Lib Dems lambast 'failure' in priorities

Darren Evans & Isabella Kaminski

Politicians this week called on the Assembly government to address their "failures" in the training and recruitment of the Welsh teaching force.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats led a debate in the Senedd as TES Cymru went to press, challenging the government to stop making "sloppy decisions" over teachers' professional development.

The party believes that the Assembly government has got its training priorities wrong. They say that while the government has continued to invest in training "unwanted" teachers, only 41 per cent of the teachers trained in 200607 went on to teach within the borders of Wales.

They believe the money would be better spent on training Wales's present cohort of teachers, spreading good practice and increasing career options for teaching staff.

Kirsty Williams, the Welsh Lib Dem spokesperson for education, said: "Now is the time for the Assembly government to finally wake up to the need for more funding, aimed at directly improving the quality, professionalism and drive of the teaching workforce."

A motion was put forward by the party, calling on the Assembly to acknowledge the importance of high quality teacher training programmes for recruiting and maintaining a motivated and professional workforce. It was carried by a majority.

Jenny Randerson, Lib Dem Assembly member, said during the debate: "Not every school in Wales has been able to find room for training in their budgets - they need more support."

Welsh Lib Dems also urged the Assembly government to ensure that teachers are protected from abuse at work.

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Darren Evans & Isabella Kaminski

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