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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 - 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
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- Education and skills
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- Equality and diversity
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- Improving public services
In this section
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
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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 »
Written - The Welsh Assembly Government’s progress report on meeting the recommendations of the Equality Opportunity Committee’s report on Service Provision for Disabled Young People (January 2007).
This progress report is set in the context of the Welsh Assembly Government’s ongoing commitment to the provision of equal opportunities for all the people of Wales by ensuring policy making and service delivery is firmly focused on the needs of individuals. This is particularly evident through our own disability equality scheme and associated guidance across ministerial portfolios and our acceptance of the majority of recommendations contained within this report.
I am pleased to inform you that there is significant progress in meeting the recommendations of this policy review. The general recommendations of the report focus on the need to ensure young people fully participate in making the decisions that affect their lives. I fully endorse this. Services should be delivered in a way that supports young people’s own individual needs. Young people themselves are best placed to advise service providers on the way these services should be delivered and to contribute to monitoring of delivery.
We are in the process of publishing guidance for internal Assembly Government use on involving children and young people in the development of policies which affect their lives. This guidance underlines the importance of an inclusive approach and the need to involve children & young people from special interest and hard to reach groups. Divisional liaison officers across policy areas have been asked to coordinate and support effective practice in involving children and young people in decision making on issues which affect their lives. Guidance will be made available for officials interactively on the Intranet. In addition the Children and Young People’s Participation Consortium for Wales recently published guidance ("Blast off guides") on effective practice for working participatively for other public bodies in Wales. The Consortium has also developed and initiated roll out of a training module for professionals in effective methodology for participative working with all children and young people.
Local Participation Strategy guidance was issued mid 2007 effective from April 2008 for local authorities and their multi-agency partner organisations in Wales about how best to set about this.
We want schools councils to be fully inclusive, and are developing practical guidance of what this means in relation to young people who have learning difficulties or special educational needs. This will be published on the www.schoolcouncilswales.org.uk website, launched a year ago. I am delighted that NASEN are taking the initiative with the all-Wales conference they have organised later this month on effective pupil participation practise..
The Assembly Government is supporting the 2nd National Information and Advice Project for young people aged 11-25 ‘Clic Online’. The contractors are required to provide information in a range of formats including audio versions for young people who have visual impairment. Plans for the development of the 3rd National Information and Advice Project include the more intensive involvement of a range of young people in the development of several strands of the project including involving relevant groups in producing information for young people and assessing the quality of services provided for them.
The Assembly Government supports Funky Dragon the children and young people’s assembly for Wales who have a number of Grand Council reserved for special interest members, including children and young people with disabilities. This ensures that we in the Assembly Government have plenty of opportunities to hear their voices on issues which affect their lives.
The Assembly Government’s flagship Extending entitlement policy for all young people aged 11-25 is intended to ensure that ALL young people in Wales get whatever support they may need, depending on their personal circumstances, to ensure they can access their 10 basic entitlements.
Delivery at local level is the coordinated by multi-agency young people’s partnerships (YPPs) or Children and Young People’s Partnerships (CYPPs). Partnerships are required to involve a broad range of young people, including those from special interest groups at all stages in their work.
Guidance on Children and Young People’s Plans (CYPPs) “Shared Planning for Better Outcomes” was published on the Assembly Government website on 3 September 2007. First plans will need to be approved by 31 July 2008 and published by 30 September 2008. The guidance places considerable emphasis on the importance of Partnerships consulting children and young people and their families and engaging them in the development, monitoring and review of services.
At the end of November a joint conference with the voluntary sector on “Transition for Young Disabled People” is to be held which has been funded by the Assembly Government. The conference has been designed by young disabled people who will share their experiences with professionals across all agencies to promote better joint working and dissemination of good practice.
Education, Training and Employment
We recognise that the recommendations contained in this part of the report are closely aligned to the recommendations of the former Education Lifelong Learning and Skills Committee policy review of special education needs (SEN): Part 3 Transition. We have established a multi-agency external reference group comprising key stakeholders from across Wales to take forward all of these recommendations and to advise on the development of a coherent framework policy for post 16 support. The group is drafting an action plan with key outcomes to improve service delivery and provide a seamless approach to transition across all services.
