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Kirsty Williams MS

Responsibilities of the Minister for Education


Kirsty Williams has been Wales’ Education Minister since May 2016. She entered government following an agreement with the previous First Minister, leading a “national mission of education reform” at all levels. 

The current First Minister and Education Minister affirmed their commitment to this progressive agreement in December 2018, updating it with additional education priorities and responsibilities, including further education, science, research and innovation.

Ms Williams leads the government’s education programme, which includes reducing infant class sizes, delivering the most equitable and progressive student support system in Europe, and transforming the school curriculum.

She has been the Member of the Senedd for Brecon and Radnorshire since 1999, and was leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats 2008 – 2016. She was the first female leader of a Welsh political party. She is married to a farmer and the couple have 3 daughters. They live on the family farm outside Brecon.


  • School governance, organisation, and admissions
  • School standards, improvement and pupil attainment, including National Categorisation
  • Estyn work programme remit
  • Funding of schools
  • Curriculum and assessment up to and including A levels
  • Welsh medium and bilingual education
  • Foundation Phase
  • Additional learning needs, including needs of pupils with severe, complex and/or specific learning difficulties, disabled pupils, able and talented pupils
  • Support for people with Dyslexia
  • Safeguarding and inclusion in schools, including internet safety
  • Complaints against Local Education Authorities and school governing bodies
  • Delivery and management of 21st Century Schools and education programme
  • Sponsorship of Qualifications Wales 
  • Education workforce training and development, including initial teacher training
  • Teachers’ Pay and Conditions
  • Further Education
  • FE student support: Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) and Welsh Government Learning Grant (WGLG FE)
  • Youth-work policy
  • Adult community learning
  • Credit and Qualifications Framework including vocational, key and essential skills qualifications
  • Prisoner Learning
  • Higher Education policy, strategy and funding
  • Medical Education (except for post graduate training)
  • Science: development of science policy, including day to day liaison with the Chief Scientific Adviser for Wales and the National Science Academy 
  • Life Sciences
  • Research and Innovation, including research and development, knowledge transfer and commercialisation; maximising research and innovation incomes; and Research Centres of Excellence
  • Development, retention and attraction of higher level research students for Wales

Writing to Kirsty Williams

First Minister's agreement with Kirsty Williams