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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 »
Consultation on proposals for ground-breaking legislation to reform arrangements for renting homes
Minister for Housing and Regeneration Carl Sargeant has launched a White Paper for consultation on the Welsh Government’s legislative proposals to improve arrangements for renting homes.
- Cardiff Airport key to Wales’ position in global market – First Minister
- Culture Minister pledges support to Welsh broadcast industry
- Consultation on proposals for ground-breaking legislation to reform arrangements for renting homes
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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.
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 »
- Higher Education (Wales) Bill: Technical consultation
- Renting Homes White Paper
- Continuity and Change - Refreshing the Relationship between Welsh Government and the Third Sector 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
- The draft School Governors’ Annual Reports (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2013
Featured consultation »Implementing the Domestic Fire Safety (Wales) Measure 2011
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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 - Grants For Pupils Where English Is Not Their First Language
I welcome the opportunity to make this Statement on the teaching of English as an Additional Language (EAL) in schools in Wales and the extent of the Welsh Assembly Government’s funding to Local Education Authorities (LEAs) to support this provision.
Pupils for whom English is an additional language receive tuition and support from specialist EAL teachers and multi lingual teaching assistants employed by LEAs. Experience has shown that this works best when the pupils are not withdrawn from the main curriculum but when the EAL teaching complements their mainstream subjects and is made relevant to the curriculum. Teaching assistants fluent in the learners’ home language translate, interpret and generally support them in their new school and cultural setting.
These pupils’ acquisition of both social and academic English is key to their inclusion in the school community and in unlocking their potential. That is why EAL provision is central to the minority ethnic achievement agenda to which I am committed. Significant Assembly Government funding underpins this commitment and, in 2006-07, our Ethnic Minority Achievement Grant (EMAG) is worth £5million and is being shared by all 22 LEAs to support them in raising minority ethnic achievement, particularly amongst children for whom English is an additional language. A very significant proportion of this is devoted to the employment of specialist English language teachers and language support assistants.
EMAG funding has increased from £3.85m in 2003-04 to reflect the growing number of eligible pupils who currently stand at 19,315. The Assembly Government also provides an annual grant to support LEAs who are educating asylum seeker children. The grant is used to meet central support costs and their special needs, including English language acquisition. The Asylum Seeker Grant amounts to £2.4 million in 2006-07 and is being shared between the eight LEAs which applied; it is set to rise to £3.1 million in 2007-08. (A further Assembly Government grant to LEAs of £900,000 annually supports the education of Gypsy Traveller children who are a specific minority group)
I recognise that the increasing numbers of migrant workers from the EU who are settling in Wales with their families mean an additional pressure on many schools, particularly in providing for the children’s language needs. They are also adding significantly to the numbers of pupils eligible for EMAG and this is one of the main reasons why I asked officials to review the Assembly's minority ethnic achievement grants with a view to maximising the amount that can be used by schools for the teaching of English as an additional language and to making discrete provision for the children of migrant workers for the first time. I also wanted a grant system which is responsive to any future rises in the numbers of these children registering at schools – something which is difficult to predict.
Having considered a detailed case, I have recently approved changes to the minority ethnic achievement grants regime which will mean greater flexibility and additional funding being available to LEAs for EAL provision and which will also make new, specific provision for the children of migrant workers. I have approved a merger of the EMAG and Asylum Seeker Grant and the creation of a new Minority Ethnic Achievement Grant (MEAG) worth £8.1 million with effect from 1 April 2007. LEAs will be able to apply for this grant for pupils up to the age of 18, thus ending the disparity between EMAG, which was limited to children of compulsory school age, and the Asylum Seeker Grant, which covered children to age 18. The new grant will continue to recognise the special needs of asylum seeker children for whom schools can provide transport, uniforms, meals and so on, quite apart from providing for their learning needs. The new arrangements have the support of the range of education practitioners who were consulted upon them.
As was the case with EMAG, MEAG allocations will be determined by the application of a formula which will be weighted according to pupils’ ages; Key Stage and linguistic ability. Two new weightings will be added and asylum seeker children will attract the new highest weighting throughout their school career. The next highest “new” weighting will be for ‘new arrivals’- principally the children of migrant workers – who are new to the English language and will apply for a year: they will then be included with other EAL pupils. Numbers of ‘new arrivals’ will be requested twice a year so that the grant can be reactive to any influx of new pupils. The overall result will be much larger, and flexible, funding pools for LEAs to use to meet local priorities.
I am confident that the changes I have described will make an appreciable difference to this service provision across Wales. A key feature of the new MEAG will be that much more funding can be devoted to EAL, not only because overall funding is set to rise by £700,000 in 2007-08, but because the new arrangements will be less prescriptive about how the funding must be apportioned between client groups and, thus, free up more for EAL.
There is no doubt that this is a key agenda and one where I will be asking officials to seek out further evidence of the scale and nature of the costs involved. The Finance Minister has already recognised the importance of the matter by allocating an additional £500k to local authorities next year in the Final Budget. All authorities will benefit from these extra funds that have been included with the RSG. The Minority Ethnic Achievement Grant scheme is a priority and as such I will be keeping the level of funding under close review as we move through the year.