The group also aim to identify best practice in transition planning; and work with the Assembly Government in developing guidance to taking forward the standards in the National Service Framework (NSF) for Children Young people and Maternity Services on transition. One of the standards within the NSF relates specifically to the important role played by key transition workers, in providing one to one support for disabled young people to ensure they have equality of opportunity in accessing services and support in a timely manner. During 2008 we aim to enhance this role and I have allocated £500,000 to provide additional key transition workers to operate on a regional basis.
Guidance for schools and local authorities (LEAs) on their duty to promote disability equality, which offers advice on disability equality action plans and training of staff was issued at the end of September 2007.
A website on transition for young people with SEN is currently under development through Careers Wales. The website will offer practical advice on transition planning and the options available to young people as they leave school.
Further guidance to schools and LEAs on transition planning is in draft form and has undergone initial scrutiny by key stakeholders from across Wales. It is envisaged that the guidance will be issued as part of the SEN Handbook for schools following the conference with disabled young people in November. This is to ensure examples of good practice are highlighted within the guidance.
The revised Personal and Social Education Framework will shortly be issued as part of the general review of the National Curriculum and is due for implementation from September 2008. The final framework and the accompanying guidance for local authorities and schools will take account of issues of accessibility.
The Welsh Assembly Government will be considering during 2008 the need to update the current guidance on sex and relationships education in schools in light of the recent Estyn report and at the same time will take the opportunity to consider whether it fully reflects the needs of pupils with disability. Children and young people with disabilities will be consulted in undertaking any revisions.
A number of recommendations within the Work Based Learning Improvement Plan (WBLIP) are to be piloted and evaluated prior to national roll out in 2010. As part of these pilots employability learning networks are to be established by January 2008 across two geographical areas in Wales. The aim of these networks is to improve the quality and responsiveness of provision to meet labour market demand.
These pilot networks will include representation from local providers and local referral and support agencies. The anticipated outcome of the networks is the improved engagement of disadvantaged groups through the enhancement of the referral process. It is also hoped that via partnership working these networks will be better able to engage with and support the needs of all learners entering the entry level Work Based Learning programme. Improved linkages will also be made with other local programmes such as New Deal and the Careers Gateway programme to ensure that appropriate provision is available to service local needs.
We have continued to work closely with Department for Work and Pensions and Jobcentre Plus who monitor access to training and employment opportunities by disabled young people through their Disability Advisory Service and New Deal programmes, in particular the New Deal for Disabled People (NDDP). We have worked closely with them in the development, design and delivery of the Pathways to Work programme and the joint Welsh Assembly Government/Jobcentre Plus Want2Work programme. Both offer supported training and employment opportunities for disabled young people.
To end of September 2007, Want2Work had helped over 1500 people into work, 50% of whom had declared a disability. 400 of those with a disability were under 25 years of age.
The current legislation governing access to public transport for disabled persons rests with the UK Government. The Assembly Government has continued its dialogue with the UK Government to support the implementation of the Statutory Code. There is commitment to providing accessible public transport for all members of society. The Statutory Code provides general guidance and good practice to bus and train operators on making vehicles more accessible to disabled people. Compliance is a matter for the operators and not the Welsh Assembly Government.
The Public Service Vehicle Accessibility Regulations 2000 for England and Wales specify detailed technical accessibility requirements for all new buses and coaches. The regulations address the needs of the widest possible range of disabled people. All new buses and coaches for more than 22 passengers used on local and scheduled services have had to be accessible since 31 December 2000. By 2020 at the latest all public transport vehicles will need to meet the appropriate accessibility regulations. The current legislation requires new rail vehicles to be accessible to disabled persons and the UK Government has announced that all passenger rail vehicles must comply with the Rail Vehicle Accessibility Regulations by 2020.
In November 2007 the Disabled Persons Advisory Transport Committee (DPTAC) produced an updated accessibility specification for small buses designed to carry 9-22 passengers inclusive. It is not a statutory requirement but is intended to promote best practice in meeting the needs of disabled people. This revised specification is intended to address all the vehicles that that are intended to be used to transport disabled people, irrespective of the vehicle construction and include van conversions, chassis-built minibuses and factory produced mini and midi-buses including low floor designs.
