Y Pwyllgor Plant, Pobl Ifanc ac Addysg

Children, Young People and Education Committee

12/05/2022

Aelodau'r Pwyllgor a oedd yn bresennol

Committee Members in Attendance

Buffy Williams MS
Jack Sargeant MS Yn dirprwyo ar ran Ken Skates
Substitute for Ken Skates
James Evans MS
Jayne Bryant MS Cadeirydd y Pwyllgor
Committee Chair
Laura Anne Jones MS
Sioned Williams MS

Y rhai eraill a oedd yn bresennol

Others in Attendance

Cath Wyatt Rheolwr y Bil, Llywodraeth Cymru
Bill Manager, Welsh Government
Jeremy Miles MS Gweinidog y Gymraeg ac Addysg
Minister for Education and the Welsh Language
Phillip Elkin Dirprwy Gyfarwyddwr, Is-adran Addysg, y Gymraeg, Diwylliant, Cyfryngau, Chwaraeon a Thwristiaeth, Llywodraeth Cymru
Deputy Director of Legal Services, Education, Welsh Language, Culture, Media, Sport and Tourism Division, Welsh Government

Swyddogion y Senedd a oedd yn bresennol

Senedd Officials in Attendance

Jennifer Cottle Cynghorydd Cyfreithiol
Legal Adviser
Naomi Stocks Clerc
Clerk
Sarah Bartlett Dirprwy Glerc
Deputy Clerk
Tom Lewis-White Ail Glerc
Second Clerk

Cynnwys

Contents

1. Cyflwyniad, ymddiheuriadau, dirprwyon a datgan buddiannau 1. Introductions, apologies, substitutions and declarations of interest
2. Bil Addysg Drydyddol ac Ymchwil (Cymru)—Trafodion Cyfnod 2 2. Tertiary Education and Research (Wales) Bill—Stage 2 Proceedings
Grŵp 1: Perthynas Llywodraeth Cymru â’r Comisiwn (Gwelliannau 151, 15, 16, 60) Group 1: Welsh Government Relationship with the Commission (Amendments 151, 15, 16, 60)
Grŵp 2: Sefydlu’r Comisiwn, Penodi ei Aelodau a Thelerau’r Aelodau (Gwelliannau 152, 153, 154, 155, 43, 156, 157, 158, 159, 160, 161, 162, 163, 164, 165, 166, 167, 168, 169, 170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 175, 199, 176, 177, 178, 200, 179, 180, 181, 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 187, 188, 189, 190, 150) Group 2: Establishment of the Commission and Appointment and Terms of its Members (Amendments 152, 153, 154, 155, 43, 156, 157, 158, 159, 160, 161, 162, 163, 164, 165, 166, 167, 168, 169, 170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 175, 199, 176, 177, 178, 200, 179, 180, 181, 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 187, 188, 189, 190, 150)
Grŵp 3: Undebau Llafur (Gwelliannau 44, 14, 42) Group 3: Trade Unions (Amendments 44, 14, 42)
Grŵp 4: Ymchwil ac Arloesi (Gwelliannau 45, 4, 7, 13, 34, 120, 35) Group 4: Research and Innovation (Amendments 45, 4, 7, 13, 34, 120, 35)
Grŵp 5: Cyfle Cyfartal (Gwelliannau 1, 2, 3, 90, 92, 101, 107, 115, 119) Group 5: Equality of Opportunity (Amendments 1, 2, 3, 90, 92, 101, 107, 115, 119)
Grŵp 6: Anghenion Dysgu Ychwanegol (Gwelliant 51) Group 6: Additional Learning Needs (Amendment 51)
Grŵp 7: Llais y Dysgwr, Llesiant a Diogelu (Gwelliannau 52, 53, 5, 6, 129, 130, 131, 132) Group 7: Learner Voice, Well-being and Protection (Amendments 52, 53, 5, 6, 129, 130, 131, 132)
Grŵp 8: Prentisiaethau, Addysg Alwedigaethol a Dysgu Oedolion yn y Gymuned (Gwelliannau 54, 126, 127, 128) Group 8: Apprenticeships, Vocational Education and Adult Community Learning (Amendments 54, 126, 127, 128)
Grŵp 9: Cyfrwng Cymraeg (Gwelliannau 8, 55, 9, 10) Group 9: Welsh Medium (Amendments 8, 55, 9, 10)
Grŵp 10: Gwelliannau Drafftio, Gwelliannau Technegol a Gwelliannau'n Ymwneud â Dehongliad Cyffredinol (Gwelliannau 11, 12, 32, 147, 46, 47) Group 10: Drafting, Technical and General Interpretation Amendments (Amendments 11, 12, 32, 147, 46, 47)
Grŵp 11: Awtonomi Sefydliadol, Rhyddid Academaidd a Rhyddid Mynegiant (Gwelliannau 17, 18, 19, 56, 57, 58, 59) Group 11: Institutional Autonomy, Academic Freedom and Freedom of Speech (Amendments 17, 18, 19, 56, 57, 58, 59)
Grŵp 12: Amddiffyniadau ar gyfer Elusennau (Gwelliannau 20, 21, 22, 41) Group 12: Charity Protections (Amendments 20, 21, 22, 41)
Grŵp 13: Gweithdrefn y Senedd a’i Phroses ar gyfer Gwneud Rheoliadau (Gwelliannau 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 78, 79, 86, 88, 93, 94, 125, 140, 141, 142, 143, 144, 145, 39, 146, 40, 148, 149) Group 13: Senedd Procedure and Process for Making Regulations (Amendments 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 78, 79, 86, 88, 93, 94, 125, 140, 141, 142, 143, 144, 145, 39, 146, 40, 148, 149)
Grŵp 14: Cofrestru (Gwelliannau 23, 24, 25, 26, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 27, 28, 29, 30) Group 14: Registration (Amendments 23, 24, 25, 26, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 27, 28, 29, 30)
Grŵp 15: Sicrhau Ansawdd (Gwelliannau 31, 80, 81) Group 15: Quality Assurance (Amendments 31, 80, 81)
Grŵp 16: Pwerau Ymyrryd Gweinidogion Cymru, Adroddiadau ar Gynaliadwyedd Ariannol, Cyfarwyddydau Cymorth Ariannol (Gwelliannau 82, 83, 84, 85, 33, 87, 122) Group 16: Welsh Ministers’ Intervention Powers, Reports on Financial Sustainability, Financial Support Directions (Amendments 82, 83, 84, 85, 33, 87, 122)
Grŵp 17: Cytundebau Canlyniadau, Rheoli Cyllid a Thryloywder (Gwelliannau 89, 121, 123, 124) Group 17: Outcome Agreements, Funding Controls and Transparency (Amendments 89, 121, 123, 124)
Grŵp 18: Pwerau Cyllido Gweinidogion Cymru (Gwelliannau 91, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 116, 117, 118) Group 18: Welsh Ministers’ Funding Powers (Amendments 91, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 116, 117, 118)
Grŵp 19: Gwybodaeth (Gwelliannau 133, 36, 134, 135, 136, 137) Group 19: Information (Amendments 133, 36, 134, 135, 136, 137)
Grŵp 20: Diddymu Corfforaethau Addysg Uwch (Gwelliannau 138, 139, 37, 38) Group 20: Dissolution of Higher Education Corporations (Amendments 138, 139, 37, 38)
Grŵp 21: Chweched Dosbarth (Gwelliannau 191, 48, 192, 49, 193, 194, , 50, 195, 196, 197, 198) Group 21: Sixth Forms (Amendments 191, 48, 192, 49, 193, 194, , 50, 195, 196, 197, 198)

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 yn y Senedd.

Dechreuodd y cyfarfod am 09:30.

The committee met in the Senedd.

The meeting began at 09:30.

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

Bore da a chroeso i gyfarfod y Pwyllgor Plant, Pobl Ifanc ac Addysg heddiw. 

Good morning and welcome to this meeting of the Children, Young People and Education Committee today. 

Welcome to the meeting of the Children, Young People and Education Committee. The meeting is bilingual and simultaneous translation from Welsh to English is available. It's on channel 1 on the headsets. Sound amplification is on channel 2. A Record of Proceedings will be published as usual. In the event of an emergency, an alarm will sound and ushers will direct everyone to the nearest safe exit and assembly point. Apologies today have been received from Ken Skates MS, and Jack Sargeant MS is substituting. So, welcome, Jack. Are there any declarations of interest from Members? Sioned. 

I'd like to declare that my husband, Daniel Williams, as is in my record of interests, is employed by Swansea University and is a member of the University and College Union. 

2. Bil Addysg Drydyddol ac Ymchwil (Cymru)—Trafodion Cyfnod 2
2. Tertiary Education and Research (Wales) Bill—Stage 2 Proceedings

We'll move on to item 2, which is the Tertiary Education and Research (Wales) Bill, Stage 2, and the consideration of amendments. The purpose of the meeting is to undertake Stage 2 proceedings on the Bill. In relation to this item, Members should have before them the marshalled list of amendments and the groupings of amendments for debate. The marshalled list of amendments is the list of all amendments tabled marshalled into the order agreed by the committee at its meeting on 31 March. For this meeting, the order in which we will consider amendments is outlined in the agenda. 

You'll see from the groupings list that the amendments have been grouped to facilitate the debate. The order in which amendments are called and moved for a decision is dictated by that marshalled list. I'll 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 in the usual way, by raising their hand, and I will 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 of his amendments, and I will do so at the appropriate place in the marshalled list. Minister, if you do not want a particular amendment to be moved, please indicate this at a relevant point in the proceedings. In line with our usual practice, legal advisers to the committee, the Member in charge and the Minister are not expected to provide advice on the record. If Members wish to seek legal advice during proceedings, please do so by passing a note to the legal adviser or clerk. 

Grŵp 1: Perthynas Llywodraeth Cymru â’r Comisiwn (Gwelliannau 151, 15, 16, 60)
Group 1: Welsh Government Relationship with the Commission (Amendments 151, 15, 16, 60)

We will make a start. Group 1 relates to the Welsh Government's relationship with the commission. The lead amendment in the group is amendment 151, in the name of Laura Jones. I call on Laura to move amendment 151 and speak to this amendment and other amendments in this group. 

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 151 (Laura Anne Jones).

Amendment 151 (Laura Anne Jones) moved.

Thank you, Chair, for this important opportunity to contribute to the Tertiary Education and Research (Wales) Bill. I wish to first of all speak to my own amendments, 151 and 60. Amendment 151 provides that the Welsh Ministers must write to the commission on an annual basis, setting out the terms of its own remit. I do think that, because the commission will be in charge of a budget of at least £800 million a year, second only to the NHS in terms of funding, the Government must set out its priorities and fiscal arrangements on an annual basis. As the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales noted in evidence to the committee:

'There is a clear risk that this single body will not be able to achieve the strategic outcomes for which it is being created, if its arms-length function is compromised.'

