The news that 28 primary schools across Wales, including six in Powys have such poor broadband access that they can’t meet the new digital competency framework is completely unacceptable.
It is well known that there are some rural areas in Powys with extremely poor levels of internet access. These areas are few and far between when compared to 5 or even 10 years ago.
But the fact that Primary Schools within our constituency do not have the adequate level of access to complete even the most basic of tasks will come as a shock many of us.
I have previously raised concerns about the Welsh Governments lack of investment in rural Wales and their prioritisation of Labour strongholds in the South and North East of the country. It is clear from the freedom of information request that all areas with poor access are in constituencies where the Welsh Government do not prioritise their funding. Areas they don’t have large numbers of Labour Assembly Members.
This lack of investment will risk our children falling behind in key areas. Computing skills are now a must for children going into the working world, with large numbers of jobs relying on staff holding qualifications and training in IT.
Over the last 18 months I have met with various Ministers and broadband providers who have assured me that over the next few years Powys will continue to see continued improvement to high speed broadband.
I hope the Welsh Education Minister who represents our rural community steps up to the plate and uses her position within the Welsh Labour Government to invest the money into our rural schools to improve the standards of their broadband.