A delegation of 5 Chinese Head Teachers and the Vice Director of Education from Deyang in Sichuan Province China were welcomed to the Senedd by Aberavon AM, David Rees, after visiting schools in Neath Port Talbot. During their visit they spoke to David Rees about education in Wales and in Neath Port Talbot and also met Education Minister Leighton Andrews.

Eight schools in Neath Port Talbot (Llangatwg Comp and 6 of its feeder primary schools and Ysgol Hendre Special school) were successful in applying to link with China in 2011 and travelled to Deyang in China in October 2011. They met with their partner schools in Deyang and have made links between the pupils and staff, with many pupils exchanging emails about themselves and their lives.

Earlier this year the schools were successful in securing further funding from the British Council to support a visit from their Chinese partners to Neath Port Talbot. The head teachers and Vice Director arrived in Neath Port Talbot at the weekend and spent this week visiting their partner schools and enjoying music and cultural activities provided by pupils and discussing areas for development of the links for the future.

On Tuesday 20th November the delegation visited the Senedd in Cardiff and were give a tour of the building and met with Aberavon AM, David Rees, and Minister for Education and Skills, Leighton Andrews.

David Rees AM said:
“I’d like to congratulate all the pupils and teachers on their success in establishing this link. They’ve been fantastic ambassadors for the youth of Port Talbot and I’m very proud of the wonderful work they’ve done. The exchange visits that have resulted from their applications have enriched the pupils experiences and provided opportunities for a greater understanding of the educational systems in the two countries.

I was delighted to meet with the delegation from Deyang at the Senedd and they informed me that they were very interested in what they had seen in our schools.

I hope this link has served to widen horizons, enrich the curriculum and give pupils and staff the opportunity to make lots of new lifelong friends in Deyang.”