Gerald Jones re-elected to serve Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney

I am delighted that Gerald Jones has been re-elected as our MP for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney. It will be a pleasure to continue our close working partnership and to continue supporting and speaking up for our constituents.

To those who follow our work on a regular basis you will know that we carry out street and roving surgeries on a year round basis. This will continue. We are both available to help constituents with problems, and through our respective offices we are helped by our great teams of caseworkers. As your elected representatives we offer advice and support to constituents irrespective of how people vote.

I am sure everyone wants the opportunity to enjoy Christmas, but please rest assured that Gerald and I will continue to serve you to the best of our abilities.

Well done Gerald, and thank you to the voters of Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney for your support.

“Positive, but not perfect” says Welsh Education Minister

Dawn Bowden AM said “The international PISA results are one, but just one, way of assessing the progress of our education system in Wales. So I welcome the statement by the Welsh Education Minister about the latest set of results”.

“Positive, but not perfect” says Kirsty Williams as Minister welcomes Wales PISA improvement

  • Wales catches up international average in all subjects for first time
  • Wales scores higher to move up in all three subjects for first time
  • Best ever scores in reading and maths and improvement in science

She said:

“For the first time ever, Wales is in the international mainstream, thanks to the efforts of our teachers and students.”

“We have caught up, we are continuing to improve in all areas and as a nation we must be determined to keep up this momentum.”

“This is positive for teachers, parents and students and the nation as a whole, but not perfect.”

“We can go further still.”

Wales was among 79 countries to participate in the latest round of PISA, which is run by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Following the 2015 results, the Education Minister set a challenge to improve the proportion of top-performing learners.

The number of high performing students in reading rose from 3% in 2015 to 7% in 2018, with a 4% to 7% increase in maths and a 4% to 5% increase in science.

Wales saw an improvement in its ranking compared to other participating nations.

Kirsty Williams added:

“Today’s news is positive for our young people and education system. We are continuing to improve in all areas and we’ve got more top performers than ever before.”

“Our increase in high-performers is a big step forward. It’s a culture change for Wales. But there’s still more to do, as we’re not quite at the OECD average for this aspect yet.”

“Not only have our overall scores gone up, we’ve also reduced the attainment gap. We can be proud that in Wales we truly partner equity with excellence.”

“We are heading in the right direction with our reforms. Our National Mission has charted the right course. The OECD are telling us to move forward with confidence.”

“That’s why we are delivering the biggest ever investment in our teachers, have developed the biggest ever professional learning programme and are striding ahead with our new curriculum.”

Good news for NHS bursary scheme in Wales

Dawn Bowden AM welcomes today’s statement by the health Minister Vaughan Gething regarding the future of the NHS wales Bursary Scheme.


Future of the NHS Wales Bursary Scheme


DATE 29 November 2019
BY Vaughan Gething, Minister for Health and Social Services


“On 10 June 2019, I issued a written statement confirming that the NHS Wales Bursary scheme would remain in place for individuals electing to study an eligible health care related programme in Wales commencing in the academic year 2020/21. This meant, that in Wales the full bursary package continued to be available to those who would be committed to working in Wales for up to two years post qualification.

I am pleased to announce today that I am further extending this arrangement and will be retaining the NHS Wales bursary package for an additional two cohorts for the 2021/2022 and 2022/2023 academic years. This announcement provides certainty that for the next three academic years, Wales will continue to fund and support our future NHS workforce.

During this time we will undertake a comprehensive exercise to establish the best and most appropriate way of continuing to support those who choose to study health care related programmes in Wales”.


I am proud of this government’s record on investment in education and training. The NHS has more people working in it than at any time in its history, all aimed at prevention and care for people across every community in Wales.


Recently, I announced that for the sixth consecutive year funding to support health professional education and training in Wales will increase – £127.8m will be invested in 2020/21.


Through a combination of sustained and increasing investment in the provision of health professional education and training, and the continued provision of financial support to encourage individuals to consider healthcare in Wales as a worthwhile and rewarding career, this Government is demonstrating its clear commitment to ensuring the future sustainability of the NHS workforce.