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PLAID CYMRU REJECTS PARTIES' 'EDUCATIONAL MISH-MASH'

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A call for Wales to develop its own examination system has been issued by Plaid Cymru in the wake of Tory proposals...
A call for Wales to develop its own examination system has been issued by Plaid Cymru in the wake of Tory proposals for reform of A levels launched by Gillian Shephard.

In a memorandum to Mrs Shephard, Plaid Cymru education spokesperson Cynog Dafis MP has called for:

-- A Welsh Baccalaureate for 16-19 year olds to replace A-levels, on the lines of Institute of Welsh Affairs proposals.

-- The creation of a Welsh Education Council to be responsible for quality assurance in schools, absorbing the function of the Welsh Joint Education Committee (WJEC), the Curriculum and Assessment Authority (ACAC) and the school inspectorate.

-- An all-Wales system of advice and support for teachers.

'Once more there is a danger of Welsh education being bedevilled by the internal politics of the London Tories and London Labour parties' said Mr Dafis, MP for Ceredigion Pembroke North.

'The Dearing proposals now adopted by the Tories do not integrate academic and vocational qualifications and are a compromise designed to appease Tory backwoodsmen.

'Yet they are likely to be accepted by a Labour leadership terrified of offending middle England.

'On top of this the Tories propose the extension of league tables to ages 7 and 14 - both irrelevant and damaging in the Welsh situation.

'How much longer must we wait before we are able to design an education system relevant to our priorities and needs?' asked Mr Dafis.

'The educational mish-mash generated by London-based politicians reveals once again the urgent need for democratic self-government in Wales.'

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