Y Pwyllgor Plant, Pobl Ifanc ac Addysg - Y Bumed Senedd

Children, Young People and Education Committee - Fifth Senedd

29/01/2021

Aelodau'r Pwyllgor a oedd yn bresennol

Committee Members in Attendance

Dawn Bowden MS
Huw Irranca-Davies MS
Laura Anne Jones MS
Lynne Neagle MS Cadeirydd y Pwyllgor
Committee Chair
Sian Gwenllian MS
Suzy Davies MS

Y rhai eraill a oedd yn bresennol

Others in Attendance

Georgina Haarhoff Dirprwy Gyfarwyddwr, Cwricwlwm ac Asesu, Llywodraeth Cymru
Deputy Director, Curriculum and Assessment, Welsh Government
Kirsty Williams MS Y Gweinidog Addysg
Minister for Education

Swyddogion y Senedd a oedd yn bresennol

Senedd Officials in Attendance

Gareth Pembridge Cynghorydd Cyfreithiol
Legal Adviser
Gareth Rogers Clerc
Clerk
Lisa Salkeld Cynghorydd Cyfreithiol
Legal Adviser
Llinos Madeley Clerc
Clerk
Rhiannon Lewis Cynghorydd Cyfreithiol
Legal Adviser
Yan Thomas Dirprwy Glerc
Deputy Clerk

Cynnwys

Contents

1. Cyflwyniad, ymddiheuriadau, dirprwyon a datgan buddiannau 1. Introductions, apologies, substitutions and declarations of interest
2. Bil Cwricwlwm ac Asesu (Cymru) – Trafodion Cyfnod 2 2. Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Bill - Stage 2 proceedings
Grŵp 1: Hanes Cymru yn ei holl amrywiaeth, gan gynnwys Hanes Pobl Dduon a Phobl Groenliw (Gwelliannau 41, 42, 43, 45) Group 1: History of Wales in all of its diversity, including Black and People of Colour History (Amendments 41, 42, 43, 45)
Grŵp 2: Y Gymraeg (Gwelliannau 1, 2, 3, 44, 4, 5, 8) Group 2: The Welsh language (Amendments 1, 2, 3, 44, 4, 5, 8)
Grŵp 3: Sgiliau achub bywyd a chymorth cyntaf (Gwelliannau 50, 52) Group 3: Lifesaving skills and first aid (Amendments 50, 52)
Grŵp 4: Addysg lles mislifol (Gwelliannau 51, 53) Group 4: Menstrual well-being education (Amendments 51, 53)
Grŵp 5: Addysg Cydberthynas a Rhywioldeb (Gwelliannau 54, 56, 58, 59, 60, 61, 66, 70) Group 5: Relationships and Sexuality Education (Amendments 54, 56, 58, 59, 60, 61, 66, 70)
Grŵp 6: Amserlen weithredu (Gwelliannau 55, 57) Group 6: Implementation time frame (Amendments 55, 57)
Grŵp 7: Crefydd, Gwerthoedd a Moeseg (Gwelliannau 85, 86, 15, 87, 88, 16, 17, 89, 18, 19, 20, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40) Group 7: Religion, Values and Ethics (Amendments 85, 86, 15, 87, 88, 16, 17, 89, 18, 19, 20, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40)
Grŵp 8: Gweithredu cwricwlwm: Eithriadau (Gwelliannau 62, 63, 64) Group 8: Curriculum implementation: Exceptions (Amendments 62, 63, 64)
Grŵp 9: Addysg heblaw yn yr ysgol (Gwelliannau 65, 67, 68) Group 9: Education otherwise than at school (EOTAS) (Amendments 65, 67, 68)
Grŵp 10: Asesu a chynnydd (Gwelliannau 6, 69) Group 10: Assessment and progression (Amendments 6, 69)
Grŵp 11: Iechyd meddwl a lles emosiynol (Gwelliant 7) Group 11: Mental health and emotional well-being (Amendment 7)
Grŵp 12: Dyletswyddau: Confensiynau’r Cenhedloedd Unedig (Gwelliannau 71, 72) Group 12: Duties: United Nations Conventions (Amendments 71, 72)
Grŵp 13. Darparu gwybodaeth (Gwelliant 73) Group 13: Provision of information (Amendment 73)
Grŵp 14: Dyletswyddau a chanllawiau cyffredinol (Gwelliannau 21, 22, 23, 24, 74, 75, 76, 46, 77, 78) Group 14: General duties and guidance (Amendments 21, 22, 23, 24, 74, 75, 76, 46, 77, 78)
Grŵp 15: Plant a phersonau ifanc sydd wedi eu cadw (Gwelliant 25) Group 15: Detained children and young persons (Amendment 25)
Grŵp 16: Adrodd (Gwelliant 79) Group 16: Reporting (Amendment 79)
Grŵp 17: Cyffredinol (gan gynnwys diffiniadau a gweithdrefnau deddfwriaethol ar gyfer Codau a Rheoliadau) (Gwelliannau 80, 81, 9, 82, 10, 11, 12, 47, 48, 13, 49, 83, 84, 14) Group 17: General (including definitions and legislative procedures for Codes and Regulations) (Amendments 80, 81, 9, 82, 10, 11, 12, 47, 48, 13, 49, 83, 84, 14)

Cofnodir y trafodion yn yr iaith y llefarwyd hwy ynddi yn y pwyllgor. Yn ogystal, cynhwysir trawsgrifiad o’r cyfieithu ar y pryd. Lle mae cyfranwyr wedi darparu cywiriadau i’w tystiolaeth, nodir y rheini yn y trawsgrifiad.

The proceedings are reported in the language in which they were spoken in the committee. In addition, a transcription of the simultaneous interpretation is included. Where contributors have supplied corrections to their evidence, these are noted in the transcript.

Cyfarfu'r pwyllgor drwy gynhadledd fideo.

Dechreuodd y cyfarfod am 09:33.

The committee met by video-conference.

The meeting began at 09:33. 

1. Cyflwyniad, ymddiheuriadau, dirprwyon a datgan buddiannau
1. Introductions, apologies, substitutions and declarations of interest

Good morning, everyone. Welcome to this virtual meeting of the Children, Young People and Education Committee. In accordance with Standing Order 34.19, I've determined that the public are excluded from the committee's meeting in order to protect public health. In accordance with Standing Order 34.21, notice of this decision was included in the agenda for the meeting, published on Tuesday. This meeting is, however, being broadcast live on Senedd.tv, with all participants joining via video-conference. A Record of Proceedings will be published as usual. Aside from the procedural adaptation relating to conducting proceedings remotely, all other Standing Order requirements for committees remain in place. The meeting is bilingual, and simultaneous translation from Welsh to English is available. Can I remind everyone that the microphones will be controlled centrally? There's no need to turn them on or off individually. Please just accept the prompt of unmute from the sound engineer every time you're called to speak. We've received apologies for absence from Hefin David, and I'm very pleased to welcome Huw Irranca-Davies MS, who is substituting for Hefin today. Can I ask Members if there are any declarations of interest, please? No. Okay. Thank you. 

2. Bil Cwricwlwm ac Asesu (Cymru) – Trafodion Cyfnod 2
2. Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Bill - Stage 2 proceedings

We'll go on now, then, to item 2, and our substantive item today, which is Stage 2 proceedings for the Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Bill. I'd like to welcome Kirsty Williams MS, Minister for Education, and Georgina Haarhoff, deputy director, curriculum and assessment. Thank you, both, for joining us. I'm just going to run through how it's all going to work this morning and then we'll go on to the first group. 

The purpose of the meeting is to undertake Stage 2 proceedings on the Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Bill. In relation to this item, Members should have before them the marshalled list of amendments and the grouping of the amendments for debate. The marshalled list of amendments is the list of all amendments tabled, marshalled into the order agreed by the committee. So, for this meeting, the order in which we will consider amendments is outlined on the agenda. You will see from the groupings list that amendments have been grouped to facilitate debate. However, the order in which amendments are called and moved for a decision is dictated by the marshalled list. I will advise Members when I call them whether they are being called to speak in the debate or to move their amendments for a decision. There will be one debate on each group of amendments. Members who wish to speak in a particular group should indicate this to me in the usual way by raising their hand at the appropriate point in proceedings, and I'll call the Minister to speak on each group. For the record, in accordance with the convention agreed by the Business Committee, as Chair, I will move amendments in the name of the Minister. For expediency, I will assume that the Minister wishes me to move all her amendments, and I will do so at the appropriate place in the marshalled list. Minister, if you don't want a particular amendment to be moved, please can you indicate this at the relevant point in proceedings?

In line with our usual practice, legal advisers to the committee and the Minister are not expected to provide advice on the record. If Members or the Minister wish to seek legal advice during proceedings, please let the clerks know via a message, and I will call an adjournment.

As this is a virtual meeting, all votes will be undertaken through roll-call, as agreed. I'll call each Member in alphabetical order and invite you to state whether you wish to vote in favour or against the amendment, or to abstain. I will state my own vote and declare the result. If there is a tie, I will exercise the Chair's casting vote in accordance with Standing Orders. My intention is to try to dispose of all amendments during today’s meeting. However, we have scheduled time to reconvene a week today on Friday 5 February, if necessary. I will call short breaks in proceedings at appropriate times throughout the meeting, including lunch.

09:35
Grŵp 1: Hanes Cymru yn ei holl amrywiaeth, gan gynnwys Hanes Pobl Dduon a Phobl Groenliw (Gwelliannau 41, 42, 43, 45)
Group 1: History of Wales in all of its diversity, including Black and People of Colour History (Amendments 41, 42, 43, 45)

So, we'll go on now then to group 1. Group 1 relates to the history of Wales in all of its diversity, including black and people of colour history. The lead amendment in the group is amendment 41, in the name of Siân Gwenllian. I call Siân Gwenllian to move amendment 41 and to speak to her amendments in this group.

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 41 (Siân Gwenllian).

Amendment 41 (Siân Gwenllian) moved.

