So Leighton Andrews has resigned his position as Education Minister, and not before time. His arrogance it seems has finally got the better of him – his refusal to listen to anyone on education matters has ensured Wales has remained way down the education league tables, he has a reputation of being smug and arrogant, and his determination to have it all ways has been his downfall.
TheBBC report that he “resigned following a row over his defence of a school which faced closure under his own surplus places policy.” A line which allows Mr Andrews to play on the “I did it all for my constituents” sob story. In his resignation letter he said
"I regret that my commitment to my constituents may have led me to an apparent conflict which led to difficulty for the government."
Nonsense. It was his commitment to try himself, his own career, and to trying to play the game according to a set of rules he made up himself.
He was a Government Minister. He knew full well that meant he had to be very careful with what he said about the Royal Glamorgan. He made a big mistake – the ‘Labour for Royal Glamorgan’ signs and website were never going to go down well elsewhere. A schoolboy error one may say.
But even worse was thinking he could get away with openly backing a campaign to keep a school open in his constituency whist telling Authorities they had to deal with surplus places and being the man with the final say over whether closures go ahead.
That was sheer stupidity. If he felt so strongly then he should have resigned his Ministerial post in order to fight for the school. Or if he really had concerns over the process RCT were following then why, as Minister, did he not openly question them about it? This is the Authority, after all, that he wanted to hand control of Merthyr schools over to. It raises serious questions about competency on both sides
Still at least the news has livened up Twitter today, even if some of the comments were a little strange.
Adrian Masters points us in the direction of the Director of the ATL Union who says
“It is vital that Mr Andrews' successor is both credible, and more importantly, competent. With PISA looming, and GCSES and A level results pending, we need someone who commands the confidence of the profession and parents.”
Credible and competent – a big ask from amongst the current Labour contingent, and has Leighton ever fulfilled those requirements?
Labour AM Jenny Rathbone raised a few eyebrows with her assertion that “.Resignation of our Education Minister poses lots of questions re direction education policy.”
Really? He had only just gone, surely if there were questions as to the direction of Labour education policy someone in the party would have picked up on them before now? Is she suggesting that there will be a change in policy – or that there should be?
Tory MP and Welsh office Minister Stephen Crabbe obviously hasn’t taken the views of his colleagues in the Assembly on board and tweets “Sorry to see @LeightonAndrews leave Welsh Gov. One of the few with genuine ambition for ending the slide in Welsh educational standards".
Really? He may have had ambition but he wasn’t achieving a great deal as the man responsible for PISA assessments pointed out recently.
Oddly enough @fmwales has been silent since lunchtime.