without Welsh history, including the history of Black people and People of Colour, as a mandatory element of the curriculum.

“The national story of Wales should be a compulsory part of the new curriculum, included on the face of the Bill and supported with resources and training for teachers.

“Otherwise, there will be limited guidance for schools on its teaching and implementation and ultimately it will be very unlikely that it’s taught in practice.”

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