Inquiry into the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on children and young people in Wales

The Children, Young People and Education Committee is exploring how the outbreak of Covid-19 is affecting all aspects of life for children and young people in Wales.

 

Terms of Reference

To consider the impact of the outbreak and how it is being managed on children and young people’s physical and mental health and wellbeing, their education and their social care. How the Welsh Government and its associated public bodies are dealing with the situation and its impact on relevant sectors and professions will also be considered.

 

Blog

Senedd Research has produced a number of blogs with more information on this topic.

 

Evidence gathering

The Committee has held a number of evidence sessions to inform its work, details of which can be viewed in the table below. The Committee is also consulting on this topic. A child-friendly version of this call for views is available.

 

Evidence session

Date, Agenda and Minutes

Transcript

Video

1.   Welsh Government

Kirsty Williams AM, Minister for Education

Steve Davies, Director, Education Directorate

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

Rob Orford, Chief Scientific Adviser for Health

19 March 2020

 

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2.   Welsh Government

Kirsty Williams AM, Minister for Education

Steve Davies, Director, Education Directorate

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

28 April 2020

 

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3.   Welsh Government

Vaughan Gething AM, Minister for Health and Social Services 

Julie Morgan AM, Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services

Albert Heaney, Deputy Director General, Health and Social Services Group

Nicola Edwards, Deputy Director, Childcare, Play and Early Years

Jean White, Chief Nursing Officer

Tracey Breheny, Deputy Director of Mental Health, Substance Misuse & Vulnerable Groups

5 May 2020

 

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4.   Vulnerable children

Allison Hulme, National Director - BASW Cymru

Sarah Crawley, Director – Barnardos Cymru

Vivienne Laing, Policy and Public Affairs Manager – NSPCC Cymru

Louise Israel, Childline Senior Supervisor – NSPCC Cymru

18 May 2020

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5.   Vulnerable children

Marian Parry Hughes, Head of the All Wales Heads of Children’s Services

Sally Jenkins, Head of Children and Family Services – Newport City Council

Craig McLeod, Senior Manager Children and Workforce – Flintshire County Council

Jan Coles, Head of Children's Services - Powys County Council

Jane Randell, Chair – National Independent Safeguarding Board

18 May 2020

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6.   Physical and mental health of children and young people

Dr David Tuthill, Officer for Wales - Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health

Lisa Turnbull, Policy & Public Affairs Adviser - Royal College of Nursing

Dr Mair Hopkin, Royal College of General Practitioners

 

09 June 2020

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7.   Physical and mental health of children and young people

Simon Jones, Head of Policy & Influencing – Mind Cymru

Kate Heneghan, Head in Wales - Papyrus

Sarah Stone, Executive Director for Wales – Samaritans Cymru

Stephanie Hoffman, Head of Social Action – Meic Cymru

 

09 June 2020

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8.   Physical and mental health of children and young people

Dr Kristy Fenton, Consultant child & adolescent psychiatrist at Hywel Dda University Health Board and Chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Wales' Faculty of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

Dr Liz Gregory, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and representing Applied Psychologists in Health National Specialist Advisory Group

Dr Bethan Phillips, Highly Specialist Clinical Psychologist at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and Co-Chair of Division Clinical Psychology in Wales

09 June 2020

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9.   Higher and Further education sector

Professor Medwin Hughes, Vice-Chancellor - University of Wales Trinity Saint David and of the University of Wales

Kieron Rees, Head of External Affairs and Policy - Universities Wales

Professor Elizabeth Treasure, Vice-Chancellor - Aberystwyth University

Professor Paul Boyle, Vice-Chancellor – Swansea University

Dr David Blaney, Chief Executive – HEFCW

23 June 2020

 

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10.                Higher and Further education sector

Dr Rachel Bowen, Director of Policy and Public Affairs - ColegauCymru/CollegesWales

Dr Andrew Cornish, Principal and Chief Executive - Coleg Sir Gar and Coleg Ceredigion

Philip Blaker, Chief Executive – Qualifications Wales

Denver Davies, Head of Monitoring and Compliance – Qualifications Wales

23 June 2020

 

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11.                Higher and Further education sector

Joe Atkinson, Press and Public Affairs Consultant – NUS Wales

Jim Dickinson, Associate Editor – WONKHE

Dr Myfanwy Davies, Council Governor appointed by Academic Staff - Bangor University

Dan Beard, UNISON Higher Education executive member and chair of UNISON Cymru Wales

23 June 2020

 

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12.                Welsh Government

Kirsty Williams AM, Minister for Education

Steve Davies, Director, Education Directorate

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

7 July 2020

Read transcript

         

 

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13.        Race Council Cymru

Angel Ezeadum, Welsh Youth Parliament Member

Ali Abdi, Lead Coordinator for National BAME Youth Forum and representing Race Council Cymru

7 July 2020

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14.        Higher and Further education sector

Ian Morgan, Chief Executive

Elaine Carlile, Director of Qualifications, Assessment and Responsible Officer

 

18 August 2020

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15.        Higher and Further education sector

David Jones, Chair

Philip Blaker, Chief Executive

Jo Richards, Regulation Director

 

 

18 August 2020

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16.                Welsh Government

Kirsty Williams MS, Minister for Education

Georgina Haarhoff, Deputy Director Curriculum

Sinead Gallagher, Deputy Director of Higher Education

18 August 2020

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17.                Children and young people

