Y Pwyllgor Cydraddoldeb a Chyfiawnder Cymdeithasol

Equality and Social Justice Committee


Aelodau'r Pwyllgor a oedd yn bresennol

Committee Members in Attendance

Altaf Hussain
Jane Dodds
Jenny Rathbone Cadeirydd y Pwyllgor
Committee Chair
Ken Skates
Sarah Murphy
Sioned Williams

Y rhai eraill a oedd yn bresennol

Others in Attendance

Alexa Gainsbury Iechyd Cyhoeddus Cymru
Public Health Wales
Bethan Pell Rhwydwaith Ymchwil Iechyd mewn Ysgolion
School Health Research Network
Dr Honor Young Rhwydwaith Ymchwil Iechyd mewn Ysgolion
School Health Research Network
Emily van de Venter Iechyd Cyhoeddus Cymru
Public Health Wales

Swyddogion y Senedd a oedd yn bresennol

Senedd Officials in Attendance

Angharad Roche Dirprwy Glerc
Deputy Clerk
Ben Harris Cynghorydd Cyfreithiol
Legal Adviser
Rachael Davies Ail Glerc
Second Clerk
Rhys Morgan Clerc
Sam Mason Cynghorydd Cyfreithiol
Legal Adviser

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 a thrwy gynhadledd fideo.

Dechreuodd y cyfarfod am 11:15.

The committee met in the Senedd and by video-conference.

The meeting began at 11:15.

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

Prynhawn da. Welcome to the Equality and Social Justice Committee. I've had apologies from Ken Skates for the first part of this meeting, but he will be present for the scrutiny after lunch of people related to our gender-based violence inquiry. Otherwise, I've had no other substitutions. Is there anybody who needs to declare an interest in matters related to this inquiry, or to our papers today? No. That's great. Just for anybody who's watching amongst the public, this obviously is a public meeting, and interpretation is available from Welsh to English.

2. Papurau i'w nodi
2. Papers to note

There are three papers to note. Are you content to note them? Very good.

3. Cynnig o dan Reolau Sefydlog 17.42(vi) a (ix) i benderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o eitemau 4, 5 a 7 y cyfarfod
3. Motion under Standing Orders 17.42(vi) and (ix) to exclude the public from items 4, 5 and 7 of the meeting


bod y pwyllgor yn penderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o weddill y cyfarfod yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 17.42(vi) a (ix).


that the committee resolves to exclude the public from the remainder of the meeting in accordance with Standing Order 17.42(vi) and (ix).

Cynigiwyd y cynnig.

Motion moved.

The meeting in public will resume at 1.30 p.m. on the dot, where we will be taking evidence from people involved in preventing gender-based violence. Otherwise, I wondered if Members would agree, under Standing Order 17.42, to exclude the public for items 4, 5 and 7 of today's meeting. I see no objection.

Derbyniwyd y cynnig.

Daeth rhan gyhoeddus y cyfarfod i ben am 11:17.

Motion agreed.

The public part of the meeting ended at 11:17.


Ailymgynullodd y pwyllgor yn gyhoeddus am 13:30. 

The committee reconvened in public at 13:30.

6. Atal trais ar sail rhywedd drwy ddulliau iechyd y cyhoedd: sesiwn dystiolaeth 6
6. The public health approach to preventing gender-based violence: evidence session 6

Welcome back to the Equality and Social Justice Committee. We are continuing our inquiry into the public health approach to preventing gender-based violence. I am very pleased, for this sixth evidence session, that we have Bethan Pell and Dr Honor Young from the School Health Research Network, and Alexa Gainsbury and Emily van de Venter from Public Health Wales, who are part of the whole-school approach team in Public Health Wales. Welcome, all four of you. You don't all need to answer every question, but if you want to say something in addition to or in disagreement with one of your colleagues, just simply raise your hand, if you would, and we'll ensure that you get called, if you want to add something to what somebody else has said. Excellent. 

Right, well, I'm going to start off with the questions. Really, I just wanted to clarify a little bit about how frequently this survey takes place with young people, because, in Bethan and Honor's written evidence, you say that you published a research briefing in 2017. Is it that the questionnaire has gone on every two years but you aren't able to do a research briefing every two years? Or is it that there really has been a gap between 2017 and 2024? Who'd like to start? Bethan. 

Hi. I think Honor might take this question, actually, if that's okay.

Okay. Hello, Honor. Okay, Honor, please help us on this. 

Thanks. Just to give a bit of context about the School Health Research Network, we are a network of all the secondary schools in Wales. All the secondary maintained and middle schools in Wales are part of the network, and we do a survey with the students every two years. So, the aim of the network really is to improve young people's health and well-being, and we do that in a variety of different ways. But we do a survey with students every two years and we also do a survey with staff as well—so, with a member of the senior leadership team in the schools also. So, we get an idea of what's going on in young people's lives, and also we get an idea of the policy and practices within the school environment.

It's a broad-based health and well-being survey. We do ask a variety of different questions. Some do look at gender-based violence, some look at dating violence, some look at sexual behaviours. But every year there are different priorities, there are different people working on these topics. What we do with the data—and I think this is one of the strengths of the network—is we provide the data back to the schools themselves. We also produce local authority reports and we also produce a national report, and those are published every two years, as the data is collected, to share back the data that we collect into the system so that others are using it for evidence-based policy and practice.

So, to answer your question, there's data for every two years. We do publish the national report every two years, and schools also get a report and local authorities get reports every two years. The survey questions themselves sometimes are on a rotation, and there are different routes to the survey, purely because it's so large. So, it may be that not all questions are asked every two years; some may be asked every four years. But, for the most part, most questions are asked every two years and are published. 

Okay. So, the root of my interest is, really, you're saying in your written report that there has been an age-related increase in all types of dating and relationship violence in both boys and girls, and clearly that is a very significant statement, and I just wondered if you could tell us on what basis you're making that statement. 

Is that from one of the publications, sorry? 

Sorry, could I just check from one of the—. 

Okay. Well, yes, I suppose there's age-related trajectories in terms of experience of dating and relationship violence, in terms of we see increases, maybe because more young people tend to experience dating as they get older and, therefore, experience higher rates of dating violence during that time period as their experience increases.


Indeed. So, that's why you're arguing for the need for earlier interventions, before people start dating, effectively. Okay, thank you for the clarification. In terms of the latest available information, what questions do you ask that are relevant to gender-based violence?

