Kirsty Williams AM writes: Welsh Liberal Democrats will fight for more for disadvantaged children

Yesterday the Welsh Labour Government submitted its £15 billion draft budget which reveals its spending plans for the next year.

In its current form, the Welsh Liberal Democrats cannot support this budget as we don’t believe it goes far enough to tackle the problem of making sure that children from deprived backgrounds get the fair start in life they deserve.

Last year, the Welsh Liberal Democrats vastly improved the Welsh Government’s budget by agreeing to support it in return for the introduction of a Welsh Pupil Premium. Despite failing standards in our schools and an ever growing spending gap per pupil when compared to England, the Welsh Government was content to continue with the status quo. The Welsh Liberal Democrats weren’t happy for this trend to continue, which is why we insisted on a Welsh Pupil Premium. We are immensely proud that when we are out knocking on people’s doors, it is the Pupil Premium that people remember from last year’s budget.  We used our influence to give all children a fairer start in life.

However, the link between poor educational outcomes and deprivation is still too evident and we need to see year on year progress to extend the Pupil Premium. We can’t just sit back and consider the job to be done.

In this budget, the Welsh Liberal Democrats are calling on the Welsh Government to make further moves to ensure that Wales’ children are not allowed to be left behind. If we recognise an opportunity to significantly improve on the budget, then of course we will consider it, but the agreement must be the right one that will truly benefit the people of Wales.

* Kirsty Williams AM is Cabinet Secretary for Education in the Welsh Government

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3 Comments

  • It’s excellent that the party managed to get Wales its very own Pupil Premium. Any more progress on this would be fantastic.

  • Wales of course still pays EMA which the Lib Dems in coalition removed for disadvantaged children in England.

  • Don’t you mean, ‘which the Lib Dems is coalition kept for only the disadvantaged children in England?’

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