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Written Statement - School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Bill 2012

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Leighton Andrews, Minister for Education and Skills
The School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Bill 2012 has been laid today, 23 April 2012. 
 
The Bill sets out a number of proposals that will make schools more accountable by bringing together, updating and, where necessary, tightening standards and management.  The Bill establishes processes which will contribute to our agenda to drive up school improvement; reform and speed up the statutory process for school organisation and enhance local decision making. 
 
Welsh in Education Strategic Plans, free school breakfasts in primary schools, and school-based counselling will be put on a statutory basis and administrative burdens reduced by mainstreaming grant funded programmes. Local authorities and schools will be given greater flexibility over the pricing of school meals.
The Bill also removes the requirement for an annual parents’ meeting, and instead gives parents the right to petition the governing body for a meeting as the need arises. This gives parents the control as to when these meetings happen.

The Bill makes provisions in the following areas:

  • intervention for schools causing concern and intervention in the exercise of local authorities of
  • education functions where that is causing concern
  • school improvement guidance
  • school organisation
  • Welsh in Education Strategic Plans
  • annual parents' meetings
  • flexible charging for school meals
  • to support the transfer of funding to the Revenue Support Grant (RSG):
    – free school breakfasts in primary schools maintained by local authorities
    – school-based counselling for children and young people from Year 6 of their primary education up to their 19th birthday.