We have a series of questions that look at a variety of different topics. As I say, the School Health Research Network is a broad-based health and well-being survey, so we can't include too detailed questions on lots of different topics, or it would just be too long. But we do have questions on dating and relationship violence, gender-based violence, sexual behaviours, bullying more broadly, and, as I say, some of these questions are asked every two years, some are every four years, depending on the different pathways.

In terms of gender-based violence, we ask questions—. I could probably provide these as written evidence as well, because I'm conscious there's a big, long list. We asked in the last year have the young people been called sexually offensive names at school, either by boys or by girls. We asked in the last year have they been unwantedly touched or kissed at school by boys or by girls. Those are asked every four years. Every two years, we also ask questions about school experience when it comes to these topics—so, whether teachers take action when they hear pupils being called sexually offensive names, either by boys or by girls. We also ask whether the schools teach you about who to go to if you or a friend experience violence within a relationship, and we also ask if the students would speak to a member of staff at the school if they were experiencing boy or girl relationship violence, if it was happening to them or if it was happening to somebody else. So, those are the sorts of specific questions we ask on gender-based violence.

We do ask other related questions that may be of interest, relating to bullying. So, we ask them for reasons why young people are bullied in school, and we ask young people to tick three top options, and some of the reasons or examples include because they are lesbian, gay or bisexual, or because of their gender identity or expression. So, that's another set of questions about bullying. Again, we ask wider questions about bullying, but I've just picked those for now.

We ask questions on sending sexually explicit images—so, whether the young person has ever sent a sexually explicit image themselves. We also ask—again, this is every four years—whether anyone has ever sent, forwarded or shared a sexually explicit image without them asking you, so without consent.

The final set of questions—again, this is all in the secondary school survey—is about dating and relationship violence. So, we ask whether young people have ever been seeing someone, dating or going out with someone, and we ask whether that's with a girl or with girls, or with a boy or boys, and we can use that combination of responses. And then we ask about various different forms of dating violence. So, we ask whether a partner has made hurtful comments towards you, or whether you have made hurtful comments towards a partner. So, we're asking here about emotional victimisation and emotional perpetration. And then, we also ask some questions about physical victimisation and perpetration—so, things like whether anyone has been pushed or shoved or maybe even been punched or kicked. Those are our combinations of questions, and we're particularly interested in victimisation and perpetration with both of those.

So, those are the secondary school survey questions that we ask. In primary school, we don't ask anywhere near as detailed questions as those, but we do ask whether students are happy with their relationships with their family, with their life overall, or with the home that they live in. We also ask whether the children in your class enjoy being together, if most children are kind and helpful, and also if other children accept you as you are. Those are the sorts of questions that I think are perhaps most relevant in response to your question about which questions we ask for gender-based violence.

Sorry, it's long, I know.

Okay, fine. I think we've got enough now. That's really helpful, and I look forward to your additional written clarification on that. Fantastic. Given that well-being issues are done better by some schools than others, and that clearly, the well-being of young people is certainly talked about a lot more, and there's no doubt that COVID has caused mental distress for a lot of young people, could you just explain to us how these major public health issues are being monitored in relation to the Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Act and strategy, so that we have some idea of the amount of work we've got to do in the future? Would somebody else like to go first? Who wants to kick off on this one? Lex. [Interruption.] Is it Lex or Emily going first?


Shall I start, Emily, and then you?

Okay. So, I think, just to pick up on where Honor left us in terms of the SHRN survey, which collects all that core routine health and well-being data, I think what's clear from the national indicators for the VAWDASV strategy is that that's quite focused on shifting knowledge and attitudes, which is a tricky thing for you to be able to pick up from this particular service. It's not the right tool in its current form to be able to provide that.

And another issue, I think, is that whilst we collect all that routine data and we are able to look at it in terms of girls, boys and minority genders, what is quite tricky is to determine the causal relationship between some of those health and well-being outcomes and gender-based violence specifically. What I just wanted to point to as well is the school environment questionnaire, which does provide that opportunity to monitor staff training, policies, and what's in place to support staff to both recognise and respond to gender-based violence, which does speak more directly to the VAWDASV national indicators. I'll hand over to Emily now, if that's okay.

Thank you. So, yes, I just wanted to reiterate, really, some of what Alexa said. So, in terms of the SHRN survey, we do use the short Warwick-Edinburgh mental well-being scale within that for secondary school pupils, so we have an indication of what average well-being scores are overall, and we’re able to cut that down, break it down by different demographics, year groups, et cetera, so it’s a really useful source of information for overall well-being of our young people.

Then, as you will hopefully be aware, we’ve got the whole-school approach to emotional and mental well-being framework, which Welsh Government helpfully released in 2021, which we as Public Health Wales are supporting schools and local areas to embed. And we’re monitoring the progress of that programme in a couple of different ways. So, one is that we are just collecting some progress indicators, process indicators, if you like, in terms of how many schools are on board, how many are working through their self-evaluation framework tools to support them with that framework, and how many are in the action planning stage. So, we’re kind of in year 2, really, of substantive roll out of that, so that is progressing nicely, but obviously, some schools require some more support and more time to come on board with that.

Alongside that work, we’re also internally carrying out a process evaluation, so that is an approach where we can look at what is working well in terms of how schools are actually applying this framework, applying this guidance, and involving the whole school community within that. So, the internal evaluation will produce a series of outputs, and we’ve had one early evaluation report that looked at that first year, and gave some really helpful learning points for us as a system, which we’ve shared with local public health teams. The second report has recently been shared with schools, and that was a learning report looking at schools’ experiences of doing the self-evaluation process, how they’re engaging with parents, families, pupils, wider staff members, and how they’re prioritising views from different stakeholders and working with that information, and that was based on surveys of schools and focus groups with a smaller number of schools to get that more in-depth information, and we’re currently in the middle of a similar process, looking at the action planning stage, and actually how schools are determining their priority needs, and how they are deciding what to put in place off the back of their self-identified needs from self-evaluation.

The third bit—. Sorry, I’ll pause there.

As Jane Dodds wanted to obviously follow off what you just said.

Ie. Diolch yn fawr iawn. Jest cwestiwn byr, os gwelwch yn dda. Ydy ysgolion, ac efallai athrawon, yn cael amser i wneud y gwaith yma? Oes yna fwy o arian yn mynd i mewn i ysgolion i sicrhau eu bod nhw'n cael yr amser ac i wneud yn siŵr eu bod nhw'n gallu canolbwyntio ar hyn, os gwelwch yn dda? Diolch yn fawr iawn.

