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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 - Update on tobacco policy »Standardised packaging of tobacco products and Sub Committees on The Smoke-free Premises etc. (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2012.Learn more »
Living Longer: Ageing Well
- ‘Enterprise Troopers’ set to storm Wales’ primary schools
- “Wales is leading the way on Sustainable Procurement” – Jane Hutt
- Living Longer: Ageing Well
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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.
Sky lanterns: environmental and risk assessment »To establish an evidence base to help any future policy decisions on sky lanterns and helium balloons.Learn more »
- Higher Education (Wales) Bill: Technical consultation
- Renting Homes White Paper
- Continuity and Change - Refreshing the Relationship between Welsh Government and the Third Sector in Wales
- Strategic Environmental Assessment: Environmental Report, Rural Development Plan for Wales 2014-2020
- The draft School Governors’ Annual Reports (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2013
- The future of agricultural statistical data collection methods in Wales
Featured consultation »Implementing the Domestic Fire Safety (Wales) Measure 2011
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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 »
Safeguarding Guidance for Schools
This written statement provides a progress report on the Welsh Assembly Government’s implementation of legislation and the development of guidance for local education authorities and schools about their duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
On 23 November, the Assembly agreed Mrs Gwenda Thomas AM’s motion under Standing Order 31 (NDM2641) that I should bring forward secondary legislation to commence section 175 of the Education Act 2002 and issue guidance to support local education authorities and governing bodies exercise their functions to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. (A copy of that motion from The Record is attached at Annex A.)
During that November debate, I was able to confirm that I had already made provision to bring section 175 into force as part of a commencement Order that was scheduled to come before Plenary on 31 January 2006.
I was also able to provide a reassurance that the consequential guidance under section 175 would be developed to take account of the second part of Mrs Gwenda Thomas AM’s motion to include both the nomination of a named governor responsible for child protection matters and the setting up of local education authority databases of nominated governors.
In closing the debate Mrs Gwenda Thomas AM welcomed my confirmation that work was already underway to bring this to fruition and stated:-
"I am delighted that the Minister supports this proposal, and I was pleased to hear what she said about timescales. I am reassured that these are appropriate and I am happy for us to work together, especially since the legislation is already in hand to bring forward these important measures so that they will come into effect in September 2006."
The Education Act 2002 (Commencement No. 8) (Wales) Order 2006 provides the statutory basis to issue the associated guidance for consultation during the spring and summer terms prior to section 175 coming into force on 1 September 2006.
The Commencement Order was approved in Plenary under Standard procedure on 31 January 2006. During the accompanying debate, Mrs Gwenda Thomas again expressed her satisfaction that the commitment contained in my response during the November debate under Standing Order No. 31, was being implemented through the Commencement Order. (A copy of the transcript from the Record is attached at Annex B.)
The first element of my commitment has been met in full.
Standing Order 31 prescribes that if a SO31 proposal is endorsed by the Assembly at the first reading stage, the next step in the process is for the responsible Minister to prepare and lay before the Assembly a feasibility report for consideration in the second reading stage debate. That feasibility report would set out the legal powers under which the proposed legislation could be made; the objectives to be achieved; and an assessment of the implications, including costs and benefits of making the legislation.
If during the second reading stage debate the Assembly agree to proceed with the proposal for legislation the Minister shall within six months bring forward legislation to give effect to the proposal under the appropriate Standing Orders procedure.
As the legislation was made on 31 January the requirement on me to lay a report on the feasibility of the proposal for legislation by 14 February and (subject to the Assembly’s agreement to proceed) bring forward legislation by 14 August 2006 to give effect to the proposal had been overtaken by the arrangements that were already in place prior to the debate on 23 November.
It is clear that following the timetable set out in Standing Order 31 would have significantly delayed both the legislation and guidance. Rather than obtaining the Assembly’s agreement to the Education Act 2002 (Commencement No. 8) (Wales) Order 2006 in January, the draft Order would not have even begun the Assembly’s secondary legislative process until the next session. I am sure that had the Assembly believed that by supporting NDM 2641 it would have dramatically deferred the implementation of safeguards for children, members would have voiced their concerns.
The second element of NDM 2641 concerning the associated guidance is being developed. I am happy to provide the Assembly with further reassurances that it will reflect the terms of Mrs Gwenda Thomas AM’s motion of 23 November in respect of both the nomination of a named governor responsible for child protection matters and the setting up of local education authority databases of nominated governors.
I expect the draft guidance to be issued for consultation during the summer term and in schools during the Autumn term 2006.
On 21 March, I met with the party spokespeople to consider the draft forward look plan of the Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills Committee for the Summer term. Whilst the draft guidance was not identified for scrutiny during that meeting, should the Committee wish for an opportunity to scrutinise the consultation draft, I am more than happy for them to do so.