Sixth-formers tackle Carwyn Jones over the NHS, housing and student finance

The last time Carwyn Jones visited Porthcawl Comprehensive School it was as a 12-year-old rugby player for rival school Brynteg.

Back then Porthcawl players’ tackling on the pitch ensured the future Bridgend AM and First Minister left disappointed after his side lost.

But this time Mr Jones left the school thrilled at pupils’ political awareness, having been tackled off the field over a range of issues from the NHS to Welsh language, housing and student finance.

“It was a great opportunity to meet the sixth-form students at Porthcawl Comprehensive and hear about the issues young people are concerned with in my constituency,” said Mr Jones.

“I was pleased to see that many students at the school are interested in politics, asking questions on a broad range of topics.”

Carwyn Jones was questioned on the NHS, the future of the Welsh language and student finance

Addressing 200 pupils, Mr Jones explained the role of the Welsh Assembly and specifically his role as First Minister and as an Assembly Member for the Bridgend constituency.

This was followed by a question and answer session during which pupils challenged Mr Jones on a number of issues, including NHS funding in Wales, the housing shortage, university student finance in Wales, the new literacy and numeracy curriculum changes and the impact of the Welsh Baccalaureate qualification and the issue of it being recognised across the UK and internationally.

The school’s head team enjoyed lunch with Mr Jones, who spoke to pupils individually about their plans for the future and offered encouragement and advice.

He was accompanied on his visit by past Porthcawl Comprehensive School pupil Megan David who, having left in 2009 and then graduated from Cardiff University, is now a research and public engagement officer at the Assembly.

Assistant Head Girl Alisha John said she had enjoyed talking to Mr Jones because he “answered us like he was talking to adults and didn’t dumb down his answers”.

Head Girl Rebecca Manley said Mr Jones had been “down to Earth and unassuming”, while Madeleine Dabernig, Assistant Head Girl said that the pupils had benefited from having the role of the Welsh Assembly explained more fully to them.

She added Mr Jones had “admitted when things were wrong and didn’t sugar coat things”.

Article source: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/local-news/sixth-formers-tackle-carwyn-jones-over-8595849