An utterly damning indictment of devolution. This is what happens when you hand control of a country over to a bunch of mediocre local councilors, tree huggers, and pretend politicians, none of whom have any interest in the costs of their musings.
Wales has been shamed internationally. 16 years of Labour control.
The Welsh lefties have invested their political futures in smoothing the decline of their voters, and lulling them into feeling that someone will look after them, as long as they keep voting for them. I am more angry that we have no opposition in Wales with enough balls to expose the failings. It's all a club, a game. No one seems to really care about this country, probably because this country's political future is not worth caring about to anyone with talent and intellect.
The Champions of Education in Wales since devolution (please feel free to cut, paste, post, and comment):
Of course, Leighton Andrews is no fool. He slipped out of Government via an honourable excuse. Hopefully he will return. The only person since devolution to demonstrate leadership.
from the BBC
There was an interesting article in the Guardian about the Finnish education system a little while ago -
I'm not sure it's a case of cut and pasting the Finnish system and then watching results rise. Society there does appear to be more homogenous than in the UK plus the economic differences between the top 20% and the bottom 20% are far less exaggerated than in the UK. Finnish is - like Welsh - a phonetic language which probably helps with literacy (maybe that is one of the reasons Welsh language schools tend to do better than English medium schools)? Teachers take a five year degree in teaching rather than topping up sometimes mediocre degrees with a one year PGCE.
The biggest difference seems to be cultural. The article suggests that literacy has always been highly prized in Finnish culture. It also says that competition is not eradicated from the system but is delayed until 16. Kids who want to go to university face stiff tests that will only be passed if they have already put the work in.
I don't know what the answers are but I don't think the Finnish model is necessarily the panacea some think it is. Like democracy and almost everything else education starts in the home. When children are starting school unable to dress themselves, go to the toilet on their own, recognise a few numbers or letters or follow simple instructions I think you are already fighting an uphill battle. Only parents who have no aspiration for the children would not be trying to teach them these things from an early age surely?
some good points Karl. Whilst I agree the UK may have a higher wealth spread than Finland I doubt that Wales has so that can't be used as an argument to not look at the Finnish model.
However, where I agree with you is that teaching begins with the parents and is supplemented by the schools. teaching never really stops either. an example would be when walking along the beach you can explain how some beaches have pebbles (Penarth) and how some have sand and what causes these differences. it may not be 100% technically correct but it provides the child with a reason to question why?? this ability to question why is the foundation for all learning.
simple things like no tv until the homework is finished can go a long way. I'm not really sure what the answer is, all I know is that Wales has fallen further behind since devolution and that has to lie squarely with Welsh Labour and their ridiculous policies of everyone is equal in all things. These results fill me with dread because the stock answer will be to increase the size of the state, increase further control, increase the amount of tests and so on. Yet this is despite these things being considered the root causes of our failure. However it is anathema for those on the left to relinquish control and reduce the size of the state. The left is far more concerned with increasing bureaucracy and state control even if it means failing our children and their education. for some political dogma is far more important than delivering results - you mark my words, wait and see for Welsh Labour's response
CARDIFFWALESMAP - FORUM