Wikipedia has it that Leighton Andrews was a public affairs consultant at the time a leading local government figure commented how having an elected Assembly for Wales would be like gaining “a county council on stilts”.
There is a spooky sense of validation around the Bay as further details emerge on thinking about whether education should be effectively centralised within a devolved Wales. Strangely though, the self-appointed jury seems to be nearing a verdict before it has even been properly convened.
A helpful view advanced among partisan governance bodies is that the rationalisation which Andrews is considering doing to education is no different from what Hart did to health – although hopefully not what Davies ended up doing to the WDA (and the economy).
It’s a natural step for an education minister fed a compressed diet of strategic reports all of which lament ‘a lack of coterminosity and corporate synergy’ among local education authorities.
Very few council chief executives & leaders see anything else coming out of the promised “proper public debate” than the loss of nearly half of their entire annual revenue budget and a widening of a democratic deficit at the expense of LEAs
There are of course other perspectives around as to the root causes of the malaise which besets educational outcomes in Wales. But governments do love their reforms & reorganisations. As such it will be a while before anyone reestablishes that economies of scale in the public sector rarely achieve meaningful improvements if only because they are inevitably matched by pro rata spending cuts.
But by that time Mr Andrews could well have resumed his public affairs career.