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Education

Lib Dems warn of education cuts

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THE LIBERAL DEMOCRATS have warned that Wales could be the subject of education cuts if the Conservatives are re-elected into Westminster. Nick Clegg nick clegghas claimed that the Lib Dems would spend an extra £10 billion a year protecting spending to cover ages 2 to 19. There is a potential impact on Welsh spending dependent on English spending because of the way the Welsh Government’s budgets are calculated through the Barnett formula.

Lib Dem MP for Cardiff Central Jenny Willott said: “The Liberal Democrats are the only party who have said we’re committed to protecting cradle to college spending because we believe that the best way to build a stronger economy and fairer society is to give every child the best possible start in life.”

After the Welsh Education minister Huw Lewis said that the Conservative’s plans for education in England were a ‘poxy programme for reform’, the Herald obtained a more precise and eloquent response from the Welsh Assembly who said: “Any uplift or protection for the schools budget in England would be reflected in our Budget, as determined by the Barnett formula in the normal way. This would be announced at the next Spending Review. However, it is important to remember that this is only one part of the story. The overall impact for the Welsh Budget will be determined by budget decisions for all other comparable UK departments. Any cuts would also result in Barnett consequentials and can cancel out positive consequentials – in the same way that the Welsh budget overall has reduced by around 9% in real terms between 2010-11 and 2015-16, despite the protections for schools and health in England. Our Barnett comparability with the Department of Education is 100%, as set out in the Statement of Funding Policy. That means that at the Spending Review we would get our population share (5.72%) of any increase to Department of Education funding”.

Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Education Minister Mid and West AM Simon Thomas said: “It is ironic that the Liberal Democrats are criticising their partners in the Westminster government a few weeks away from an election after they have sucked up to the Tories for last five years and allowed a settlement that does not fund Wales on the same basis as Scotland. Last year they also backed a budget deal with the Labour Welsh Government. One has to wonder what the Liberal Democrats stand for. We have seen last week the proposals to close schools in Pembrokeshire. Our schools are underfunded. Plaid wants to put that right. When we secure the money Wales is owed, we will invest in our schools to ensure that we can improve standards – enough teachers, enough books and computers so that no child is left behind.”

Welsh shadow Education secretary, Angela Burns, stated: “It’s a desperate comment by the Liberal Democrats. My understanding is school funding in England is being protected but the real issue for me is what is happening in Wales. That’s my concern, how we can get more of the school budget directly into the frontline to support schools and students. A third of the £4.5billion budget is spent in admin or being sliced by the many hands it passes through. The Welsh Conservatives pledged to get the money into schools, that’s what other parties should be doing.”

 

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Education

Styling their way to the top

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(Left to right) Level 2 - Festival theme - work by Holly Mathias and Celebration of Colour - Level 2 and 3 – work by Leah Rees

FOUR hairdressing learners: Holly Mathias, Jenna Kilgallon, Helaina Thomas and Leah Rees, recently earned themselves a place in the next stage of the Concept Hair Magazine Learner of the Year Competition.

The candidates were invited into the College to show their fully presented entries as evidence and then submitted them remotely to the Concept Hair Magazine judges in December.

The categories for the competition were: Festival Hair, Red Carpet, Old School Barbershop, Celebration of Colour and Safari.

The unique styles allowed the learners to show off their creative hair styling skills from plaits to updos, to bold colour creations.

Charlotte Jones, Hairdressing lecturer was over the moon with the learners’ success; “We were all so impressed with the creativity, dedication and enthusiasm of all the students who took part in the competition. Also, the students who supported the entries during the day and the models who gave up their time to be involved. They should all be very proud of what they have achieved. The results were amazing!”

The students worked to COVID regulations ensuring all the correct PPE and procedures were followed.

Finalist, Holly Mathias entered three categories which included; Styling Level 2 – Festival Theme, Hair Up Level 2 – Red Carpet and Avant Garde – Safari.

Holly shared her experience; “Taking part in the Concept Hair competition, has really boosted my confidence and proved that hard work really does pay off. The support from the staff at Pembrokeshire College is outstanding. I would recommend everyone to take part in this competition as not only is it an amazing experience, but it really allows you to think outside the box and be as creative as you can! I would 100% take part in this competition again.”

Holly plans to go into full-time employment when she completes her course and hopes to one day work on cruise ships or even own her own salon.

The next stage involves the candidates submitting photographic entries on the 12th March where six will be shortlisted for the national finals which is set to take place virtually in April.

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Education

Delight as foundation phase learners return to class

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PEMBROKESHIRE Headteachers have reported very positive returns to school for Foundation Phase Learners.

All Foundation Phase Learners returned to schools on Monday, March 1st and attendance has been reported at almost 90% since.

The Council’s Director for Education, Steven Richards-Downes, said: “A wide range of council services have worked together to ensure that Foundation Phase pupils have been able to return
safely to school.

“I am particularly grateful to all school staff and families for ensure that learning is now available for our youngest learners face to face.”

Headteachers remarked how schools have filled with smiles and laughter following the safe and phased return of Foundation Phase learners.

Cora O’Brien, Headteacher at Waldo Williams School in Haverfordwest emphasised how quickly learners have settled back in to a routine.

“It has been an absolute joy to hear their laughter in the playground and to observe their love of learning face to face once again. I thank everybody in the Waldo Williams School
community for working so hard to ensure that the transition went smoothly.”

Vicky Hart-Griffiths, Headteacher of Ysgol Hafan y Mor in Tenby, said: “It has been wonderful to welcome all our Foundation Phase learners back to school. They are thriving, being amongst
friends and back to a school routine.  

“All the pupils have spoken about how happy they are to have returned and it’s an absolute pleasure to welcome them back and we can’t wait until we have all our pupils back in school.

“The school feels alive again and there’s a positive buzz and laughter once again echoing throughout the school.”

Gareth Lewis, Headteacher at Broad Haven CP School said children had returned “with real enthusiasm, and have been very keen to meet up with their friends.”

Mr Lewis added: “Our parents have been very supportive and positive about the return, and those with older children are very much looking forward to a wider return to schooling.”

Mr Richards-Downes said plans were now turning to more learners returning to schools in the near future.

“We are looking to the next phases of the re-opening of schools on the 15th of March as long as the government guidelines allow.”

Further details will be released in due course.

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Education

Teacher’s gruelling challenge to help visually impaired child

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TEACHER Sion Jenkins is running 100 laps around a famous Pembrokeshire landmark to raise money to help a visually impaired child in his class.

He is aiming to raise £2,000 on crowd funder platform Go Fund Me by doing laps of Carew Castle and Mill in just 24 hours, about one hundred miles in total.

Sion said: “I decided that I wanted to raise money to help purchase a trike/adapted bike to help a visually impaired child in my class.

“Due to his sight, he isn’t able to ride a bike – and is desperate to gain some independence/confidence and ride a bike like every other child.

“On the back of a challenge set by school, to complete the ‘100 challenge’ as a tribute to Captain Sir Tom Moore, I decided to tie the two together and have a go at completing this gruelling challenge.

“100 laps of Carew Castle and Mill will total just under 100 miles – in less than 24 hours.”

If you would like to contribute to this epic challenge this is the link:

https://uk.gofundme.com/f/carew-mill-100-laps-in-24-hours?

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