College staff and students praised by local Senedd Member

Shadow Education Minister praises “exhausted” staff for their ‘phenomenal’ resilience

Calls for new curriculum to link properly to post-16 education

Staff and students at Merthyr college have been praised for how they have managed during the pandemic by shadow education minister and local Member of the Welsh Parliament Laura Anne Jones MS.

During a visit to the town centre campus, Principal of the college Lisa Thomas told Ms Jones staff have been ‘delighted’ with the attendance and completion of courses by students over the last year, despite the challenging conditions and they are now preparing to welcome in the new year’s students.

Miss Jones said:

“The last year has been so challenging, but the staff and students at Merthyr college should be incredibly proud of what they have achieved. I’m particularly pleased to hear how everyone has shown phenomenal resilience and staff have made sure the pastoral support for students was available which must have played a big part in their success.”

During the visit, Laura saw the college’s new e-gaming suite which is helping to train the next generation of computer programmers and saw how the college is working with local schools to encourage an interest in Science, Technology Engineering and maths subjects.

The visit is the latest in a series of factfinding tours for the new Shadow Education minister, which also helped highlight issues facing the wider Further Education sector.

Laura added:

“For too long, Further Education has been the Cinderella part of our education sector. Not everyone wants to follow an academic career, so ministers need to live up to their rhetoric and make sure that our colleges get the same focus as schools and universities as we emerge from the pandemic and as the new curriculum is introduced.

“Colleges like Merthyr will need flexibility in new funding to support learners in the new year, identifying gaps in their knowledge because of school closures, and providing the tailored help they need. I’ll be campaigning in the Senedd to make sure that this happens.

“I’ll also be using my membership of the Children and Young people committee to make sure that the new curriculum for our schools links in properly to post-16 education so that our young people are properly equipped to make the transition to further academic or vocational studies.”

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