Sadly, we're seeing this throughout this Bill, especially in terms of powers of intervention by Welsh Ministers, and HEFCW further stated that with expertise for regulation, funding and oversight of the tertiary education providers available to Ministers, there should not be the need for them to have the powers to fund or determine the exact nature of how the commission delivers its duties. 

As a result, amendment 151 provides for a letter of remit, which will give the commission a broad steer annually. This will prevent the danger outlined by HEFCW, which noted that

'the introduction of provisions which allow the government to take action at an operational level would create unclear governance arrangements, cause confusion and delay, and undermine the ability of the Commission to deliver properly for the benefit of Wales. This could significantly hamper the Commission from fulfilling its strategic leadership role...It could also undermine institutional autonomy'.

This, obviously, is extremely concerning.

Amendment 60 obviously removes sections 19(4) and (5) on Ministers directing the commission to exercise its function in relation to particular courses or areas of research. As HEFCW noted in its evidence to the committee:

'There is a significant risk that a Minister exercising such power could narrow the focus of course provision and research activity in Wales onto short term Ministerial priorities which would destabilise the long-term position of the sector...Funding focused on specific areas...will inevitably be selective and cannot cover everything that is important.'

Turning to the Minister's amendments, I don't think they entirely address HEFCW's concerns about the modification of the strategic plans, as they're still allowed that power. Yes, it's diluted a little, but only a little, so I'd like to hear what the Minister says about his plans to ensure that the commission will be truly an arm's-length body through the amendments tabled today. Thank you, Chair.

09:35

Thank you. Diolch. Are there any other Members who wish to speak? I can see no Members wish to speak. So, I call on the Minister to speak.

Diolch, Gadeirydd. I welcome the opportunity to consider amendments to the Tertiary Education and Research (Wales) Bill today, and I'd like to place on the record my thanks to all members of the committee for their scrutiny of the Bill, and particularly to those members who've tabled amendments to the Bill as well. May I place on record my assurance to Members that I have considered carefully each and every amendment that has been tabled, and whilst it has not been possible to agree all amendments, I believe there are a number of opportunities, Chair, where the intention behind the amendments can be reflected within the Bill going forward?

In relation to amendment 151, I do not agree with this amendment. To my mind, the amendment does not, in fact, support the principle of the commission being an arm's-length body, and offers what I think is a bureaucratic and onerous process that risks significantly affecting the commission and the Government's ability to take a long-term strategic view. I'm confident that our new approach, as set out in the Bill, of a commission operating at arm's-length from the Government, but within a strategic planning and funding framework, clearly set out on the face of the Bill, is the correct way forward to meet our ambitions. Setting out a ministerial statement of priorities, in line with the strategic duties and the Government's programme, leading to an approved commission strategic plan, is both an improvement on current practice but also a better strategic way of operating than that suggested by this amendment.

In addition, Chair, section 18 of the Bill requires the commission to have regard to any guidance that the Welsh Ministers may issue in respect of the commission's function under the Bill, the difference here being that guidance under section 18 can be issued if needed, as opposed to a duty to issue guidance on all of the commission's functions immediately, regardless of whether a need for guidance on any particular aspect has arisen.

In relation to amendment 60, I also can't support that amendment, which would limit the Welsh Ministers' general power of direction under section 19. It's not envisaged that these powers would be used frequently; they are very much intended to be backstop powers. The pandemic has, I think, highlighted the need to look at circumstances under which Ministers may require the commission to take timely and specific action to deal with events that have significant implications for tertiary education and research in Wales. The Bill makes provision for Welsh Ministers to issue directions to the commission about the performance of any of its functions, subject to certain limitations, which, importantly, are set out on the face of the Bill already.

Subsections (4) and (5), which amendment 60 seeks to remove, enable a direction to be framed by reference to a course of study being provided and assessed through the medium of Welsh or to areas of research or innovation specified in the commission's approved strategic plan. This approach ensures that the Welsh Ministers will have similar powers of direction as afforded to the Secretary of State in England in respect of the Office for Students under the Higher Education and Research Act 2017. 

The remaining amendments in the group, Chair, relate to recommendation 20 of this committee, and the ability of the Welsh Ministers to modify the commission's strategic plan when approving that plan. Amendment 15 provides that Welsh Ministers must seek the agreement of the commission to any modification they propose making before they make the modification.

Amendment 16 provides that where Welsh Ministers have made modifications to the plan in respect of which it has not been possible to secure the commission's agreement, they must set out their reasons for each modification not agreed to and provide them to the commission. The commission is then required to publish those reasons when it publishes its approved strategic plan.

As this committee has stated in its report, Welsh Ministers may, in exceptional circumstances, need the power to change the plan. These amendments retain that ability whilst putting further safeguards in place to ensure that it's balanced against the independence of the commission, ensuring that any modifications are reached in a consultative manner.

The requirement on Ministers to provide their reasons for any modification to which there has not been agreement, and for the commission to publish those reasons, I believe will help ensure transparency. So, I call on Members to support amendments 15 and 16, and to reject amendments 60 and 151. 

09:40

Thank you, Chair. Thank you, Minister. I'm not surprised that the Minister is not accepting our amendments, but I would outline that a letter of remit is not new. For example, the Welsh Revenue Authority has a letter of remit. So, I think that a commission that is meant to be at arm's length should demonstrate its independence from the Welsh Government. Thank you, Chair.

Thank you, Laura. Do you wish to proceed to a vote on amendment 151?

You do. So, the question is that amendment 151 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] I hear an objection. So, the question is that amendment 151 be agreed. Those in favour, please raise your hands—two. Those against, please raise your hands. Those abstaining, please raise your hands. Okay, in relation to amendment 151, there were two in favour, four against and no abstentions. Therefore, the amendment is not agreed.

Gwelliant 151: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 151: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

Grŵp 2: Sefydlu’r Comisiwn, Penodi ei Aelodau a Thelerau’r Aelodau (Gwelliannau 152, 153, 154, 155, 43, 156, 157, 158, 159, 160, 161, 162, 163, 164, 165, 166, 167, 168, 169, 170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 175, 199, 176, 177, 178, 200, 179, 180, 181, 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 187, 188, 189, 190, 150)
Group 2: Establishment of the Commission and Appointment and Terms of its Members (Amendments 152, 153, 154, 155, 43, 156, 157, 158, 159, 160, 161, 162, 163, 164, 165, 166, 167, 168, 169, 170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 175, 199, 176, 177, 178, 200, 179, 180, 181, 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 187, 188, 189, 190, 150)

We now move on to group 2, which relates to the establishment of the commission and appointment and terms of its members. The lead amendment in this group is amendment 152 in the name of Laura Anne Jones. I call on Laura to move amendment 152 and to speak to the amendment and other amendments in this group.

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 152 (Laura Anne Jones).

Amendment 152 (Laura Anne Jones) moved.

Thank you, Chair. I wish to speak to this group of amendments regarding the establishment of the commission and the appointment and terms of its members. Turning to my own amendments first, amendments 152 to 190 are pretty straightforward, I assure you. They make the appointment of the members of the commission, as well as the research and innovation committee, subject to the Senedd's appointment process. This is absolutely in line with recommendations 6 and 9 of the committee's report on this very Bill.

Now, I know what the Minister will say about the public appointments process, but we will have heard it before, most recently in the previous health Minister's arguments on the citizen voice body during the passage of the Health and Social Care (Quality and Engagement) (Wales) Act 2020. While, of course, we don't want to be overly prescriptive about the commission's structure, I and my group are becoming increasingly concerned that certain appointments are closer to the Welsh Government than being truly independent.

Granted, we have a smaller pool to work with from Wales, but I think that there is a case to be made that certainly there is a case that members of the commission should be questioned and evaluated by a committee such as ours. I'm not sure if the Minister's response to the committee has allayed my own concerns about the separation of the Welsh Government and the commission, especially as he didn't consider any revision needed to be placed on the face of the Bill. 

On amendment 150, I'm proposing to extend the time of the application of the Bill. This amendment delays the date upon which the Bill will come into force, to allow further consideration of the UK Internal Market Act 2020. The Minister's response to the committee's concerns I didn't feel was enough, and he needs to be able to assure the committee and stakeholders that the ongoing court case between Welsh Government and the UK Government will not affect the Bill's application. Instead, the Minister's response to the committee was not satisfying, just stating:

'I have considered the provisions of the Bill in light of the Internal Market Act and do not consider there to be any implications for this Bill.'

The Minister needs to clarify his remarks, please, and detail why he does not confider the UK IMA will not have an impact. 

Furthermore, Universities Wales noted in its evidence that it would be useful to have further information on how the Welsh Government have prepared for possible UK developments, which would impact the provisions of the Bill. Timescales for the implementation of the commission appear to be particularly challenging. The Welsh Government is still working towards launching the new commission in 2023. We need a better understanding of how the Welsh Government intends to phase in these arrangements, under transitional powers, before they can be confident they are workable, and that the commission and Welsh Ministers will have adequate opportunity to develop arrangements with the sector before implementation. 

Turning to the Minister's amendment 43, I note that its effect will be that Ministers must have regard to the chair and ordinary members' experience and capability in the provision or promotion of educational training through the medium of Welsh. While supportive of the aim here, I'm assuming that that's to support increasing participation in Welsh-medium education. I would like the Minister to provide us with some reassurance that this will not become an overriding principle of the appointments process. As a result, I will be abstaining from this amendment. 

Last, and by no means least, turning to my colleague Sioned Williams's amendments 199 and 200, I'd be more than happy to support them, as I believe they will help to increase the importance and participation of associate members. Thank you, Chair. 

09:45

Diolch, Cadeirydd. Hoffwn symud gwelliannau rhif 199 a 200. 

Thank you, Chair. I'd like to move amendments 199 and 200. 

The purpose of the amendment is that we feel, as written, the Bill does not give voting rights to the associate members of the commission, and associate members will include learner representatives and workforce representatives. We feel this means the commission would be behind the institutions. It will regulate on learner voice, as every university and college in Wales has at least two voting student governors on their board. Neither does the Bill give the representatives of the providers in the sector it regulates a sufficient voice, which is, according to the sector trade unions we took evidence from as a committee, more crucial than ever for workers at the heart of this sector, and is in line with the Government's view on the merits of collaborative working with trade unions, and aligns with the amendment, which Plaid Cymru fully supports, on the promotion by the commission of collaboration between providers of tertiary education and trade unions. 

This amendment brings the Bill in line with best practice in the governance of other public bodies, such as health boards and the ambulance trust, and would, as the University and College Union pointed out to us in committee, help, perhaps, the commission to foresee, and by their votes prevent some of the concerns and failures in university governance that we have seen in Wales over the last years, which in the UCU's words, have only come to light after it is too late. It is the workforce that carries the can, UCU told us, in terms of redundancies and detriments, and it is the learners that suffer the consequences of this. 

Turning to my amendment 200, to support, really, the previous amendment. Although the Welsh Government's own stated vision for the commission is one that will have the interests of learners at its heart, the National Union of Students believes this Bill is a key opportunity, therefore, to embed learner voice in all levels of tertiary education, and ensure Wales leads the way on student representation. Without learners having a real voice on the commission, in the form of voting rights, the Bill will fall short of what provision already exists. As the NPTC group of colleges said, in their evidence to our committee, real

'learner voice has improved strategic decision making.'

