Help to Buy – Wales Shared Equity Scheme »This shared equity loan will make up the shortfall between the purchase price of a property and the funding available to buyers through their cash deposit and mortgage offer.Learn more »
Major £24m investment to transform five Welsh railway stations
A £24m European-backed programme to transform five railway stations across Wales has been announced by Transport Minister, Edwina Hart.
- Leading science innovation company signs up for Life Sciences Hub Wales
- “Autumn Statement has done little to change the challenging public finance outlook for Wales” – Jane Hutt
- Major £24m investment to transform five Welsh railway stations
- Alternatives to Waste Transfer Notes and other aspects of Waste Regulation
- Proposals concerning the publication of official statistics
- Consultation on Regional engagement partnership structures in the tourism sector
- Beyond 2011: Consultation on Census and future provision of population statistics in England and Wales
- M4 Corridor around Newport Consultation
- Undertaking fatal and non-fatal drug poisoning reviews in Wales
Featured consultation »New guidance for the Risk Assessment of Walked Routes to School
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In this section
Section highlightThe Housing (Wales) Bill
The Bill will introduce significant improvements across the housing sector to ensure that people have access to a decent, affordable home and better housing-related services.
Legislative programme 2013 - 2014 »
The First Minister detailed the 8 bills in the Welsh Government’s 5-year Legislative Programme that will be brought forward during the 3rd year of the Welsh Assembly.Learn more »
Section highlightProject pipeline update - December 2013
This Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan annex highlights planned investments and potential procurement opportunities.
Final Budget 2014-15 »
The amount of funding allocated to Welsh Government Departments for 2014-15 is £14.9bn.Learn more »
- Statistics & Research
Oral - The Welsh Assembly Government’s Response To The Report Of The Equality Of Opportunity Committee On Service Provision For Disabled Young People Education
I am pleased to have the opportunity to make this statement, which provides an update on the progress that the Welsh Assembly Government has made in taking forward the recommendations of the Committee on Equality of Opportunity’s review of service provision for disabled young people.
I would like to begin by reiterating our commitment to the social model of disability, and make it clear that we are referring first and foremost to young people who are disabled. It is society and the environment that can be disabling, not the young people themselves. As I said in my previous written statement, this review emphasised the need for equal opportunities for disabled young people and the need for service providers to plan with them to ensure that the services and options offered enable disabled young people to lead active lives as young citizens. I am even more pleased to inform you that significant progress has been made working jointly across all agencies, and, more importantly, working with children and young people, to shape future service provision by taking forward these recommendations.
As Members will recall, a total of 40 recommendations were made in total to the Welsh Assembly Government in February this year. The majority of those were either accepted or accepted in part. My written response and our own disability equality scheme demonstrate our ongoing commitment to improving services across ministerial portfolios and to safeguarding future provision. We are working closely with young people to ensure that services are delivered in a flexible way that will meet their individual needs, rather than being based on a service model where one size fits all.
At the end of this week, a conference funded by the Welsh Assembly Government is taking place to enable disabled young people to express their views directly to service providers. The conference, entitled 'Our Next Steps’, has been designed by young people, and emphasises the need for service providers to join up their thinking across all agencies. This is the approach that we aim to adopt within our legislative competence Order on additional learning needs, while safeguarding provision and delivery of services and the needs of individuals and their families. Their personal, ongoing needs must be taken into account. This applies not only to their education, training and employment, but to all services with which they come into contact, such as health, social services, the voluntary sector and others.
A great deal of guidance has been issued to local providers on how best to deliver services, including how best to ensure the engagement of young people in decisions that affect them, most notably our guidance on children and young people’s plans, which requires a joint, co-ordinated multi-agency approach to planning to meet the needs of all young people. Plans need to be approved by 31 July 2008 and published by 30 September 2008. I acknowledge that this report by the Committee on Equality of Opportunity is closely aligned to the report of the former Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills Committee on special educational needs, part three of which specifically considers issues around transition for children and young people with special educational needs.
I believe strongly that, in meeting the needs of all children and young people in Wales, we must ensure that we identify their needs early, provide appropriate levels of support and intervention in a timely manner, and deliver access to services that will ensure that they go on to become active members of society. This is an integral part of all that we do across ministerial portfolios, and should not be seen as a bolt-on to service delivery. As Minister for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills, for me, it would defeat the object of giving young people the flying start that they deserve if, when they reached adulthood, they were prevented from moving forward and living fulfilled lives.
We have established an external transition reference group, which will report directly to me via my ministerial advisory group for additional learning needs in taking forward the recommendations of this and the former Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills Committee review. This is a multi-agency group, made up of key stakeholders from across Wales, including young disabled people and employers’ organisations, tasked to provide workable solutions to the recommendations of both reports. This also needs to be set in the context of the national service framework for children and young people and maternity services, whereby we have set standards of service delivery for all children, and specifically disabled young people. Those standards are being monitored closely, and while progress is evident in many areas, I acknowledge that there remain issues in transition stages, particularly post-16 to 19 provision.
Early findings suggest that disabled young people benefit greatly from additional one-to-one support. Transition is not just about placement in a further education establishment, or in employment; it is the sustainability of the placement that can reap benefits. To improve on current best practice in this area, I have allocated £500,000 in 2008-09 to develop further the role of key transition workers to deliver the necessary one-to-one support, to ensure that young people’s ongoing needs are met. This will form part of our strategic framework proposals for convergence funding, to ensure that we supply young people with the skills for learning and future employment.
Young disabled people want, and should have, the same things as any young person as they move into adulthood—an education, a job, a social life, relationships, a place to call their own, and freedom to do the things that they enjoy. We need to shape our services to support young people in achieving their goals, and fulfilling their potential. Local agencies need to deliver flexible services to ensure that what they provide, and the way in which they deliver support to young people, does not in itself act as a barrier. This is the challenge. The Assembly Government will be monitoring local services closely to ensure that they deliver.
Again, I would like to thank the Committee on Equality of Opportunity for its comprehensive review of service provision for disabled young people. I assure you of my ongoing commitment to the delivery of the recommendations outlined in this review.