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UK Government say they will ‘work with’ Welsh Government on Queen book for every school child

21 Feb 2022 4 minutes Read
The Queen. Picture by defenceimagery.mod.uk (OGL v.3).

The UK Government have said that they will work with the Welsh Government to ensure that they are happy with a book on the history of the Queen’s reign which they plan to distribute to every school child in Wales.

The Welsh Government had previously said that the decision on distributing a ‘patriotic’ history book in Wales will be up to Education Minister Jeremy Miles – not the UK Government.

The book contract awarded to DK books by the UK Government notes that 211,000 copies of a dual language version of the book will be sent to pupils in 1,290 schools and other educational establishments in Wales.

“We are not contributing to the cost of these books,” the Welsh Government had told Nation.Cymru. “As Education is devolved in Wales, the Minister for Education and Welsh Language will make a decision on whether the book will be circulated to Welsh Schools once he has seen the final version.”

The UK Government have now responded to criticism of the £12m spend on the books by saying that they will ask for feedback from the governments of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on drafts of the book.

A Government spokesperson said: “The commemorative book for the Queen’s Jubilee is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth over the last 70 years.

“The ambition for the book is to be inclusive and speak to all children across the UK and we have been working with the publisher and the governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, for feedback on drafts of the book.

“It will not be a textbook for use in classes, but a chance to engage children in historic events during the Queen’s reign.”

‘Better use’

Last week Brent Central MP Dawn Butler criticised the book, saying said that although she had a “huge amount of respect” for the Queen, the book would risk her becoming embroiled in political debate.

In a letter to Boris Johnson, she said: “At a time when the Department for Education has failed to ensure all schools have adequate ventilation, £12 million would go a long way to improving the situation and providing a bulwark against further spread of Covid-19 as infection rates remain high among young people.

“It is very rare for democratic states to send children commemorative books about their heads of state, and I hope the Government will reconsider this proposal: avoiding political controversy for the monarchy and putting the £12 million of public funds to better use.

“An alternative and more modern solution might be to make the proposed book an online resource.”

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 Jubilee itself will help communicate a narrative about modern Britain and its connections with the rest of the world, through local, community driven events,
including those led by schools, alongside national and Commonwealth events,” the contract says.

“The book will be a key part of this strategic aim, by ensuring that pupils, families, and teachers develop a collective understanding of the Queen’s reign, and by providing children with an appropriate legacy through personal ownership of this high-quality book.”

It adds: “The book shall be inclusive and patriotic, capturing a spirit akin to the London 2012 Olympics.”

The book is set to cost £12 million to produce with around 4.5 million copies sent to schoolchildren in the UK. However, the individual costs of producing a version for Wales and its distribution has been redacted from the document.

A Gaelic language version of the book will also be produced but will not be dual language.

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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Gareth Plas
Gareth Plas
3 months ago

Twelve million pounds? And the cost of the dual language one redacted from the report? Keep these books, spend the money on something more worthwhile. Our economy is in sh** state and we are wasting public money on commemorating another Windsor. Probably an MP who owns the printers and publishers.

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
3 months ago

Spending taxpayers money on propaganda.

Does this sound like North Korea ???

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
3 months ago

So including her n***e son that’s 24 million those inbreds are costing the tax payer. The Welsh government need to kick this propaganda to the curb because this is sending out the message that not having a proper democracy is ok.

Paul
Paul
3 months ago

Insert sideways and move vigorously.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
3 months ago

What a waste of money. £12 milion could be spent on our children”s education rather than a grooming exercise by supporters of the Monarchy. Again we see the fascist Tories again interfer with Welsh devolution. But they forget Education is devolved to Wales and should keep their sticky fingers out our of business rather than force their twisted cap doffing ideology on our impressionable children. Funny, the Senedd has always been attacked by the Conservatives when it wanted to create legislation but were rebuked as cynically the powers were reserved by Whitehall. In fact, the Tories lost three Supreme Court… Read more »

Grayham Jones
3 months ago

No English royals in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 and no English books in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Kurt C
Kurt C
3 months ago

Doesn’t matter whats in it, her life is a lie and nobody will print that. This will never be welcome in my home. What a massive waste of money, is the flags on food not doing enough for fake Britishness. This is far more Comunist than banning smacking kids the Tories are complaining about.

Quornby
Quornby
3 months ago

Can we have our stolen HST2 consequentials back instead?

Marc
Marc
3 months ago

DIM DIOLCH

Cai Wogan Jones
Cai Wogan Jones
3 months ago

Will WG have any say over the momentous events occurring in Wales during the Queen of England’s reign that are featured in the book?

The drowning of Cwm Tryweryn, the language revolution of the 1960s, Aberfan and the looting of the community fund, the controversies surrounding the 1969 Caernarfon investiture durbar, the Miners’ Strikes, the establishment of the Senedd, …?

R W
R W
3 months ago

Just say no to Royalist propaganda.

JAD
JAD
3 months ago

No thanks, I’ll give it a miss, especially the chapter on the adventures of prince Andrew.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
3 months ago

Let them issue it ! With the price of toilet paper going through the roof – it’ll save us money!

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