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Summary

  1. Children, Young People and Education Committee
  2. Plenary begins at 13.30 with Questions to the Cabinet Secretary for Education
  3. Questions to the Counsel General
  4. Debate seeking the Assembly's agreement to introduce a Member Proposed Bill - The Autism (Wales) Bill
  5. Debate by Individual Members: Hepatitis C
  6. Debate on broadcasting in Wales
  7. Short Debate: Wales in the World – developing Wales' international links

Live Reporting

By Alun Jones and Nia Harri

All times stated are UK

Hwyl

That's it from the Siambr today.

Senedd Live will be back on Tuesday 20 June.

Senedd
BBC

Developing Wales' international links

Jeremy Miles calls for a "global network of Welsh soft power".

As an example, he refers to the BBC National Orchestra of Wales' visit to Patagonia to mark 150 years since Welsh settlers arrived.

Jeremy Miles
BBC

Wales in the World

Finally in the Siambr today is a Short Debate by Jeremy Miles (Neath).

His chosen topic: Wales in the World – developing Wales' international links.

Welsh flag
BBC

Assembly's agreement to introduce The Autism (Wales) Bill

Paul Davies' bid to introduce an Autism Bill enjoys the support of a majority of AMs.

There were 40 members for, nine abstained, nobody against.

Welsh Government members abstained.

He will now have 13 months to draft a formal bill which could then become law.

Autism
BBC

Reflecting Welsh life

Plaid Cymru's Dai Lloyd agrees with the report that says BBC Wales should do more to reflect Welsh life in its programmes.

He questions, for example, why the signs in hospital drama Casualty, filmed at BBC Wales' Roath Lock studios in Cardiff Bay, are not bilingual "unlike every other hospital in Wales".

Dai Lloyd
BBC

11 recommendations

The committee's chair Bethan Jenkins (South Wales West) presents the report which has 11 recommendations.

She reminds AMs that the committee called in February for £30m extra to be spent on BBC English-language drama and broadcasting in Wales.

She compares the BBC's announcement of a new TV channel and funding for Scotland, which will receive £19m new cash and have a nightly 21:00 news show, which came after the BBC said it was investing an extra £8.5m a year in Welsh TV programmes - short of the £30m demanded by the committee.

Bethan Jenkins
BBC

Proposal by the five members is passed

The National Assembly for Wales:

1. Congratulates the staff in the NHS in Wales for treating and curing an unprecedented number of patients with Hepatitis C.

2. Calls on the Welsh Government to confirm their commitment to the World Health Organisation eradication date of 2030.

3. Calls on the Welsh Government to consider new operational guidelines to support the NHS to work towards the eradication of Hepatitis C in Wales.

Target of eliminating Hepatitis B and C

Health Secretary Vaughan Gething says that "together with the NHS, the Welsh Government has made major advancements in the treatment and management of viral hepatitis".

He points out that the Welsh Government is committed to the World Health Organisation target of eliminating Hepatitis B and C by 2030.

Vaughan Gething
BBC

Background

Hepatitis C is a virus that can infect the liver. If left untreated, it can sometimes cause serious and potentially life-threatening damage to the liver over many years.

However, with modern treatments it's often possible to cure the infection, and most people with it will have a normal life expectancy.

'To eliminate Hepatitis C, we need to get angry'

Hepatitis C origins traced back to WWII hospitals

It's estimated around 215,000 people in the UK have hepatitis C.

You can become infected with it if you come into contact with the blood of an infected person.

Hepatitis C often doesn't have any noticeable symptoms until the liver has been significantly damaged. This means many people have the infection without realising it.

When symptoms do occur, they can be mistaken for another condition. Symptoms can include:

The only way to know for certain if these symptoms are caused by hepatitis C is to get tested.

Julie Morgan AM presents the motion
BBC
Julie Morgan AM presents the motion

Debate by Individual Members

We move on to a Debate by Individual Members.

