Getting things done

This is an article for the South Wales Evening Post

A few weeks ago I joined Welsh Education Secretary, Kirsty Williams at the fantastic new Burlais Primary School where she announced that she will be implementing one of the Welsh Liberal Democrats key pledges - a new £36m fund to reduce infant class sizes and raise standards.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats may have been reduced to just one Assembly Member but that has not stopped us delivering a number of items from our 2016 manifesto.

The money, consisting of revenue and capital funding, will be invested over the next four years up, until 2021 and will target classes, starting with the largest ones, where teaching and learning need to improve and where there are high levels of deprivation.

Figures compiled by the Welsh Government showed there were 8,196 pupils in large classes in 2016 (7.6% of all infant pupils), compared to 7,835 pupils (7.3%) in similar-sized classes in 2015. The number of pupils aged between four and seven in large classes was as low as 6,969 (6.6%) in 2013.

There is a positive connection between smaller classes and attainment, particularly for pupils from poorer backgrounds. This is most significant for younger children, which is why this investment is targeted at infant class sizes. Along with other reforms, the money will create the space for teachers to teach and for pupils to learn.”

Last week Kirsty, made another significant announcement - £10,000 loans to help postgraduate students do a Master’s degree. That is assistance which has the potential to transform people’s opportunities.

The whole point of being in politics is to get things done and to deliver reforms that improve people's lives. Kirsty Williams is exemplifying that maxim.


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