PM attacks Labour's Welsh school record

Theresa May

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Theresa May urged the next Welsh first minister to free schools from local council control

Wales’ next first minister should follow England’s lead on school reforms, the prime minister has said.

Theresa May told the Welsh Conservative conference that Welsh ministers had “betrayed a generation of children”.

She urged the Welsh Government to follow England’s example by setting schools free of local council control.

First Minister Carwyn Jones has admitted Labour had “taken its eye off the ball” on education in the early years of devolution.

Mrs May was giving the keynote speech at the her party’s Welsh spring conference at Ffos Las racecourse, Carmarthenshire, on Friday.

Mrs May said the UK government had adopted some policies first introduced in Wales, such as a charge on use of plastic bags and the presumed consent system for organ donations.

But she urged Mr Jones’s successor to “take a look at what Conservatives have achieved in school reform”.

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Media captionLive: Welsh Conservatives Conference

“Look at the new curriculum which has driven up standards – with England now scoring higher in international studies,” she said.

“Look at the free schools and academies that are bringing in diverse providers to create more excellent school places and getting some of the best results at GCSE.

“Look at the transformation in technical education that we are now leading – with high-quality T-levels and new Institutes for Technology – prestigious institutions that will offer technical education and training to young people and to those already in employment.

“Don’t let politics and ideology blind you to what is working and what could make a difference for young people in Wales.”

Without reforms Wales would be left behind, the prime minister claimed.

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