In this section
Section highlightHouses into homes This report details findings to emerge from the evaluation during the first six months of delivery (April to September 2012).
Written Statement - The Draft Control of Dogs (Wales) Bill »We are committed to ensuring that out-of-control and dangerous dogs are dealt with effectively.Learn more »
Minister tells NHS managers: "Listen to your staff and take action"
Health Minister Mark Drakeford has given a clear message to NHS managers to take action in response to the recent NHS Wales staff survey
- Minister supports International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia
- Porth Eirias set to be major North Wales attraction
- Minister tells NHS managers: "Listen to your staff and take action"
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- Business and economy
- Children and young people
- Culture and sport
- Education and skills
- Environment and countryside
- Equality and diversity
- Health and social care
- Housing and community
- Improving public services
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Section highlightAccess to information
The Welsh Government has followed the principles of openness in government for many years. Find out how you can make a freedom of information request or see requests that have already been made.
National minimum standards for regulated child care »These standards determine whether child minding and day care settings are providing adequate care for children under the age of 8.Learn more »
- Continuity and Change - Refreshing the Relationship between Welsh Government and the Third Sector in Wales
- Repealing air quality ‘Further Assessments’ from Part IV of the Environment Act 1995
- Equality Impact Assessment of the 2014-2020 Rural Development Plan for Wales
- Consultation on the Equality Impact Assessments for the 2014-2020 Structural Funds Programmes in Wales
- Development of a national standards and outcomes framework for Children and Young People's advocacy services in Wales
- Strategic Environmental Assessment: Environmental Report, Rural Development Plan for Wales 2014-2020
Featured consultation »Implementing the Domestic Fire Safety (Wales) Measure 2011
30 days left
In this section
Section highlightFurther and Higher Education (Governance and Information) (Wales) Bill 2013
Removes a number of technical restrictions and controls on colleges without changing the principal powers of colleges to provide further, higher and secondary education.
Legislative programme 2012 - 2013 »
Addressing the Assembly in the Senedd today, the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, detailed the eight bills in the Welsh Government’s 5-year Legislative Programme that will be brought forward during the second year of the Welsh Assembly.Learn more »
Section highlightCommunity Infrastructure Levy
Local authorities can charge a Community Infrastructure Levy on new developments to support the infrastructure needed.
2nd Supplementary Budget 2012-13 »
Proposes a number of changes to the 1st Supplementary Budget for 2012-13, which was published on 26 June 2012.Learn more »
Higher Education Bill
I announced in July that we had reached agreement with the Government in Westminster to devolve student support to the Assembly and, since then, we have been working on this necessary and logical transfer of functions.
I take this opportunity to tell Members about the progress made, the new powers proposed, and the potential impact on the higher education sector in Wales. The Higher Education Bill introduced in Parliament last week is an important step in the process of devolving higher education functions to the Assembly. Devolving HE functions would give us more control of the main levers over student support so that we can continue to build towards a successful and integrated higher education system. Devolving HE functions to Wales would help us to deliver on the commitment that we have made in 'Reaching Higher' to building a HE sector in Wales that is world class in terms of learning, research and economic growth.
In introducing the Bill, Charles Clarke announced a package of financial support for students, which includes increasing the new HE grant from £1,000 in 2004 to £1,500 for new students from 2006-07. That would mirror what we have already achieved in Wales through the Assembly learning grant. Around 30 per cent of students in England and Wales are expected to benefit from the full grant. The amount of maintenance loan available to students will be increased and any outstanding loan amounts after 25 years will be written off.
More students would benefit from the HE grant to be introduced by the Department for Education and Skills on an England and Wales basis from September 2004. Welsh domiciled students, who begin their courses in September/October 2004, and who would have qualified for the maximum £1,500 under the current ALG scheme, would get the £1,000 HE grant plus an additional £500 ALG top-up. From the transfer of functions in 2006, only the ALG would be available in Wales.
By abandoning up-front fees and introducing the HE grant, Westminster further acknowledges the effective work of Professor Teresa Rees's investigation into student hardship in Wales. It is clear that we have been ahead of the game within the powers devolved to us. The full transfer of student support and tuition fee powers would enable us to develop policies that are right for the HE sector in Wales. Some have argued that the transfer of student support gives the Assembly bogus powers. Those 'bogus' powers are the same ones currently enjoyed by the Governments of Scotland and Northern Ireland. These are real powers, which enable us to take a whole system view of HE and FE in Wales. We already have policy and financial responsibility for higher education and further education in Wales.
The proposed new powers would allow us to determine how student support works in Wales, and whether or not to introduce variable fees. The subject of variable fees has provoked much debate. Such debate is healthy if it is well-informed, so let us be clear about the facts. The Bill would allow us to determine our own fee regime in Wales. It would give this Assembly Government, and future Assembly Governments, that statutory flexibility. It is sensible legal drafting. Let me reiterate the commitment on which we were elected: we will not introduce variable fees in the lifetime of this Assembly.
We have always said that we will, however, keep our options open. Any future decision will be made on the basis of sound independent advice, and the needs of the HE sector in Wales as a whole.
When the Bill receives Royal Assent, Professor Teresa Rees will conduct an independent review of the issue of variable fees, exploring how we might use devolved student support powers to achieve the best possible outcomes for Wales, and to advise on the way forward for Wales. I have worked closely with Charles Clarke and Alan Johnson on the devolution of student support. That work, including negotiations on the financial settlement, continues, and we will get the best deal possible for Wales. The Assembly Government has also given a commitment that no HE institution will be financially disadvantaged by the manifesto commitment not to introduce variable fees in the academic year of 2006-07. The Higher Education Bill is about more than variable fees. It also has provisions on research and student complaints. The Bill proposes creating a statutory UK-wide arts and humanities research council to replace the existing Arts and Humanities Research Board, as well as for the direct funding of arts and humanities research by the Secretary of State for Wales at the Department for Education and Skills and the Assembly.
The aim is to put research in the arts and humanities on the same footing as science-based research. That reflects the importance placed on arts and humanities research. Members of the Education and Lifelong Learning Committee have already welcomed this development.
The Bill also proposes the establishment of an independent adjudicator who will review complaints made by students in HE institutions. We would envisage operating a scheme, based on the voluntary scheme established by Universities UK, on an England and Wales basis. It is a sensible move, which is welcomed by the National Union of Students, and which makes for a more transparent and cost-effective complaints procedure. This Bill proposes an opportunity to determine in Wales our own policies in HE. It would enable us to continue to build a HE sector in Wales that is world class in terms of teaching and research-a vibrant, sustainable HE sector for the benefit of the wider economy.