Sixteen and 17-year-olds just voted for the second time in Welsh elections. Our elections now embed the idea of working with young people and giving them a say, giving them a vote. So, it seems perverse that a commission that will have the responsibility of planning the delivery of all sectors in which learners are situated will not abide by this principle. The Minister rejected this committee's recommendation to give the associate members of the commission full voting rights on the grounds that there could be a conflict of interest between their role on the commission and the wider activity of, for example, the National Union of Students, but we think that amendment 199 would put in place a mechanism whereby conflicts of interest can be identified and managed.

Licen i hefyd jest sôn yn gyflym am welliant 43 y Gweinidog. Yn fan hyn, dŷn ni yn llawn gefnogi'r gwelliant yma ac yn ei groesawu, ac yn teimlo y bydd hyn yn sicrhau bod aelodaeth y comisiwn yn cynnwys rhywun ag arbenigedd ynghylch materion sy'n ymwneud ag addysg neu hyfforddiant drwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg. Ac rydym ni'n cytuno y bydd hyn yn greiddiol i sicrhau'r ystod briodol o arbenigedd i aelodaeth y comisiwn ac yn sail felly ar gyfer ei waith cynllunio strategol ar gyfer y sector. Diolch.

I would also like to mention quickly amendment 43, the Minister's amendment. Here, we fully support this amendment and we welcome it, and feel that this will ensure that the membership of the commission will include somebody with the expertise in relation to Welsh-medium education or training. And we agree that this will be essential to ensure that there is the appropriate range of expertise on the commission and will be a basis for its strategic planning work for the sector for the future. Thank you.

09:50

Diolch, Sioned. Are there any Members who wish to speak? Any other Members? No. So, I'll call on the Minister to speak.  

Diolch, Gadeirydd. In relation to amendment 150, I'm afraid that I can't support that amendment. Its intention is to delay the stated provisions of the Bill being brought into force until 1 January 2024. This will prevent the making of any commencement orders, including in respect of any powers necessary to make preparatory arrangements to support the implementation of the commission, ensure continuity of provision and support a smooth transition to the commission. In establishing the commission, the Bill brings together, for the first time, funding, oversight and regulation of tertiary education and research in Wales, putting learners at its heart. This change, Chair, is overdue, and it's essential that it can happen as soon as is practicable, whilst of course ensuring that the implementation is robust and that provision is continuous and the transition smooth.

In relation to the point that the Member made on the internal market Act, she's of course entitled to make the case for her view as to whether the Act applies or not. The committee has the benefit of my view on that matter in the letter, which I wrote to the committee. 

The implementation question is crucial, and I think it seems an odd approach, having acknowledged the challenging timescales, to defer the point at which they can start to be addressed. The refinement of the implementation plan, Chair, and the work that goes with that, is now progressing at some pace. Over the coming months, I anticipate establishing a number of work streams, focusing on different aspects of the Bill and ensuring that our stakeholders are able to contribute to the development of the necessary subordinate legislation and the statutory guidance, and I intend the strategy and implementation board, which I've established, to continue to have a key role in that respect. 

I also call on Members to reject the remaining amendments, tabled in the name of Laura Anne Jones, which effectively undermine the long-standing practice of ministerial appointments to public bodies. I've confirmed already, Chair, that, in relation to regular scrutiny, the chair and deputy chair, who will also serve as the chair of the research and innovation committee, as well as the chief executive, will appear in front of the relevant Senedd committee for introductory hearings.

On amendment 43, tabled in my name, the membership of the board is intended to reflect the breadth of the tertiary education sector, and I welcome Sioned Williams's comments in relation to that. In addition, members will be appointed, of course, through the public appointment arrangements, and I don't recognise the point that Laura Anne Jones made about the broad picture there. It will be subject to the principles of public appointment, and those include, crucially, the principle of diversity: that public appointments should reflect the diversity of the society in which we live, and appointments should take account of the need to appoint boards that include a balance of skills and backgrounds. 

Schedule 1 to the Bill, Chair, requires Ministers, when appointing the board, to have regard to the desirability of the commission's members having experience and capability in relation to the provision of education or training; promoting the needs of learners in tertiary education; carrying out, or the administration of, research; industrial, commercial or financial matters or the practice of any profession. Amendment 43, tabled in my name, adds to that list the desirability of members having experience of, and capability in, the provision of education or training through the medium of Welsh or the promotion of that.

I've considered amendments 199 and 200, Chair, and remain of the view that it would not be appropriate for associate board members to be entitled to vote. These members have a crucial function in advising the commission about matters relating to governance and service delivery from a workforce and a learner perspective. That approach, Chair, has the benefit of maintaining a separation between those activities required as a member of the commission and the wider activities of the trade unions, NUS or learner representative bodies themselves, reducing the potential for conflicts of interest. I note of course amendment 200, but I'm afraid that it just doesn't deal with the fundamental issue and cannot offer the protection on both sides that's provided through associate membership.

Additionally, some stakeholders have highlighted that a union or learner representative body may be reluctant to bind itself to the decisions of the commission, should these not be endorsed by all their members. And the arrangements that I'm proposing will safeguard their position. I believe that in order to ensure that the balance of the commission's membership is sufficient to be effective across its broad range of functions, the associate members need to be additional to the board's minimum numbers. This does not detract from their importance to the board, but reflects the need to maintain a cohesive and agile board.

I'd remind Members, if I may, Chair, that we have set a minimum, rather than a maximum, number of learner and workforce members to ensure that the breadth of perspective and advice is available whilst avoiding an oversized board. So, any proposal to change the voting rights would have to lead to keeping associate member numbers to the minimum, risking that we would in fact weaken the voice of learners and the voice of the workforce, rather than strengthening them. So, I call on Members to support the amendment tabled in my name and reject all other amendments in this group.

09:55

Thank you, Minister. I call on Laura to reply to the debate.

Thank you, Chair. Obviously, I'm not surprised by the Minister's response, but I'd like to push my amendments to the vote given the importance of the independence of both the commission and its members as an arm's-length body. Thank you.

Thank you, Laura. So, you've indicated that you'd like to go to the vote. So, the question is that amendment 152 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] There is an objection. So, the question is that amendment 152 be agreed. Those in favour, please raise your hands. Those against. And those abstaining. Okay. So, in relation to amendment 152, those in favour were two and those against, four, and no abstentions. So, amendment 152 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 152: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 152: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 153 (Laura Anne Jones).

Amendment 153 (Laura Anne Jones) moved.

The question is that amendment 153 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] I hear an objection. So, the question is that amendment 153 be agreed. Those in favour, please raise your hands. Those against. Any abstentions? No. So, that is amendment 153. So, there are two in favour, four against, no abstentions, and amendment 153 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 153: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 153: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 154 (Laura Anne Jones).

Amendment 154 (Laura Anne Jones) moved.

The question is that amendment 154 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] Okay. So, the question is that amendment 154 be agreed. Those in favour, please raise your hands. Those against. Any abstentions? No. So, that is amendment 154. In favour, two, against, four, no abstentions, and that means that amendment 154 is not agreed.

10:00

Gwelliant 154: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 154: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 155 (Laura Anne Jones).

Amendment 155 (Laura Anne Jones) moved.

The question is that amendment 155 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] Okay, the question is that amendment 155 be agreed. Those in favour please raise your hands. Those against. And no abstentions. So, that is in relation to amendment 155. That is two in favour, four against, no abstentions, and that means 155 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 155: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 155: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 43 (Jeremy Miles).

Amendment 43 (Jeremy Miles) moved.

I move now amendment 43 in the name of the Minister. The question is that amendment 43 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] Okay, so we now—. The question is that amendment 43 be agreed. Those in favour, please raise your hands. Those against, please raise your hands. Those abstaining, raise your hands. Okay, so in relation to amendment 43, that is four in favour, no votes against, and two abstentions, so that means that amendment 43 is agreed.

Gwelliant 43: O blaid: 4, Yn erbyn: 0, Ymatal: 2

Derbyniwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 43: For: 4, Against: 0, Abstain: 2

Amendment has been agreed

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 156 (Laura Anne Jones).

Amendment 156 (Laura Anne Jones) moved.

Thank you. The question is that amendment 156 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] So, the question is that amendment 156 be agreed. Those in favour, please raise your hands. Those against, please raise your hands. And any abstentions? No. So, in relation to amendment 156, that's two in favour, four against, no abstentions, and that means that amendment 156 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 156: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 156: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 157 (Laura Anne Jones).

Amendment 157 (Laura Anne Jones) moved.

You do. The question is that amendment 157 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] Okay, the question is that amendment 157 be agreed. Those in favour, please raise your hands. Those against. And no abstentions. So, in relation to amendment 157, that was two in favour, four against, no abstentions, and therefore amendment 157 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 157: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 157: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 158 (Laura Anne Jones).

Amendment 158 (Laura Anne Jones) moved.

The question is that amendment 158 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] Okay, the question is that amendment 158 be agreed. Those in favour, please raise your hands. Those against, please raise your hands. And any abstentions. So, in relation to amendment 158, there were two in favour, four against, no abstentions, which means that 158 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 158: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 158: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 159 (Laura Anne Jones).

Amendment 159 (Laura Anne Jones) moved.

The question is that amendment 159 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] The question is that amendment 159 be agreed. Those in favour, please raise your hands. Those against. And any abstentions. So, in relation to amendment 159, that is two in favour, four against, no abstentions, and that means that amendment 159 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 159: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 159: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 160 (Laura Anne Jones).

Amendment 160 (Laura Anne Jones) moved.

The question is that amendment 160 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] The question is that amendment 160 be agreed. Those in favour, please raise your hands. Those against. And any abstentions. That means, in relation to amendment 160, there are two in favour, four against, and no abstentions, which means that amendment 160 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 160: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 160: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 161 (Laura Anne Jones).

Amendment 161 (Laura Anne Jones) moved.

The question is that amendment 161 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] The question is that amendment 161 be agreed. Those in favour, please raise your hands. Those against. And any abstentions. That means, in relation to amendment 161, there are two in favour, four against, no abstentions, and that means amendment 161 is not agreed.

10:05

Gwelliant 161: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 161: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 162 (Laura Anne Jones).

Amendment 162 (Laura Anne Jones) moved.

The question is that amendment 162 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] The question is that amendment 162 be agreed. Those in favour, please raise your hands. Those against. And any abstentions. No abstentions. So, in relation to amendment 162, those in favour two, those against four, and no abstentions, which means amendment 162 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 162: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 162: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 163 (Laura Anne Jones).

Amendment 163 (Laura Anne Jones) moved.

The question is that amendment 163 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] So, the question is that amendment 163 be agreed. Those in favour, please raise your hands. Those against. And those abstaining. So, that means that, in relation to amendment 163, there are two in favour, four against, no abstentions, which means that amendment 163 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 163: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 163: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

Grŵp 3: Undebau Llafur (Gwelliannau 44, 14, 42)
Group 3: Trade Unions (Amendments 44, 14, 42)

We move on to group 3, which relates to trade unions. The lead amendment in this group is amendment 44 in the name of the Minister.

