Scottish Government says it will follow Wales and let schools decide whether to distribute Queen’s Jubilee book
The Scottish Government has said that it will follow Wales and let schools decide whether they want to distribute a book about the history of the Queen’s reign as part of her Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
The UK Government want every school child in Wales to receive a copy of the “patriotic” book, which cost £12m to produce, whether they asked for one or not.
But the Welsh Government said earlier this week that the decision will rest with schools on whether they want to opt in to receive it.
Now the Scottish Government have come to the same decision, with an official spokesperson saying: “The UK Government has responsibility for the content of the book and its distribution.
“Schools in Scotland will have the choice whether to receive delivery, this will be facilitated by the UK Department of Education.”
The Conservatives had criticised the Welsh Government for their refusal to distribute the books to every child, saying that they were “petulant” and that First Minister Mark Drakeford was a “republican who would rather not have The Queen at all”.
“This book is about teaching the next generation about how our country functions and its history,” Welsh Conservative Shadow Education Minister Laura Anne Jones MS said.
“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.
The contract awarded to DK books by the UK Government 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.
Brecon and Radnorshire Senedd Member James Evans was also critical of the decision not to distribute the book, saying that it 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.”
Labour Senedd Member John Griffiths however said that it had been “disappointing” to read some of the comments “bandied about on social media by Welsh Conservative members”.
“Allowing schools to decide for themselves is the right approach,” he said. “I find it somewhat ironic that Tory politicians, who often like to use words such as freedom and choice, don’t want to allow schools to decide for themselves.
“I am not a monarchist myself – but I respect there will be other people across Wales who will have different views. Seeing some Senedd members describe Welsh Labour as the ‘true nasty party’ over this shows a lack of judgement and seriousness in political discourse.”
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