Yes. Thank you very much. Just a brief question, if I may. Do you feel that schools and teachers have enough time to carry out this work? Is there more money going into schools to ensure that they have the time and to ensure that they are able to focus on this, please? Thank you.


Thank you for that question. It is very pertinent in terms of the speed and the progress of the roll-out of this. There are multiple pressures on staff time at the moment, and it has been one of the things that has been a challenge for us in terms of there being a number of significant changes that schools are being asked to make at the moment. That said, we are feeling like there's really good engagement now. It took a while to build up to this point, but we feel there's very good engagement from schools. They absolutely prioritise the mental health and well-being of their young people, following COVID. I can't say that they weren't beforehand, but it's certainly a big priority for them.

The question around more money to schools is probably not for me to say. We probably need the views of education colleagues in that space. But certainly, there are capacity challenges.

Very, very quickly. Just to be clear, you're not aware of any additional moneys going to schools in order to complete this task.

We don't currently provide any funding direct to schools for this. There has been funding made to local authorities to support with school counselling, for example. But yes.

Okay. I think that's for another place. I just want to know what does happen with this information, though. Does Estyn routinely get this information by school when they're about to do an inspection?

The SHRN data, those reports are publicly available, so it's available to them. It's not something we send them specifically—the schools' information. They certainly look at school well-being plans and their approach to how they're supporting pupil well-being as part of their inspections.

Very good. All right. I think, Bethan, and then I'll move on to Sarah.

Yes. Just to add to what Emily was just talking about, Estyn do sit on SHRN's strategic advisory board, and they regularly present at our regional SHRN summer events at schools, and they have previously recommended in reports that local schools should use their SHRN report as a tool to plan for their provision and improvement of issues. They have used it in a couple of their reports and do seem to use it, but the inspectorate themselves would be able to, I guess, comment further on that as well.

Thank you very much, Chair. Thank you all for being here today. I'm going to drill down a little bit more into the systematic review of the school-based intervention. My first questions will be to you, Bethan and Honor. Could you just talk to us—in terms of your review, what were the most effective programmes in preventing gender-based violence? And also, what's been done to tackle the drivers and root causes of gender-based violence? Can you give us some positive examples, please?

I can certainly try. One of the things—. Just to say initially that this was a large-scale systematic review. It was very complex and had lots of different elements. Essentially, it's probably easiest to talk about it in several stages, but we searched a large number of databases, specifically looking at randomised controlled trials. We had 247 records, 68 randomised controlled trials. Only one of those was actually undertaken in the UK. We did a series of different things. In terms of whether we looked at the root drivers, the root causes, we looked at trying to create a taxonomy, to create a categorisation of the different types of ways in which we intervene in schools, so using things like student-directed approaches, classroom-based activities for students. There were other non-student directed activities, so engaging parents, engaging schoolteachers, and then also looking at more structural-level things, like policy reviews, actually changing the school environments, and those sorts of things. We classified those in lots of different ways.

In terms of the ways in which these interventions are working, one of the things that we next did was then not just look at the activities themselves, but also how they were working within the school environment themselves. So, we noted that the ways in which a lot of these interventions, when they worked and they were trying to work, were really about strengthening the relationship between the school and the community. So, schools don't just exist in isolation; they work within the communities that they exist within. So strengthening those relationships, but also strengthening the relationships within the schools themselves, so between the students and the teachers, and then between the students themselves. So, this idea that increasing belonging to the schools within a student-centred approach would lead students to feel more committed and perhaps more pro-social behaviour. So, those were the sort of stages.

In terms of what was most effective, I wish it was as simple as just being able to say, 'This was the most effective intervention'. We found that interventions tended to be more effective in high-income countries, and they seemed to be more effective at reducing dating and relationship violence and gender-based violence. We looked at those two things in samples with more girls, interestingly. But, what we did find was that it wasn't necessarily the individual intervention itself, the activity or the components itself, that explained the variation in effectiveness. We did look more specifically, but I'm conscious of the time and the level of detail that you need. We looked at what worked for victimisation specifically and what worked for perpetration specifically, so I can go into that or not. But, overall, what we found was that, really, it seems to be less important to do something really complicated; rather, better to do something really, really well. Doing something complicated doesn't necessarily lead to doing better effect. Sometimes, the single-component interventions were actually more effective than some of these more complicated multilevel components, which goes against a lot of what we already know and what we advocate for in terms of the whole-school approach. But, really, what was most important was capacity to implement. So, really, the single-component interventions were surprising, but, really, it's more about the ease of being able to implement them, especially in schools that may lack capacity or may be in highly deprived areas.

So there are different ways. Again, you can work on improving gender-based violence, whether it's reducing perpetration or experience for victims, but, really, destabilising harmful practices is one way, or really establishing pro-social behaviours. Again, what we found was that, in schools where there's maybe less capacity, fewer resources perhaps in more deprived areas, really, basic safety is perhaps most important, reducing the harmful behaviours. And, in areas where there is more capacity more resource, it may be possible to promote some of the more pro-social behaviours.


Okay. Sarah wants to come in. If you can keep your—

Thank you. Thank you, Honor. And I have to say, having a look through the papers that you've published—this is one of many that you've done—and it is a very complex area, especially when you're looking at feelings, right? Feelings are almost impossible, in some ways, to research. And what you said about the socioeconomic landscape really correlates, really, with what the World Health Organization is saying as well.

But I particularly wanted to look—and it relates, actually, to what Jane Dodds was asking you before, and what you were saying about capacity. I think it's fascinating that you've also looked at this through the economics of it as well and how it's costing the United Kingdom £66 billion to be able to cope with DRV, and £37 billion with GBV, and that's mostly because of the physical and mental health consequences for victims, and their impact on productivity. That can sound like quite a detached way of looking at this, but, when we look at the fact that what you're saying is, capacity is a huge issue—and, Emily, you've also just related to the fact that there's not really additional money going into the schools—surely there is a case here to be made as well that—. It's the money as well, though. It's the funding, it's the capacity to actually make this work instead of just putting it all, really, on the young people and the teachers.

