The First Decade List According to Key Subject Areas

Children

 

 

 

Youth & Lifelong Learning

Older People

The Economy

Health and Social Care

Social Justice

Equality and Human Rights

Rural


 

Environment


 

Sport and Culture


Volunteering

The Welsh Language

Welsh Law

Wales and the World

Introduction to the 'What They've Done For Us'  list 
 

 

Children

The First Decade

Welcome to Aled Edwards' "What They've Done For Us" Children list. Written a little in the style of Monty Python's Life of Brian "What have the Romans done for us?"  the list aims to provide a reliable record of the distinctive Welsh policies brought about by devolution (1999-2009). Beyond underlining the distinctiveness of Welsh policies no substantive attempt is made here to evaluate the performance of Welsh Assembly Governments or to list the policies brought about by other UK legislatures but not adopted in Wales. The dates in brackets normally indicate when the development was announced by the Welsh Assembly Government through a press release.

Third Assembly 2007 - 2009

bullet

Launched Behaving and Attending as an action plan to shape the direction and pace of Assembly Government policy. It put in place new approaches and processes promoting positive behaviour and attendance and developed a consistent approach across Wales. (March 2009).

bullet

Announced that all girls and young women in Wales born between 1 September 1991 and 31 August 1995 would be offered the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine during school year 2009-10. (March 2009).

bullet

Launched a programme designed to help overweight and obese children manage their weight. (January 2009).

bullet

Launched a campaign to encourage boys to embrace the joy of reading. The campaign, Read A Million Words Together, was developed by the Welsh Assembly Government’s Basic Skills Cymru team with the aim of ensuring that more boys in Wales achieved the levels of literacy necessary to succeed. (November 2008).

bullet

Launched a web page to promote guidelines on the positive and safe use of the internet in response to a growth in its use amongst children and young people. (October 2008).

bullet

It was announced that the ground breaking Flying Start programme included a package of measures including free, part time high quality childcare for two year olds, additional health visiting and parenting support. Approximately 16,000 children across Wales were being reached by the scheme, with £86.1m revenue funding being provided between 2008-11. (September 2008).

bullet

Proposals contained in Taking Action on Child Poverty underpinned action being taken to tackle child poverty across Wales.  The Welsh Assembly Government consulted on plans to place a duty on all public agencies to make and demonstrate their contribution to ending child poverty, a commitment in the One Wales agreement.  (June 2008).

bullet

Revealed that children under the care of Local Authorities in Wales were to benefit from a further improved Child Trust Fund Reimbursement scheme as a result of additional funding. (May 2008).

bullet
A further step in the drive to combat child poverty in Wales was taken when the Child Poverty Expert group met for the first time. The group, which was made up of experts working in the field of child poverty and social justice, provided the Assembly Government with advice and guidance as it works towards achieving its targets of halving child poverty by 2010 and eradicating it by 2020. The establishment of the group fulfiled a commitment made in 'One Wales'. (May 2008).
bullet

Announced the results of the distinctive Children and Families Organisation Grant (CFOG) bidding round. The Children and Families Organisation Grant (CFOG) provided core funding for voluntary organisations working at an all-Wales level to develop child and family support services. (January 2008).

bullet

Announced that Children with special educational needs could have the right to appeal to the Special Educational Needs Tribunal for Wales in relation to decisions made by Local Education Authorities (LEAs). about their education. (May 2008).

bullet

Marked the first Legislative Competence Order transferring law making powers to Wales receiving Royal approval from the Queen. The new powers allow the Welsh Assembly Government to bring forward Welsh laws, called Assembly Measures, on Special Educational Needs (SEN). provision. (April 2008).

bullet

Announced the publication of the strategy for developing school-based counselling services across Wales. (April 2008).

bullet

Announced that after taking into account the exceptions permitted by law, the September 2007 Class Size Count showed that just four of the 3,994 infant classes in Wales had more than 30 pupils. (November 2007).

bullet

Launched the Welsh Assembly Government’s Appetite for Life Action Plan which sets out the strategic direction and actions required to improve nutritional standards of food and drink in schools in Wales. (November 2007).

bullet

Announced additional funding of more than £15m for childcare provision in Wales especially for the distinctive Flying Start allowing, it was claimed,  a 10% increase in the number of children benefiting, including free childcare for up to 17,600 2-year-olds from low income families and in disadvantaged areas. £4.2m extra was also ring-fenced for community focussed schools over three years for out-of-hours childcare. The distinctive early years programme - for children from 3 to 7 years - took experience from other countries to develop the  programme in Wales.  The emphasis is on structured play and active involvement and on development of skills and their application. (November 2007).

