Questions to the Minister for Education: School Improvement Consortia (25/06/2019)


I can tell you, Minister, that teachers and headteachers that I meet in Aberconwy continue to regularly question the actual effectiveness and value of the regional consortia. Concerns, indeed, have been raised in the committee during the funding inquiry, and I look forward to a review of the regional consortia. Neath Port Talbot Council voted to leave the educational consortium ERW, and GwE has not yet reached a number of targets in its 2017-20 business plan. These include the need to provide good leadership and management, ensure that schools are well prepared to deliver the new curriculum and guarantee that a value-for-money framework consistently is implemented by all. Those are fundamental basic requirements of any taxpayer-funded body. The latter is impossible for my schools in Aberconwy, as they are actually, as governors in Conwy have stated today, being cut to the bone. Extra money needs to reach our schools and our pupils urgently. So, will you commit to welcoming any potential review of the education consortia in Wales, and will you actually be open and welcome and look at any recommendations that we come up with and work with us, as a committee, to perhaps not have a blinkered view to what the regional consortia are, whether they're good, bad or indifferent? Let's have a look at this once and for all, and let's let them prove themselves to be effective and a good use of taxpayers' money.


Minister for Education:

Rather than welcoming a review, I shall be setting it up.