Diolch yn fawr iawn, Cadeirydd, a gair i gychwyn i egluro mod i wedi penderfynu canolbwyntio ar ddau fater sydd angen eu cryfhau yn sylweddol yn y Bil hwn. Os caf i, Cadeirydd, dwi am dreulio ychydig o amser y peth cyntaf bore yma yn amlinellu fy safbwynt. Mae fy nghyfraniadau i'r drafodaeth ar rannau eraill o'r Bil yn fyr iawn. Yn anffodus, dim ond un aelod o Blaid Cymru sydd ar y pwyllgor yma, ac roedd yn ddoeth felly canolbwyntio ar ddwy agwedd benodol. Felly, mae fy ngwelliannau i'n ymwneud â hanes Cymru a'r iaith Gymraeg. Heb y gwelliannau yr wyf i yn eu cynnig heddiw, ni fydd modd rhoi cysondeb a sicrwydd y bydd bob plentyn yng Nghymru yn cael y profiad o ddysgu am hanes cyfoethog ac amrywiol ein gwlad ni, a heb y gwelliannau o gwmpas dysgu'r Gymraeg yn ein hysgolion, a fyddai'n sicrhau llawer mwy o fanylder, heb hynny fydd dim modd rhoi cysondeb a sicrwydd y bydd bob plentyn yn cael cyfle cyfartal i gaffael iaith ein gwlad. 

Mae'r pwyllgor yn ei adroddiad wedi nodi bod angen i'r Llywodraeth daro'r cydbwysedd cywir rhwng hyblygrwydd lleol a chysondeb cenedlaethol. Mi fyddai pasio gwelliannau Plaid Cymru yn sicrhau hynny mewn dau faes, yn sicrhau cysondeb cenedlaethol. Rydyn ni'n cytuno'n frwd efo penderfyniad y Gweinidog i roi addysg cydberthynas a rhywioldeb ar wyneb y Bil er mwyn helpu creu newid systemig, pellgyrhaeddol sy'n treiddio trwy gymdeithas. Rydyn ni'n teimlo bod rhaid rhoi statws penodol i rai meysydd ar wyneb y Bil, ac mi fyddai pasio fy ngwelliannau i yn sicrhau'r un statws a'r un sylw i ddau faes arall.

Thank you very much, Chair, and may I first of all explain that I have decided to focus on two issues that need to be significantly strengthened in this Bill. If I may, Chair, I do want to spend a little time first of all this morning outlining my views. My contribution to the debate on other parts of the Bill will be very brief. Unfortunately, there is only Plaid Cymru Member on this committee, and it was wise therefore to focus on two specific aspects of the Bill. So, my amendments relate to the history of Wales and the Welsh language. Without the amendments that I will be moving today, it will not be possible to provide consistency and assurance that all children in Wales will have the experience of learning about the rich and varied history of our nation, and without the amendments around the teaching of Welsh in our schools, which would provide far greater clarity, without those it will not be possible to provide consistency and assurance that all children will have an equal opportunity to acquire the language of our nation. 

The committee in its report has noted that the Government needs to strike the right balance between local flexibility and consistency on a national level. Passing the Plaid Cymru amendments would ensure that in two specific areas—it would ensure consistency on a national level. We agree entirely with the Minister's decision to put relationships and sexuality education on the face of the Bill in order to create systemic, far-reaching changes that permeate throughout society. We believe that specific status should also be given to certain areas on the face of the Bill, and passing my amendments would secure the same status to two other areas.

Mae'r set gyntaf o welliannau yn cynnwys sawl opsiwn i wneud yr un peth o gwmpas hanes Cymru, a dwi'n agored iawn i dderbyn eich barn am ba un neu ddau o'r rhain fyddai'n cyrraedd y nod orau. Does dim angen eu cynnwys nhw i gyd, yn amlwg. Bwriad y set yma o welliannau ydy sicrhau bod pobl Cymru yn gwybod am ein gorffennol fel pobl, am ein gorffennol fel gwlad, a hynny yn ei holl amrywiaeth cyfoethog. Mae yna gyfnodau allweddol yn hanes Cymru pan fu datblygiadau a oedd yn ganolog wrth ffurfio hunaniaeth Cymru, a bydd dysgu am ddigwyddiadau allweddol yn caniatáu i bob disgybl ddeall sut cafodd ein gwlad ei llunio gan ddigwyddiadau lleol a chenedlaethol o fewn y cyd-destun ehangach byd-eang.

Bydd sicrhau bod pob disgybl yng Nghymru yn cael dysgu am ddigwyddiadau hanesyddol allweddol o arwyddocâd cenedlaethol yn eu helpu nhw i ddod yn ddinasyddion gwybodus gyda gwybodaeth ddiwylliannol a gwleidyddol hanfodol. Bydd y dull presennol sy'n cael ei ddilyn gan Lywodraeth Cymru yn y Bil yma yn golygu y bydd dysgwyr ledled Cymru yn cael profiadau gwahanol iawn o ddysgu am hanes Cymru, tra byddai sefydlu corff cyffredin o wybodaeth hanes Cymru, gan gynnwys hanesion pobl dduon a phobl o liw, fel elfen orfodol, yn sicrhau cysondeb o ran addysgu ar draws ysgolion Cymru, gan osgoi anghysondeb posib ac addysgu hanes tameidiog ledled y wlad. Mi fyddai'r gwelliannau hefyd yn sicrhau mynediad cyfartal i addysg hanes, sy'n hollol hanfodol i sicrhau cydraddoldeb addysg ar draws Cymru.

Mi fyddai cael corff cyffredin o wybodaeth am hanes Cymru fel rhan orfodol o'r cwricwlwm yn sicrhau bod disgyblion yn dysgu am hanes amrywiol Cymru—hanes sydd wedi ei ddiystyru yn hanesyddol, gyda goblygiadau negyddol eang i hynny. Ac er mwyn helpu mynd i'r afael ag anghyfiawnderau strwythurol a hiliaeth a hyrwyddo amrywiaeth hiliol a diwylliannol, rhaid gwarantu addysg i bob disgybl ar hanes pobl dduon a phobl o liw. Drwy sicrhau bod gan hanes Cymru sylfaen statudol yn y Bil, fe allwn ni sicrhau bod athrawon yn gallu cael gafael ar wybodaeth angenrheidiol am hanes Cymru, gan ddarparu canllawiau angenrheidiol a defnyddiol i gefnogi athrawon a meithrin eu hyder mewn addysgu pynciau a allai fod yn gymhleth, yn anghyfarwydd, ond eto yn hanfodol, yn union fel gydag addysg cydberthynas a rhywioldeb.

Does yna ddim sicrwydd y bydd hanesion hollbwysig, megis hanes yr iaith Gymraeg, hanes crefydd, hanes y gymuned LGBTQ+ yn cael eu dysgu yn y cwricwlwm chwaith. Tra bod gan RSE ac RVE statws mandadol yn y Bil, does yna ddim sicrwydd y bydd hanes rhywioldeb yng Nghymru yn rhan o'r profiad dysgu, ac mae angen i blant ddysgu am hanes grwpiau sydd wedi dioddef ac wedi cael eu diystyru drwy gydol ein hanes.

Mae angen newid strwythurol mawr, ac yn union fel y mae angen dysgu am berthnasoedd iach fel thema drawsgwricwlaidd, er mwyn creu newid o fewn ein cymdeithas ni ac er mwyn creu'r newid hynny yn y berthynas rhwng menywod a dynion, mae angen hefyd ddyrchafu hunaniaeth ac amrywiaeth Cymru i fod yn thema addysgol drawsgwricwlaidd sy'n haeddu'r un statws a chysondeb â pherthnasoedd iach ac addysg rhyw. 

Felly, i grynhoi, Cadeirydd, pwrpas ein gwelliannau ni yn yr adran yma ydy sicrhau cysondeb a mynediad cyfartal i addysg hanes ar draws Cymru er mwyn helpu mynd i'r afael ag anghyfiawnder strwythurol hanesyddol ac i helpu amrywiaeth o ran hil, diwylliant a rhywioldeb. A'r bwriad ydy sicrhau bod gan ein stori genedlaethol statws haeddiannol yn y cwricwlwm a'i bod yn sail i blant ddysgu am eu hanes er mwyn cefnogi diben y cwricwlwm, sef datblygu dinasyddion Cymreig gwybodus ac ymgysylltiedig. Felly, dwi'n symud y gwelliannau.

The first set of amendments includes a number of options to do the same thing around the history of Wales, and I'm very keen to hear your views as to which one or two of these would best achieve our aim. We don't need to include them all, clearly. The intention of this set of amendments is to ensure that the people of Wales are aware of our past as a people, of our history as a nation, in all its rich diversity. There are key periods in the history of Wales when developments that were central in the formulation of Welsh identity took place, and learning about these key events will allow every pupil to understand how our nation was brought together by local and national events within the broader global context.

Ensuring that all pupils in Wales learn about key historic events of national significance will help them to become informed citizens, with crucial cultural and political knowledge. The current approach followed by the Welsh Government in this Bill will mean that learners the length and breadth of Wales will have very different experiences of learning about Welsh history, whilst establishing a common body of knowledge on Welsh history, including black and people of colour history, as a mandatory element, would ensure consistency in terms of educating across schools in Wales, avoiding possible inconsistencies and a patchy approach to the teaching of history across the country. These amendments, too, would ensure equal access to history education, which is crucial in ensuring equality of education across Wales.

Having a common body of knowledge on the history of Wales as a mandatory part of the curriculum would ensure that pupils learn about the varied and diverse history of Wales, which has in the past been ignored, with broad-reaching negative implications. And in order to assist in tackling structural inequalities and racism and to promote racial and cultural diversity, we must secure an education for all pupils on black and people of colour history. By ensuring that Welsh history has a statutory basis in the Bill, we can ensure that teachers can access the necessary information about Welsh history, providing the necessary guidance in order to support teachers and to nurture their confidence in teaching issues that could be complex, unfamiliar, but crucial, just as is the case with relationships and sexuality education.

There is no assurance that crucial histories, such as the history of the Welsh language, the history of religion, the history of the LGBTQ+ community, will be taught in the curriculum either. While RSE and RVE do have mandatory status within the Bill, there is no assurance that the history of sexuality in Wales will be part of the learning experience, and children need to learn about the history of groups that have suffered and have been ignored throughout our history.

We need great structural change, and just as we need to talk about healthy relationships as a cross-curricular theme in order to create change within our society and in order to create that change in the relationship between women and men, we also need to promote the identity and diversity of Wales to be a cross-curricular educational theme that deserves the same status and consistency as relationship and sexuality education.

So, to conclude, Chair, the purpose of our amendments in this section is to secure consistency and equal access to education on history across Wales in order to tackle structural inequality and to promote diversity in terms of race, culture and sexuality. And the intention is to ensure that our national story has its proper status in the curriculum and is a foundation for children to learn about their history in order to support the purpose of the curriculum, namely to develop Welsh citizens who are informed and engaged. So, I move the amendments.