bullet

Launched an education and information kit for children to help keep them safe on bonfire night. The Fire Flash bonfire safety kit was designed to encourage children to attend organised firework displays and to promote the ‘Never play with Fireworks’ message. (October 2007).

bullet

Launched an innovative new bi-lingual, e-learning special educational needs course as a result of the ‘Empowering Teacher’ agenda. The course aims to improve the understanding and knowledge of teachers working with pupils who have special educational needs. (October 2007).

bullet

Announced a revised school curriculum for Wales - active from September 2008. (October 2007).

bullet

Announced the continuation of the Welsh Assembly Government's School Uniform Grant Scheme by making £770,000 available in 2007/08 to help families on low incomes with the purchase of school uniforms for their children. (August 2007).

bullet

Unveiled proposals to seek extra powers to improve the welfare of children and young people in Wales with a view to enabling the Welsh Assembly to consolidate existing legislation in relation to vulnerable children and provide clearer guidance for Local Authorities and their partners on their duties towards vulnerable children, young people and children in poverty. (July 2007).

bullet

Published proposals for an Assembly Government Measure on school transport for consultation. The proposed Measure would strengthen protocols for good behaviour and proper discipline on school buses - and provide free transport for more primary school children. (June 2007).

          Second Assembly 2003 - 2007

bullet

Announced the school catchment areas to be targeted under the distinctive Flying Start programme. (October 2006).

bullet

A week long campaign aimed at offering parents tips and advice on alternatives to smacking children was launched by Minister for Children Jane Hutt at the NCH Cymru Family Centre in Briton Ferry near Neath. (May 2006).

bullet

Gave a distinctive initial response to Keeping Us Safe - The Report of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Children Review. (May 2006).

bullet

A new service designed to help reduce bullying in schools and organisations that work with young people was developed by a team of Newport entrepreneurs. Child Text enabled children to report problems such as bullying by sending an SMS text message to a unique mobile number allocated to a school or organisation. The messages are logged and viewed on a computer system when a decision can be made on the appropriate action to take. It enables organisations to send young people and their guardians help, advice and guidance by SMS. (April 2006).

bullet

Announced the winners of the Welsh Assembly Government's anti-bullying poster and classroom charter competition at Fitzalan High School in Cardiff. The competition was launched in October 2005 as part of Respecting Others Week and was aimed at children and young people of primary and secondary school age. The competition was hailed a major success with 2321 posters and 141 classroom charters being entered. (March 2006).

bullet

Published, for consultation, the draft guidance "Consultation document on Teaching Drama: Guidance on Safeguarding Children and Child Protection for Managers and Drama Teachers". The Children’s Commissioner for Wales, in his Clywch Report into allegations of child sexual abuse, recommended that the Welsh Assembly Government, in partnership with ACCAC and the education departments and qualifying curriculum and assessment authorities in Scotland, Northern Ireland and England should publish practice guidance for teaching and examining drama within two years of the publication of his report. (February 2006).

bullet

The right of children in Wales to have access to a range of play, leisure sporting and cultural activities came a step closer with the publication of Play in Wales - the Assembly Government’s Play Policy Implementation Plan. (February 2006).

bullet

Launched a distinctive action plan to raise the profile of parenting in Wales. (December 2005).

bullet

Respecting Others Week, launched at St Teilo’s Church in Wales School, Cardiff, aimed to bring to the fore issues surrounding bullying in schools. (October 2005).

bullet

Announced £46million funding over two years for the Flying Start initiative which included a package of measures to give children in disadvantaged areas a better start in life. The centrepiece of Flying Start is free, part-time, high quality childcare for two-year-olds. (October 2005).

bullet

Launched the National Framework for Children, Young People and Maternity Services in Wales. The Framework set out the quality of services that children, young people and their families have a right to expect and receive. Children, parents and carers were involved in drafting the Framework. (September 2005).

bullet

Emphasised that the Assembly Government was leading the way by becoming the first administration in the UK to develop a Play Policy. (June 2005).

bullet

Launched the Assembly Government's Genesis Wales project, (awarded £12.5 million of Objective One and three funding). to provide advice, guidance, support and childcare for people wishing to access work, training or learning opportunities (January 2005).

bullet

Launched a publication reminding local authority councillors to ensure that their council does everything it can to give the children in its care the best possible start in life. The document entitled If This Were My Child was a joint Welsh Assembly Government/Welsh Local Government Association publication. It emphasised that every council member has legal responsibilities under the Children Act 2004 to act as a corporate parent to the children who are, or have been in the care of their council. (March 2005).

