The AM for the Rhondda has called upon the Welsh Government to do more for parents struggling to afford costs associated with their child’s education.
Leanne Wood directly asked the Labour Government’s Education Minister to provide “leadership” and “real ambition” in helping families.
Ms Wood’s question in plenary followed on from consternation from teaching unions and the Children’s Commissioner for Wales highlighting the problems that a lack of funding in education is having on poorer families.
She said: “In the words of the Association of School and College Leaders, there is a 'severe funding crisis' in schools, which is having a 'detrimental effect on young people.'
“Those are direct quotes from them. This comes at the same time as a report by the children's commissioner, Sally Holland, last week, who said: 'Financial demands are flying at families from all sorts of angles and it's the children who pay the price when their parents can't keep up with the costs.
‘If we're serious about levelling the playing field and giving all children an equal opportunity to learn and grow, we need Welsh Government to show real ambition and leadership in helping the thousands of families across Wales who are really struggling.'
“I've raised the school meals threshold with you on a number of occasions. Do you recognise the picture painted by these two impartial and expert sources?
“If you do, when can we expect to see this real ambition and leadership from this Labour Government to help struggling families and also to ensure that struggling schools get the funding gap plugged that they need to deliver good-quality education services to our children?”
In response, Education Minister Kirsty Williams said she “recognised” the challenges the children’s commissioner outlines in her report and that some money will be made available for struggling parents.
If you agree with Leanne, please click this link to get involved with Plaid Cymru.