Okay. Before you answer, I'm going to ask Jane Dodds to give her question. Can we keep our answers—

All right. Honor, are you picking that up, or one of your colleagues?


I'm happy to say a little bit. I think one of the things that we did look at—and it's similar to what our colleagues from Public Health Wales have mentioned—was that we looked at, actually, the process evaluations that had taken place when different countries had tried to implement various different interventions in schools, and whether schools were able to do that, what the barriers were, what the facilitators were. And I think that's a really important thing when it comes to asking schools to engage with things: the extent to which they can deliver, and the extent to which they deliver with fidelity. It's great to give an education programme, but whether people can deliver it to the degree to which it's designed to be delivered is also very important.

So, capacity was a big finding with this, certainly with our large systematic review, and I think that it then affects much else in terms of what else can be done within those schools, whether it's small scale, whether it's bigger scale, whether it's working at various different levels of influence on young people's lives; it very much depends on those sorts of things. 

Okay. Sarah, short questions and short answers, please, for everybody. 

I just want to touch on this—I'm sure you've explained this in your findings—but most of the interventions, as you mentioned, that you reviewed were conducted in North America. Are there any similar Welsh Government-supported programmes that are designed to tackle gender-based violence in the school setting? And also, how much do you think that really impacts the findings? Do you think we need to have more research done in Wales, because we have heard throughout this inquiry that there are particular cultures, right, to Wales?

Yes. So, as Honor mentioned when she first started talking about the systematic review, it included a search of 21 databases, but it was a very specific criteria where the interventions needed to be included, and they had to have had a randomised control trial of the intervention. So, that meant that there was only one UK-based intervention that ended up being included in that review, which was actually one that we had been involved with, which was run by Chris Bonell, called Project Respect. So, there were no Welsh Government interventions that were included in the systematic review, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they aren't ongoing. It just means that they didn't meet the criteria for a randomised control trial to be included in the review. So, yes, perhaps it does mean that we need more of those robust and rigorous evaluations of those interventions to be able to include them in those types of reviews.

Thank you very much. And then, coming back to Emily and what you mentioned earlier on, what is your view on how well-represented education is within the VAWDASV strategy and blueprint?

Apologies. It took me a moment to unmute then. Again, I think that's probably—. So, I work closely on our whole-school approach angle of things, and we have schools well-represented in that in terms of our steering groups and our local governance structures for that. But I am less closely aligned to the violence against women strategy group, so it may be a question that someone else is better placed to answer, sorry. 

I can pick up that, if that's okay. So, what I'd say is we know that education settings are really important, a critical place for prevention. I think that's really clear in the Wales Without Violence framework that was recently published, and I think that provides us with a really, really strong foundation. The current strategy, it does acknowledge that, perhaps, children and young people, as well as older adults, have perhaps not been as well catered for as other cohorts. So, really, really welcome that focus and the intent to support the roll-out of the relationships and sexuality education code, which is really critical, really important. I do think there might be an opportunity to strengthen that even further, thinking about education settings as settings for prevention, and particularly thinking about education settings as an environment—they're a place where you live, where you learn, in the classroom as well as outside the classroom. They're a place where you very much experience life, so perhaps thinking more about how we can encompass that within the blueprint would be something that we would very much welcome.

Absolutely. Thank you very much. And to continue asking Alexa and Emily some questions about cross-Government working: healthy relationships are fundamental to well-being, so do you think there is sufficient focus, therefore, on gender-based violence prevention within existing Welsh Government initiatives, such as the whole-school approach to emotional and mental well-being and the Welsh network of healthy schools scheme?


Emily, do you mind if I start? Thank you. It's difficult when you're doing a double act, isn't it?

I just wanted to go back a second as well, if that's okay, to a point that Honor made in terms of capacity, and also about relationships and strengthening connectivity with the school as being key components of an effective approach to gender-based violence prevention initiatives. They're also key components of multiple approaches to health and well-being, so they're common across emotional and mental well-being, and they can be common across things like physical activity and food. So, we very much focus on looking at some of those upstream determinants in schools, similar core components that are shared across, and embedding that in the culture and the ethos of the school.

So, from that perspective, I'd say very much that a whole-school approach to health and well-being, regardless of what topic area you're particularly focusing on, is very much about making sure that that culture, that supportive environment, creating safe spaces is at the core of provision. So, I would say, yes, both the Welsh network of healthy schools scheme and the whole-school approach to emotional and mental well-being are fundamentally gender-based violence prevention programmes.

We're at the moment looking at quite a significant review of our standards for the Welsh network of healthy schools scheme, moving to some minimum standards that really focus on those core components. And, in particular, relationships is going to be one of those minimum standards, one of those core standards, alongside promoting equity and a rights-based approach, and also environment—so, thinking about that both as the physical environment and safety in terms of the physical environment, but also the psycho-social environment within schools. 

Okay. I think we need to move on, if you don't mind, otherwise we won't get to the end of our questions. Sioned Williams.

Diolch, Cadeirydd. Ie, dwi eisiau gofyn cwpl mwy o gwestiynau ynglŷn â'r dull ysgol gyfan. Rŷch chi newydd sôn am sut i sefydlu’r diwylliant yna sy'n sylfaen ar gyfer y dull ysgol gyfan. Sut ydyn ni'n gallu sicrhau monitro effeithiol o'r cynnydd yn y dull ysgol gyfan? Mae angen fframwaith cynhwysfawr sy'n gallu edrych ar y newid ar draws nifer o lefelau. Felly, oes safonau gofynnol a fframwaith monitro ar waith i gyfarwyddo ysgolion mewn cysylltiad â rhaglenni atal trais ar sail rhywedd, ac i'w helpu nhw i gryfhau eu hymateb nhw ar y mater yma?

Thank you, Chair. Yes, I want to ask a couple more questions on the whole-school approach. You just mentioned how that culture should be established, which is the basis for the whole-school approach. How can we ensure effective monitoring of the progress in the whole-school approach? We need a comprehensive framework that can look at change across a number of levels. So, are there any minimum requirements and a monitoring framework in place to guide schools in relation to preventing gender-based violence and to strengthen their response to that?

Thank you. Yes, we do have national criteria. At the moment, as I said, we're transforming that into a set of minimum standards based on the core components of a whole-school approach. We're also developing a new monitoring and evaluation framework to run alongside that. So, we're hoping to publish both of those in January 2024. That space and the core components, so, those common themes across all health and well-being outcomes, or many health and well-being outcomes, as we see from the evidence, the next steps will be working with both Welsh Government and colleagues in the violence prevention team around complementary thematic guidance, specifically looking at gender-based violence and incorporating that good practice guide that was published quite some time ago now. So, how can we synergise that with what we're doing in the core component framework?

