Wales Sixth forms face cull, claim Tories

20th February 2009 at 00:00

The tories have accused Wales's education minister of failing to support sixth forms amid fears that post-16 cuts will cause job losses.

Jane Hutt came under fire from Andrew RT Davies, shadow education spokesman, during a debate in the Welsh Assembly last week. He twice challenged the minister to state her "categorical" support for the future of sixth forms.

Ms Hutt said the government's commitment to "vibrant" post-16 education included sixth forms, but Mr Davies said that was "hardly a ringing endorsement".

He said secondary school heads had told him they would be forced to axe teachers in September as a result of a 7.43 per cent cut in post-16 funding, first reported by TES Cymru this month, and it was feared sixth forms could close.

Gareth Jones, secretary of ASCL Cymru, a heads' union, said funding cuts were a "covert" way of axing sixth forms as part of a drive to introduce a tertiary system.

But Ms Hutt said the "harmonisation" of budgets created a "level playing field" for the FE sector in Wales.

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