Julie Morgan (Cardiff North)

Hefin David (Caerphilly)

Dai Lloyd (South West Wales)

Angela Burns (Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire)

Mark Isherwood (North Wales)

propose that the National Assembly for Wales:

1. Congratulates the staff in the NHS in Wales for treating and curing an unprecedented number of patients with Hepatitis C.

2. Calls on the Welsh Government to confirm their commitment to the World Health Organisation eradication date of 2030.

3. Calls on the Welsh Government to consider new operational guidelines to support the NHS to work towards the eradication of Hepatitis C in Wales.

Hepatitis C
BBC

'Related conditions should be covered too'

Llanelli AM Lee Waters says he wants to see better support for autism and he'll vote in favour today, but he stresses he wants related conditions to be covered too.

He cites a tweet which he received this morning from a person whose son is Dyspraxic with a touch of Aspergers, stating that support has been "negligible".

Lee Waters
BBC

Abstaining 'a great pity'

UKIP's Michelle Brown says it is "a great pity" that Welsh Government members will abstain.

Welsh Government will abstain in the vote

Minister for Social Services and Public Health, Rebecca Evans says £13m is being spent on a National Integrated Autism Service over the next four years.

She insists there are already legislative and policy levers to support people with autism in Wales.

She confirms that Welsh Government ministers will abstain in the vote today.

Rebecca Evans
BBC

'Clear pathways to diagnosis for adults and children'

Legislation is needed to ensure services are put on a statutory footing says the Preseli Pembrokeshire AM, to ensure there are "clear pathways" to diagnosis for adults and children and that staff dealing with people with autism get the right training.

The proposed Bill "would work alongside" the Welsh Government's work in this area, not against it, he says.

Paul Davies
BBC

A Member Proposed Bill – The Autism (Wales) Bill

Next in the Siambr is the first of this afternoon's debates.

People with autism could get stronger rights for support if plans for a new law in Wales are backed on Wednesday.

Tory AM Paul Davies says a law is needed as children and adults had not received the help that they should.

The law would require a strategy to be introduced ensuring councils and health boards take the action needed to support people with the condition.

In October, a Conservative motion calling on Welsh ministers to introduce an Autism Bill was defeated in the assembly.

Paul Davies won a ballot in March to present a bill in the assembly.

autism
Thinkstock

90 Second Statements

We now have the 90 Second Statements, where AMs have the opportunity to raise issues of topical interest.

No topical questions were tabled

Topical Questions must relate to a matter of national, regional or local significance where an expedited Ministerial response is desirable.

Questions
BBC

Newly-established trade policy team

Mr Antoniw says "officials in a newly-established trade policy team are in the process of assessing the legal consequences of the UK trading under WTO rules".

Mick Antoniw
BBC

Legal implications of the imposition of World Trade Organisation rules

We now have questions to the Counsel General, Mick Antoniw, beginning with Mike Hedges (Swansea East): What assessment has the Counsel General made of the legal implications for Wales of the imposition of World Trade Organisation rules in the absence of a trade agreement between the UK Government and the EU?

Brexit
Getty Images

The four colour-coded support categories

UKIP's Michelle Brown asks whether 25 days of support is enough to take schools out of the red category.

Kirsty Williams says that "the work to help schools on their improvement journey is tailored to the individual circumstances of each school".

Under the system there are four categories - green, yellow, amber and red. Schools in the green category are deemed to be in need of the least support while schools in the red category are those identified as needing the most support.

Michelle Brown
BBC

Burying bad news?

Conservative Darren Millar says it was announced the day after the general election that £28m is being cut from the funding of the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW).

"Why did you bury bad news on that day?" he asks.

Kirsty Williams replies that the announcement was made by HEFCW, not by the Welsh Government.

Darren Millar
BBC

'Keeping teachers well and resilient'

Plaid Cymru's Llyr Gruffydd says statistics published by NUT Cymru after teacher workload surveys show that "we have a workforce on its knees in trying to cope with the workload".

Kirsty Williams says the government has a number of policies to "keep teachers well and resilient".