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 44 (Jeremy Miles).

Amendment 44 (Jeremy Miles) moved.

I move amendment 44 in the name of the Minister and call on the Minister to speak to his amendment and the other amendments in this group.

Diolch, Cadeirydd. I'll start if I may with amendment 14, which responds to a recommendation of this committee and inserts a new strategic duty, requiring the commission to promote collaboration between tertiary education providers and relevant trade unions in order to discharge the commission's other strategic duties. The trade unions must either be represented by Wales TUC Cymru or, if not, considered by the commission to represent members of the tertiary education workforce.

I actually believe, Chair, if I may, that this amendment goes further than the statement of intent that the committee recommended. In creating a duty that promotes collaboration with trade unions in its widest sense, the commission will be able to promote collaboration at institutional and strategic level across matters such as lifelong learning, widening access, quality and so on.

Amendments 44 and 42 are consequential on amendment 14 and simply provide for a definition of 'trade union' in the general interpretation section of the Bill, whilst removing an existing definition from Schedule 1, and I ask Members to support all of the amendments in this group.

Diolch. Are there any other Members who wish to speak? I see that no other Members wish to speak. Oh, sorry, Sioned.

Ie, jest eisiau dweud ein bod ni'n falch iawn o gefnogi'r gwelliant yma. Roedden ni'n credu, yn sgil y dystiolaeth gwnaethon ni ei derbyn yn y pwyllgor, lle oedd yr undebau yn unfrydol bod angen cryfhau y Bil yn y maes yma, fod y gwelliant yma yn gwneud hynny, ac rŷn ni'n falch iawn o'i weld e, ac yn falch iawn o'i gefnogi. Diolch.

I just wanted to say that we're very pleased to support this amendment. We believed, as a result of the evidence that we received in the committee, where the unions spoke with one voice that we need to strengthen the Bill in this area, that this amendment then does just that. We're very pleased to see it, and we're pleased to support it too. Thank you.

Diolch, Sioned. Minister, would you like to reply? The Minister does not want to reply. Do you wish to proceed to a vote on amendment 44? You do.

So, the question is that amendment 44 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] Okay, I can see that the question is that amendment 44 be agreed. Those in favour, please raise your hands. Those against. And any abstentions. That means that, in relation to amendment 44, there are four in favour, two against, no abstentions, and that means amendment 44 has been agreed.

Gwelliant 44: O blaid: 4, Yn erbyn: 2, Ymatal: 0

Derbyniwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 44: For: 4, Against: 2, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been agreed

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 164 (Laura Anne Jones).

Amendment 164 (Laura Anne Jones) moved.

You do. The question is that amendment 164 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] Okay. The question is that amendment 164 be agreed. Those in favour, please raise your hands. Those against. And any abstentions. So, in relation to amendment 164, there are two in favour, four against, no abstentions, and that means amendment 164 is not agreed.

10:10

Gwelliant 164: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 164: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 165 (Laura Anne Jones).

Amendment 165 (Laura Anne Jones) moved.

The question is that amendment 165 is agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] Okay. The question is that amendment 165 is agreed. Those in favour, please raise your hands. Those against. And no abstentions. So, that means, in relation to amendment 165, two in favour, four against, no abstentions, and that means that amendment 165 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 165: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 165: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 166 (Laura Anne Jones).

Amendment 166 (Laura Anne Jones) moved.

The question is that amendment 166 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] The question is that amendment 166 be agreed. Those in favour, please raise your hands. Those against. Any abstentions? No. So, the question is that—. In relation to amendment 166, there are two in favour, four against, no abstentions, and that means that amendment 166 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 166: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 166: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 167 (Laura Anne Jones).

Amendment 167 (Laura Anne Jones) moved.

The question is that amendment 167 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] The question is that amendment 167 be agreed. Those in favour, please raise your hands. Those against. And no abstentions. So, that means, in relation to amendment 167, there are two in favour, four against, no abstentions, and that means that amendment 167 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 167: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 167: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 168 (Laura Anne Jones).

Amendment 168 (Laura Anne Jones) moved.

The question is that amendment 168 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] Okay, that means that—. The question is that amendment 168 be agreed. Those in favour, please raise your hands. Those against. No abstentions. So, that means, in relation to amendment 168, there are two in favour, four against, no abstentions, and that means amendment 168 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 168: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 168: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 169 (Laura Anne Jones).

Amendment 169 (Laura Anne Jones) moved.

The question is that amendment 169 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] Okay, that means the question is that amendment 169 be agreed. Those in favour, please raise your hands. Those against. And no abstentions. That means, in relation to amendment 169, two in favour, four against, no abstentions, and that means amendment 169 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 169: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 169: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 170 (Laura Anne Jones).

Amendment 170 (Laura Anne Jones) moved.

The question is that amendment 170 is agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] So, we'll move to a vote. The question is that amendment 170 be agreed. Those in favour, please raise your hands. Those against. And no abstentions. So, that means, in relation to amendment 170, there are two in favour, four against, no abstentions, and that means amendment 170 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 170: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 170: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 171 (Laura Anne Jones).

Amendment 171 (Laura Anne Jones) moved.

The question is that amendment 171 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] So, we'll move to a vote. The question is that amendment 171 is agreed. Those in favour, please raise your hands. Those against. No abstentions. So, that means that, in relation to amendment 171, there are two in favour, four against, no abstentions, and that means amendment 171 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 171: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 171: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 172 (Laura Anne Jones).

Amendment 172 (Laura Anne Jones) moved.

So, the question is that amendment 172 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] We'll move to a vote. The question is that amendment 172 be agreed. Those in favour, please raise your hands. Those against. And no abstentions, then. So, that means that, in relation to amendment 172, those in favour are two, those against four, and that means amendment 172 is not agreed.

10:15

Gwelliant 172: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 172: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 173 (Laura Anne Jones).

Amendment 173 (Laura Anne Jones) moved.

The question is that amendment 173 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] So, we move to a vote. So, the question is that amendment 173 be agreed. Those in favour, please raise your hands. Those against. And I see there are no abstentions. So, that is, in relation to amendment 173, there are two in favour, four against, no abstentions, and that means amendment 173 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 173: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 173: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 174 (Laura Anne Jones).

Amendment 174 (Laura Anne Jones) moved.

The question is that amendment 174 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] So, I'll move to a vote. So, the question is that amendment 174 be agreed. Those in favour, please raise your hands. In favour, please. Just the two. Those against. And any abstentions. So, that means in relation to amendment 174, there are two in favour, four against, no abstentions, and that means that amendment 174 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 174: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 174: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 175 (Laura Anne Jones).

Amendment 175 (Laura Anne Jones) moved.

The question is that amendment 175 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] Okay, so we'll now move to a vote. The question is that amendment 175 be agreed. Those in favour, please raise your hands. Those against. Any abstentions. That means, in relation to amendment 175, there are two in favour, four against, no abstentions, which means that amendment 175 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 175: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 175: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 199 (Sioned Williams).

Amendment 199 (Sioned Williams) moved.

You do. The question is that amendment 199 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] So, we move to a vote on amendment 199. Those in favour, please raise your hands. Those against. Any abstentions. No abstentions. So, that means that there are three in favour, three against, no abstentions. And as there is 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 199 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 199: 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 199: 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 176 (Laura Anne Jones).

Amendment 176 (Laura Anne Jones) moved.

The question is that amendment 176 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] I hear an objection, so that means we move to a vote. The question is that amendment 176 be agreed. Those in favour, please raise your hands. Those against. There are no abstentions. So, that means that, in relation to amendment 176, there are two in favour, four against, no abstentions, and that means amendment 176 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 176: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 176: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 177 (Laura Anne Jones).

Amendment 177 (Laura Anne Jones) moved.

The question is that amendment 177 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] So, we now move to a vote. And the question is that amendment 177 be agreed. Those in favour, please raise your hands. Those against. No abstentions. That means, in relation to amendment 177, there are two in favour, four against, no abstentions, and that means amendment 177 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 177: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 177: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 178 (Laura Anne Jones).

Amendment 178 (Laura Anne Jones) moved.

The question is that amendment 178 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] So, we move to a vote, and the question is that amendment 178 be agreed. Those in favour, please raise your hands. Those against. No abstentions. So, that means, in relation to amendment 178, two in favour, four against, no abstentions, and that means amendment 178 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 178: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 178: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 200 (Sioned Williams).

Amendment 200 (Sioned Williams) moved.

The question is that amendment 200 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] So, we move to a vote. The question is that amendment 200 be agreed. Those in favour, please raise your hands. Those against. And those abstaining. No abstentions. That means that in relation to amendment 200 there are three in favour and three against. As Chair, as there is 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 200 is not agreed.

10:20

Gwelliant 200: 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 200: 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 179 (Laura Anne Jones).

Amendment 179 (Laura Anne Jones) moved.

The question is that amendment 179 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] So, we now move to a vote. The question is that amendment 179 be agreed. Those in favour, please raise your hands. Those against. Any abstentions? I see no abstentions. That means in relation to amendment 179, there are two in favour, four against, no abstentions, and that means amendment 179 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 179: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 179: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 180 (Laura Anne Jones).

Amendment 180 (Laura Anne Jones) moved.

The question is that amendment 180 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] So, we now move to a vote, and the question is that amendment 180 be agreed. Those in favour, please raise your hands. Those against. No abstentions. So, that means in relation to amendment 180, there are two in favour, four against, no abstentions, and that means that amendment 180 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 180: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 180: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 181 (Laura Anne Jones).

Amendment 181 (Laura Anne Jones) moved.

The question is that amendment 181 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] I'll therefore take a vote, so the question is that amendment 181 be agreed. Those in favour, please raise your hands. Those against. And no abstentions. So, that means in relation to amendment 181, there are two in favour, four against, no abstentions, and that means amendment 181 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 181: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 181: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 182 (Laura Anne Jones).

Amendment 182 (Laura Anne Jones) moved.

The question is that amendment 182 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] We move to a vote on amendment 182, so the question is that amendment 182 is agreed. Those in favour, please raise your hands. Those against. No abstentions. So, that means in relation to amendment 182, there are two in favour, four against, no abstentions, and that means amendment 182 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 182: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 182: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 183 (Laura Anne Jones).

Amendment 183 (Laura Anne Jones) moved.

The question is that amendment 183 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] We now move to a vote, so the question is that amendment 183 be agreed. Those in favour. Those against. I see no abstentions. So, that means in relation to amendment 183, there are two in favour, four against, no abstentions, and that means amendment 183 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 183: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 183: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

Grŵp 4: Ymchwil ac Arloesi (Gwelliannau 45, 4, 7, 13, 34, 120, 35)
Group 4: Research and Innovation (Amendments 45, 4, 7, 13, 34, 120, 35)

We now move on to group 4. Group 4 relates to research and innovation. The lead amendment in this group is amendment 45 in the name of the Minister.

