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Plaid wants free lunches for all

Plaid cymru this week revealed "radical" plans for education in a pre-election consultation paper.

Among the proposals being considered for inclusion in the party's manifesto are free nutritious school meals for every primary pupil in Wales, and replacing both A-levels and GCSEs with a "broadly-based baccalaureate".

It also wants to make Wales "the most computer literate nation on the planet" by providing schoolchildren with their own laptop.

Other proposals aimed at winning the party votes in the May Welsh Assembly elections include: l the raising of the compulsory school-leaving age to 18;

* a school-based dental service;

* an end to the selling off of school playing fields;

* heavy investment in mental health services for children and young people;

* the introduction of 10mph zones outside schools during school hours;

* the extension of Welsh-medium provision from nursery to higher education;

* access for every family to high-quality childcare from the end of maternity leave, estimated at a cost of pound;141 million.

Plaid said the final manifesto will depend on responses to the document, Change for the Better.

Last week, a senior source in Plaid told TES Cymru (January 12) that the proposal to give a laptop to every child would depend on safety issues, meaning younger children might be left out.

* nicola.porter@tes.co.uk

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