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Section highlightThe People’s NHS Part of an initiative to engage the public in creating a safe and sustainable health service for the future.
Spreading the word »Action on the ground to increase learning materials in the medium of Welsh.Learn more »
First Minister’s call for action on the Welsh language
People from across Wales with an interest in the Welsh language are being asked to take action on its future in a national online conversation.
- Local Government Democracy Bill approved
- Minister welcomes report which could change shape and structure of education delivery in Wales for the better
- First Minister’s call for action on the Welsh language
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Welsh languageWelsh-language technology and digital media action plan
The action plan sets out our commitment to drive developments in the field of Welsh-language technology and digital media.Learn more »
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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.
The Strategy for Older People in Wales 2013-2023 »The 3rd phase focuses on ensuring that older people in Wales have the resources to deal with the challenges and opportunities they face.Learn more »
- A new vision for a National Youth Work Strategy
- The future delivery of education services in Wales
- Consultation on Draft Technical Advice Note (TAN) 23 Economic Development
- Draft industrial and commercial sector plan
- Waste Prevention Programme
- Building Control system and Approved Document supporting regulation 7
Featured consultation »Improving access to substance misuse treatment for veterans
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Section highlightIndex of Planning Policy Guidance for Wales
Our land use planning policy guidance is set out in two core documents, "Planning Policy Wales" and "Minerals Planning Policy Wales".
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.
Infrastructure Investment Case Studies »
Examples of infrastructure investment projects funded by the Welsh Government across Wales.Learn more »
Written - The Review of Further Education Governance in Wales
Since incorporation in 1993 the further education sector in Wales has become integral to the delivery of our economic, social and education and training policies and is in receipt of considerable public monies (£307 million in 2010/2011). Good governance within these organisations is central to the success of these policies, the effective management of the public resources and in providing accountability to the tax payer and government.
The Webb report into further education in Wales, Promise and Performance, published in December 2007, made a number of recommendations on a wide range of areas including governance. The report emphasised that governors needs to be accountable for the performance of the institutions and its contribution to networks. Building on this, the Welsh Assembly Government set out in One Wales its intention to make full use of this report and “to develop a system that is responsive to the needs of local communities, employers and the local and regional economy. A partnership approach will continue to provide the bedrock of our approach in this area.”
A recent stakeholder review into the governance arrangements in further education institutions identified recommendations to improve upon governance in key areas such as learner and stakeholder involvement. These recommendations were agreed by Cabinet on 15 March, as a model of good practice based on the current system. However, it is my view that we need to consider the whole environment before implementing these recommendations.
In particular, I want to look at the balance of work that further education institutions now carry out. Further education institutions have been very successful in offering 16-19 year old students a range of course options. Many focussed on pathways into vocational provision such as apprenticeships. That capacity to widen the curriculum on offer to young people is vital for the success of our Learning and Skills Measure.
We need to consider the implications of further education institutions’ increased 14-19 activity on their governance arrangements. Do the current arrangements sufficiently reflect the accountability to local communities for that activity – as well as reflecting accountability to local employers for the work-related training which further education also offers? This is the question of balance of accountability which I think we need to explore. For that reason, I intend to set up an expert panel to explore models of governance for further education. It will consider whether current arrangements for further education institutions, as set out in the Instrument and Articles of Government, are still relevant for the challenges and expectations that face the sector, to the wider economy in meeting future social and learning needs, and the current and future stakeholders of further education.
The review will also take account of the Assembly Government’s commitment to social enterprise and co-operative solutions to service delivery. In the current economic climate these solutions and approaches have become more, rather than less, important. The review panel will look at the breadth of social enterprise models here in Wales and beyond, to see how they might enable the further education sector to continue to meet the needs of citizens and key stakeholders.
As the first stage, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Rob Humphreys as Chair of the Review.
As the Director of the Open University, Wales, the world's leading distance learning provider of higher education, Rob brings with him an understanding of the world of education and lifelong learning. During his three years at the Open University, Wales, Rob has successfully led the embedding of the organisation within the Welsh higher education sector, so that the strengths of the Open University bear on the policy agendas of that sector. Rob also chairs the OU-UnionLearn Steering Group at UK level, which co-ordinates the Open University's educational partnership with the TUC. Prior to his role at the OU, Rob was the Director of NIACE Dysgu Cymru, thus bringing experience of working with a wide range of learners.
As a lecturer at Swansea University, Rob was the first Co-ordinator of the innovative and award-winning Community University of the Valleys project.
In 2008 and 2009, he held the post of Specialist Adviser to the Welsh Affairs Committee of the House of Commons during its Inquiry into Cross Border Services and was reappointed in 2010 when the Committee conducted a Follow-up Inquiry. Rob also participated in the Independent Review of Higher Education in Wales, the Rees and Grahams Reviews into HE and sits on the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales’ Teaching and Learning Committee.
The panel will consist of no more than seven members in addition to the Chair. The members will be carefully selected to ensure expertise in the field of education is complemented with expertise in other areas such as industry, community and the economy. I will issue a further statement on the members of the task and finish group when I have appointed them.
The review will be established before the summer recess and the Chair will report on recommendations by the end of the calendar year.
I want to congratulate further education institutions for the way in which they have responded to our agenda for change. They have supported skills development, broadened curriculum options for young people and offered learning opportunities to a huge range of people of all ages, background and experience. They have made an enormous contribution to our ambition to improve social justice and enhance the skills base of the Welsh workforce. I want to build on that success and ensure that further education institutions have governance arrangements that will continue the progress that further education has made since incorporation 17 years ago, and that will sustain that progress for the next 17 years.