Ac o ran data, pa ddata dylem ni fod yn gofyn i Lywodraeth Cymru ei gasglu a'i gyhoeddi ar drais ar sail rhywedd a fyddai'n gallu ein helpu ni wedyn i olrhain y newidiadau yma dros amser ar lefel ysgol, ar lefel awdurdod lleol, ac ar lefel genedlaethol? A hefyd, sut ydyn ni'n cyrraedd y plant a'r bobl ifanc sydd mewn lleoliadau addysg eraill—addysg yn y cartref, er enghraifft?

And in terms of data, what data should we be asking the Welsh Government to collate and publish on gender-based violence, which could help us then to track changes over time at the school, local authority and national level? Also, how do we reach the children and young people who are in other educational settings—for example, those who are home schooled?

That's a really good question. It's also, I think, a really challenging question in terms of data. It needs to be, I think, thought through very carefully. One of the things that we know about gender-based violence is it tends to be under-reported, so a lot of initiatives are focused on raising awareness, raising young people's—or anybody in Wales's—ability to report. So, we need to be careful about what we're tracking, that it isn't better ascertainment as opposed to a change in incidence.

What we've been doing within our programmes is developing an evidence-based theory of change about whole-school approaches, so that what we can focus on is collecting data that tells us to what extent we are achieving our purpose, so not the distant outcome, but our purpose in terms of increasing school connectivity, improving relationships in a setting. And I would suggest taking that approach might be more effective. It might tell you a little bit more about what is locally happening, as opposed to those high-level health and well-being outcomes, which tend to have multiple drivers and levers interacting with them.

In terms of children and young people who are not in mainstream settings, I think that is a really critical point, and I know it's something that's being raised through the whole-school approach to emotional and mental well-being. Both Emily and I lead on settings-based programmes, and agree that we need to be critically aware that some of our most vulnerable children will not be attending settings or not be attending settings at a sufficient rate to be able to benefit from setting-based interventions.


Ond mae hyn yn cael ei edrych arno, roeddech chi'n sôn, ie? 

But this is being looked at, you said, yes?

I know it's been picked up through the stakeholder group for the whole-school approach to emotional and mental well-being, which is the forum that I sit on. So, I know it's raised within that one.

Ôce. Diolch. Wedyn, o ran meddwl am y Cwricwlwm i Gymru newydd, sydd, wrth gwrs, yn rhoi cyfleoedd newydd i ysgolion integreiddio ymdrechion i atal trais ar sail rhywedd yn y cwricwlwm, wrth gwrs, dyw'r cwricwlwm ddim yn mynd i gael ei gwblhau o ran cael ei gyflwyno i bob oedran tan 2026, felly pa sgôp sydd i asesu effaith neu werthuso gweithrediad unrhyw waith neu fentrau atal trais ar sail rhywedd perthnasol fel rhan o'r cwricwlwm newydd cyn hynny?

Okay. Thank you. In terms of thinking about the new Curriculum for Wales, which, of course, provides new opportunities for schools to integrate efforts to prevent gender-based violence into the curriculum, of course, the new curriculum won’t be complete regarding its roll-out until 2026, so what scope is there to assess the impact or evaluate the implementation of any relevant gender-based violence preventative work or initiatives that are part of the new curriculum before then? 

Okay. If it's okay, I'll answer that as two parts. I think evaluating the role and impact of a new curriculum is possibly outside my scope. What I would say is that it is a long-term piece of work. I think we would be naive to think we will see significant changes in the short term. This is about a life-course approach and we need to see that, I think, as a long-term project. But I do think that evaluating interventions is really important, both from a violence prevention perspective, but also a whole-school approach perspective. In particular, we need to make sure that—. We have an evidence base. It's growing in some areas; it's well-formed in others. But we need to be clear, as, I think, Honor, already pointed out: a lot of this evidence hasn't been generated within our context, and certainly not within the context of the Curriculum for Wales, so we really need to understand what impact it is having. We can't just assume that it will deliver well within our settings. So, that's something that we work very closely with schools around, so that when they are implementing activities or initiatives that they're really taking the time and understanding how they might look at what impact it's having specifically within their setting. So, again, we're strengthening that through our current review. So, that will be another one of our core components within the minimum standards.

And, just thinking more broadly, I just want to make the point that these are quite complex interventions. They're dependent on multiple drivers, multiple interactions between multiple groups, and they are really, really challenging to evaluate. We just have to be aware of some of those outcome indicators we might look at in more single component interventions, or if we compare it, say, to the pharmaceutical [correction: pharmacological] side of health, that they're quite often—(a) they're behaviourally influenced and they're quite often influenced by multiple drivers. So, we do have to be really, really careful when we are evaluating, thinking about what we can gather about experience, as well as the data that's coming out of that.

Diolch. Jest un cwestiwn bach i orffen. Gan feddwl am beth rŷch chi newydd ei ddisgrifio fel natur tymor hir y gwaith yma, a'r deilliannau fydd yn dod o'r gwaith yma, meddwl wedyn am yr addysg rhyw a chydberthynas—mae e mewn ysgolion cynradd a bydd e'n bwnc statudol ym mlynyddoedd 7 ac 8 y mis Medi yma—sut mae eich gwaith chi yn mynd i gefnogi Llywodraeth Cymru drwy sicrhau bod yr addysg rhyw a chydberthynas yn parhau i fod yn gydnaws â newidiadau mewn tueddiadau sy'n dod i'r amlwg a phrofiadau newydd ac anghenion, sy'n newid o fewn pobl ifanc a chymdeithas?

Thank you. Just one brief question to finish. Thinking about what you've described as the long-term nature of this work, and the outcomes that will emanate from it, thinking then about the relationship and sex education—it's in primary schools and will be a statutory subject in years 7 and 8 in September—how can your work support the Welsh Government by ensuring that RSE remains aligned with emerging trends and the changing experiences and needs, which are changing among young people and society?


Thank you. A really good question. I think that one of the benefits of our programme is that we are working very closely with the evidence generators in terms of SHRN and the data infrastructure they provide, with schools locally and also with the Welsh Government. So, we're really well placed to understand what's happening on the ground and also to be able to disseminate evidence and support practice as evidence develops.

