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David Davies: Abuse inquiry must be acted on by Welsh Assembly Government

Welsh Conservatives endorse Clywch inquiry recommendations.

"This is obviously a long and detailed report, with many recommendations, and I commend it.

However, with regard to the recommendations, the Government must clearly spell out if and when it will act on each and every one of them.

Three points stand out as requiring further action.

First, the role of the WJEC in this matter. You concentrated on what the WJEC is now doing to put matters right, and that is fair enough.

However, it would be worthwhile investigating further whether members of the WJEC were alerted to the pornographic nature of the work being done by John Owen, and whether any of those people who were alerted—and I believe that some were, based on the report—still hold positions in the WJEC or any other examination board.

There has been little investigation of the individuals in the WJEC at the time. The report details that one performance was stopped during an examination due to its graphic nature.

The examiner was taken to a room and told that he would never again be used by the WJEC to conduct examinations because he had stopped that examination.

He was never used again by the WJEC—so it has many questions to answer. That is not to cast any aspersions over the current management of the WJEC, who, I am sure, had nothing to do with this matter. There are some people, however, who certainly did.

Secondly, there is the possibility that other people in the education system may be acting in the same manner as did John Owen.

I would like to know whether there is a central list of approved books being used, particularly for English, drama and sex education.

I suspect that there is not, but we need to know what our children are being encouraged to read.

At present, I suspect that this is difficult or impossible to undertake, but I would like you to look into the possibility of doing this.

Thirdly, there is the matter that Janet Ryder just alluded to, which is that Peter Clarke singled out what I have called a form of institutional inertia towards disciplining or sacking teachers.

Perhaps Janet was right in saying that it is because they are public servants. If that is the case, then it must stop.

I would be the first to recognise that the majority of teachers and local government workers do an excellent job in which they are highly dedicated.

I would like to think that Mr Owen was a unique case, and I am certain that he is extremely rare.

However, there is a significant number—a small percentage, but a significant one—of teachers who are not up to the standards that we require of them, and the local authorities must be encouraged to be more pro-active in taking a firm line against them.

Finally, can you give your assurance that this report does not mark the end of a process, but that it is simply the beginning?"

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