09:45

Thank you, Siân. Are there any other Members who would like to speak? No. Can I call on the Minister, then, to speak?

Thank you very much. Bore da, Cadeirydd, bore da, pawb. I'm grateful for the attention on the Bill this morning. Can I just say that the issues that Siân Gwenllian just talked about are incredibly important? So important, of course, that we have appointed Professor Charlotte Williams to provide very specific advice to the Welsh Government about how issues of history, particularly black, Asian and minority ethnic history, can be successfully incorporated into our curriculum. I have to say, Professor Charlotte Williams was very clear—and I know that the Member herself has met with the professor—that simply listing mandatory content is not going to achieve the goals that I want or, indeed, Professor Williams wants.

Let me be absolutely clear what the legislation before us does with regard to the teaching of Welsh history and, indeed, the teaching of black, Asian and minority ethnic history. Through statutory guidance, these areas of the curriculum will indeed be mandatory. I want to make that absolutely clear, because that has not been acknowledged by the Member in the opening debate today. They will be mandatory. There is no getting away from it or escaping from it. There will be a legal duty on all schools across Wales to deliver this content. Through statutory guidance, diversity will also be embedded not within a single aspect of learning within history and the area of learning and experience of humanities, but diversity will be embedded throughout the curriculum in every area of learning and experience.

And can I say to the Member that the way in which she has described her concerns—that there should be a single body of historical knowledge that is common to everybody—that is simply not achieved by the Member's amendments here this morning by simply listing that topic on the face of the Bill? Actually, what the Member wants, and, indeed, I agree with, we are much more likely to be able to deliver through the 'what matters' approach that we have adopted, which gives us the opportunity to spell out in more detail the specific elements that the Member has just talked about.

Amendment 41 as it currently stands, the aim of which, as I said, is already covered as those subjects will be mandatory in the 'what matters' code. With regard to amendment 42, again, these issues will be covered in the statutory 'what matters' code. I think what's really important to recognise about that code is that that code has not been dreamt up by me; that code is the product of years—not days, not months, but years—of co-construction with those professionals who will be required to deliver it. And undermining that, I think, goes against what I know the Member believes in, which is a trust in our teaching profession. It is the teaching profession that has got us to this point and it is trust in the teaching profession to use the curriculum legislation that we have before us today and the 'what matters' code to deliver for children.

The actual consequence of the Member's amendment, as suggested, would actually limit, I believe, the study of these subjects to history within the humanities code. And, again, Professor Williams is absolutely clear that, for too long, the experience of black, Asian and minority ethnic communities in Wales has been limited to history—it has been limited to the subject of history and predominantly, actually, the topic of slavery. What Professor Williams is striving to achieve is that the contribution of those communities is recognised not just in humanities, but is recognised in literacy and communication. It's recognised in creativity and the creative arts. It's recognised in science and technology. It's recognised in maths and numeracy. So, actually—and it's unintended from the Member; I absolutely understand that—we are in danger of confining the contribution of Wales to a single subject. I want to ensure, and I have ensured via the 'what matters' code, that these areas will be covered right the way across our curriculum. Therefore, I ask Members to reject the amendments. Thank you.

09:50

Thank you, Minister. I call Siân to reply to the debate.

Diolch yn fawr iawn, a diolch, Weinidog. Dwi'n falch eich bod chi'n hyderus y bydd yr hyn dwi'n dymuno ei weld—a chynifer o bobl yn dymuno ei weld—yn digwydd yn sgil y cwricwlwm. Ond, i mi gael yr hyder y bydd o'n digwydd, dwi angen ei weld o ar wyneb y Bil. Yn union yr un un ddadl sydd dros gynnwys cydberthynas a rhywioldeb ar wyneb y Bil; hynny yw, er mwyn i bwnc sydd yn gallu bod yn anodd, sydd yn gallu bod heb ddigon o adnoddau yn ei gylch o, er mwyn iddo fo ddigwydd yn hollol gyson ar draws ein hysgolion ni. Felly, yn union yr un un dadleuon sydd yna dros gynnwys mater a allai arwain at newidiadau mawr o fewn yn ein cymdeithas ni ar wyneb y Bil—mae'r un un dadleuon yn wir.

Rydych chi'n sôn am Charlotte Williams a, do, dwi wedi cael sgyrsiau diddorol iawn efo hi. Dydy ei gwaith hi ddim wedi cael ei orffen eto, dwi ddim yn meddwl. Felly, dydyn ni ddim yn hollol glir beth yn union fydd yr argymhellion yn dod drwodd ganddi hi. Dwi yn ymwybodol bod nifer o arbenigwyr yn y maes yn cytuno efo'r safbwynt dwi'n ei gyflwyno heddiw yma. Er enghraifft, dywedodd y Barnwr Ray Singh, cadeirydd Cyngor Hil Cymru, a dwi'n dyfynnu ei eiriau fo yn y Saesneg gwreiddiol:

Thank you very much, and thank you, Minister. I'm pleased that you're confident that what I wish to see—and so many others wish to see—will be delivered as a result of the curriculum. But, for me to have the confidence that that is the case, then I need to see it on the face of the Bill. It's exactly the same argument for including relationships and sexuality education on the face of the Bill; namely, to ensure that an issue that can be difficult, and can be under-resourced at times, so that that is delivered in a consistent way across all of our schools. Therefore, exactly the same arguments that exist for including an issue that could lead to major changes within our society on the face of the Bill—the same arguments hold water here.

Now, you talk about Charlotte Williams and, yes, I've had some very interesting conversations with her. But, her work has not been concluded as of yet—or I don't believe it has, at least—so we're not entirely clear what the recommendations that she will make will be. Now, I am aware that there are a number of experts in the area who agree with the view that I'm espousing today. For example, Judge Ray Singh, the chair of Race Council Cymru, and I quote his words in English:

'I think that [making BAME history a statutory part of the curriculum] will go a long way to helping children, future generations, understand why there should be no discrimination. We have got people living here now who have contributed so much to the well-being of Wales...Those matters are not taught in schools and children don't know that. That will go a long way to help overcome racism.'

Dwi'n troi at Dîm Cymorth Ieuenctid Ethnig Cymru. Mae'r hyn a ddywedon nhw, dwi'n meddwl, yn crisialu yn eithaf clir pam bod hyn angen bod yn statudol ar wyneb y Bil:

I turn to the Ethnic Minorities and Youth Support Team in Wales. I think what they said encapsulates why this needs to be statutory on the face of the Bill:

'I want the kids who live in the docks...to know about north Wales...as much as I want the people in Harlech...to know about the docks and about the coal industry...because it's about Wales. This is our country, and we need to know the total of how we got here, and, more importantly, how we're going to move forward. And we can only move forward together.'

Dwi'n troi at sylwadau Dr Elin Jones, sydd yn arbenigwr uchel ei pharch sydd wedi gwneud llawer iawn o waith yn y maes yma. Dyma beth mae'r hanesydd Dr Elin Jones yn ei ddweud: 'nid yw Donaldson'—y cwricwlwm newydd—

'yn gosod sylfaen o gwbl i ddysgu hanes Cymru fel y cyfryw. Mae e'n gosod sylfaen i ddysgu'r dyniaethau. Ond rwyf i wedi dysgu'r dyniaethau fy hunan rhyw 40 mlynedd yn ôl ac nid oeddwn i'n ffeindio fy mod i'n gallu llwyddo i gyfleu y pynciau yna'n effeithiol'.

Pan ofynnwyd i Dr Elin Jones a oedd hi'n hyderus y byddai'r cwricwlwm newydd yn caniatáu i hanes gael ei addysgu yn y ffordd y byddai'n dymuno:

'Nid oes dim hyder gyda fi yn hynny o gwbl—dim o gwbl. Rwyf i wedi gweld peth o'r gwaith sydd yn cael ei wneud, ac mae'r athrawon sydd yn gweithio ar y cwricwlwm ar hyn o bryd, a'r gweision sifil sydd gyda nhw—maen nhw'n gwneud eu gorau. Ond heb arweiniad clir a phendant, heb enghreifftiau arfer da, heb dystiolaeth, maen nhw yn y tywyllwch, ac nid wyf i'n gwybod a fyddan nhw damaid callach pan fyddan nhw'n cwpla hwn o ran sut mae dysgu hanes.' 

Mae gen i fwy o ddyfyniadau. Gwnaf orffen—. Dim fi sydd yn dweud hyn, ddim jest fi sydd yn dadlau am hyn. Mae yna garfan gref o bobl yn cefnogi'r hyn rydw i'n ei ddymuno. Dr Steven Thompson o Brifysgol Aberystwyth:

I turn to the comments now of Dr Elin Jones, who is a highly respected expert in this area. This is what historian Dr Elin Jones says: 'Donaldson', the new curriculum,

'doesn't provide a basis for teaching the history of Wales as such. It provides a basis to teach humanities. But I have taught humanities myself about 40 years ago, and I didn't find that I was succeeding to convey those subjects effectively'. 

When Dr Elin Jones was asked whether she was confident that the new curriculum would allow history to be taught in the way that she would wish to see, she said:

'I have no confidence in that at all—none at all. I have seen some of the work that's been done, and the teachers who are working on the curriculum at the moment, and the civil servants with them—they are doing their best. But without clear guidance, and without examples of good practice, and without evidence, they're in the dark, and I don't know whether they'll be any the wiser when they finish this in terms of how to teach history.' 

I have many more quotes, but I will conclude here. Because it's not me that's saying this. It's not just me that's arguing for this. There is a strong group of people supporting what I want to see introduced. Dr Steven Thompson, from Aberystwyth University said: 

'My understanding is that the schools curriculum allows teachers to teach Welsh history but, from our perspective in the Department, they do not seem to be doing so. It seems to us that children across Wales, in English- and Welsh-medium schools, are growing up without any real sense of the history of their own communities and are far more conversant with the history of other countries.'

Dydw i ddim wedi cael fy argyhoeddi y bydd y sefyllfa yn newid, oni bai ein bod ni'n dyrchafu statws dysgu hanes Cymru, yn cynnwys hanes pobl ddu a hanes pobl o liw, i fod ar wyneb y Bil. Dyna'r unig ffordd i ni greu'r newid yna, a dyna'r newid sydd ei angen er mwyn creu y Gymru fodern, gyfoes, amrywiol, gyfoethog ei hanes a'i diwylliant yr ydym i gyd yn deisyfu ei gweld.  