In our programme specifically, we work really, really closely with the curriculum reform team, and they also work with RSE regional leads. A significant number of them are healthy schools co-ordinators, so they are funded via our programme, work as part of our programme, and that provides a two-way feedback loop. So, they have the opportunity to highlight emerging trends and feed back information that is coming from schools, as well as from evidence. That is used to inform both resource generation and also professional learning.

Because we have that very close two-way relationship, because we're working quite closely with schools as well as those who are generating evidence, we're in quite a good position to be quite responsive. An example of that is we identified through schools quite a lot of concern around online safety, so we were able to be really responsive to that this year and we put on a series of webinars for our workforce to be able to upskill them to be able to be a supportive mechanism for schools around online safety.

I also just wanted to point to the national RSE resource task and finish group at the moment, which is—

We're aware of it, because they're going to come and present in the Senedd.

You are. Okay. Just to say that healthy school co-ordinators are part of that group as well, as am I, so that works again in that way.

Thanks, Chair. I'm going to ask our friends from the School Health Research Network just a few questions about dating and relationship violence. First of all, just how prevalent is dating and relationship violence among children and young people in Wales compared with other parts of the UK and Europe?

Trying to find comparable research from across various different nations is challenging. SHRN has a great advantage in that we are, I believe, the largest network of secondary schools in Wales and we do produce and collect nationally representative data. So, finding something comparable is quite challenging. We're lucky that every four years we feed into the international health behaviour in school-age children survey, which is done in around 54, I think, countries, mostly within Europe. But, to my knowledge, they don't collect data on dating and relationship violence specifically. They do collect data on sexual behaviours.

In terms of comparisons, you see great variation across the world globally, but I can speak to the figures in Wales specifically, if that's useful. We've published two papers, one in 2017 and one in 2019, where we looked at both emotional and physical perpetration and victimisation. To be honest, the figures were not vastly different within that two-year period, but it's something that, with the strength of the School Health Research Network, we can continue to monitor over time.

In terms of emotional dating and relationship violence victimisation, we used questions on hurtful names. In terms of emotional victimisation, boys' experience was less, so 20 per cent of boys who've ever experienced dating said that they'd reported emotional victimisation, compared with 28 per cent of girls. In terms of emotional perpetration, these figures were lower, so around 16 per cent of boys and around 18 per cent of girls. In terms of physical victimisation—so, experiencing somebody either beating, hitting you, slapping, punching or kicking—it was around 17 per cent of boys and 12 per cent of girls. So, interesting that there was a higher percentage of boys. And then in terms of physical perpetration, around 7 per cent, 8 per cent for both genders. Those are the 2017 figures.

In terms of our 2019 data, which is the most recent data we have on these topics—the next round of the survey will be issued this coming September—for emotional victimisation, that, again, was most commonly reported: around 30 per cent of girls, 26 per cent of boys. So, more girls than boys experiencing that violence. Roughly similar proportions of boys and girls reported perpetrating emotional violence, so around 18 and 19 per cent respectively. What we interestingly again see is a larger proportion of boys than girls experiencing physical victimisation, so around 19 per cent of boys and 12 per cent of girls, which again seems to be different to perhaps what we would expect. And again, similar proportions of boys and girls reporting physically perpetrating violence. So, again around 8 per cent, similar proportions to 2017. I’m happy to provide those in writing.


Thank you. Thanks, Chair. We’ve also heard that black and minority ethnic adolescent girls in particular can be at greater risk of experiencing different forms of gender-based violence. Is that reflected in your research?

I can take this one. The strength of the SHRN survey, as you’ve heard, is that it’s population-wide, and it is a nationally representative survey, so we do have large response rates across the population, and that means that we do have the ability to be able to perform those various sub-group analyses—for example, exploring those trends among BME groups. We have published some evidence relating to dating and relationship violence, which Honor mentioned. That has not yet explored that question exclusively for gender-based violence, but this is something that could be undertaken. Interestingly, our analyses for dating and relationship violence do show patterning by age and ethnicity and living arrangements, as well as by gender, but we do also acknowledge the importance of using the intersectionality lens as a tool to understand how gender-based violence intersects with those other forms of inequality and marginalisation, such as sexuality and socioeconomic status, as well as BME as well.

Thanks, Chair. My question is on online safety and social media. Extreme misogyny is often spread on social media and can influence the attitudes and behaviours of others. How can we better equip teachers to call out misogyny and challenge some of the messaging boys consume online and repeat in schools?

I’d say that equipping all young people with the skills and strategies to challenge discriminatory behaviour is key. I think what the evidence shows us—and actually, what the World Health Organization support as well—is that we do that across mediums, so that we don’t have to separate online behaviours or online discrimination from what we experience and see in other walks of life. It’s about integrating the knowledge and skills to recognise and respond, regardless of the medium in which you experience it, and that there are common approaches to that prevention, whether it’s online or not.

I think I would point to the Curriculum for Wales as having multiple mechanisms through which this can be embedded within schools. We’ve got the health and well-being area of learning and experience specifically emphasising healthy relationships, but also that critical engagement with social influences and also the development of positive social norms. We then also have the RSE code, which likewise supports children and young people to develop their skills and knowledge to both understand and respond to discriminatory behaviours. And then we also have the digital literacy code as well. So, there are multiple mechanisms that should be interacting with each other.

I’d also point to the digital learning team, which is a Welsh Government team. They provide direct support to schools via Hwb around specific issues, specific online issues, and responding to those issues.

Should we be legislating to ensure schools, colleges and universities respond to and prevent gender-based violence, specifically implementing evidence-led bystander interventions?


There is a strong evidence base for bystander interventions in schools and education settings. It's predominantly a US-generated evidence base. We're starting to see evidence within the UK, but it's very much still in its infancy. I think there is a strong case for trialling bystander interventions within schools in Wales, and perhaps we could be at the forefront of developing that evidence base. Whether it's the appropriate time to legislate, I would suggest perhaps we might want to see some of that more context-specific evidence beforehand.

