Wednesday, 16 January 2013

It's been an education

The view among most observers is that it is expediency rather than devolutionary zeal that lays behind the Welsh government move to allow local authorities to decide for themselves on school closures without ministerial intervention.

Education minister Leighton Andrews had earlier suggested that his unrewarding task of arbiter should pass to appointed panels. That particular idea was dropped when it came to the Schools Standards and Organisation Bill which cleared yesterday with Plaid and Lib Dem backing. The situation from now on will be that the nasty business of schools closures will start and end with local education authorities.

The result is a mixed outcome for the majority of councils who at one level have always resented the need for ministerial approval whilst rather liking the idea of being able to kick controversial decisions upstairs.

What seemed strange was how many AMs failed to grasp that the move meant slightly more than ensuring the banner waving goes on outside various county halls rather than on the Senedd steps. Perhaps it will dawn on them when the inevitable happens.

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