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 45 (Jeremy Miles).

Amendment 45 (Jeremy Miles) moved.

I move amendment 45 in the name of the Minister and call on the Minister to speak to his amendment and the other amendments in this group. Minister.

Diolch, Gadeirydd. Mae'r grŵp yma o welliannau yn ymwneud ag ymchwil ac arloesi a rôl y comisiwn yn eu hyrwyddo.

Thank you, Chair. This group of amendments relates to research and innovation and the role of the commission in their promotion. 

As I stated when giving evidence to the committee earlier this year, the prominence of research and innovation could be further strengthened on the face of the Bill, and amendment 7 in this group is intended to deliver this change. The Bill as introduced, Chair, requires the commission to promote the undertaking of research and innovation, and also includes reference to research and innovation within the collaboration, continuous improvement and global outlook strategic duties. Amendment 7 brings together these provisions into a single cohesive strategic duty, thereby strengthening the suite of strategic duties and ensuring the importance of research and innovation is adequately reflected. The strategic duty also requires the commission to promote the competitiveness of research and innovation in Wales in line with the recommendation of the committee and other stakeholders.

In promoting the undertaking of research and innovation, the commission will also be core in promoting the undertaking of research and innovation and associated activities through the medium of Welsh. This strategic duty and the subsequent focus for the commission that it will bring about helps us deliver on our national ambition for an excellent research and innovation system, one that continues to contribute to national prosperity, to well-being, an understanding of who we are as a community and a country as well as a wider understanding of global developments and challenges. Amendments 4, 13 and 35 are consequential on amendment 7, and they remove existing provision in the Bill to reflect the insertion of the new stand-alone strategic duty.

Turning to amendment 34, this responds to calls from stakeholders and places a duty on the commission to have regard to the desirability of maintaining any distinctive characteristics of a provider when providing research and innovation funding under section 102. This amendment ensures alignment with the commission’s higher education funding functions under sections 85 and 86 and replicates the duties currently placed on HEFCW under the Further and Higher Education Act 1992. The commission will be required, when exercising its discretion in relation to the provision of financial support, to take into consideration the desirability of maintaining any distinctive characteristics of a provider eligible to receive research and innovation funding. This could, for example, relate to the specialist nature of a provider and the costs associated with maintaining its particular research infrastructure.

I'm afraid I cannot support amendment 120 in this group, Chair. Section 103(4) is our statement in the Bill of what is often referred to as the Haldane principle—the principle that decisions on individual research work and proposals should be made by researchers, rather than by politicians. This is something that a number of stakeholders have called for and mirrors provision in existing legislation such as the Higher Education and Research Act 2017. The provision is requiring the commission to have regard to a broad principle. As such, I don't consider the requirement to be overly detailed in relation to the operational arrangements of the commission itself.

To reflect and support the new strategic duty that I've just referred to, the purpose of the research and innovation committee, as set out in Schedule 1 to the Bill, is expanded by amendment 45 in my name to comprise advising the commission on matters relating to research and innovation. Currently, the purpose of the committee relates to advising on the exercising of the commission's research and innovation funding powers. I call on Members, therefore, to reject amendment 120 in this group whilst supporting all of the other amendments in this group.

10:25

Diolch. Thank you, Minister. I call on Laura Jones to speak.

Thank you, Chair. I wish to speak to amendment 120, which is tabled in my name. Very briefly, this amendment reflects HEFCW's proposed amendment at Stage 1 to omit 103(4) in relation to funding allocation. Going back to my earlier comments, it's clear that HEFCW is concerned about the Welsh Government's control over certain operational matters of the commission, actually mentioning that it is a level of operational detail too far in legislation because the commission should have to be reasonable and have a robust basis on which to make allocations anyway, and that protections of public law are already sufficient. So, I'd like to hear from the Minister why this level of detail is needed and whether he has faith in the ability of both the commission and public law to both make fair funding allocation and provide protections. 

I will be supporting the Minister's amendments, which include the expansion of the commission's strategic duty regarding the promotion of research and innovation. As the committee and Minister will know, a lot of those who gave evidence to the committee, including the Russell Group of universities, really pushed hard for this separate duty, saying that they needed more clarity and for the duties to be more directed to research and innovation. I'm really pleased, therefore, that the Minister has heard these calls, and is including them in his Stage 2 amendments. Thank you, Chair.

10:30

Thank you, Laura. Are there any other Members who'd like to speak? Sioned.

Diolch, Gadeirydd. Hoffwn i adleisio'r croeso mae Laura Anne Jones wedi'i roi i'r ffaith bod y Gweinidog wedi cynnwys, yn ei welliannau, y gefnogaeth yma ar gyfer y system ddeuol ar gyfer cyllid ymchwil. Fe wnaethon ni glywed gymaint o dystiolaeth gan gymaint o gyrff a oedd yn ymwneud â'r maes gwbl hanfodol yma, ac rŷn ni wedi gweld y bore yma, gyda'r cyhoeddiadau ynglŷn â'r research excellence framework, pa mor bwysig yw ymchwil ac, wrth gwrs, arloesedd i'n cenedl ni. Felly, rŷn ni'n croesawu'n fawr y gwelliant yma. Mi godwyd pryderon, fel mae'r Gweinidog yn gwybod ac fel mae'r Gweinidog wedi clywed ac wedi ymateb iddo fe, ynglŷn ag ymchwil cyfrwng Cymraeg, ac felly rŷn ni'n croesawu hefyd bod y Gweinidog wedi dod â gwelliant ynglŷn â hyn ymlaen.

Thank you, Chair. I echo the welcome that Laura Anne Jones has given to the fact that the Minister has included, in his amendments, this support for the dual system for research funding. We heard so much evidence from so many bodies relating to this essential work, and we've heard this morning, regarding the announcements on the research excellence framework, how important research is, and innovation of course, to our nation. So we very much welcome this amendment. Concerns were raised, as the Minister knows and as the Minister's heard and has responded to, regarding Welsh-medium research, and therefore we also welcome the fact that the Minister has brought this amendment forward. Thank you. 

Thank you, Sioned. I'd like to call on the Minister to respond.

Thank you, Chair. To respond on the principal point that Laura Anne Jones made in her remarks, I would just say that the principle that is reflected in section 103(4) in the Bill is a well-established principle that a number of stakeholders have been keen to make sure continues to be reflected. The drafting of the provision in the Bill itself I will submit to the committee reflects an appropriate level of detail without overburdening in regard to operational impact. The language of the subsection is that the commission must have regard to the principle—that is, the Haldane principle. I would suggest that that's an appropriate level of generality, Chair.

Thank you, Minister. Do you wish to proceed to a vote on amendment 45?

The question is that amendment 45 be agreed. Does any Member object? There's no objection. So, that means that amendment 45 is agreed.

Derbyniwyd y gwelliant yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 17.34.

Amendment agreed in accordance with Standing Order 17.34.

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 184 (Laura Anne Jones).

Amendment 184 (Laura Anne Jones) moved.

The question is that amendment 184 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] So, we now move to a vote. So, the question is that amendment 184 be agreed. Those in favour please raise your hands. Those against. No abstentions, so that means in relation to amendment 184 there are two in favour, four against, no abstentions, and that means amendment 184 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 184: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 184: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 185 (Laura Anne Jones).

Amendment 185 (Laura Anne Jones) moved.

The question is that amendment 185 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] So, there's an objection. So, we now move to a vote. The question is that amendment 185 be agreed. Those in favour please raise your hands. Those against. I see there are no abstentions, so that means amendment 185—. The result is two in favour, four against, no abstentions, and that means amendment 185 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 185: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 185: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 186 (Laura Anne Jones).

Amendment 186 (Laura Anne Jones) moved.

The question is that amendment 186 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] So, we now move to a vote. So, the question is that amendment 186 be agreed. Those in favour please raise your hands. Those against. No abstentions. That means, in relation to amendment 186, two in favour, four against, and no abstentions. And that means amendment 186 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 186: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 186: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 187 (Laura Anne Jones).

Amendment 187 (Laura Anne Jones) moved.

The question is that amendment 187 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] So, we now move to a vote on amendment 187. The question is that amendment 187 be agreed. Those in favour please raise your hands. Those against. No abstentions. That means, in relation to amendment 187, two in favour, four against, no abstentions, and that means amendment 187 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 187: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 187: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 188 (Laura Anne Jones).

Amendment 188 (Laura Anne Jones) moved.

The question is that amendment 188 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] So, we now move to a vote. So, the question is that amendment 188 be agreed. Those in favour, please raise your hands. Those against. No abstentions. So, that means in relation to amendment 188 there were two in favour, four against, no abstentions, and that means amendment 188 is not agreed.

10:35

Gwelliant 188: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 6

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 188: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 6

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 189 (Laura Anne Jones).

Amendment 189 (Laura Anne Jones) moved.

The question is that amendment 189 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] So, we now move to a vote on amendment 189. The question is that amendment 189 be agreed. Those in favour, please raise your hands. Those against. No abstentions. So, that means in relation to amendment 189 there were two in favour, four against, no abstentions, and that means amendment 189 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 189: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 189: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 190 (Laura Anne Jones).

Amendment 190 (Laura Anne Jones) moved.

Okay, so the question is that amendment 190 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] We now move to a vote on amendment 190. So, the question is that amendment 190 be agreed. Those in favour, please raise your hands. Those against. Any abstentions? No. So, that means the total is that, for amendment 190, there are two in favour, four against, no abstentions, and that means amendment 190 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 190: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 190: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

Grŵp 5: Cyfle Cyfartal (Gwelliannau 1, 2, 3, 90, 92, 101, 107, 115, 119)
Group 5: Equality of Opportunity (Amendments 1, 2, 3, 90, 92, 101, 107, 115, 119)

Okay, so we now move on to group 5. So, group 5 relates to equality of opportunity. The lead amendment in this group is amendment 1 in the name of the Minister. 

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 1 (Jeremy Miles).

Amendment 1 (Jeremy Miles) moved.

So, I move amendment 1 in the name of the Minister and call on the Minister to speak to his amendment and the other amendments in this group. Minister.

Thank you, Chair. Amendments 1, 2 and 3 amend the existing strategic duty for equality of opportunity so as to require the commission to encourage increased participation in the carrying out of research and innovation in Wales by under-represented groups.

These amendments accompany the research and innovation strategic duty that we discussed in the previous group, and help ensure that research and innovation is provided sufficient prominence on the face of the Bill. These amendments also support our commitment to increased equality of opportunity and participation in research and innovation by groups who are currently under-represented as a result of social, cultural, economic or organisational factors. I am sure that we all share, Chair, the ambition to build and support research capability within under-represented groups, and break down those barriers that continue to exist within the system.

Sioned Williams referred to the REF results in her earlier remarks, and we've seen that Wales has done well in those results, but I am sure that when we further interrogate them, and much like the rest of the UK, there is still more to do in supporting institutions to break down those barriers and support greater diversity in our research and innovation system. Placing this duty on the commission ensures that it will receive the attention that it needs.