Llyr Gruffydd
BBC

Questions without notice

The Llywydd calls party spokespeople to ask questions without notice to the Cabinet Secretary after Question 2.

'Strengthen our approach to policy co-construction'

Kirsty Williams says that "we are continuing to strengthen our approach to policy co-construction across the three tier model".

Kirsty Williams
BBC

'Co-operation should be embedded throughout Wales’ education system'

The first of the tabled questions today is by Jeremy Miles (Neath): What steps are being taken by the Cabinet Secretary to implement the recommendations of the Welsh Co-operative and Mutuals Commission relating to 'Education for Co-operation'?

The Welsh Co-operative and Mutuals Commission, chaired by Professor Andrew Davies, a former Welsh Government Minister, recommended that "learning about the values, principles and skills of co-operation should be embedded throughout Wales’ education system".

Education
Thinkstock

Kirsty Williams' day of scrutiny

After her general scrutiny session this morning, plenary begins with questions to the Cabinet Secretary for Education, Kirsty Williams.

Back at 1.30pm

The members are now meeting in private.

Senedd Live will be back at 1.30pm for Plenary.

'Entire cohorts' entered early for exams

Darren Millar raises the issue of some schools seemingly "gaming" the exam system by entering children early to bank a lower qualification instead of potentially reaching higher.

Education Secretary Kirsty Williams said that decisions around early entry must be made in the interests of an individual child.

She adds, "I find it very difficult to believe that it is in the interests of an entire cohort and that is what we have got going on".

She said the Welsh Government is working closely with Qualifications Wales to monitor early entry to ensure that children were not being "banked" at lower qualifications.

Ms Williams expressed concerns in May that the focus on raising GCSE attainment to C grade has led to "unintended consequences".

Darren Millar
BBC

'Too concerned with following procedures rather than thinking creatively'

Hefin David refers to some of the key findings of the Estyn annual report.

He presses the cabinet secretary on whether she agrees with Estyn that "there is a tendency towards ticking boxes in lesson planning. Teachers may therefore become too concerned with following procedures rather than thinking creatively about the best way to encourage learners to achieve".

Kirsty Williams replies, "I think for some professionals that is the case".

Hefin David
BBC

National Academy of Educational Leadership by Spring 2018

John Griffiths asks about the National Academy of Educational Leadership.

It will be up and running by Spring 2018, although the cabinet secretary assures the committee that work will continue apace before then in working with others to identify and support current and future leaders.

John Griffiths
BBC

Strand two was meant to have started last September

AMs discuss the roll-out of the new curriculum proposed by Graham Donaldson.

It is intended for the new curriculum to be fully up and running by 2021.

There have been delays in designing the six areas that will form the basis of the curriculum.

So-called strand two - the outline of the curriculum drawn up - was meant to have started last September and completed this month.

The first meetings of working groups to do the work only took place, however, on 17-18 January 2017.

Summary of the review proposals
BBC
Summary of the review proposals

Reducing class sizes 'not a silver bullet'

Plaid Cymru's Llyr Gruffydd points out that "class sizes have to be substantially reduced to have the impact you want".

The education secretary responds that reducing class sizes "is not a silver bullet in terms of raising standards. It is part of a suite of policy interventions".

Llyr Gruffydd
BBC

'Class sizes remain a major concern for parents and teachers'

Kirsty Williams acknowledges that "class sizes remain a major concern for parents and teachers".

She reminds AMs that on 24 January she announced a new £36 million fund to address infant class sizes.

Kirsty Williams
BBC

Witnesses

Giving evidence with Kirsty Williams AM - Cabinet Secretary for Education are:

Huw Morris - Director - Skills, Higher Education and Lifelong Learning

Steve Davies - Director, Education Department.

Huw Morris, Kirsty Williams, Steve Davies
BBC

Bore da. Welcome to Senedd Live

We are broadcasting the Children, Young People and Education Committee this morning.

The members are having a general scrutiny session with the Cabinet Secretary for Education.

Senedd
BBC