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Written - The Review of the Cost of Administering the Education System in Wales

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Leighton Andrews, Minister for Children, Education and Lifelong Learning

On the 18 January 2010 I announced that I had commissioned an independent review of how education funding in Wales is allocated to schools, colleges and universities.


This review marks the first steps in taking forward the First Minister’s commitment to refocus educational investment to ensure that more money reaches the front line.


The review will be conducted in two stages, the first of which will be primarily desk-based utilising internal and external information already available within DCELLS.  Some targeted input from stakeholders is being sought at this stage to test the rigour of the information gathered and to obtain a sample of stakeholder views of key opportunities to refocus resource to the front line.


Stage two of the review will then follow; this will build on the findings of stage one exploring in more detail potential opportunities that have been identified which require further development.  This stage will also seek to address any significant gaps in data identified by stage one. 


The key advantage of this two stage approach is that it allows for a ‘pause and review’ after the first stage.  This will ensure that effort is focused in the most appropriate areas taking account of the analysis already undertaken and the initial input from the stakeholders who have been targeted.


Following a rigorous procurement exercise, PricewaterhouseCoopers were appointed to conduct the first stage of the review.  They have now commenced work and will be making their recommendations by the end of March 2010.


The terms of reference for stage one are set out below.  Detailed terms of reference for stage two are not yet available, except in the general terms described above, as they will be driven very much by the outcomes of stage one.


Terms of Reference for Stage One


The objective of the review will be to achieve a refocusing of investment in education to the front line through identifying:

  • The real cost of administering education across Wales.
  • The numbers working in administering the education system.
  • Opportunities to share services and take forward the Beecham agenda.
  • Opportunities to reduce the bureaucratic pressure on front-line services.
  • Opportunities to streamline systems and move resources to the front line.

All Assembly Government education funding streams fall within the scope of the review, however the main focus will be on spend which exceeds £1 million.