I have not been convinced that the situation will change, unless we promote the status of the teaching of Welsh history, including the black and people of colour history, so that it is on the face of the Bill. That's the only way that we can drive that change, and that is the change that we need to see in order to create the modern, contemporary, diverse, rich Wales, in history and culture, that we all aspire to see. 

09:55

Thank you, Siân. Do you wish to proceed to a vote on amendment 41? 

The question is that amendment 41 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] Thank you. There is an objection. So, I'll therefore take a vote by roll-call. The question is that amendment 41 be agreed. Dawn Bowden, please state your vote. 

And I vote against. So, there voted three in favour, three against. As there's a tied vote, I use my casting vote in the negative, that is against the amendment, in accordance with Standing Order 6.20. Therefore, amendment 41 is not agreed. 

Gwelliant 41: O blaid: 3, Yn erbyn: 3, Ymatal: 0

Gan fod nifer y pleidleisiau yn gyfartal, defnyddiodd y Cadeirydd ei phleidlais fwrw yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 6.20(ii).

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 41: For: 3, Against: 3, Abstain: 0

As there was an equality of votes, the Chair used her casting vote in accordance with Standing Order 6.20(ii).

Amendment has been rejected

Grŵp 2: Y Gymraeg (Gwelliannau 1, 2, 3, 44, 4, 5, 8)
Group 2: The Welsh language (Amendments 1, 2, 3, 44, 4, 5, 8)

We'll go on now, then, to group 2, on the Welsh language. The lead amendment in the group is amendment 1 in the name of the Minister.  

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 1 (Kirsty Williams).

Amendment 1 (Kirsty Williams) moved.

I move amendment 1 in the Minister's name and call on the Minister to speak to her amendment and the other amendments in this group.

Thank you, Chair. As members of this committee will know, I absolutely recognise and understand the importance of the role of education in achieving the Welsh Government's target of 1 million Welsh speakers by 2050 and this Bill does a great deal to promote the Welsh language. And I'm delighted to be able to respond positively to recommendations that the committee made to make English compulsory from seven to 16, whilst Welsh will remain compulsory from three to 16.

Amendments 1 to 3 have been made following public engagement and recommendations by the committee in Stage 1, recognising in that Stage 1 scrutiny that if English was a mandatory element from three to 16, this potentially caused unintended consequences. The aim here today is to protect, support and promote the Welsh language by removing any perceived barriers to the use of Welsh immersion in schools. To be clear, this set of amendments will allow the practice of Welsh immersion education to continue without any disapplication process. We thus, and appropriately, are seeking to give clear emphasis to Welsh language learning within the new curriculum. I committed to engaging with the debate on the position of English in the Bill in the context of our ambitions for a truly bilingual system and I'm very pleased to lay these amendments. 

My next step now is to deliver this and, as set out in the curriculum implementation plan, to work with our key stakeholders now to develop a Welsh language framework. This will seek to provide particular support for those teaching Welsh language in English-medium schools, which, I acknowledge, is something that we need to do far better. 

I cannot, however, accept amendment 44, for a number of reasons. Primarily, I would not, for one moment, seek to presume to tell Welsh-medium educators how to teach their learners in Welsh-medium schools and I really do not consider it to be necessary. A code will put upon them additional statutory burdens that would not be the same for English-medium teachers teaching English in their schools. Indeed, having a compulsory code that those Welsh teachers in Welsh-medium schools would have to follow, and would be required to follow by law, I believe, would limit their creativity and their agency in a way that their English-teaching colleagues would not be subjected to. I simply do not want to see that happen. I would also add to this that the inclusion of an additional code, again, would begin to undermine the entire philosophy that lies behind our approach to the curriculum.

But, as I said, I do recognise that we need to provide more support and guidance to those teaching Welsh in English-medium schools. That's why we will be taking forward our work with stakeholders to develop a Welsh language framework to ensure that those issues that are of concern to me can be addressed. I believe that this would be within the spirit of the Bill, and would provide additional support that I know Members would be in favour of.

Amendments 4 and 5 remove the powers to disapply English before the age of 7 and those are linked to amendments 1 and 3, and I hope that the committee will also support these amendments, as they directly respond to the committee's recommendations.

Finally, I turn to amendment 8. This places a duty on Welsh Ministers to promote access to, and the availability of, courses of study available through the medium of Welsh. This is intended to replace the current duty on local authorities when devising local curricula for 14 to 16-year-old pupils to promote access to, and the availability of, courses of study through the medium of Welsh—a duty that would cease to apply when the new curriculum framework replaces the local curricula for 14 to 16-year-olds.

Responsibility for curriculum development will rest with schools, and local authorities do not have a role in the new set-up. This potentially creates uncertainty around ensuring Welsh-medium provision for these learners, as each school could decide to reduce their Welsh-medium provision. This amendment will place a new duty on Welsh Ministers to promote access to, and the availability of, courses of study taught through Welsh that lead to a qualification or a set of qualifications under the Qualifications Act 2015. I hope that Members will support that amendment. Thank you, Chair.

10:00

Thank you, Minister. Are there other Members who would like to speak? Siân Gwenllian.

Diolch, Gadeirydd. Mi fyddaf i yn cefnogi gwelliannau'r Gweinidog yn y grŵp yma, sy'n ymwneud â'r Gymraeg a'r Saesneg. Ond, mae'n anffodus iawn fod y fath ddarpariaeth a oedd ar wyneb y Bil ar y cychwyn, sydd yn cael ei dileu, gobeithio, gan y gwelliant ynglŷn â throchi—. Mae'n anffodus iawn fod unrhyw Lywodraeth wedi meddwl bod angen y ffasiwn gymal ar wyneb y Bil. Mae'n resyn o beth fod cymaint o amser ac egni wedi cael eu treulio yn ymateb i un saga ar ôl y llall o ran y Gymraeg yn ystod hynt y Bil yma, a hynny dros gyfnod estynedig o amser—o'r Papur Gwyn i'r cymal dadleuol yma yn y Bil drafft.

Rydym ni wedi treulio amser yn esbonio wrth adran addysg y Llywodraeth am egwyddorion cynlluniau ieithyddol cwbl sylfaenol. Y ffaith ydy nad oes yna gae chwarae gwastad rhwng y Gymraeg a'r Saesneg yng Nghymru a bod y Gymraeg angen cefnogaeth benodol oherwydd cyd-destun diwylliannol, demograffig a hanesyddol y dirwedd ieithyddol. Ar adegau, rydyn ni wedi hyd yn oed gorfod esbonio beth ydy addysg drochi, heb sôn am ba mor llwyddiannus y mae hi wedi bod yng Nghymru a pha mor hanfodol y bydd hi eto, a pha mor hanfodol ydy hi er mwyn gwireddu'r union bolisi y mae'r adran addysg i fod yn arwain pawb arall i'w wireddu. Yn anffodus, rydyn ni wedi clywed rhai o'r dadleuon sydd yn dangos diffyg dealltwriaeth yn cael eu hailadrodd eto y bore yma. Ond, wrth gwrs, dwi erioed wedi amau ymrwymiad personol y Gweinidog yn y cyswllt yma, gyda llaw, ond yn amlwg mae yna ryw wendid yn y system yn rhywle sydd yn ein dal ni nôl.

Yr un, mewn gwirionedd, ydy'r dadleuon dros yr angen am god statudol ynghylch dysgu'r Gymraeg ar un continwwm. Mae gwelliannau'r Gweinidog yn diogelu'r statws cwo ac yn sicrhau nad ydy'r Bil yn creu sefyllfa wyrdroëdig, lle bo'r Saesneg yn dod yn iaith normadol y system addysg yng Nghymru a'r Gymraeg yn rhywbeth mae'n rhaid optio i mewn iddi, fel eithriad i'r rhai ffodus. Felly, yn amlwg, mae eisiau cefnogi gwelliannau'r Gweinidog yn hynny o beth. Ond dwi'n credu ein bod ni hefyd yn gytûn bod gweledigaeth Donaldson a gweledigaeth y Gweinidog ei hun a ninnau fel aelodau o'r pwyllgor yma o bob plaid yn llawer amgenach na chario ymlaen efo'r statws cwo, ac, yn wir, mae angen gweddnewid y sefyllfa. Mae'n gweledigaeth ni'n ymwneud â chael y Gymraeg yn iaith i bawb yng Nghymru, ac nid dim ond y rhai ffodus yn unig.

Thank you, Chair. I will be supporting the Minister's amendments in this group, which relate to the Welsh and English languages. But, it is very unfortunate that the provision initially on the face of the Bill, which is to be deleted, hopefully, by the amendment on immersion education—. It is very unfortunate that any Government had thought that such a clause should be included on the face of the Bill. It's regrettable that so much time and energy was spent in responding to one saga after another in terms of the Welsh language during the passage of this Bill, over an extended period of time—from the White Paper to this contentious clause in the draft Bill.

We've spent time explaining to the Government's education department the fundamental principles of language planning. The fact is that there is no level playing field between the Welsh language and the English language in Wales and that the Welsh language needs specific support because of the cultural, historical and demographic context of the linguistic landscape here. At times, we've even had to explain what immersion education means, never mind how successful it has been in Wales and how crucial it will be, and how crucial it is in delivering the very policy that the education department is supposed to be leading on. Unfortunately, we've heard some arguments that show a lack of understanding repeated again this morning. But, of course, I've never doubted the personal commitment of the Minister in this context, by the way, but clearly there is some weakness in the system somewhere that is holding us back.

The same are the arguments for a statutory code for the teaching of Welsh on a single continuum. The Minister's amendments safeguard the status quo and ensure that the Bill doesn't create a perverse situation, where the English language becomes the normative language in the Welsh education system and Welsh has to be opted into, as an exception for the fortunate ones. So, clearly, we need to support the Minister's amendments in that regard. But I do believe that we are also agreed that the Donaldson vision and the Minister's own vision and our vision as a committee goes further than simply continuing with the status quo, and, indeed, we need to transform the situation. Our vision relates to seeing the Welsh as language as a language for all the people of Wales, not just for those fortunate ones.

Mae'r cwricwlwm yn gyfle ac yn gerbyd i wneud mwy na chydnabod; mae yna gyfle yn fan hyn i wireddu, a thrwy symud ymlaen efo'r cymalau, y gwelliannau, ynglŷn â chael cod penodol mae modd gwireddu'r hyn rydym ni am ei weld yn digwydd a'r hyn y mae strategaethau'r Llywodraeth yn gweld yn digwydd.

