The Welsh Government have announced an investment of £20 million for students with additional learning needs.
This is part of the additional £100 million extra investment over the Assembly term to improve school standards. The funding is intended to improve the aspirations of those who need extra support extra support in the education system, and make it easier for them to achieve their goals.
This funding is subject to confirmation of budgets at the next spending review, but protecting this funding is a priority for the Welsh Government.
In December, proposals for an ambitious law to create a bold new approach to supporting learners with additional learning needs. The Additional Learning Needs and Educational Tribunal Bill will, if passed, completely overhaul the system for supporting pupils with ALN, affecting every classroom in Wales.
The £20 million of planned investment will support ALN learners in a range of ways over the next five years, including helping the education sector transfer to new system set out in the Bill, encouraging organisations to work closely together, developing the workforce and raising awareness of ALN.
Last year just 23% of learners with ALN achieved five good GCSE’s including Maths and Welsh or English compared to 59% of all pupils and Ministers want to improve on this.
The Welsh Government have announced an investment of £20 million for students with additional learning needs. This is part of the additional £100 million extra investment over the Assembly term...
Safer Internet Day is a global awareness day to promote good practice in online safety. It gives advice and guidance on the risks posed by new technologies such as social media, and information on how to stay safe while using social media sites.
I asked the Leader of the House to join me in commending initiatives by organisations across Wales that raise awareness of online abuse and exploitation, and to ensure me that the Welsh Government will continue to do all that it can to address this issue.
Speaking in the Senedd yesterday, I said: "As Chair of the Cross Party Group for Preventing Child Sexual Abuse, I am aware of the dangers children face online. While the internet is a great asset for people of all ages, it is important that we all know how to stay safe online. This is why I am supporting Safer Internet Day today."
A report commissioned by the UK Safer Internet Centre found that seven in 10 children and young people have seen unsuitable images and videos online. Additionally, 45 per cent of 13 to 17 year olds said they had seen nude or nearly nude pictures of people they knew being shared around their schools or communities.
The Welsh Labour Government have launched a new Online Safety Zone on the Hwb, the national digital learning platform for Wales, which has been developed to support teachers, parents and learners in this critical area. The dedicated area will host news, articles and a range of resources on various online safety issues to help keep learners safe. It will also signpost those dealing with the effects of online bullying or any online safety issues towards appropriate support services.
It is crucial that parents, children and teachers know how to stay safe online. This is why I am supporting Internet Safety Day.
You can view my question here
Safer Internet Day is a global awareness day to promote good practice in online safety. It gives advice and guidance on the risks posed by new technologies such as social...
I am proud to support the NSPCC's Share Aware campaign, which aims to highlight to parents and children the dangers of sharing information and images online. It's great to see the work the NSPCC are doing to safeguard children and prevent online exploitation.
You can find out more information about the campaign, and about how to stay safe online on the NSPCC's website.
I am proud to support the NSPCC's Share Aware campaign, which aims to highlight to parents and children the dangers of sharing information and images online. It's great to see...
I was thrilled to attend the launch of the Ffrind I Mi campaign today along with Minister for Social Services and Public Health, Rebecca Evans AM and Older People's Commissioner, Sarah Rochira, as well as so many other local campaigners, volunteers and health professionals.
The Ffrind I Mi befriending service aims to tackle loneliness and social isolation by matching volunteers to individuals who have experienced loneliness and isolation based on their hobbies and interests.Loneliness and social isolation can affect anyone, at any time in their life and can be as harmful as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
Around 75% of people over 75 have experienced loneliness, but it is not an age specific problem and is being seen more and more as an intergenerational issue. The Ffrind I Mi service will help anyone, of any age to combat loneliness.
If you are interested, or know anyone who could be interest please sign up and say #countmein to help the campaign against loneliness.
Thank you so much to everyone involved in such a positive and innovative campaign, including Tanya and Claire whose commitment has made this idea a reality. Also to Dave from Coleg Gwent for the fabulous logo design. It's great to see Newport leading the way on tackling substantial issues across Wales.
You can find out more information on their website
I was thrilled to attend the launch of the Ffrind I Mi campaign today along with Minister for Social Services and Public Health, Rebecca Evans AM and Older People's...
Every month, my column is published in the South Wales Argus. You can read it here, or on their website
• St David’s Hospice in Malpas is well known to people in Newport and close to many of our hearts. The care by staff is invaluable to those who need it and their families.
Earlier this month I was joined by Health Secretary Vaughan Gething AM to look around progress on the new unit which is due to admit its first patients this spring.
The £5 million extension is partially funded with £3m from the Welsh Government and will be run in partnership with Aneurin Bevan Health Board and Newport City Council. The state of the art facility will have 15 beds giving patients first class care and will include a community hub and extra car parking.
• Today (Thursday 26th) a new campaign to tackle loneliness in Gwent will be launched by the Minister for Social Services, Rebecca Evans AM in Newport.
The Ffrind I Mi campaign, run by Aneurin Bevan Health Board, aims to tackle loneliness and social isolation by partnering volunteers with people who are lonely by matching their interests. Loneliness has a massive impact on physical health – it has been found to have the same effect as smoking 15 cigarettes a day – and also mental wellbeing.
It can happen to anyone at any time in their lives and is a growing problem. As a Member of the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee I’m glad that we are looking at this as our next Inquiry. If you’d like to take part in the Consultation please email SeneddHealth@assembly.wales or contact me for more information.
• Wales’ first ever Bus Summit took place this week as part of the Welsh Government’s 5 point plan for the industry. This is definitely a step in the right direction.
Many people rely on the service to get to and from work and for some, the service can be a life-line and the only way to get out and about. The Welsh Government will work with Local Authorities and focus on quality and sustainable bus networks that serve our community while ensuring value for money.