Chair, I support the intention behind the remaining amendments in this group, and agree that providers who are funded by the commission, but not themselves registered, should also be required to deliver outcomes in respect of equality of opportunity. However, I can't support the amendments in their current form. In response to the recommendation of this committee that these amendments seek to address, I am already exploring options for amendments to be brought forward at Stage 3, and I would welcome the views of the committee in developing these amendments.

In respect of why I can't support amendments 90, 92, 101, 107 and 119 as they are currently drafted, the key issue is proportionality, Chair. Funding under Part 3 of the Bill will probably be a mixture of large grant funding arrangements and then smaller and more ad hoc contracts. Any mandatory terms and conditions set out in the Bill to attach to this funding need to be proportionate, appropriate, and not place undue burdens on providers. Rather than providing for additional mandatory terms and conditions, which might not always be appropriate to every scenario in which funding is being provided, the amendment I propose, Chair, would require the commission to have regard to the need to subject this funding to terms and conditions relating to relevant mandatory ongoing registration conditions.

In addition to addressing the delivery of measurable outcomes to further the equality of opportunity aims, this would also capture matters such as quality, effectiveness of the provider’s governance, financial management and financial sustainability, helping to ensure parity between the arrangements for registered providers and funded unregistered providers. This would put a reference to these matters on the face of the Bill itself in relation to the funding powers in Part 3, without disproportionately limiting the commission’s ability to impose terms and conditions where appropriate on those providers that it funds.

In respect of amendment 115, I don't anticipate applying the proposed amendment to the funding power set out in section 100(1) as this power relates to the provision of financial resources in relation to the provision of information, advice and guidance, and the development of links between employers and providers and students. I do not consider that the matters being discussed in this context work with this funding power.

So, I call on Members to support amendments 1, 2 and 3 and to reject the remaining amendments whilst, however, acknowledging the merit of the underpinning policy intention. 

10:40

Thank you, Chair. I wish to speak to my own amendments, 90, 92, 101, 107, 115 and 119. On my own amendments, they should be viewed as complementing the Minister's own amendments, rather than competing with them. Although I accept the Minister has put forward his amendments, I feel my own amendments are more in line with the spirit of the committee's recommendation 22. I draw the committee's attention to the fact that my amendments include the following points: increasing participation; the retention of students who are members of under-represented groups to the end of courses; the reduction of gaps in attainment in relevant tertiary education provided in Wales between different groups of students specified in the terms and conditions where the differences arise from social, cultural, economic or organisational factors; and the provision of support for students finishing courses of tertiary education provided in Wales who are members of under-represented groups to continue their tertiary education, find employment or start a business. It's absolutely vital that we do include these areas, and we're talking about under-represented groups. It's not just about funding, it's about ensuring that they are given the proper support throughout their course and equality of opportunity and aspiration.

I'm particularly struck by evidence from groups such as Wonkhe, who are clear that they feel that there should be fewer of the metrics outcomes, especially when disabled students are stating that they are battling poor compliance with the Equality Act 2010. I would therefore be more than happy to work with the Minister to bring forward amendments at Stage 3, but I'm very keen that we have these areas where the commission and Welsh Ministers can help to increase participation and support for those from under-represented groups to achieve their dreams. Thank you. 

Are there any other Members who wish to speak? The Minister to reply to the debate. 

Chair, I agree with many of the points that Laura Anne Jones has made in support of the amendment that she is proposing. The amendments to which I was referring in my opening remarks are ones that haven't yet been tabled, because they're being developed for Stage 3, Chair, and I would be very happy to work with the committee in developing those and reflecting the kinds of principles that I outlined in my opening remarks. I absolutely understand and support the underpinning policy rational that has led to these amendments being tabled.

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

Okay. The question is that amendment 1 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] I hear an objection, so that means that we move to a vote. The question is that amendment 1 be agreed. Those in favour, please raise your hands. Those against. I see there are no abstentions. So, that means that, with regard to amendment 1, there are four in favour, two against, no abstentions, which means that amendment 1 is agreed.

10:45

Gwelliant 1: O blaid: 4, Yn erbyn: 2, Ymatal: 0

Derbyniwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 1: For: 4, Against: 2, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been agreed

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 2 (Jeremy Miles).

Amendment 2 (Jeremy Miles) moved.

I move amendment 2 in the name of the Minister. The question is that amendment 2 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] We'll now move to a vote on amendment 2. So, the question is that amendment 2 be agreed. Those in favour, please raise your hands. Those against. And no abstentions. Therefore, for amendment 2, the results are four in favour, two against, no abstentions, and that means that amendment 2 is agreed.

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

Derbyniwyd y gwelliant

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

Amendment has been agreed

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 3 (Jeremy Miles).

Amendment 3 (Jeremy Miles) moved.

I move amendment 3 in the name of the Minister. So, the question is that amendment 3 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] Okay, we'll now move to a vote by show of hands. The question is that amendment 3 be agreed. Those in favour, please raise your hands. Those against. No abstentions. So, that means, in relation to amendment 3, those in favour four, two against, no abstentions, and that means that amendment 3 is agreed.

Gwelliant 3: O blaid: 4, Yn erbyn: 2, Ymatal: 0

Derbyniwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 3: For: 4, Against: 2, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been agreed

Grŵp 6: Anghenion Dysgu Ychwanegol (Gwelliant 51)
Group 6: Additional Learning Needs (Amendment 51)

We now move on to group 6, which relates to additional learning needs. The lead and lone amendment in this group is amendment 51 in the name of Laura Anne Jones. I call on Laura to move amendment 51 and speak to this amendment. Laura.

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 51 (Laura Anne Jones).

Amendment 51 (Laura Anne Jones) moved.

Thank you, Chair, I speak to the only amendment in the group, amendment 51 on additional learning needs. The amendment is on the principle of inclusion for students with additional learning needs under section 4 of the Bill. The sentiment behind this amendment—and I agree with Learning Disability Wales—is that we do need to see the commission becoming clear in how they treat people with additional learning needs in their policy, especially surrounding supported internships and apprenticeships, which will be integrated into the Bill. 

Now, we have barriers for those with learning disabilities entering the workforce, and this Bill is a huge opportunity to break down those barriers. As the Minister will know, the committee expressed its concerns about the commission in relation to the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act 2018, and I do note his response, which mentioned that detailed arrangements for implementing post-16 ALN reforms are currently being finalised. So, I'd be very grateful if the Minister could clarify when he expects these detailed arrangements to be implemented, and how these will affect the commission's policy on the provision of ALN in the tertiary and higher education sectors. Also, I'd like to know whether funding for supported internships and apprenticeships will be included in this policy.

It is clear that the Welsh Government has already embarked on significant reforms to ALN in the education sector, and as ALN is lifelong, we do need to ensure that there is a seamless transition from schools to tertiary education, and then, if possible, into work. Thank you, Chair.

Thank you, Laura. Are there any other Members who wish to speak? No Members wish to speak, so, Minister.

Diolch, Gadeirydd. Rwy'n deall y bwriad y tu ôl i rai agweddau ar welliant 51, ond fel mae wedi'i ddrafftio ar hyn o bryd, dwi ddim yn gallu cefnogi'r gwelliant.

Thank you, Chair. I understand the intention behind some aspects of amendment 51, but as it's currently drafted, I cannot support the amendment.

I agree with the need, Chair, to ensure absolutely clarity on the commission’s role in encouraging increased participation in tertiary education for all learners, including those with additional learning needs. The 2018 Act, which is underpinned by a number of principles, including collaboration, integration and inclusiveness, sets out a number of duties for local authorities, further education institutions and others in respect of supporting post-16 learners who have additional learning needs. In addition, the ALN reforms are based on a rights-based approach, and the Act deals with individual entitlement to additional learning provision, whilst the Bill we’re discussing today, and the commission it establishes, is focused on determining facilities at a population level, rather than an individual level.

We've looked closely, Chair, at the interface between the 2018 Act and this Bill and the functions of the commission, recognising the importance, obviously, of meeting the needs of learners with additional learning needs in the way that Laura Anne Jones just stated. I agree with the intention behind the first part of the amendment, and will be exploring further the options for capturing this aspect of the amendment within the strategic duties. But, just to be clear, Chair, the Bill already makes explicit reference to the provision secured by local authorities under the 2018 Act, in the context of the commission taking account of the facilities that might reasonably be secured by others. The commission will have a role to play in assessing the sufficiency of facilities for ALN provision at a general population level, as I said, and that is the right fit for this new body. The intention, importantly, I think, is to avoid duplication of resources and to maximise the benefits for learners.

I envisage that the commission will, clearly, need to work closely with a range of organisations, such as the consortia and the Welsh Local Government Association, for example, as well as local authorities, to fulfil its strategic duties and its duties to secure further education and training facilities specifically in a way that supports the wider ALN agenda. So, I don't, in light of that, consider the provisions in subsections (2) and (3) of the amendment to be necessary.

The ALN system includes requirements about local authorities securing specialist provision for young people at independent special post-16 institutions, and the aim is for that to be tailored specifically to the individual learner's particular complex needs. As Members will know, in many cases authorities will have been supporting these learners through their education from a very young age, in many cases, and I remain of the view that local authorities are best placed to make decisions in relation to these placements, specifically as specified in the Act itself.

Laura Anne Jones asked for confirmation that the work is under way in relation to the discussions with local authorities regarding the transfer of responsibilities, and I can confirm that that work is currently under way, Chair.

10:50

Thank you; thank you for your response, Minister. It was always meant to be more of a probing amendment to try and relay our concerns, which you have demonstrated, so thank you for that. On that basis, Chair, I'd like to withdraw our amendment.

Thank you, Laura. Does any Member object to the withdrawal of amendment 51 in the name of Laura Anne Jones? No. No Member objects, so amendment 51 is now withdrawn. Thank you for that.

Tynnwyd gwelliant 51 yn ôl gyda chaniatâd y pwyllgor.

Amendment 51 withdrawn by leave of the committee.

Now, I would like to propose that we have a short break and reconvene in 10 minutes. 

Gohiriwyd y cyfarfod rhwng 10:52 ac 11:08.

The meeting adjourned between 10:52 and 11:08.

11:05
Grŵp 7: Llais y Dysgwr, Llesiant a Diogelu (Gwelliannau 52, 53, 5, 6, 129, 130, 131, 132)
Group 7: Learner Voice, Well-being and Protection (Amendments 52, 53, 5, 6, 129, 130, 131, 132)

Okay. So, welcome back to everybody. We'll make a start on group 7, which is relating to learner voice, well-being and protection. So, the lead amendment in this group 52 in the name of Laura Anne Jones. I call on Laura to move amendment 52 and speak to the amendment and other amendments in the group. 

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 52 (Laura Anne Jones).

Amendment 52 (Laura Anne Jones) moved.