Sally Holland, Children’s Commissioner for Wales

Rachel Thomas, Head of Policy and Public Affairs – Office of the Children’s Commissioner for Wales

5 November 2020

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18.                Remote teaching and learning, and exams and assessments

David Jones, Chair – Qualifications Wales

Philip Blaker, Chief Executive - Qualifications Wales

Jo Richards, Regulation Director - Qualifications Wales

Ian Morgan, Chief Executive – WJEC

Elaine Carlile, Director of Qualifications, Assessment and Responsible Officer – WJEC

12 November 2020

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19.                Remote teaching and learning, and exams and assessments

Louise Casella, Chair of the independent review of the summer 2020 arrangements to award grades, and considerations for summer 2021

12 November 2020

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20.                Remote teaching and learning, and exams and assessments

Guy Lacey, CEO/Principal at Coleg Gwent and Vice Chair of ColegauCymru

Kay Martin, Principal at Cardiff and Vale College and Chair of the ColegauCymru Curriculum and Quality Group

Meinir Ebbsworth, Chief Education Officer / Corporate Lead Officer, Schools and Culture, Ceredigion Council and representing Association of Directors of Education

Mike Tate,  Assistant Director of Education and Lifelong Learning - Cardiff Council and representing Association of Directors of Education

Cllr Ian Roberts, Leader of the Council and Cabinet member for Education -  Flintshire County Council and Education Spokesperson for Welsh Local Government Association

Arwyn Thomas, Managing Director – GwE Education Consortia and representing all the Regional Education Consortia

12 November 2020

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21.                Higher education and staff & student well- being

Joe Atkinson, Press and Public Affairs Consultant – NUS Wales

Becky Ricketts, President - NUS Wales

Jamie Insole, Wales Policy Officer – University and College Union (UCU)

Jim Dickinson, Associate Editor – WONKHE

19 November 2020

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22.                Welsh Government

Kirsty Williams MS, Minister for Education

Eluned Morgan MS, Minister for Mental Health, Wellbeing and Welsh Language

Steve Davies, Director, Education Directorate

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

Tracey Breheny, Deputy Director of Mental Health, Substance Misuse & Vulnerable Groups

26 November 2020

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Public engagement
In addition to formal evidence gathering, the Committee sought the views of the public through other engagement initiatives, details of which can be viewed below.

 

Scrutiny of Covid-19 and its impact on children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds - Summary Note 1 – 4 June 2020

 

Scrutiny of Covid-19 and its impact on children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds - Summary Note 2 – 2 July 2020

 

Scrutiny of Covid-19 and its impact on children and young people in Wales - Summary Note 3 – 23 November 2020

 

The Committee launched a survey to identify students who would like to take part in virtual focus groups that we will be holding in the new year. We want to hear directly from learners within higher education settings about the ongoing impact that the response to COVID-19 is having on both their learning experiences and their mental health and well-being.

 

Written evidence from the Welsh Government

Following the Committee meeting on 19 March 2020 the Minister for Education wrote with additional information on the referral process for children and young people with ALN and assessing the AAT qualification.

 

Further to the Committee meeting of 28 April 2020, the Minister for Education provided a response to the Committee’s request for further information on actions the Welsh Government have taken to date to manage the impact of Covid-19 on children and young people. The Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services has also written to address the issues which fall under her portfolio. Following the meeting on the 5 May 2020 the Minister for Health and Social Services wrote to the Committee with additional information.

 

At the Committee meeting of 18 May 2020, the Committee considered what impact Covid-19 is having on vulnerable children. Following this meeting, the Committee wrote to the Welsh Government about the measures being taken to manage the impact of the outbreak on the most vulnerable children. The Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services has provided a response.

 

Following the Committee meeting on 7 July 2020, the Minister for Education wrote with additional information on a review of blended learning carried out by the regional education consortia and details of actions taken as a result of it, and a paper published jointly with Estyn and the regional education consortia giving more detail on advice to schools on blended learning.

 

Following the Committee meeting on the 18 August 2020 the Committee wrote to the Minister for Education about the awarding of exam results. The Minister for Education has provided a response.

 

The Welsh Government wrote on 21 August 2020 following a request from the Committee for information about the provision of services to support the physical and mental health of children and young people given the impacts of COVID-19.

 

The Minister for Education wrote on 24 August 2020 following a letter from the Committee highlighting issues arising from the meeting on 7 July 2020 and the plenary debate on 15 July 2020.

 

On 6 October 2020 the Minister for Education wrote to the Committee regarding the report that the Committee commissioned into the remote teaching and learning undertaken Professor Sofya Lyakhova of Swansea University.

 

On the 26 October 2020 the Committee wrote to the Welsh Government for further information on the two week fire break and beyond. On the 3 November 2020 the Welsh Government responded.

 

 

Report

The Committee published its interim report outlining its work to date:

Impact of COVID-19 on children and young people – 8 July 2020

 

The Committee’s interim report was debated in Plenary on 15 July 2020

 

Keeping in touch

If you'd like to know more about the work of the Children, Young People and Education Committee, please view the Committee’s homepage, follow on Twitter, or contact the team that supports the Committee at SeneddCYPE@senedd.wales

 

In addition to the written submissions and oral evidence sessions with stakeholders and the Welsh Government, the following additional information was sent / received:

Business type: Committee Inquiry

Reason considered: Senedd Business;

First published: 30/04/2020

Decision due: 23 Jun 2020 by Children, Young People and Education Committee

Documents

Consultations