Archive for October 23, 2006

22 March 2001

Q5 Alison Halford: What progress has been made to give Assembly Members access to the Parliamentary intranet service? (OAQ10462)) The Deputy Presiding Officer: The National Assembly, the Scottish Parliament and the Northern Ireland Assembly are in discussion with the House of Commons about securing limited access to their intranet. Arrangements are being sought that would allow controlled access to certain services that will be provided by the library. Alison Halford: Your own long and distinguished service as a Member of Parliament puts you in a strong position to judge whether the Parliamentary intranet has something to offer the National Assembly. It is suggested that the MPs system gives up to date briefings on major national issues, a greater number of press resources and would enable all Assembly Members to respond to Welsh parliamentary matters in a more timely manner. Will you pursue the need for Assembly Members to have greater access soon to the Parliamentary system? The Deputy Presiding Officer: We are trying to do that. However, I urge caution. POLIS is available as a stand-alone system in the library, but any further access via OSIRIS is unlikely. The House of Commons authorities are rightly concerned about security. Opening up …..

22 March 2001

Q20, Alison Halford: What actions has the Minister taken to combat social exclusion in our schools, particularly in north Wales? (OAQ10471). Jane Davidson: The White Paper, ‘Building Excellent Schools Together’, emphasised the need to tackle under-achievement and social exclusion with children who have behavioural difficulties or are disaffected. Disaffected pupils who may be truanting or who are at risk of being excluded from school are more likely to become socially excluded. The prospects for such children are poor. Research shows that they may become engaged in risk-taking behaviour, such as substance and alcohol abuse, and are more likely to become involved in criminal activity in later life. That is why we support efforts to reduce absence and exclusion from school. In ‘Betterwales.com’ the Assembly has set targets of reducing unauthorised absences and permanent exclusions by a third by 2004. In order to assist with achieving those targets, the National Assembly has issued guidance under Circular 3/99, ‘Pupil Support and Social Inclusion’, which sets out a range of school-based actions to address pupil disaffection and to challenge behavioural difficulties. In addition, all local education authorities have behavioural support plans to help schools to deal with children with behavioural difficulties who are …..

22 March 2001

Q15 Alison Halford: What actions has the Minister taken to combat the rise in truancy in schools in Wales? (OAQ10449) Jane Davidson: Under ‘Betterwales.com’ we have set targets of reducing unauthorised absences from school by one third by 2004. That target is supported by funding from the grants for education support and training programme, and £3 million was allocated to activity 19, school attendance and behaviour, in 2000-01. Within an overall increase in GEST resources, £9.86 million has been made available for tackling social disadvantage for 2001-02. It will be for local authorities to decide how much of this is spent on school attendance and behaviour difficulties. Local education authorities have been invited to submit bids that demonstrate working through the Education Welfare Service in promoting school-based action to tackle attendance and behaviour difficulties, including truancy. Guidance in tackling the issues surrounding school disaffection has been brought together in National Assembly Circular 3/99, ‘Pupil Support and Social Inclusion’. The circular contains practical advice for schools and LEAs on preventative actions aimed at reducing truancy. Schools are asked to concentrate on early intervention, including first day contact with parents and establishing good working relationships with the Education Welfare Service and the …..