I also think it's worth just considering the current context that schools are in. They are experiencing really positive but really intensive change within schools. We've got the new Curriculum for Wales, a new ALN Act, a statutory whole-school approach to emotional well-being, and then, entirely outside of their control, COVID recovery and supporting families, children and young people through the cost-of-living crisis. So, I guess my response would be that work on bystanders is really promising, but perhaps we need to understand more within our context, and also, in terms of legislation as the lever, to think about it within that broader context of what we're asking of and from schools, and what might be most effective.

Sorry, I know you want me to be succinct—I just want to add one other thing. If we were thinking about legislating or being very clear about a specific intervention, that's not at the cost of those whole-school approaches, so it's not putting all the resource into one intervention that has an impact in one area, when we know that we've got some core components and a whole-school approach that enables us to embed ethos, culture and positive environments across a range of health and well-being needs for children and young people.

Thank you very much. Our advisory group are very concerned about the harmful content children and young people may be exposed to online. Do your surveys include questions relating to young people's experience of abuse or harassment online? What can you tell us about current trends in online safety? Thank you.

So, it's Bethan or Honor. Who's going to answer this? Is that Bethan? Well, I don't mind—you can add anything if you want, Honor. Bethan, go first.

Honor has mentioned the SHRN survey and the questions that we include within that. Just to remind anyone, they do relate to sending of sexual images and whether they've been forwarded, and there are questions relating to online and cyber bullying, as well as problematic social media use. We do provide national, local and individual school-level reports detailing this data, so schools and local authorities are able to use that to look at their bespoke provision and how they're addressing that. To be more specific, in our 2021-22 national report, it includes data on sexting as well as cyber bullying perpetration and victimisation. These specific figures are available and we could provide them to you afterwards, if that's of interest.

Okay. That's good. Go ahead—did you want to add anything?

No, no. I think, Bethan, you wanted—. I just want to throw back and say the police go into secondary schools every week and warn young people not to share compromising photographs. Do they take any notice? There's not a lot of evidence that they do. Do you want to pick that up, Bethan, or Honor?

I think Honor wanted to pick that up, did you, Honor?

It was only to mention the relationship—. You talked about trends. I don't know if, Beth, you wanted to mention this. We haven't necessarily looked at gender-based violence and trends in online cyber bullying, but we have in our 2019 paper looked at dating and relationship violence and trends in cyber bullying, and we found that, both for boys and girls alike, having been bullied, bullying another person, experiencing cyber bullying, sending sexually explicit images, along with other things, all significantly increased the odds of experiencing and perpetrating both emotional and physical dating and relationship violence. So, I think, most notably, boys and girls who'd experienced cyber bullying were around twice as likely to have reported experiencing emotional dating violence compared to those who hadn't. So, we've seen the pattern across the board, but it was especially the case for emotional victimisation.


Okay. This is a fairly depressing subject. Shall we move on to Jane Dodds now?

Diolch yn fawr iawn, Cadeirydd. Dwi'n ymwybodol o'r amser, felly gwnaf i gadw hwn yn fyr. Gaf i ofyn, yn gyntaf, Bethan ac Honor, ydych chi'n gweithio efo athrawon, achos mae yna siŵr o fod athrawon sydd wedi cael eu heffeithio gan drais menywod neu gam-drin domestig yn y cartref? Ydych chi'n gweithio efo athrawon i godi eu gwybodaeth nhw o beth i'w wneud os oes ganddyn nhw bobl maen nhw'n gweithio efo? Pwy sydd eisiau mynd yn gyntaf, Honor neu Bethan? Jest 'ie' neu 'na'—mae hynny'n iawn.

Thank you very much, Chair. I'm very aware of the time, so I'll keep this brief. May I ask, first of all, Bethan and Honor, do you work with teachers, because there are probably teachers who have been affected by violence against women or domestic abuse? Do you work with teachers to inform them of what to do if a work colleague is affected? Who would like to go first, Honor or Bethan? Just a 'yes' or 'no' answer would be fine.

I'm not aware of any work at the moment, although I really see the kind of need for it, but I'm not sure whether, in the leadership survey, Honor, anything's asked about that. So, Honor, I'm not sure whether you want to just come in and add anything about that.

In our surveys, we work very closely with all of our stakeholders, with students, with staff, with parents, teachers, to design the survey so they're targeting and addressing the right questions. In our school environment questionnaire, we do ask a variety of questions about policy and practices. We don't ask specifically about staff experiences of gender-based violence or anything like that. It's not a wide-level staff survey, it's just completed by one member of staff. So, no, not to the level that you suggest. Thank you.

Diolch yn fawr iawn. Felly, dwi eisiau canolbwyntio ar blant a phobl ifanc sydd efallai wedi bod yn byw, neu sydd yn byw, mewn cartrefi lle mae yna gam-drin domestig. Gaf i ofyn yn gyntaf, Bethan ac Honor, pa waith ydych chi'n ei wneud? A hefyd, rydyn ni wedi cael yr amser clo yn ystod COVID, rydyn ni wedi gweld, efallai, effaith dros amser. Ydych chi'n gallu dweud wrthym ni yn union beth rydych chi'n ei wneud i edrych ar y trawma mae'r plant yn ei gael, a'r profiad, sy'n dod o gartrefi lle mae yna gam-drin domestig? Bethan ac Honor yn gyntaf, ac wedyn efallai Lex ac Emily, os oes gennych chi atebion hefyd. Bethan, Honor.

Thank you very much. So, I just want to focus more on children and young people who perhaps have been living in homes where domestic violence has taken place. May I ask Bethan and Honor, first of all, what work do you do? And also we've heard about lockdown during COVID and how that had had an effect over time. Could you tell us exactly what you've been doing to look at trauma, the trauma that children have experienced, coming from homes where there's been domestic violence? Bethan and Honor first, and then perhaps we'll move on to Lex and Emily, if you also have responses. Bethan, Honor.

Yes. I'm happy to start, Honor, and then if there's anything else that you're aware of—. So, yes, we did work with Cardiff Women's Aid to look at those specific figures in the lockdown that you alluded to, and we did find that children were the main source of those third-party referrals for gender-based violence. We did write a paper on that, and one of the main findings was that children in the lockdown had prolonged exposure. And therefore, as a consequence, that paper did emphasise that specialist services should be prioritising children who've experienced that domestic abuse, and that needs to be prioritised for funding, but whether that has happened in the COVID recovery is beyond the scope of that paper.