The Assembly Government is committed to ensuring information about the accessibility of transport services is widely available. We already work with Traveline Cymru to ensure that appropriate information for disabled travellers in Wales is made available. Local authorities together with bus and train operators like Arriva make information available for disabled travellers in a variety of formats.
The Guidance for Preparing Local Housing Strategies 2007 states that local authorities should assess the housing requirements of disabled people as part of the development of their local housing strategy. Local housing strategies are currently being reviewed by the Housing Directorate, with advice back to the individual local authorities, to be completed by the end of November 2007. The Housing Directorate will then be in the position to draw Wales wide conclusions on specific aspects of the local housing strategies, including local authorities' planning and provision of housing services for disabled people.
All properties built by registered social landlords (RSL’s) in Wales are developed to ‘Lifetime Home’ standards. These provide appropriate access and wide doors and all switches/plugs etc are at a height for a wheelchair user to reach with ease. Such properties are easier to adapt for specific disabilities and the funding for this is provided by the Assembly Government. The funding for adaptations has increased substantially, with support for RSL adaptations having doubled to approximately £4m per annum
As part of ongoing development work, the Assembly Government commissioned independent research to identify the reasons for and possible local and national solutions that could be adopted to improve/address the:
- overall take up of a direct payments arrangement;
- apparent variance in take up between local authority areas; and
- apparent variance in the take up between potentially eligible groups.
The independent research project has now completed and a final report is expected in the next few weeks. We will consider the findings of the report and will then discuss with local authorities and others what further actions should be taken.
The Welsh Assembly Government’s vision is to ensure that every child has access to advocacy services. This issue has been debated extensively in Plenary. A four-month consultation period on a New Service Model for Delivering Advocacy Services for Children and Young People ended on 23 July 2007. The consultation sought views on the implementation and ongoing development of advocacy provision including the option to establish an advocacy unit. Responses to the consultation are currently being analysed by officials a summary of responses will be available by the end of the year.
Through the Children’s NSF Children and Young People’s Partnerships and responsible organisations have begun to, where appropriate, coordinate and consolidate multi agency priority work around improving the delivery of services for children and young people.
Local Children and Young People's Partnerships are required to take account of the findings of their local NSF self assessment in determining their spending priorities for their Children's Plan which must be published next year. Services for disabled children have been identified as a weakness and I expect the Partnerships to tackle the weaknesses.
Following the launch of the Assembly Government’s own Disability Equality scheme we are monitoring arrangements to report on progress of the Scheme, the report will go to plenary by the end of November 2007
The Accessible Venues Guidance was launched in July 2006. The Assembly Government has now begun phase two of the accessible venues project. Working in consultation with partners including the Wales Disability Reference group, Disability Wales, the Disability Rights Commission RNIB Cymru and Wales Council for the Blind, we will support the delivery of an accessible venues database for Wales during 2008.
We will also develop options for a national reward scheme that will recognise venues that go the further distance in demonstrating best practice in providing accessible facilities and excellent customer service for disabled people. Future work will include linking accessible transport routes to venues and to look at options for a reward scheme that recognises excellence in promoting disability equality again during 2008
Access Statements are required to accompany certain types of applications in Wales and changing facilities, used by the public whether it was a new built or to be a change of use would require an Access Statement to accompany a planning application. The information contained in the access statement is a material consideration in a planning decision. Other regimes are in place such as Part M of the Building Regulations to ensure that internal circulating areas and facilities meet certain standards. The final version of guidance on Access Statement will be issued by the end of the year, this will then be included in an update of the Technical Advice Note on Design (TAN 12).
The activity described in this statement demonstrates our ongoing commitment to improving service provision for disabled young people. Progress has been made since the Committee’s report was published but I am aware that much still needs to be done particularly at a local level. The guidance we have produced for local authorities and others will facilitate improved service delivery over time.
I am confident that we are operating in a pro-active way to change service provision with and for disabled young people and ensure that their needs are met. Again, I would like thank the EOC for their work which has enabled us to focus on this important area of work.