Realiti'r sefyllfa ydy nad ydy'r Bil a'r cwricwlwm fel y mae o yn creu un continwwm dysgu Cymraeg; mae o'n ailgreu ac yn ailwreiddio sefyllfa sy'n methu, drwy greu dau gontinwwm wedi'u brandio fel un, drwy osod disgwyliadau gwahaniaethol ar ddisgyblion ysgolion cyfrwng Cymraeg a chyfrwng Saesneg heb unrhyw fan amlwg lle mae'r ddau lwybr yn cwrdd yn y canol ar y daith tuag at 2050. Dwy system gyfochrog sydd gennym ni a hyn fydd gennym ni os na fydd y Bil yn cael ei wella ac yn cael ei basio heb ei wella.

Ac nid jest fi sy'n dweud hyn. Eto, dwi'n tynnu'ch sylw chi at yr hyn y mae llu o fudiadau iaith wedi'i ddweud. Mae Aled Roberts, Comisiynydd y Gymraeg, yn dweud bod fframwaith y cwricwlwm newydd i Gymru eisoes yn awgrymu, yn ôl y Gweinidog, fod yna ddigon o fanylder a chyfarwyddyd o safbwynt addysgu'r Gymraeg, ond mae Aled Roberts yn ei dweud, 'Rwyf yn anghytuno â hyn ac nid wyf o'r farn bod fframwaith cyffredinol y cwricwlwm am symbylu'r newidiadau sy'n angenrheidiol er mwyn cyflawni un o dargedau allweddol Cymraeg 2050, sef y bydd 50 y cant o ddisgyblion y sector cyfrwng Saesneg yn gadael yr ysgol yn siaradwyr Cymraeg erbyn 2050. Rwyf yn pryderu bod y cwricwlwm newydd, i bob pwrpas, yn ailadrodd methiannau'r gorffennol ac yn parhau â'r drefn bresennol o gael dau lwybr addysgu'r Gymraeg i ddisgyblion Cymru, a hynny o dan len cysyniad y continwwm ieithyddol.'

Mae'r Gweinidog yn dweud y byddai hi'n hoffi gweld lle mae pobl angen mwy o fanylder, ac mae'r achos clir ar sail dystiolaeth wedi cael ei ddarparu i'r pwyllgor a'r Llywodraeth gan Aled Roberts yn ddiweddar iawn yn sgil yr alwad yna. Mae'r hyn sydd wedi cael ei ddarparu gan y comisiynydd yn dangos mewn ffordd ymarferol sut y byddai cod yn ychwanegu gwerth ac yn rhagori ar yr hyn sydd wedi'i gynnwys eisoes ym maes dysgu a phrofiad. Mae'n rhoi diwedd hefyd ar y ddadl ddiflas y bydd cyfle eto maes o law i roi sylw i'r maes polisi hwn neu llall.

Dwi'n mynd i roi'r gair olaf i'r comisiynydd drwy erfyn ar y pwyllgor i gefnogi'r gwelliannau rydym ni wedi'u rhoi gerbron. Dyma eiriau Aled Roberts: 'Mae'n gwbl amlwg i mi mai cwricwlwm cenedlaethol Cymru yw'r cerbyd ar gyfer gyrru'r holl broses yn ei flaen. Os bydd y cwricwlwm yn gosod disgwyliadau clir a phendant, bydd gweddill y gyfundrefn addysg yn dilyn ac yn ymaddasu. Oni fydd y cwricwlwm yn arwain ar hyn, y tebygolrwydd yw y bydd diffygion o safbwynt sgiliau athrawon, o ran capasiti ysgolion, o ran cymwysterau ac adnoddau, yn arwain at gylch diddiwedd fydd yn parhau i lesteirio gwelliant yn sgiliau Cymraeg disgyblion Cymru.'

The curriculum is an opportunity and a vehicle to do more than simply acknowledge; there is an opportunity here to deliver, and by moving forward with the amendments on a teaching Welsh on a single continuum code then we can deliver what we want to see happening and what the Government's own strategies want to see delivered.

The reality of the situation is that the Bill and the curriculum as it currently stands doesn't create a single continuum for the teaching of Welsh; it rehashes a situation that is already failing by having two continuums branded as one, by placing differential expectations on Welsh-medium and English-medium pupils without any clear meeting of the two paths on the journey towards 2050. So, we have two systems running side by side here and that will be what we do have unless the Bill is amended.

And it's not just me who is saying this. Again, I draw your attention to what a whole host of language organisations have said. Aled Roberts, the Welsh Language Commissioner, states that the framework of the new Curriculum for Wales already suggests, according to the Minister, that there is enough detail and direction on the teaching of Welsh, but Aled Roberts says, 'I disagree with this and I'm not of the view that the general framework of the curriculum will drive the changes necessary in order to deliver one of the key targets of Cymraeg 2050, namely that 50 per cent of pupils in the English-medium sector will leave school as Welsh speakers by 2050. I am concerned that the new curriculum, to all intents and purposes, repeats the failings of the past and continues with the current regime of having two educational pathways for the Welsh language, and that hidden under the auspices of a single or continuous continuum.'

The Minister says that she would like to see where further detail is required, and a clear evidence basis has been provided to the committee and the Government by Aled Roberts very recently as a result of that call made. Now, what's been provided by the commissioner does demonstrate in a practical way how a code would add value and would improve what's already included in the area of learning and experience. It also puts an end to this ongoing debate that there will be a future opportunity to cover this policy area.

I'm going to give the commissioner the final word by urging the committee to support the amendments that we've put forward. These are Aled Roberts's words: 'It's clear to me that the national Curriculum for Wales is a vehicle for driving this whole process forward. If the curriculum sets clear expectations, then the rest of the education system will follow and adapt. If the curriculum doesn't take a lead on this, the likelihood is that there will be deficiencies in terms of the skills of teachers, schools' capacity, qualifications and resources, and that will lead to will lead to a never-ending cycle which will continue to hamper improvement in the Welsh language skills of Welsh pupils.'

10:10

Diolch, Chair. Minister, you've come good on your promises that you made to committee by introducing your amendments, and we're going to support those. But, as you've indicated that you won't be supporting amendment 44, I wonder if you'd be willing to think a little bit harder about this for Stage 3. If we're going to grow a truly bilingual nation, I think it's going to be a long haul, and the path is already littered, isn't it, with failed and pretty expensive policies. You know as well as all of us that trying to persuade English-medium schools to raise the authentic presence of Welsh in their schools has not—with honourable exceptions—been successful. And I think, in focusing on Welsh-medium schools in your contribution, you don't say what the code could offer English-medium schools, and I'm not as sure as you that guidance is enough.

As with RSE, I think you're going to have to mandate steps to make sure that the provisions of the curriculum do what's needed in making this ambition for Welsh clear, fair and real. You say you don't want to interfere with pedagogy for Welsh language, but you're happy enough to do it for RSE. So, my view is you need to equip the current workforce as well as the future one, through a period of massive professional learning. And it is a massive professional learning ask, with AoLEs having equal status. And I don't think you'll get enough to even kick-start a continuum, for the reasons Siân said, unless you are firm, but realistic, at the outset about what schools need to do. Thank you.

Thank you, Suzy. Are there any other Members who wish to speak? Okay. Can I call the Minister, then, to reply to the debate?

Thank you very much, Lynne. I'm sure it is unintentional, but Siân Gwenllian misinterprets the single continuum. The progression code is absolutely clear on where we expect children and how we expect children to progress in both English and in Welsh. So, the expectations, in terms of language acquisition, are absolutely clear. But Suzy Davies just used the word 'realistic'. Siân Gwenllian cannot, I am sure, believe that the ability to progress in the Welsh language for a child that is attending an English-medium school will be as quick and the expectations will be as high as for a child that is attending a Welsh-medium school. Now, that's not to say that that progression will not happen, but it will happen at a different pace, and it'll happen in a different way.

Now, Suzy Davies talks about interfering in pedagogy. The effect of Siân Gwenllian's amendment is to do just that. It is to tell teachers in our Welsh-medium sector how to teach the language. Now, I for one hold those teachers in the highest regard, and I certainly don't want to interfere in their pedagogy, and I don't want to put constraints on them that we are not putting on teachers in the English-medium sector on how they teach English. I am fully confident in the ability of those teachers to teach their students and their subject.

However, I am the first person to recognise that we need to set higher expectations and to provide more support for the acquisition of the Welsh language in English-medium settings, which is why, as I said in my opening statement, it is my intention to bring forward additional support via a Welsh-language framework for those schools. Now, Suzy Davies says that hoping for it to happen might not be enough, and I would say that section 66 powers exist within this Bill that we could make that framework a compulsory framework and a statutory framework, and I am very happy to consider that proposal and to consider using those powers in that particular way.

Can I turn to the issue of what Siân Gwenllian said about the Welsh Language Commissioner? I am very familiar with the asks of the Welsh Language Commissioner, but those asks go way beyond—way, way beyond—a curriculum Bill. In his most recent correspondence to me, he talks about the Welsh in education strategic plan process—we're already changing, and have changed, the WESP process. He talks about categorisation of schools, and we are changing that. We have heard this morning about staffing. I couldn't agree more, but changing the curriculum is not going to address the needs around staffing or, indeed, professional development.

If we're to achieve the goals of Cymraeg 2050, I agree we need to see a step change in the quality of teaching of Welsh in our English-medium schools. The progression code sets out a very clear pathway of our expectations in that regard, and I believe that our Welsh language framework will provide the scaffolding, support and expectation on how that progression can be achieved. I hope Members will support the Government amendments, as I said, that are in line with the committee's recommendations, and I would ask Members to reject amendment 44. Thank you.

10:15

Thank you, Minister. Do you wish to proceed to a vote, then, on amendment 1?

Okay. Thank you. The question is that amendment 1 be agreed. Does any Member object? There's no objection, therefore amendment 1 is agreed.

Derbyniwyd y gwelliant yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 17.34.

Amendment agreed in accordance with Standing Order 17.34.

Grŵp 3: Sgiliau achub bywyd a chymorth cyntaf (Gwelliannau 50, 52)
Group 3: Lifesaving skills and first aid (Amendments 50, 52)

That take us on to group 3, which relates to lifesaving skills and first aid. The lead amendment in the group is amendment 50, in the name of Suzy Davies. I call on Suzy Davies to move amendment 50 and to speak to her other amendment in this group.

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 50 (Suzy Davies).

Amendment 50 (Suzy Davies) moved.