Thank you, Chair. I want to speak to my own amendments first before turning to the Minister's amendments. On amendment 52, this provides an overarching duty for the commission to support students in relation to their mental health and well-being. During our evidence sessions at Stage 1, the committee heard from those, including Estyn, who suggested that a strategic duty would help the Welsh Government's whole-system approach on mental health and well-being, alongside the 'no wrong door' approach. Specifically, Estyn noted that:

'In light of the Curriculum for Wales and Curriculum and Assessment Act, is there a strong enough focus in the Bill as introduced on wellbeing and the aims of the four purposes to develop young people into capable adults, in terms of effective transition for learners from compulsory to post-compulsory education and training?'

Chair, you'll know that the previous Children, Young People and Education Committee conducted two inquiries into the mental health and well-being of children and young people. Their report last year concluded that improvements to mental health services were not happening quickly enough and that there was still no whole-system approach towards mental health, despite examples of good practice across Wales, meaning that there are gaps with existing services. Specifically, the transition from child and adolescent mental health services to adult mental health support services is something that is receiving growing attention and we're still talking about the missing middle.

Additionally, the Health and Social Care Committee recently published its 'Waiting well?' report on waiting times within the NHS and recovery from COVID-19. It found a number of issues specifically in regards to CAMHS and specialist CAMHS and the lengthy waiting times there specifically. Delays in treatment for mental health conditions, including eating disorders, can not only intensify the suffering of individuals, they can also result in more complex needs and higher costs when people do receive treatment. Stakeholders were particularly concerned about specialist CAMHS services where substantial waits can have significant consequences for children, young people and their families. 

MIND Cymru outlined that an insufficient response historically to mild and moderate mental health problems has resulted in people's conditions escalating until they require the CAMHS service, further adding to waiting times and the pressure on specialist services. As tertiary and higher education straddles the transition from childhood to adulthood, it's key that they play a role. The Children, Young People, and Education Committee and the Health and Social Care Committee are likely to begin a joint inquiry soon into the mental health of children and young people and tertiary providers must be able to help support students on this journey, along with the commission. I do think that this is an apt time for us to include the importance of mental health and well-being, so I'd hope the Minister accepts my amendment.

Amendment 53 also promotes the learner voice in line with recommendation 18 of the committee. We heard from a variety of stakeholders, including NUS Wales, who said that the Bill does not reflect the importance of the student voice. They felt that the Bill was a real golden opportunity to give students a real say in their education, no matter what they're studying or the module of study. They said that the Bill shows a fundamental misunderstanding about what good student representation is.

The Open University called for learner engagement to take account of the non-traditional part-time learner voices. They flagged that Open University students are not represented by NUS Wales. NUS Wales agreed that there was a huge lack of parity of esteem between student voices, depending on where you study. They highlighted that HE students have access to stronger and more independent advocacy compared to peers in further education or adult community learning.

Now it's clear that everyone here agrees that promotion of the learner voice is important, but our views slightly differ. I don't think the Minister's amendments 5 and 6 go far enough to promote this learner voice in terms of the commission's position, so I will be opposing them today. There must be consistency in this approach across Wales, no matter the student and what form their study takes.

Speaking to amendments 129, 130, 131 and 132, amendment 129 requires learner protection plans to take account of student learner welfare and ensure that student learners can continue to learn through the medium of Welsh, in line with recommendation 32 of the committee. Furthermore, it is noted that the Minister is considering whether this will be in better guidance to the commission. Can he confirm this and say to the committee what the guidance will look like, please?

Amendments 130, 131 and 132 relate to the concerns raised by the Universities Wales at Stage 1. Under the Bill as it stands:

'The Commission can approve a learner protection plan ‘with or without modifications’ (s.114 (3)), which as drafted allows the Commission to impose its own modifications without the provider’s agreement. The Commission must be able to specify requirements as a condition for approval. It should be a matter for the governing body to determine whether to accept the modifications. Following this, it will be for the Commission to decide whether to approve or
reject the plan. However, attempts to impose the modifications directly without the provider’s consent would seemingly risk the Commission being in breach of its duty in relation to charity law, and means the legislation is relying on provisions that are unworkable.' 

The clause should be amended to remove the ability of the commission to make unilateral changes to plans. Thank you, Chair.

11:10

Thank you, Laura. Are there any other Members who wish to speak? No. Minister.

Thank you, Chair. Learners are at the heart of the reforms that this Bill is delivering, and I'd like to thank Laura Anne Jones for tabling amendments 52 and 129. They highlight a matter that is personally important to me. I know it is, obviously, to her as well, and I was very pleased to hear her use the terminology 'the whole-system approach', which goes beyond the whole-school approach, and that whole-system approach is the priority that I and Lynne Neagle have together in relation to the mental health and well-being of our young people.

Supporting and promoting the health and well-being of learners is essential, obviously, to improving educational outcomes and life chances as well, and is at the heart of my education strategy. It's a critical area in how we take forward the implementation of many aspects of this Bill, Chair, in particular the learner protection plans. I'm not able to recommend to the committee they accept these amendments as they're drafted, but I would like to offer Laura Anne Jones and the committee the opportunity to work together on an amendment for tabling at Stage 3. My reasons for calling on Members not to support amendment 52 is that: a desire to explore how we best reflect the importance of learner well-being further in the Bill, including consideration of where it's best placed in the Bill. So, for example, we might look at additional provision as it relates to registration conditions specifically. 

In respect of amendment 129, the intention is that learner protection plans will be learner centred and include arrangements to safeguard learners' well-being and mental health, and enabling learners to continue their education through the medium of Welsh. As currently drafted, the Bill does not specify the contents of a learner protection plan. The commission is under a duty to issue guidance on the preparation and revision of these plans, and it's my intention that they are underpinned by a common set of principles, based on that guidance, to ensure consistency for learners across the sector. Draft principles have been shared, Chair, with stakeholders, prior to the introduction of the Bill, and whilst stakeholders welcomed the development of a consistent high-level set of principles, responses in fact generally indicated a preference that the principles should be co-produced, rather than being set in legislation, which colours our response to this amendment.

Whilst I understand the intention behind amendment 53, I don't actually consider that it is necessary, as there is already in the Bill equivalent provision as it is. The commission must prepare and publish a learner engagement code about the involvement of learners in decisions by providers, including, Chair, ensuring that learners are able to participate in the making of these decisions and, crucially, have the opportunity to give their views. The commission, then, must also monitor compliance with the learner engagement code and include in its annual report its conclusions from that monitoring as to the effectiveness of the code itself.

Chair, in line with the recommendations of this committee and the views of stakeholders such as the National Union of Students Wales, amendment 5 has the effect of expanding the continuous improvement strategic duty to include a duty on the commission to have regard to the importance of the views of learners about the quality of the tertiary education that they receive. Amendment 6, then, is a minor technical amendment consequential on the substantive amendment in amendment 5.

I cannot support amendments 130, 131 and 132, I'm afraid. I think it's very important for the commission to retain the ability to modify the learner protection plan so as to make sure that these plans are suitable and robust and, vitally, that they remain focused on the learner.

So, I would ask Members to support amendments 5 and 6, tabled in my name, Chair, and to reject the other amendments in this group.

11:15

Thank you, Minister. I call on Laura to reply to the debate.

Thank you. Thank you, Minister, for your responses. Again, I'm really pleased that learner well-being is so important to the Minister, and we would be very happy to work with him on Stage 3 to ensure that it's firmly placed on the agenda for tertiary and higher education, moving forward.

I was happy with what you said about the protection plans. We will still go ahead with this, just to make the point, but, yes, I was pleased with what you said. I'm not sure it's robust enough, but I was pleased with what you said on that one—just to note that.

Thank you, Laura. So, do you wish to proceed to a vote on amendment 52?

11:20

Yes. No, sorry, I would like to withdraw 52 because I was happy with the Minister's response. Sorry, I meant to say that.

You'd like to withdraw amendment 52. That's fine. Does any Member object to the withdrawal of amendment 52? I can see no objection, so amendment 52 is withdrawn.

Tynnwyd gwelliant 52 yn ôl gyda chaniatâd y pwyllgor.

Amendment 52 withdrawn by leave of the committee.

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 53 (Laura Anne Jones).

Amendment 53 (Laura Anne Jones) moved.

The question is that amendment 53 is to be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] There is an objection, so we move to a vote. The question is that amendment 53 be agreed. Those in favour, please raise your hands. And those against. I see no abstentions, so that means, in relation to amendment 53, there are two in favour, four against, no abstentions, and that means amendment 53 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 53: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 53: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 4 (Jeremy Miles).

Amendment 4 (Jeremy Miles) moved.

I move amendment 4 in the name of the Minister. The question is that amendment 4 be agreed. Does any Member object? I hear no objection, so that means that amendment 4 is agreed.

Derbyniwyd y gwelliant yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 17.34.

Amendment agreed in accordance with Standing Order 17.34.

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 5 (Jeremy Miles).

Amendment 5 (Jeremy Miles) moved.

I move amendment 5 in the name of the Minister. The question is that amendment 5 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] I hear an objection, so we will move to a vote. The question is that amendment 5 be agreed. Those in favour, please raise their hands. Those against. And I see no abstentions. So, that means that, in relation to amendment 5, there were four in favour, two against, no abstentions, and that means amendment 5 is agreed.

Gwelliant 5: O blaid: 4, Yn erbyn: 2, Ymatal: 0

Derbyniwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 5: For: 4, Against: 2, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been agreed

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 6 (Jeremy Miles).

Amendment 6 (Jeremy Miles) moved.

I move amendment 6 in the name of the Minister. The question is that amendment 6 be agreed. Does any Member object? No objections, so that means amendment 6 is agreed.

Derbyniwyd y gwelliant yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 17.34.

Amendment agreed in accordance with Standing Order 17.34.

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 7 (Jeremy Miles).

Amendment 7 (Jeremy Miles) moved.

I move amendment 7 in the name of the Minister. The question is that amendment 7 be agreed. Does any Member object? I hear no objection, so that means that amendment 7 is agreed.

Derbyniwyd y gwelliant yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 17.34.

Amendment agreed in accordance with Standing Order 17.34.

Grŵp 8: Prentisiaethau, Addysg Alwedigaethol a Dysgu Oedolion yn y Gymuned (Gwelliannau 54, 126, 127, 128)
Group 8: Apprenticeships, Vocational Education and Adult Community Learning (Amendments 54, 126, 127, 128)

We'll now move on to the next group, and that is group 8, and group 8 relates to apprenticeships, vocational education, and adult community learning. The lead amendment in the group is amendment 54, in the name of Laura Anne Jones. I call on Laura to move amendment 54 and speak to the amendment and other amendments in this group. Laura.

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 54 (Laura Anne Jones).

Amendment 54 (Laura Anne Jones) moved.

Thank you, Chair. I will speak to all the amendments in this group. Overall, I believe a more rounded tertiary education system includes traineeship programmes, employability programmes and apprenticeships. I'm concerned about the place of these programmes within the Bill. Their full inclusion is essential in improving a sustainable and innovative economy, which will be of the utmost importance for Wales in the future.

