Thursday, April 05, 2007

How can Plaid help our School Children?

As a Chair of Governors at Ysgol Efyrnwy (the primary school in Llanwddyn), as a teacher in a secondary school and as a parent of a university student I feel that I have an insight into what affects pupils, teachers and parents across the whole age range of education from 3 – 21.

Both my children attended our local primary and secondary schools and received a first-class education in each. Powys can justly be proud of its record in providing schools which are close to the community and which pass on its values from one generation to another. It is such a shame, therefore, that Powys’ “review” of primary schools has so far picked on the smallest regardless of their quality, the state of their buildings or the role they play in the community. If elected I shall vote against any proposal when it comes to the Assembly to close these six schools.

In opposition Plaid Cymru secured an extra £4.1m for small schools in 2006 and has arranged for up to £16,000 to be added to each secondary school’s budget (£10,000 for primaries) through the county councils in 2007.

Plaid believes that a good school is not just what is taught in the classroom but that other factors can have just as big an effect. A Plaid government will introduce a programme of free nutritious school meals in primary schools and provide laptops for every child going to secondary school. We will expand the school nurse programme so that there will be at least one for each secondary school and introduce more 20 mph and 10 mph zones outside schools during school hours.

Plaid opposes top-up fees for students and will also pay back student loans for those who live and work in Wales for five years after graduating.

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