Thank you, Chair. Yes, and I move the amendments in this group. Minister and Members, I'm sure you won't be surprised to see these amendments here. And, Minister, as someone who's supported the mandatory teaching of emergency lifesaving skills on the school curriculum when in opposition, this is your chance to ensure that it happens. In fact, as the education Minister, you're really the only supporter of the idea who can make it happen. I do understand your wish not to include too many mandatory elements into the curriculum, and, indeed, into the Bill, but I'm hoping that you understand my wish to stop people dying of cardiac arrest when they don't need to.

Now, in the interests of brevity at this stage, because we've got a long day ahead of us, I'm not going to rehearse all the difference that it makes to the survival rates of those suffering cardiac arrests in countries where young people have to learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation and defibrillator skills. Everyone here will have heard me say it before, and will know the level of support, where there are some charities promoting it, from the health sector, from families and the general public.

I think what no-one is clear about is why, now that England and Scotland have accepted the arguments and are making these lessons mandatory—and we're only talking about two hours a year here—you, as a Minister, are so resistant. I mean, two hours a year does not clutter up the curriculum. And I appreciate that the skills have been highlighted in document support in the curriculum, and I appreciate that the Government has introduced its out-of-hospital cardiac arrest plan or the 'anything but make it mandatory' plan, as I call it, but these will not have the same impact as creating a generation of lifesavers for whom these skills are as second nature as reciting their 10 times table. If left as an option, if my experience speaking to schools is anything to go by, it's an option that doesn't get picked up, despite it taking so little time and organisation.

Now, you may wish to say that these skills aren't as important as, say, the ability for children and young people to better manage their own mental health, which you have addressed in later amendments. I'm saying it's not either/or, and, as a Parliament that observes article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, however, it is worth pointing out that our own Youth Parliament made lifesaving skills their priority, albeit marginally ahead of support for mental health.

As with the Welsh history amendments, I've offered Members different options with these two amendments. The first makes this a mandatory subject, the second makes it a mandatory requirement under the 'what matters' code. Amendment 77, which we'll discuss later, offers a third, much weaker option, but it does give you, Minister, the option to introduce statutory guidance on the teaching of lifesaving skills. But the amendments in this group are the ones that offer certainty and the opportunity of a quick, no-peril, popular win, which Wales will welcome, which is completely non-party political, and so I urge Members to support either of the two amendments in this group. Thank you.

Thank you, Suzy. Are there any other Members who wish to speak? No. Can I call on the Minister, then, to speak?

Thank you, Chair, and to match Suzy Davies's brevity in this regard, because we have had considerable, lengthy debates on this, I would draw the Member's attention to the Curriculum for Wales guidance, which will become statutory, which refers to both lifesaving skills and first aid. We would never, in this approach to the curriculum, identify an amount of time that any subject should be taught, and I have to say, I would hope that more than two hours could be spent, perhaps, on these issues, because they are important. It is because they are important that they are included, as I said, in the statutory guidance for the overall design of the curriculum. Thank you.

10:20

Yes, Minister, obviously I realise that there is some work on this already evident in the documents that are supporting the curriculum. I'm pleased to hear that what you're talking about will become statutory, but what's not clear from this is what that statutory guidance will actually produce by way of implementation. One of the reasons I really wanted to get this on the face of the Bill, or at least within the 'what matters' code, is because it will be clear what schools will be expected to do. And guidance—statutory or otherwise—is not the same as compulsion. Because we're talking about something that they should do, rather than something that they must do. I appreciate you won't have the opportunity to come back in this debate to talk about that, but we'll be discussing a similar process in the next group of amendments, and perhaps you might be able to say what your understanding is of what would happen to schools if they didn't follow your statutory guidance. Thank you very much.

Thank you, Suzy. Do you wish to proceed to a vote on amendment 50?

The question is that amendment 50 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] We have an objection. I'll therefore take a vote by roll-call. The question is that amendment 50 be agreed. Dawn Bowden, please state your vote.

And I vote against. As there is a tied vote, I use my casting vote in the negative, that is against the amendment, in accordance with Standing Orders. Therefore, amendment 50 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 50: O blaid: 3, Yn erbyn: 3, Ymatal: 0

Gan fod nifer y pleidleisiau yn gyfartal, defnyddiodd y Cadeirydd ei phleidlais fwrw yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 6.20(ii).

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 50: For: 3, Against: 3, Abstain: 0

As there was an equality of votes, the Chair used her casting vote in accordance with Standing Order 6.20(ii).

Amendment has been rejected

Grŵp 4: Addysg lles mislifol (Gwelliannau 51, 53)
Group 4: Menstrual well-being education (Amendments 51, 53)

That takes us on group 4 on menstrual well-being education. The lead amendment in this group is amendment 51, in the name of Suzy Davies. I call Suzy Davies to move amendment 51, and to speak to her other amendment in this group.

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 51 (Suzy Davies).

Amendment 51 (Suzy Davies) moved.

Thank you, Chair. I move the amendments here. These amendments have been tabled in much the same way as those on lifesaving skills. There are two alternatives in this group, with a further option for guidance under amendment 75. Compared to group 3, though, these are a little bit more in the nature of probing amendments, and an invitation to you, Minister, to explain how you will secure the teaching of menstrual well-being, regardless of gender, within our schools. Members will recall the debate on endometriosis at the end of last term, which found approval for this being taught in schools as a compulsory element. There's nothing stopping it being taught under the new curriculum, but there's nothing obliging it either, as far as I can see.

The subject has found its way into public discourse more recently than lifesaving skills, so I would have been more disposed to let Government have a bit more time to think about this—about how to ensure that this important work is done. However, the health Minister's response to that debate was less than wholehearted, if you remember, so I am bringing this one aspect of that debate to you, Minister, because you can deliver on it. I think the easiest way to do that would be to choose one of the amendments, or at least make a commitment now in the spirit of amendment 75. But if you do have an alternative way of securing the purpose of this amendment, not just provide it at as option, then, of course, I'll be happy to listen. Thank you.

Thank you, Suzy. Are there any other Members who wish to speak? Can I call the Minister to speak, then?

Thank you very much, Suzy, for that. Can I say that I agree with the Member on the importance of these topics, especially when she talks about 'regardless of gender'? Every child in our system needs to understand about issues around menstrual health, so I think that is a very important principle. The 'developing physical health and well-being has lifelong benefits' statements of the 'what matters' code do recognise, and I quote,

'the connection between the physical and emotional changes that can occur in different contexts.'

And, indeed, published statutory guidance also talks about ensuring that learners are supported to understand and manage the developmental changes, as well as how those changes affect learners in a range of different ways. However, like she says, I am interested in exploring what other opportunities there are to get greater assurance that the topic of menstrual well-being will be covered. I think the best way to do that is to work with the group that is developing the RSE code, which, as you know, will be on the face of the Bill and will be subject to an affirmative vote, I hope, at the Senedd, to ensure that that is a specific topic that is covered in the RSE code. I think that's the best and most appropriate way that we can gain the certainty that that subject will be covered and will be taught. I hope that when the code is published for public consultation, which I am determined will happen in March [correction: soon after March] of this year, the Member will see that the important points that she raises are addressed at that time. Thank you.

10:25

Thank you very much for that, Minister. I'm going to proceed to a vote anyway, because I think it's important to put down a marker about the intentions that you've expressed today, as well as our own. I appreciate that this is going to go into the RSE code. I'm very pleased to hear you say that that's going to be ready by March, so I hope you'll be supporting some amendments of mine later on. But there is still quite a lot of hope rather than certainty involved in this, so while I really want to take you at your word here, and I do believe that you want to make sure that this is covered properly, I think I still need to go to that vote to make sure that when, at least, we reach Stage 3—because I think we need to bring this back at Stage 3 so that you could give us further information about what your plans are. Thank you for that.

Thank you, Suzy. The question is that amendment 51 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] We have an objection, so I'll take a vote by roll-call. The question is that amendment 51 be agreed. Dawn Bowden, please state your vote.

And I vote against. So, there voted three in favour, three against. As there's a tied vote, I use my casting vote in the negative, that is against the amendment, in accordance with Standing Orders. Therefore, amendment 51 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 51: O blaid: 3, Yn erbyn: 3, Ymatal: 0

Gan fod nifer y pleidleisiau yn gyfartal, defnyddiodd y Cadeirydd ei phleidlais fwrw yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 6.20(ii).

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 51: For: 3, Against: 3, Abstain: 0

As there was an equality of votes, the Chair used her casting vote in accordance with Standing Order 6.20(ii).

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 42 (Siân Gwenllian).

Amendment 42 (Siân Gwenllian) moved.

The question is that amendment 42 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] We have an objection, so I'll take a vote by roll-call. The question is that amendment 42 be agreed. Dawn Bowden, please state your vote.

And I vote against. So, there voted three in favour, three against. As there is a tied vote, I use my casting vote in the negative, against the amendment, in accordance with Standing Orders. Therefore, amendment 42 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 42: O blaid: 3, Yn erbyn: 3, Ymatal: 0

Gan fod nifer y pleidleisiau yn gyfartal, defnyddiodd y Cadeirydd ei phleidlais fwrw yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 6.20(ii).

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 42: For: 3, Against: 3, Abstain: 0

As there was an equality of votes, the Chair used her casting vote in accordance with Standing Order 6.20(ii).

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 2 (Kirsty Williams).

Amendment 2 (Kirsty Williams) moved.

I move amendment 2 in the name of the Minister. The question is that amendment 2 be agreed. Does any Member object? Amendment 2 is therefore agreed.

Derbyniwyd y gwelliant yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 17.34.

Amendment agreed in accordance with Standing Order 17.34.

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 3 (Kirsty Williams).

Amendment 3 (Kirsty Williams) moved.

I move amendment 3 in the name of the Minister. The question is that amendment 3 be agreed. Does any Member object? Amendment 3 is agreed.

Derbyniwyd y gwelliant yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 17.34.

Amendment agreed in accordance with Standing Order 17.34.

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 43 (Siân Gwenllian).

Amendment 43 (Siân Gwenllian) moved.

The question is that amendment 43 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] We have an objection. So, I'll take a vote. The question is that amendment 43 be agreed. Dawn Bowden, please state your vote. 

10:30

And I vote against. There voted three in favour, three against. As there's a tied vote, I use my casting vote in the negative, against the amendment, in accordance with Standing Orders. Therefore, amendment 43 is not agreed. 

Gwelliant 43: O blaid: 3, Yn erbyn: 3, Ymatal: 0

Gan fod nifer y pleidleisiau yn gyfartal, defnyddiodd y Cadeirydd ei phleidlais fwrw yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 6.20(ii).

