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Labour Education Minister gets second telling off in a week.

June 15, 2013 9:42 PM

Following on from the telling off he received from Carwyn Jones earlier this week over the Royal Glamorgan Hospital campaign Rhondda AM and Education Minister Leighton Andrews must have been very disappointed by the 'must do better' message from the head of PISA.

As reported by Wales Online Michael Davidson, who leads the world education rankings body PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment), has poured cold water on the Minister's target to make Wales one of the top 20 countries as far as education goes by 2015.

The last time results were published in 2010 Wales was ranked 38th for reading, 40th for maths and 30th for science. Mr Andrews leapt into action and announced a whole raft of ideas to raise school standards.

The problem is none of them seem to be working very well, and many are doing nothing other than putting extra pressure on teachers and pupils without actually improving the standards of education.

He announced an ambitious aim to see Wales in the top 20 by 2015 - a laudable ambition, but as Mr Davidson points out

"The country that made the biggest single increase between 2000 and 2009 increased by 40 points. You've got to keep that in mind - 40 points was the best achieved over a 10-year period

"Shanghai (which tops the Pisa rankings) currently is performing 80 points higher than Wales in reading. So if you want to catch Shanghai, you've got to do two lots of 40 points."

The Education Minister has already said that he does not expect to see "real improvement" in this year's Pisa results. The Western Mail reports that government officials "are bracing themselves for bad news."

The question is, will the First Minister be as quick and decisive in reprimanding Mr Andrews for his failure to do his job and improve education in Wales as he was over campaigning to keep services at the Royal Glamorgan.