Tories attack Welsh Government over Queen’s Diamond Jubilee book
The Welsh Conservatives have attacked the government after it confirmed schools in Wales will be allowed to decide whether they want to opt in receive a history book about the Queen, published to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee.
In February the Westminster Government announced it planned to send every school child in Wales the “patriotic” book so that they and other children across the UK develop a “collective understanding” about the history of her time on the throne.
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 the decision on distributing the book in Wales, which will cost £12m to produce, would be up to Education Minister Jeremy Miles.
Responding to his decision to allow schools to decide if they wish to distribute the book, Welsh Conservative Shadow Education Minister Laura Anne Jones MS said: “This is a bilingual, educational book about our dutiful, long-serving Head of State. It is utterly petulant for the Labour Government to refuse its universal distribution.
“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.”
The contract agreed with published DK Books includes a clause that the books must be delivered to at least 99.5% of schools in Wales by 11 July 2022.
The book contract says that the supplier will provide a book “written with the aim of being inclusive, patriotic and ‘speaking to all children’ with regard to all regions of the UK”.
The Queen became the first British monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years on the throne, on 6 February this year.
Celebrations will culminate in a four day UK bank holiday weekend from Thursday 2nd to Sunday 5th June.
A Platinum Jubilee Celebration on 12th -15th May will also see over 500 horses and 1,000 performers create a 90-minute piece of arena theatre.
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