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 43: For: 3, Against: 3, Abstain: 0

As there was an equality of votes, the Chair used her casting vote in accordance with Standing Order 6.20(ii).

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 52 (Suzy Davies).

Amendment 52 (Suzy Davies) moved.

The question is that amendment 52 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] We have an objection. The question is that amendment 52 be agreed. Dawn Bowden, please state your vote. 

And I vote against. So, there voted three in favour, three against. As there is a tied vote, I use my casting vote in the negative, that is against the amendment, in accordance with Standing Orders. Therefore, amendment 52 is not agreed. 

Gwelliant 52: O blaid: 3, Yn erbyn: 3, Ymatal: 0

Gan fod nifer y pleidleisiau yn gyfartal, defnyddiodd y Cadeirydd ei phleidlais fwrw yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 6.20(ii).

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 52: For: 3, Against: 3, Abstain: 0

As there was an equality of votes, the Chair used her casting vote in accordance with Standing Order 6.20(ii).

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 53 (Suzy Davies).

Amendment 53 (Suzy Davies) moved.

The question is that amendment 53 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] As we have an objection, I'll take a vote by roll-call. The question is that amendment 53 be agreed. Dawn Bowden, please state your vote. 

And I vote against. So, there voted three in favour, three against. As there's a tied vote, I use my casting vote in the negative, against the amendment, and amendment 53 is not agreed. 

Gwelliant 53: O blaid: 3, Yn erbyn: 3, Ymatal: 0

Gan fod nifer y pleidleisiau yn gyfartal, defnyddiodd y Cadeirydd ei phleidlais fwrw yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 6.20(ii).

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 53: For: 3, Against: 3, Abstain: 0

As there was an equality of votes, the Chair used her casting vote in accordance with Standing Order 6.20(ii).

Amendment has been rejected

Grŵp 5: Addysg Cydberthynas a Rhywioldeb (Gwelliannau 54, 56, 58, 59, 60, 61, 66, 70)
Group 5: Relationships and Sexuality Education (Amendments 54, 56, 58, 59, 60, 61, 66, 70)

That takes us on, then, to group 5, which relates to relationships and sexuality education. The lead amendment in the group is amendment 54 in the name of Suzy Davies. I call Suzy Davies to move amendment 54 and to speak to her other amendments in this group. 

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 54 (Suzy Davies).

Amendment 54 (Suzy Davies) moved.

Thank you, Chair. I move the lead amendment here. We know this has been one of the most controversial elements of curriculum change, and there'll be very few people who don't understand why parents are worried that decisions about sex education, always a sensitive subject, look like they're being taken out of their hands. But this part of the curriculum is not primarily about sex, nor does it interfere with a parent's right to share their own views and their own ethics about sex at home. In summary for me, this is about protecting all our children by arming them with knowledge—and not just about sex; it's about equipping them to exercise judgment about their own behaviour and that of others, it's about giving them courage to control what happens to them and to side with what’s right when they see wrong.

All my amendments are about three specific things. The first is to make sure that the second two do not dilute, undermine or compromise the purpose of this part of the Bill. The second is making it clear that, while a child's right to be safe and free of prejudice is paramount, the voice of the parent cannot be shut out, and this Bill does need to be fairer to a section of society that is actually losing a right as a result of this legislation. The third is the recognition that, without sight of a draft RSE code, it is very difficult to reassure families what 'developmentally appropriate' actually means and reassure teachers that they will have everything they need to deliver this positively and without getting it wrong. That’s what amendment 54 is about, Minister.

You know you're asking us to take the operation of RSE on trust as we haven’t seen a draft code. It's not a satisfactory way to make law, as we can’t scrutinise what doesn’t exist, even though I appreciate the reassurance you've given us in the previous debate. Your colleague Ken Skates was able to provide a raft of draft guidance for us when he brought forward the Historic Environment (Wales) Bill and he didn’t have four years to do it in. And I think the lack of an RSE code in draft can’t be blamed on COVID. I think it's such a potential minefield that teachers, let alone us, need to see this code before they go anywhere near the classroom. So, I very much appreciate your movement on the process for introducing the code so that this legislature can bring some scrutiny to it, but this amendment is here to make sure that it's not left until the last minute.

Amendments 56 and 58 say that a school cannot adopt or change the RSE provision in the curriculum unless parents, as defined elsewhere, are consulted, and amendments 56 and 60 make essentially the same provision for non-maintained nurseries. I just want to be clear on this: these amendments do not give parents the right to overturn, to veto or refuse the RSE offer, nor do they restore the right to withdraw their children from these lessons. Schools and nurseries have to follow the requirements of what constitutes a curriculum laid down in this Bill and these amendments do not interfere with that. Schools and teachers will have to follow the RSE code, which will have a very limited scope for being localised, and these amendments don't interfere with that, either. These amendments are here to help parents understand what is planned, to ask questions, and to help a school deliver what is planned in a way that works best for everyone. To be honest, these amendments aren't even about co-production, but they are about including parents, bringing them along with decisions, helping avoid the misunderstandings that have emerged in evidence, and amendment 76 a little later on would give guidance to governors on this and how to deal with that conversation with parents.

Amendment 70 gives voice to our committee view that sixth formers should receive RSE if they request it, which puts it in line with their rights with regard to religion, values and ethics. Amendments 61 and 66 and 70—subsection (3)—are effectively probing amendments. I think we've probably all received requests for amendments to this Bill to include references to family life and morality, retaining requirements in the existing England and Wales legislation. I'm not minded to support those requests, on the basis that morality will of necessity be a question raised time and time again in the RVE curriculum, but even though this isn't where the lobby requests were coming from, I do think the concept of family is worth raising here, because what does family mean these days? In this context particularly, what happens within families can be very difficult for a child to deal with, and I don't necessarily mean sinister behaviour. So, it needs a place, I think, in this curriculum that's clear and overt.

I'm curious to hear from you, Minister, about how this delicate subject will fit into the RSE code, because there is a very fine line to draw between education and safeguarding and stepping into people's homes. I'm tabling these amendments today to really draw your attention to that question, and see how you respond to it. Thank you.

10:35

Thank you, Suzy. Are there any other Members who wish to speak? Huw Irranca-Davies.

Thank you, Chair. I realise that I'm new to this committee, coming on this late, but I've been keeping a very close eye on this, and of course, all of us will have had representations as well from various organisations, both nationally and within their own constituency. I would simply ask, without abusing the privilege of coming onto this committee late in the day here, that the Minister does everything she possibly can to put on record assurances in response to some of the matters that Suzy has raised, not least in terms of the ability to scrutinise the code when it does come forward in a timely manner. But also, I've been told by organisations that there's been really good engagement with Welsh Government on this matter. I'd like to hear that and I'd like to hear that this will continue as well in that spirit of real constructive engagement and openness that I've been told has been going on throughout the period with Welsh Government. So, I'm looking for those reassurances to be put as clearly and as forcefully as possible on record today, Chair. Thanks very much.

Thank you very much, Chair, and thank you very much to Suzy and Huw for their comments. Can I say that I appreciate that everybody would have felt more comfortable if the draft code had been completed by this stage? There's no getting away from that; it would have made for more reassurance, which everybody is asking for. We are working incredibly carefully with communities, experts in the field, practitioners in this field to be able to develop a code that does indeed give that confidence and seeks to achieve what Suzy Davies outlined in her opening comments, that equips our children and young people with all the skills that they need to lead happy, healthy lives with healthy relationships into the future; that they can take steps to protect themselves, that they can take steps to ensure that their behaviour towards others is what we would want it to be, and to avoid some of the stigma and pain that children have felt in the past when these topics and these issues have not been adequately addressed in their own schooling. As we said in the debate at Stage 1, our children and young people are growing up in a world that is unrecognisable to the one that we grew up in, and ensuring that they have access to support and materials, a safe space to ask questions and debate issues, is really, really important. Because the alternative is much, much more scary, and much, much more dangerous to our children's well-being.

So, we're working at pace, Huw, as far as we can. Some of our deep community engagement has had to change as a result of COVID. We were out in communities, working with community groups in face-to-face discussions—that kind of activity, I'm afraid, has had to be stopped and changed as a result of where we are. But as I said in a previous debate, I am absolutely determined that the statutory guidance work will be completed before the end of March, and then we will go to a formal consultation, not just with Members of the Senedd, but a consultation with the people of Wales about the content of that code.

With regards to amendments 56, 58, 59 and 60, the RSE statutory guidance that we published, actually, in January of last year does already have the expectation that RSE will be co-produced, offering learners, parents and carers the opportunity to discuss and engage with decisions about the learning and teaching in RSE. Provision should also draw upon specialist services and expertise and engage with local communities. We've already set that expectation out there over a year ago, and we're very clear, also, that that should be mindful of different perspectives and the backgrounds within a local community. 

The Welsh Government does not consider, however, that schools and settings should be placed under a statutory obligation to consult specifically on this area of their curriculum. Indeed, the expectation is that the school will already be consulting parents about the curriculum as a whole, and therefore we do not feel that it is necessary to have a separate consultation on this particular aspect of their curriculum. 

I will also not be supporting amendments 61 and 66. Relationships and sexuality education will gradually enable children and young people to develop an understanding of the importance of all healthy relationships throughout their lives, such as those with friends and families, including what makes a happy, healthy and committed relationship. As it quite clearly says, in the statement of 'what matters', in the health and well-being area of learning and experience, all healthy relationships are fundamental to our well-being, and children begin to learn about relationships long before they start school, and at a very young age. So, we want learners to be focusing on developing positive relationships, initially with their friends and families.

I'm sure it's not the intention, and indeed I know it's not the intention of Suzy Davies, but I am concerned that this amendment is likely to act as a signal to schools and other settings that they should not give equal weight to all types of relationships and to diverse families, and we are far, far beyond that, I hope, in a modern Wales. We should be enabling and accepting the choices that our young people make, and this Bill is designed to support those young people in making those healthy, positive choices. 

I also urge Members not to support amendment 70, which seeks to require schools to provide RSE to post-16 learners. RSE is on the face of the Bill as a statutory element of the new curriculum for learners from 3 to 16. This is the priority age group, so by the time that learners reach what used to be called a sixth form, now years 12 and 13, they have received many years of education on this topic, and so will be as well equipped at this stage as they are able to be. All learners will have had access to the full curriculum and all pupils will have received this education. The intention is that post-16 providers will use the RSE guidance to support post-16 learners in RSE and other health and well-being matters as part of their wider duty of care and pastoral support. The draft RSE guidance is intended to support education settings to integrate RSE into a whole-school approach to building and maintaining good physical, mental and emotional health and well-being. Sixth forms and colleges will therefore be expected to consider this guidance as they shape provision that effectively supports their young people. And the position for RSE in sixth forms will be the same as for students in FE institutions. Can I thank the Member for her comments, and I urge Members to reject the amendments.

