Best start for the little ones

15th October 2004 at 01:00
Fourth anniversaries are traditionally celebrated with a linen gift. Jane Davidson may feel she deserves a little more than that as she reviews her 48 months as education and lifelong learning minister, but she should be fairly content nonetheless. She can point to measurable progress during her term of office, and she now has the money (from this week's draft budget) to pursue some of her remaining goals.

She is right to divert spending to the early years, particularly as many Welsh children start school between one and three years behind their peers.

But is there enough cash for the other deserving cases in education? It may be another four years before we know the definitive answer, but past experience suggests that few people outside the early-years and 14-19 learning pathways programmes should be popping champagne corks.

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