THE newest member of the council’s executive group has set out his priorities for education in Pembrokeshire and taken a swipe at those using social media to complain.
Milford Haven councillor Guy Woodham took on the role of cabinet member for education and lifelong learning just over a month ago.
This week he has sent out a letter to all headteachers and governing body chairmen, which he also wants to share with school staff and the wider community, outlining what he wants to achieve.
Cllr Woodham states that he is committed to delivering better outcomes for pupils, with the aim of becoming a top performing authority, as outlined in the cabinet’s programme for administration.
He adds that it will be challenging and require full participation as well as a “clear desire to work together constructively to achieve these aims.”
“The two main pillars supporting this vision are standards and behaviour. While improvements have been made over recent years, we need to continue to rigorously pursue both these areas across the whole of Pembrokeshire.
“While I have no doubt of the commitment from the vast majority to deliver the required changes, we cannot be distracted by a relatively small minority who may not agree with these aspirations, do not wish to work collectively or who, even unintentionally, distract us from achieving these goals.
“It has been particularly disappointing during the last month to see social media, not for the first time, being used to address causes for concern in our schools. While social media has its place, appropriate school procedures exist and should be followed – this will lead to quicker resolution and less anxiety for all involved,” states Cllr Woodham.
Cllr Woodham, a school governor himself for more than 10 years and the former chairman of the schools and learning overview and scrutiny committee, said he will discuss with trade unions ways to address misleading social media statements without infringing on freedom of speech.
He is also encouraging people to get involved with the work of ERW (Education through Regional Working) as he believes the partnership can help raise standards.