bullet

Launched the Assembly Government’s Parenting Action Plan for consultation. The Plan sought to raise the profile of parenting in Wales and set out the Assembly Government’s proposals for future development of parent support services. (March 2005).

bullet

Launched a strategy to cut child poverty by half by 2010 and eliminate it by 2020. The strategy, A Fair Future for Children, set out how the Assembly Government would play its part in ensuring that the UK Government targets on child poverty were met. (February 2005).

bullet

Marked the removal of the statutory tests for 11-year-olds. (November 2004).

bullet

Welcomed Children’s Commissioners from across Europe. The European Network of Ombudspersons for Children (ENOC) held its annual meeting in Cardiff, chaired by the Children's Commissioner for Wales Peter Clarke and the President of the Network for the coming year. (October 2004).

bullet

Announced that a total of 22,780 students applied for Assembly Learning Grants (ALGs). during the previous  academic year 2003/04, this was 13 per cent higher than the number received in the ALG’s first year, 2002/03. (September 2004).

bullet

The establishment of the new Foundation Phase for 3 to 7 year olds moved a step closer in August 2004  with the distribution of ACCAC’s draft Framework for Children’s Learning.

bullet

Young Carer training packs were distributed amongst schools across Wales. (July 2004).

bullet

Responded to the Clywch report by outlining six themes around the need: for school staff to have the skills and confidence to detect signs of possible abuse and take action; to share information within and between organisations; for robust systems that are understood and followed; to address issues about the teaching of drama and drama exams; the need to protect children working in the media and the need to ensure that children can access independent, confidential help and advice. (July 2004).

bullet

Launched the redesigned Funky Dragon website. (June 2004).

bullet

Launched the consultation document Educational Services for Children and Young People with Visual Impairment. (June 2004).

bullet

Schools invited to pilot the first phase of the primary school Free Breakfast initiative. (May 2004).

bullet

Highlighted that Wales was the first nation in the UK to ban physical punishment in all forms of daycare. (January 2004).

bullet

Announced that all 22 local education authorities had  taken part in the first national truancy sweep in Wales. Performing a national sweep was one of the 16 recommendations put forward in the report by the Task and Finish Group set-up by the Welsh Assembly Government to look at non-attendance at school. (October 2003).

bullet

Launched a new website to give parents information on all aspects of education in Wales. (September 2003).

bullet

Launched Respecting Others, the Welsh Assembly Government’s guidance on tackling bullying in schools. (September 2003).

bullet

Announced the beginning of a formal consultation on revisions to the school exclusions procedure. (September 2003).

bullet

Published its own response to Lord Laming’s report of the Victoria Climbié Inquiry. (September 2003).

bullet

Launched the Welsh Assembly Government’s national Free Swimming for Children and Young People pilot scheme. The national scheme, funded by the Assembly Government and operated by local authorities and the Welsh Amateur Swimming Association, was the first of its kind anywhere in Europe. (July 2003).

bullet

Helped change UK Government's approach to children's issues. When Margaret Hodge was appointed the new Westminster Minister for Children, BBC News Online reported: "The government has been under pressure to create a post aimed at addressing children's issues after the Welsh Assembly created a similar position." (June 2003).

        First Assembly 1999 - 2003

bullet Establish a stand alone Special Educational Needs Tribunal for Wales. (April 2003).
bullet Reimbursed local authorities in Wales for expenditure in taking care of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children. (January 2002).
bullet Joined forces with Welsh water company Dŵr Cymru (Welsh Water) to provide drinking water coolers in 287 schools in Wales. (April 2003).
bullet Launched the Aiming for Excellence programme of guidance to schools and local education authorities for raising standards at Key Stage 3. (2002).
bullet Announced that a new Assembly Learning Grant which would provide additional financial support for students in Higher Education and, for the first time students in Further Education. (February 2002).
bullet Welcomed the Welsh Affairs Committee’s hearing into the Children’s Society decision to pull out of Wales after establishing a task force to help sustain, until March 2003, the Children’s Society advocacy and anti-poverty activity in Wales. (December 2001).
bullet Welcomed the launch of the first distinctive Special Educational Needs Code of Practice for Wales. (December 2001).
bullet Announce that 7-year-olds in Wales would not be tested from 2002. (November 2001).
bullet Announced the scrapping of the the publication of the so-called Secondary School League Tables in Wales. (July 2001).
bullet Announced that Wales’ Children’s Commissioner would be required to have regard to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. (June 2001).
bullet Provided free school milk for Key Stage 1 (5 -7 year olds) at no cost to their parents or guardians. (February 2001).
bullet Created Young Voice as a forum for children and young people.  (December 1999).