Y Pwyllgor Plant a Phobl Ifanc

Children and Young People Committee










Leighton Andrews AM

Minister for Education and Skills

National Assembly for Wales

Cardiff Bay

CF99 1NA

                                                                               24 July 2012      





Dear Minister,


School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Bill – supplementary evidence following 19 July 2012 meeting


Thank you for attending the Children and Young People Committee meeting on 19 July 2012 to give evidence on the School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Bill.


At the meeting, the Committee asked you to provide an update on the total cost of the Bill and how it will be funded, and on any on-going work you are undertaking to assess the costs associated with the Bill. In your response you advised the Committee that there were no changes to the cost estimates set out in the Explanatory Memorandum. Members would have liked to explore with you further the financial information set out in the Explanatory Memorandum, but unfortunately there was insufficient time. As such, and in order to assist the Committee in fulfilling its role in considering the financial implications of the Bill, I should be grateful if you would provide a written response to the questions attached at Annexe 1.


In addition, during the meeting, you agreed to write to the Committee to clarify the scrutiny procedure that would apply to further proposals made by the Welsh Ministers to rationalise school places under section 60 in accordance with section 63(1)(c). In responding to this issue, it would be helpful if you could also explain why the requirement on the Welsh Ministers to cause a local inquiry to be held does not apply in the case of further proposals.



I look forward to receiving your response.


Yours sincerely,



Christine Chapman AM





Annexe 1



School Improvement


§  What are the detailed working assumptions behind the £1.7 Million (£0.6 Million for awareness raising with schools and local authorities; £0.1M for the collation of best practice and £1.0 Million associated with local authority support to schools) of one off costs in relation to consolidating and where necessary reforming existing provisions under school improvement? (Reference 8.19; 8.24 and 8.25 of the EM)


§  Will the School Effectiveness Grant be increased by £1.7 Million to fund the one off costs associated with school improvement or will this have to be met from existing provision? (Reference 8.25 of the EM)

§  How have the on-going costs of up to £2.5 Million over five years in relation to school improvement implementation support costs been calculated and how they will be funded? (Reference 8.26 of the EM)


§  When will the costs associated with follow on training for schools be known and made available? (Reference 8.26 of the EM)


§  When will the costs associated with future priorities of the statutory school framework be known and made available? (Reference 8.27 of the EM)


Local Determination Panels (LDPs)

§  The EM details that minimal costs (up to a maximum of £5,000) are associated with the operation of an LDP but that costs could vary based on the complexities of proposals. What are the detailed working assumptions behind this calculation and what if any reference is made to the provision of professional/legal advice? (Reference 8.56 of the EM)

Welsh in Education Strategic Plans (WESPs)


§  What are the detailed working assumptions behind the on-going revenue costs associated with WESPs, namely £0.5 Million of administration costs and £0.1 Million for administering and analysing surveys? (Reference 8.66; 8.67 and 8.72 of the EM)

§  What are the detailed working assumptions behind the £0.1 Million of one off costs associated with the administration and legal costs of WESPs? (Reference 8.75 of the EM)

§  When will any potential local authority capital implications resulting from the implementation of WESPs as part of their school planning process be known and how will they be funded? (Reference 8.77 of the EM)





§  Will any additional funding be allocated to deliver any potential increase in demand in Welsh medium teachers following the statutory duty to produce a WESP?


Free school breakfasts


§  What will the Minister be doing ahead of the transfer of free school breakfast funding into the RSG to assist local authorities  to achieve maximum take up to ensure that following the transfer into the RSG no local authority raises concerns of lack of funding in the event of increased take up rates? (Reference 8.118 of the EM)

Flexible charging of meals


§  Whilst the Committee accepts that it is difficult to accurately asses the initial set up costs of creating a flexible charging for school meals scheme, can you  provide a range of these costs and how they will be funded? (Reference 8.143 of the EM)


§  The EM states (Reference 8.144 of the EM) that the full impact of flexible charging schemes would need to be assessed in the light of specific proposals, do you anticipate any additional costs to be borne by local authorities and if so how will they be funded?



§  Within the EM there are a large number of incidental costs which are either detailed as ‘modest’ or ‘unquantifiable at this stage’. Do you have an estimate of the total of these costs and how they will be funded?


§  In their evidence the WLGA stated that they anticipated that all additional financial burdens placed on local authorities of implementing the Bill would be borne by the Welsh Government. Can you confirm that this will be the case?