Amendment 54 will include expanding the duty on the commission to contribute to a sustainable and innovative economy by including apprenticeships, traineeships and employability programmes. This is in line with recommendation 35 from the committee, which outlines amendments to broaden the definition of tertiary education to include adult community learning, in line with the definition in the explanatory memorandum. Additionally, the Education Workforce Council has said they believe that the Bill should clearly specify what is in or out of scope of the new body's responsibilities, to ensure clarity within the sector.

Amendment 126 would allow Ministers to give specific details about the content of apprenticeship frameworks, which is supported by amendment 127.

Amendment 128 would see targets set for things like disabled people and ethnic minority participation in apprenticeships, and increase numbers of those taking care apprenticeships. The amendment would see a summary report of all those activities, and more in an annual report.

I'd also like to emphasise the importance of degree apprenticeships, and will expand on this later on, in our system. And I would like to see a significant expansion of these—offering people routes to success outside a university setting should be top priority for this Government. Thank you.

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

Diolch, Gadeirydd. I cannot, I'm afraid, agree amendment 54, which, as Laura Anne Jones has said, has the effect of adding apprenticeships, traineeship programmes and employability programmes to the definition of tertiary education for the purpose of the strategic duty in respect of a sustainable and innovative economy in Wales. I don't myself see that this is supported by the specific recommendation in the committee's report. The definition of tertiary education, Chair, is broad, and captures apprenticeships already. Traineeship programmes no longer exist, and responsibility for employability programmes will, in fact, remain with the Welsh Ministers. So, those are the reasons why I cannot support amendment 54.

I also, I'm afraid, don't agree with amendments 126 and 127, which remove the ability of Welsh Ministers to prepare and publish the specification of requirements in relation to approved Welsh apprenticeships. In addition, no replacement provision is inserted as regards the preparation of a Welsh apprenticeship specification, significantly weakening, Chair, the legislative arrangements put in place by the Bill.

The Welsh specification will be prepared and issued by Welsh Ministers following consultation with the commission and with other stakeholders. The specification acts as a vehicle for Welsh Ministers to articulate a cross-cutting policy to ensure that apprenticeships are responsive to changing economic conditions in Wales. This might include, for example, being able to respond rapidly to new inward investment opportunities that arise. But the commission will have full responsibility for developing and issuing all apprenticeship frameworks against the standards in the specification, and will be responsible for the quality, for integrity and for the robustness of all apprenticeship frameworks. The commission will also maintain a register of approved apprenticeship frameworks, Chair.

Finally, I do not support amendment 128, as I consider the Bill already includes sufficient provision in relation to this. The Bill requires the commission to prepare an annual report on a range of matters including, already, details of how the commission has exercised its functions during the year, which would include its funding powers and activities in respect of apprenticeships and vocational qualifications. In addition to that concern, Chair, providing for express provision in relation to apprenticeships and vocational qualifications in the annual report risks creating an imbalance when compared to the other kinds of tertiary education within the remit of the commission.

I am considering preparing and issuing statutory guidance under section 18 of the Bill, which would set out expectations on the commission in respect of its annual report. And that approach, I would submit to the committee, would maintain an appropriate level of specification in legislation and then allow the commission an appropriate degree of flexibility to decide how it discharges its duties. And so, I call on Members to reject each of the amendments in this group.

11:25

Thank you, Chair. Thank you, Minister. We take on board the points you raised, but we will continue to press for the amendments to be voted on. Thanks.

Thank you, Laura. So, the question is that amendment 54 be agreed. Does any Member object? [Objection.] Okay. We'll go to a vote. So, the question is that amendment 54 is agreed. Those in favour, please raise your hands. Those against. And I see no abstentions. So, that means, in relation to amendment 54, two in favour, four against, no abstentions. And amendment 54 is not agreed.

Gwelliant 54: O blaid: 2, Yn erbyn: 4, Ymatal: 0

Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant

Amendment 54: For: 2, Against: 4, Abstain: 0

Amendment has been rejected

Grŵp 9: Cyfrwng Cymraeg (Gwelliannau 8, 55, 9, 10)
Group 9: Welsh Medium (Amendments 8, 55, 9, 10)

So, we now move on to group 9. Group 9 relates to Welsh medium. The lead amendment in the group is amendment 8, in the name of the Minister.

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 8 (Jeremy Miles).

Amendment 8 (Jeremy Miles) moved.

So, I move amendment 8 in the name of the Minister, and call on the Minister to speak to his amendment and the other amendments in this group. Minister.

Diolch, Gadeirydd. Mae'r gwelliannau yn y grŵp hwn yn ymateb i argymhellion y pwyllgor hwn ac yn adlewyrchu uchelgais Llywodraeth Cymru, a'm huchelgais i, o ran cynyddu'r defnydd o'r Gymraeg a nifer y siaradwyr Cymraeg. Mae'r holl welliannau'n ymwneud â'r ddyletswydd strategol mewn perthynas â hyrwyddo addysg drydyddol cyfrwng Cymraeg, gyda gwelliant 8 yn ehangu'r ddyletswydd, gan ei gwneud yn ofynnol i'r comisiwn annog y galw am addysg drydyddol drwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg a chymryd rhan mewn darpariaeth o'r fath.

Er fy mod i'n cytuno gyda'r bwriad y tu ôl i welliant 55, dwi ddim yn gallu cefnogi'r gwelliant gan fod y materion y mae'n ceisio mynd i'r afael â nhw eisoes wedi'u cynnwys mewn gwelliannau a gyflwynwyd gen i. Mae darparu adnoddau'n rhywbeth sydd wedi'i gynnwys o dan 'pob cam rhesymol' yn y ddyletswydd strategol hon, fel y'i diwygiwyd gan welliant 8. Mae rhoi sylw penodol i risg adnoddau yn golygu bod y ddyletswydd yn llai clir, oherwydd gall gyflwyno amwysedd ynghylch a yw darparu adnoddau yn dod o ran y ddyletswydd i gymryd 'pob cam rhesymol'. Yn ogystal, mae dyletswydd strategol newydd o ran hyrwyddo ymchwil ac arloesi mae'r pwyllgor eisoes wedi pleidleisio arni yn cynnwys darpariaeth mewn perthynas â hyrwyddo cynnal gwaith ymchwil ac arloesi drwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg.

Mae gwelliant 9 yn mireinio'r ddyletswydd strategol ymhellach, gan ddileu'r gair 'rhesymol' mewn perthynas â'r galw, gan ei gwneud yn ofynnol, felly, i'r comisiwn, fel rhan o'r ddyletswydd, gymryd pob cam rhesymol i ateb y galw am addysg drydyddol cyfrwng Cymraeg, gan gynnwys y galw maen nhw'n ei gynhyrchu drwy gyflawni'r ddyletswydd strategol. Nid oedd cynnwys y term 'rhesymol' wedi'i fwriadu fel ffactor cyfyngol mewn perthynas â'r ddyletswydd hon, ac nid dyna oedd yr effaith, chwaith, yn fy marn i, ond rwyf yn cydnabod y pryderon a godwyd gan y pwyllgor a gan randdeiliaid ynghylch sut y gellid ei ddehongli, ac felly rwy'n cytuno i'w ddileu.

Mae'r gwelliant terfynol yn y grŵp hwn, gwelliant 10, yn ei gwneud yn ofynnol i Weinidogion Cymru ddynodi person i roi cyngor i'r comisiwn i'w helpu i gyflawni'r ddyletswydd strategol hon. Mae'r gwelliant yn nodi'r materion y mae'n rhaid i berson allu cynghori'r comisiwn arnynt er mwyn cael ei ddynodi. Mae'n ofynnol i'r comisiwn roi sylw i'r cyngor a ddarperir gan y person mewn perthynas â'r ddyletswydd strategol hon. Os nad oes unrhyw berson yn bodloni'r gofynion, nid yw'r ddyletswydd yn gymwys. Rydw i'n fodlon bod y Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol yn bodloni'r materion a restrir, ac felly rwy'n hyderus bod hyn yn cyflawni ac yn mynd yn bellach nag yr argymhellir y pwyllgor ein bod yn cyflwyno gwelliant i sicrhau bod y comisiwn yn cydweithio â'r coleg mewn ffordd strategol. Dwi ddim am achub y blaen ar y broses gyfreithiol o wneud dynodiad, ond, pe bawn i'n dynodi'r corff heddiw, byddwn i'n yn dynodi'r coleg at ddibenion y ddarpariaeth hon. Byddai dynodi'r coleg yn rhoi eglurder o ran y berthynas rhwng y ddau gorff, gan sicrhau bod y comisiwn yn gallu elwa ar arbenigedd y coleg.

Cadeirydd, mae'r Gymraeg yn perthyn i bawb, ac mae'n rhaid inni barhau i annog a chreu cyfleoedd i ddefnyddio'r Gymraeg, yn enwedig yn ein sector addysg drydyddol. Felly, rwy'n galw ar Aelodau i gefnogi'r holl welliannau yn y grŵp hwn, a gyflwynwyd yn fy enw i, ac i wrthod gwelliant 55.

Thank you, Chair. The amendments in this group respond to recommendations made by this committee and reflect the Welsh Government's ambition, and my own ambition, in relation to increasing the use of Welsh and the number of Welsh speakers. All the amendments relate to the strategic duty in respect of promoting Welsh-medium tertiary education, with amendment 8 expanding the duty, requiring the commission to encourage demand for tertiary education through the medium of Welsh and encourage participation in provision of this kind.

Whilst I agree with the intention behind amendment 55, I cannot support the amendment as the matters it seeks to address are already included in amendments that I have tabled. The provision of resources is something that is covered by the 'all reasonable steps' aspect of this strategic duty, as amended by amendment 8. To single out resources risks making the duty less clear, as it may introduce ambiguity as to whether provision of resources falls within the 'all reasonable steps' aspect. In addition, the new strategic duty in respect of promoting research and innovation, and the committee has already voted on that duty, includes provision in respect of promoting the undertaking of research and innovation through the medium of Welsh.

Amendment 9 further refines the strategic duty, removing the word 'reasonable' in relation to demand, thereby requiring the commission, as part of the duty, to take all reasonable steps to meet the demand for Welsh-medium tertiary education, including the demand that they generate through discharging the strategic duty. The inclusion of 'reasonable' was not intended to be a limiting factor in respect of this duty, nor was that the impact, in my view, but I do acknowledge the concerns raised by the committee and by stakeholders about how this could be interpreted, so, I agree with its removal.

The final amendment in this group, namely amendment 10, requires the Welsh Ministers to designate a person to provide advice to the commission to assist them in the discharge of the strategic duty. The amendment sets out the matters on which a person must be able to advise the commission in order to be designated. The commission is required to have regard to the advice provided by the person in respect of this strategic duty. If no person meets the requirements, then the duty does not apply. I am satisfied that the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol does meet the listed matters, and I am therefore confident that this meets and indeed goes further than the committee's recommendation that we bring forward an amendment to ensure that the commission works with the coleg in a strategic manner. I don't want to pre-empt the legal process of making the designation, however, it is my view that, if I were to desi