Education, education, education

School funding is high on the agenda this week, as the Children, Young People and Education Committee begins an inquiry and the Welsh Conservatives lead a debate on the issue. Last week the Tories contested that the Welsh Government has pushed schools to crisis point and criticised its handling of the education budget. The party’s motion for debate on Wednesday calls on the government to make school funding process more transparent. On Tuesday afternoon, AMs will debate Estyn’s 2017-18 annual report. The education inspectorate found improved standards in primary schools but a lack of improvement at secondary level, where only half of schools were rated at least ‘good’.

Transformation Fund

Central to the Welsh Government’s ambition to evolve the way health and social services are delivered has been the £100m Transformation Fund. On Tuesday afternoon the Health Minister, Vaughan Gething, will update AMs a year on from the fund’s launch, detailing achievements so far and ambitions for the future. The sustainability of the NHS and social care is a regular topic of conversation in the Assembly, with AMs arguing for a greater focus on preventative services.

Suicide Prevention

On Wednesday afternoon AMs will debate the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee’s report on suicide prevention, which made 31 wide-ranging recommendations with the intention of making Wales a zero-suicide country. The report focuses on the Welsh Government’s ‘Talk to me 2’ suicide and self-harm prevention strategy as well as the importance of training for frontline professionals, raising public awareness and ensuring greater parity between mental and physical health.

Active Travel

In a member debate on Wednesday afternoon, backbench Labour AM Huw Irranca-Davies will encourage the government to refresh its ambition for active travel by producing a comprehensive strategy and developing a long-term infrastructure investment plan. In addition, active travel charity Sustrans will be giving evidence to the Assembly’s Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee on Wednesday morning as part of its inquiry into the future development of Transport for Wales.

Welsh Government scrutinised

Government ministers will appear before committees for scrutiny this week. On Monday afternoon the Counsel General, Jeremy Miles, will be quizzed by the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee on the Legislation (Wales) Bill he is taking through the Assembly. The legislation is designed to simplify the Welsh legal system. On Wednesday, Health Minister Vaughan Gething will give evidence to the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee on rural healthcare. Rural areas face several challenges in relation to health provision, including a difficulty recruiting and retaining health professionals, long traveling distances and an ageing population.


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