• Tomorrow (27th January) is Holocaust Memorial Day. There will be a Service at Newport Cathedral at 11am – all welcome. Importantly there will be pupils from schools across Newport present.
We will be remembering the horrendous persecution that happened during the holocaust and those who have been killed in subsequent genocides in places such as Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur. We must never forget.
Every month, my column is published in the South Wales Argus. You can read it here, or on their website • St David’s Hospice in Malpas is well known...
Thank you to Pill Primary School's School Council for paying me a visit in Cardiff Bay.
It was great to get the chance to show some of the children around the Senedd, and they really did the school proud. I got the chance to hear some of their brilliant ideas, and let them test out some of the Conference rooms.
I always enjoy having the opportunity to show people from my constituency around the Welsh Assembly building, and if any schools or community groups from Newport West are interested in visiting the Senedd, you can get in touch with my office on 01633 376627 or send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you to Pill Primary School's School Council for paying me a visit in Cardiff Bay. It was great to get the chance to show some of the children around...
It was great to host representatives from USDAW in the Senedd this week for Respect for Shopworkers day.
Their Freedom from Fear campaign seeks to prevent violence, threats and other forms of abuse towards shopworkers, and to spread the message that it is not part of the job.
So many Assembly Members and others came along to show their support for the USDAW #Respect16 campaign - a big thank you to Nick Ireland and all of those from USDAW for the good work!
It was great to host representatives from USDAW in the Senedd this week for Respect for Shopworkers day. Their Freedom from Fear campaign seeks to prevent violence, threats and other...
The Robins are volunteers for Age Cymru who provide care and support for staff and patients in Newport hospitals. Robins take the pressure off staff by providing services that hospital staff often do not have the time to do.
The commitment of the Robins volunteers is outstanding, and it was heart-warming to see on my visit to the Royal Gwent and St Woolos Hospitals the impact their support can have in improving the lives of patients and staff.
Those who volunteer commit to training and regular sessions in the hospital where they get to know the patients and work with staff.
The Robins take time to talk and read to patients, do their hair and nails, provide assistance at meal times, make visits to shops on behalf of patients and will help in writing letters or making phone calls amongst other things.
I was told by numerous members of staff how much the Robins are valued at the Royal Gwent and St Woolos hospitals.
The service they provide is vital, not just for physical health, but also to the emotional well-being of patients, this was made clear to me on my visit. Unfortunately, volunteers are becoming harder to find.
I know that Christine Tucker, the Volunteer Co-Ordinator is looking for volunteers at the moment, particularly over the Christmas period. So if you know somebody who would be interested, or would like to find out more information contact her at email@example.com 01633 234129 or 07824347730
The Robins are volunteers for Age Cymru who provide care and support for staff and patients in Newport hospitals. Robins take the pressure off staff by providing services that hospital...
The Welsh Labour Government has published its draft Budget for 2017-18 to provide stability and ambition in uncertain times.
The draft Budget contains investments to take forward the delivery of key priorities in the new programme for government and provides stability for core public services in Wales. It is a Budget which will kick-start the delivery of the six key commitments in Taking Wales Forward, providing:
- £111m for apprenticeships and traineeships to start delivering the commitment to create 100,000 all-age apprenticeships;
- A £100m tax cut for small businesses;
- £10m to support pilot childcare projects as part of the commitment to provide 30 hours of free childcare a week for working parents of three to four-year-olds;
- A £20m boost to raising school standards as part of our commitment to provide £100m over the lifetime of this Assembly term;
- £16m for a new treatment fund to provide fast access to new and innovative treatments for life-threatening diseases;
- £4.5m towards raising the residential care capital limit to £50,000.
In 2017-18, the Welsh Government will also:
- Provide a £240m boost to the Welsh NHS to meet the on-going growth in demand and costs of services.
- Deliver the best local government funding settlement in years.
- Invest £60m in the Intermediate Care Fund to help people maintain their independence in the community and prevent unnecessary hospital admissions.
- Protect funding for the pupil deprivation grant and double the early years pupil deprivation grant.
Over the next four years, the Welsh Labour Government’s infrastructure plans include:
- £1.36bn towards the delivery of our commitment for 20,000 affordable homes.
- £900m for the M4 relief road, subject to the outcome of the public inquiry.
- £369m towards a South Wales Metro and funding to take forward proposals for a North Wales Metro.
- £300m for improvements to our motorways and trunk roads.
- £46m for a new Welsh Development Bank to support our business sector.
- Supporting city and growth deals across Wales.
- More than £500m in our 21st Century school programme.
- £1bn to transform and maintain the NHS estate.
- Using innovative finance models to develop a new Velindre Cancer Centre.
The draft Budget also includes a package of additional spending commitments and non-fiscal measures agreed with Plaid Cymru. These reflect the compact between the two parties concluded in May 2016 and a number of new, jointly agreed investments.
The draft Budget has been developed against a backdrop of uncertain times. The continued real term cuts to the Welsh block grant by the UK Government as a result of its ongoing programme of austerity and the uncertainty following the EU referendum result underpin the need to provide stability for public services and the need to invest in Wales to grow jobs and our economy. The Welsh Government is therefore publishing one-year revenue plans for 2017-18 to provide stability and assurance in the short term. Four-year capital plans worth £6.9bn are being published to progress our ambitious commitments and to provide security and confidence to key stakeholders, the construction sector and businesses.
Full details of the 2017-18 Draft Budget can be found here.
The Welsh Labour Government has published its draft Budget for 2017-18 to provide stability and ambition in uncertain times. The draft Budget contains investments to take forward the delivery of...