10:45

Thank you very much, and thank you for your considered response there, Minister. Once again, it's an opportunity to reinforce that promise you made earlier that we will get an RSE code by March, and in those circumstances I don't see that there's any peril for you in committing to an amendment that obliges you to do that. 

Regarding the consultation with parents, I appreciate what you were saying that there's an expectation on schools to consult, but it's that magic word 'expectation' again, isn't it? I'm looking for certainty here. I'm looking for the right for parents to be informed, because that's what we're talking about here—about any changes to RSE, in particular, because it is such a controversial area—so that they can be brought along as part of the process, and actually maybe reinforce what's being taught in their schools within the family home, rather than contradicting it. I suspect we all have worries about what some children are taught at home, and this is actually where you can perhaps ameliorate our concerns on that. I really want them to have this right, not just rely on the goodwill and expectations that appear in documents beneath this curriculum.  

Just on the point about RSE at 16, yes, we will hope, won't we, Minister, that years and years of good RSE will have equipped our 16-year-olds to be ready to face anything in the world. I really do hope that; I just don't think it's going to happen necessarily. Every individual is different, and there will be some young people who are coming across their first challenges to do with relationships, or encountering their first really bad experiences at that age of 16, and I don't see why they shouldn't have the option of doing as they do with RVE, and you haven't explained the distinction why there's a different approach. 

And so, I am urging Members to support that particular ask, if you like, if not in this particular amendment, because I realise it's a bit of a composite amendment, then I'm looking for support for it at Stage 3 when I'll actually narrow this down and make it about just one thing, which is allowing young people at the age of 16 to ask for something that really matters to them. I'm not just going to throw amendment 12 or the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child at it again, but if this matters to young people then we need to listen. Thank you. 

Thank you, Suzy. Do you wish to proceed to a vote on amendment 54?

The question is that amendment 54 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] We have an objection, so I'll take a vote by roll-call. The question is that amendment 54 be agreed. Dawn Bowden, please state your vote. 

I vote against. There voted three in favour, three against. As there's a tied vote, I use my casting vote in the negative, that is, against the amendment, and amendment 54 is not agreed. 

Gwelliant 54: O blaid: 3, Yn erbyn: 3, Ymatal: 0

Gan fod nifer y pleidleisiau yn gyfartal, defnyddiodd y Cadeirydd ei phleidlais fwrw yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 6.20(ii).

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 54: For: 3, Against: 3, Abstain: 0

As there was an equality of votes, the Chair used her casting vote in accordance with Standing Order 6.20(ii).

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 44 (Siân Gwenllian).

Amendment 44 (Siân Gwenllian) moved.

I move.

The question is that amendment 44 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] Thank you. There is an objection, so I will take a vote by roll-call. The question is that amendment 44 be agreed. Dawn Bowden, how do you vote?

And I vote against. There voted three in favour, three against. As there's a tied vote, I use my casting vote in the negative—that is, against the amendment—in accordance with Standing Orders, and amendment 44 is not agreed.

10:50

Gwelliant 44: O blaid: 3, Yn erbyn: 3, Ymatal: 0

Gan fod nifer y pleidleisiau yn gyfartal, defnyddiodd y Cadeirydd ei phleidlais fwrw yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 6.20(ii).

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 44: For: 3, Against: 3, Abstain: 0

As there was an equality of votes, the Chair used her casting vote in accordance with Standing Order 6.20(ii).

Amendment has been rejected

Grŵp 6: Amserlen weithredu (Gwelliannau 55, 57)
Group 6: Implementation time frame (Amendments 55, 57)

We'll move on now, then, to group 6, which relates to the implementation time frame. The lead amendment in the group is amendment 55, in the name of Suzy Davies. I call on Suzy Davies to move amendment 55 and to speak to the other amendments in this group.

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 55 (Suzy Davies).

Amendment 55 (Suzy Davies) moved.

Thank you again, Chair. Since these amendments were tabled, of course, Minister, you've introduced your curriculum implementation plan. Like all plans, it will be leapt upon by the willing and able and dutifully worked through by others who are organised and resilient, and maybe cried over by others where there is weak leadership or engagement, a history of poor attainment and standards, or who are just overwhelmed by the events of this year. Now, we've seen the Estyn reports, Minister. Our secondary schools, in particular, are not all with the programme yet, and no wonder, then, that there is a surge in demand for training.

So, yes, there is, maybe as a result of COVID, a better understanding of the digital sphere and well-being. These may well be the silver linings of the crisis, but the grim reality is that heads have now to focus on catch-up if some of the worst affected children aren't permanently affected by their lost learning. So, amendment 57 doesn't seek to delay implementation of the curriculum per se—it really doesn't. Those schools who can crack on, let them crack on. This is an amendment for those schools who just won't be able to, and I'm suggesting that you allow them up to a year to get ready enough to get going. 

Now, obviously, I'm mindful of your concerns that maybe some school leaders will see this as a green light to slacken off the pace in terms of curriculum development, but to be honest, I think we need to consider how close to burning out some of our heads and teachers themselves might be as this pandemic persists, and so a slackening of the pace may actually be what they need to get this right eventually. But because there may be some who could take advantage for no good reason, the amendment contains the condition that no pupil must be disadvantaged as a result of any delay. So, basically, if the head delays implementation, they will have a new headache of having to catch up faster with the curriculum, thus avoiding any perverse incentive to delay. So, I'm tabling this amendment in response to the committee's recommendation 57, and amendment 55 is just consequential on amendment 57. Thank you.

Thank you, Suzy. Are there other Members who wish to speak? Can I call the Minister, then?

Thank you, Lynne. I think Suzy Davies quite rightly identifies a real issue. I just disagree with her solution. Rather than slackening the pace for those that face the greatest challenges, we need to up the support to get them in a position that allows them to move forward with those colleagues that are more resilient, as she just identified. There are undoubtedly those schools that will have challenges, and that's why Welsh Government, school improvement services, local education authorities, and our school inspectorate are there to provide that additional support that they will need to make a successful transition to the new curriculum. 

Of course, we have to take in the context which we find ourselves in, and that's why I don't believe we are in a situation where we can either do the curriculum or we can design a recovery plan from COVID-19 to address the interruption and disruption to children's learning. Indeed, in many ways, the application and the introduction of the new curriculum, which is focused on that teaching and learning and on that well-being, I would argue, is exactly the approach that we need as we address the impact of COVID-19. So, whilst I do not disagree with the Member that there will be schools that will need additional support, I just disagree with the answer to that. It's not to slow things down. It is incumbent upon us in the Government and our other education partners to address those concerns in those individual schools and to get them to be in a position where they are able to move forward at the same time. Otherwise, the Member just addressed those schools that perhaps are particularly challenged at the moment; we will just embed that inconsistency of provision across Wales, rather than addressing it. Thank you.

Yes, thank you, Minister. As I say, this is an attempt to respond to a recommendation from the committee, and I think I'd just want to point these out—. I think I do need to say this. Yes, Minister, you're absolutely right; these schools do need to have extra support—let's up the support—but there are only so many hours in a day and, at the moment, all our schools are struggling, and trying to find space for extra support itself would be quite a challenge. And, yes, you may well be right that the new curriculum, or the principles contained in it, is actually a tool for the catch-up that actually so many schools are going to need in this, but we don't know that. And we still as a committee have ongoing concerns about how the curriculum is going to be operationalised and whether it will have an effect on standards. Will it increase the attainment gap, for example? These are unanswered questions. And so, putting all your eggs in one basket on curriculum processes in order to enable schools at the moment with their catch-up programme is a risk in and of itself, I think. And that's why I'm not just inclined to accept your argument on this one either. I don't think it's an easy answer. And I'll just repeat that point that I think some schools are going to be plunged into having to implement the new curriculum and, because of COVID, they just won't be ready and I do wonder what the effect will be on year 7 in particular, if that does happen. Thank you.

10:55

Thank you, Suzy. Suzy, do you wish to proceed to a vote on amendment 55?

The question is that amendment 55 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] We have an objection, so I'll take a vote by roll-call. The question is that amendment 55 be agreed. Dawn Bowden, please state your vote.

And I vote against. So, there voted two in favour and four against. Therefore, amendment 55 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 55: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 55: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 56 (Suzy Davies).

Amendment 56 (Suzy Davies) moved.

The question is that amendment 56 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] We have an objection, so I will take a vote by roll-call. The question is that amendment 56 be agreed. Dawn Bowden, please state your vote.

And I vote against. So, there voted two in favour and four against. Therefore, amendment 56 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 56: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 56: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 57 (Suzy Davies).

Amendment 57 (Suzy Davies) moved.

The question is that amendment 57 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] Thank you, we have an objection, so we'll take a vote by roll-call. The question is that amendment 57 be agreed. Dawn Bowden, please state your vote.

And I vote against. So, there voted two in favour and four against. Therefore, amendment 57 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 57: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 57: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 58 (Suzy Davies).

Amendment 58 (Suzy Davies) moved.

The question is that amendment 58 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] Okay, we'll take a vote by roll-call. The question is that amendment 58 be agreed. Dawn Bowden, please state your vote.

And I vote against. So, there voted—. Huw, can we go back to you, please?

Against. Okay. So, there voted two in favour and four against. Therefore, amendment 58 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 58: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 58: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

The question is that amendment 58 be agreed, Does any Member object? [Objection.] Sorry, I've made—.

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 59 (Suzy Davies).

Amendment 59 (Suzy Davies) moved.

The question is that amendment 59 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] Okay, we'll take a vote by roll-call. The question is that amendment 59 be agreed. Dawn Bowden, please state your vote. 

11:00

And I vote against. So, there voted two in favour, four against. Therefore, amendment 59 is not agreed. 

Gwelliant 59: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 59: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 60 (Suzy Davies).

Amendment 60 (Suzy Davies) moved.

Yes. I don't think it's consequential. Yes, please. Yes.

The question is that amendment 60 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] Okay, we'll take a vote by roll-call. The question is that amendment 60 be agreed. Dawn Bowden, please state your vote.

And I vote against. There voted two in favour, four against. Therefore, amendment 60 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 60: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 60: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected