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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
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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 »
The Education and Lifelong Learning Minister’s visits to the Basque Country, the Netherlands and the Veijle County, Denmark
On 4 October, I attended my first meeting of the European Association of Regional and Local Authorities for Lifelong Learning (EARLALL), of which the National Assembly for Wales is a founder member, in Veijle, Denmark. EARLALL was established in October 2001 to foster the exchange of experience and best practice in the field of lifelong learning and to take forward development work in concert. It includes within its membership regional governments from Italy, Spain, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Latvia, as well as the National Assembly, and accords observer status to organisations such as the Nordic Folk Academy and ELWa – Education and Learning Wales.
Because of the association’s wide field of interest, members have volunteered to take the lead in making proposals of joint action in different areas of lifelong learning. Wales is taking the lead on adult education and I presented our outline proposals to the Vejle meeting of the Association. Our paper asked EARLALL members to consider and address three strategic questions:
- How is adult learning funded and delivered in different regional/national contexts?
- What motivates adults to learn and progress?
- How can informal adult learning be effectively monitored and evaluated?
The action proposed in the paper anticipated:
- The development of a sub-network of interested EARLALL members to share experience and knowledge; and
- The development of a project (ideally supported by European programme funds) to identify good practice on ways of measuring and quality assuring ‘soft’ outcomes in informal adult learning.
The proposals were warmly endorsed by EARLALL members; and representatives of Tuscany, Vastra Gotalands (Sweden), Veijle County (Denmark) and Basque Country governments indicated their strong interest in participating. The work will tie in closely with other proposals for co-operation that were endorsed at the meeting in respect of network development, strategy building, and credit and qualifications development which will be led by some of these other regions and include Wales as a partner. ELWa will take the lead for Wales (on behalf of the National Assembly) and will now seek to put some more flesh on our proposals, in consultation both with interested organisations in Wales and with partner regions within EARLALL, with a view to presenting a detailed application in due course to the European Commission for programme funding.
The Association hopes that, by engaging in such developmental activity, it will be able to demonstrate the credentials of regional governments in the field of lifelong learning and thereby strengthen their role in future European Union policy making, programme design and delivery. It will be working closely with the Commission and Committee of the Regions to further this aim.
There will be further discussion of the contribution that the EARLALL regions can make in the future in taking forward the European Union’s lifelong learning agenda at the Association’s forthcoming conference in Florence in December which I will attend. I hope that we will have that contribution fairly firmly mapped out by the time we welcome the Association to Wales next June.
Between 5-7 June, I visited Tuscany and met with my regional counterpart, Senor Paolo Benesperi who chairs EARLALL. It was a fruitful visit and gave us the opportunity to share our approaches to education policy and for me to see at first hand the way they handle both early years provision and their roll out of ICT. There were a number of extremely interesting features which I have since taken into account in the development and implementation of our own comparable policies and procedures.
During my visit, I invited Senor Benesperi, as the Chair of EARLALL to hold a meeting next year in Wales. We have provisionally agreed that this should be in late June with a firm date being fixed at their next meeting in Denmark in December. This will allow us not only to continue to make a major contribution to their important deliberations but also to showcase our own policies and practices here in Wales.
On 24 and 25 September I visited the Basque Country to meet with their Minister for Education, Universities and Research, Senora Anjeles Iztueta to discuss their approach to early years education and lifelong learning. During the visit, I signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which seeks to facilitate the improvement of our respective educational systems by drawing on each other’s experiences and practice. Underpinning the agreement is the establishment of a Joint Technical Committee which will meet at least once a year and will consider issues of mutual interest. In the first instance, I have proposed that this Joint Technical Committee consider lifelong learning, early years and Welsh medium education. This latter issue would very much build on the experience of the Basque Government in fostering the growth of their own language in their educational system.
I immediately followed my meetings in the Basque country with a visit to the Netherlands on 26 and 27 September. Here I was keynote speaker at a major European Conference on Education and Health in Partnership. It was evident from this Conference that we are very much at the forefront of this issue and great interest was shown in many of the initiatives that we have already taken here in Wales. I ended my visit to the Netherlands with further useful discussions with senior officials of their Ministry of Education on their approach to both early years and lifelong learning and had a very enlightening meeting with the Head of one of their largest senior schools.
Following my contact with the British Embassy in the Netherlands (which also covers Belgium), I have now asked the British Ambassador to arrange meetings with key educational interests in Belgium in, hopefully, February 2003.
My key objective in undertaking these visits and holding these discussions is to ensure that we take full account of good practice wherever it arises particularly in those fields where we ourselves are developing our own policies. The visits are, therefore, carefully targeted to ensure that we have common interests and that tangible benefits can be derived.