Access to Schools in England

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 26th March 2014.

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Photo of Michael Fabricant Michael Fabricant Vice-Chair, Conservative Party 11:30 am, 26th March 2014

What discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Education and Ministers of the Welsh Government on facilitating access by primary and secondary school students in Wales to schools in border areas in England.

Photo of David Jones David Jones The Secretary of State for Wales

Young people in border areas of Wales can apply to attend schools in England, provided they meet the admissions criteria. It is essential that all young people have access to the best possible education and training, regardless of where they live.

Photo of Michael Fabricant Michael Fabricant Vice-Chair, Conservative Party

We have already heard how the Welsh Labour Government have let people down with the health service, but they are also letting people down on education, with scores from the programme for international student assessment stating that education levels in Wales are lower than in rural areas of Romania. What can my right hon. Friend do to have any influence at all over the Welsh Government, to ensure that school children in Wales get as good an education as they do in England?

Photo of David Jones David Jones The Secretary of State for Wales

My hon. Friend is entirely right to identify the PISA results, which have declined progressively over the past few years. Indeed, the First Minister acknowledged that he had taken his eye off the ball. We are concerned about that and hope the First Minister is too, and that he will address the situation as quickly as possible.