The first Bill of the Sixth Senedd embarks on its journey through the parliamentary scrutiny process, starting with a consultation by the Children, Young People and Education Committee for education providers and stakeholders.
The Welsh Government’s Tertiary Education and Research Bill (Wales) was formally introduced to the Senedd by the Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles MS on Monday 1 November. It puts forward proposals to change the way post-16 education is managed and regulated.
Today, Friday 5 November, the Committee has opened a consultation calling on education providers and stakeholders to share what they think of the proposals. The consultation forms part of the Committee’s work to take evidence on the Bill’s general principles. The Committee’s findings will be published in a report which will inform the vote on the general principles on the Bill by the whole Senedd in March 2022.
Both individuals and organisations, are being invited to submit their evidence via the consultation which can be found on the Senedd website. The Committee is particularly keen to hear from those with experience and expertise within the post 16 education sector.
Jayne Bryant MS, Chair of the Children, Young People and Education Committee, says;
“In this Bill, Welsh Government propose significant changes to the way post-16 education is managed and regulated. The proposals would consolidate all post-16 education under a single Commission for the first time, and would involve abolishing Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), as well as transferring some powers from Welsh Ministers to the Commission.
“The Children, Young People and Education Committee is interested to know what this means in practice and how, in reality, it would actually improve the system for education providers and if it will enhance the experience for learners - whose interests should be at the heart of any proposed changes.
“We are looking to education professionals and stakeholders – from sixth form, colleges and universities, to training providers, community-based training and apprenticeships - to tell the Committee what they think of the proposals as we embark on the first stage of the scrutiny process.”
In the proposals put forward by the Bill, for the first time all post-16 education would be brought under one new commission - The Commission for Tertiary Education and Research. This will include colleges, sixth form, universities, life-long learning as well as apprenticeships and vocational qualifications, as well as research and innovation. The new Commission will monitor, register and regulate providers, and set out the standards expected within the sector – including Welsh medium provision - and will replace the current Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW).
Information about the Tertiary Education and Research Bill (Wales) is on the Welsh Government website.
The Senedd Research service has published a summary of the Bill, available here