The other current work at DECIPHer that we're doing around the impact of domestic violence and abuse on children, and the trauma that comes with that, there are—. My specific PhD is a very specialist piece of work related to that and the impact on children, but it's actually looking at that cycle and intergenerational cycle of violence. It's then looking at children who then go on to be violent towards their parents. So, it's looking more at developing a theoretical understanding of what that looks like, and that intergenerational transmission, but I don't know whether there's anything else, Honor, that you wanted to pick up on, because there is work that we support in Cardiff University in terms of implementing social workers in schools, who then support children to come forward and disclose, and they are there in the schools to be able to deal with those disclosures and the referrals from that. But I'm not sure whether there's anything else, Honor, that I might be overlooking that we're involved with in terms of the trauma.  


I think that's—. I think you've summed everything up wonderfully, thanks, Beth. If there's anything else, we can always provide written—. 

Iawn. Felly, mae Emily eisiau dod i mewn. Diolch. Rydym ni'n awyddus i wybod yn union beth sy'n gallu cael ei wneud mewn ysgolion i helpu plant a phobl ifanc i ddelio â thrawma. Felly, Emily, ydych chi eisiau neidio i mewn? 

Okay. Emily wanted to come in. Thank you. We're also keen to know what could be done in schools to help children and young people to deal with trauma. So, Emily, do you want to jump in? 

Diolch. I will do. I just wanted to go back to offer some reassurance, really, that, absolutely, the whole-school approach to emotional and mental well-being is very much based on trauma-informed principles. So, we are liaising; we are planning to work with our colleagues in Hyb ACE Cymru who have developed the TrACE toolkit for schools, and to update that so we can bring the whole-school approach of Healthy Schools, the self-evaluation tool in their evaluation tools, together, because they're absolutely built on that same understanding that, actually, the relationships that you experience in childhood and the experiences you experience will influence how we learn to behave and how we learn to form relationships as adults, and hence also our risks of developing poor mental health problems. So, different names, but similar underlying principles. 

And then we're also increasingly working across the system. As part of our whole-school approach, we've got support from CAMHS in-reach teams. They are going in to help teachers to better support their learners and to signpost them appropriately to support. So, upskilling teachers to support pupils where it's appropriate to hold them in schools, signposting them to community-based support where that is most appropriate, or facilitating referrals into specialist CAMHS where that's appropriate. So, the ambition around that is that we get better able to identify early problems and offer early support to young people who may have experienced trauma. 

That is not just really thinking about those that are currently experiencing any form of domestic violence abuse, but also thinking ahead to the future. We know that the vast majority of men who perpetrate domestic violence do have poor mental health, be that severe and enduring mental illness or more common mental health disorders, such as anxiety and depression. Amongst men, depression is often expressed more as anger than it would be amongst women. So, again, it's that very long-term preventative approach as well. 

Diolch yn fawr iawn. Dwi eisiau jest symud ymlaen i gapasiti. Mae'n ddrwg gen i ddweud, rydym ni i gyd yn gwybod yn union fod yna restrau i bobl aros yn hir, hir iawn i CAMHS. Rydych chi wedi siarad am CAMHS ac yn y blaen. Felly, dwi ddim yn hollol siŵr sut rydym ni'n gallu gwneud yn siŵr bod pobl mewn ysgolion yn cael y trawma yma wedi ei edrych arno. Beth ydy un o'ch argymhellion i edrych ar sut rydym ni'n gallu gwneud yn siŵr bod plant mewn ysgolion sydd â'r trawma yma—a bod gan yr ysgolion y capasiti—? A oes gennych chi un peth i'w ddweud wrthym ni y dylem ni feddwl amdano o ran beth rydym ni'n ei wneud? Dwi ddim yn siŵr pwy sydd eisiau mynd yn gyntaf. Rydym ni eisiau edrych ar atebion, os gwelwch chi'n dda. Dyna beth dwi'n awyddus i'w glywed. Emily, wyt ti eisiau mynd yn gyntaf? 

Thank you very much. I just want to move on to capacity. I'm sorry to say that we are all aware that there are very, very long waiting lists for CAMHS. You've discussed CAMHS. So, I'm not entirely sure how we can make sure that people in schools get that trauma looked at. What are your recommendations in terms of looking at how we can ensure that children in schools who are trauma experienced—and that schools have the capacity—? Can you give us one recommendation in terms of what we should be thinking about in what we're doing? I'm not sure who wants to go first. We want to look at answers, please. That's what I'm keen to hear. Emily, would you like to go first? 

Diolch. Yes, happy to. So, there is some early work happening to roll out training on trauma-informed approaches to schools, and my recommendation, really, would be to upskill this. I think the more teaching staff can understand, and, hence, appropriately respond to, behaviours that they're seeing that may be a result of young people experiencing traumas, the better that we are to address that at an early stage. We're not in a place where, actually, just putting lots more money into specialist mental health services is what's needed; we haven't got the professionals out there, if the money was there, and, actually, it's not all about referrals into specialist services. Our mental health and dealing with negative experiences is much better supported by, as Lex has said, those current environments within which we live, work, learn and play, making sure we have supportive, positive relationships that can help us to, or help young people to, develop different ways of responding to their relationships, different ways of building positive relationships, role-modelling that and helping to mitigate against negative exposures that may be experienced in other settings. 


Diolch yn fawr iawn. Dwi ddim yn gwybod os yw unrhyw un arall eisiau ateb, ond dwi'n gwybod ein bod ni'n rhedeg allan o amser, Cadeirydd, onid ydyn? Felly, jest un cwestiwn olaf. Gaf i ofyn: ydych chi'n gweithio efo'r heddlu ac efo iechyd? Gaf i jest ofyn hynny? Jest cwestiwn byr, byr iawn—ydych chi'n cydweithio efo addysg a'r heddlu ar y pwnc yma, os gwelwch yn dda? Pwy sydd eisiau—? Emily, diolch yn fawr iawn. 

Thank you very much. I don't know if anyone else wants to give me an answer, but we are running out of time, aren't we, Chair? So, just one final question. Can I ask: do you work with the police and with education and health? Can I just ask that very brief question? Do you work with people in education, the police and health on that subject, please? Who wants to—? Emily, thank you very much.

Diolch. Very quickly, there are various mechanisms through which those partners come together. So, at a local level you have your community safety partnerships, which will bring those partners together, and at our national level we very much work with education. Less so with community safety, but that is picked up much more with our adverse childhood experiences hub and the work that they do.

So, specifically, one of the most difficult issues for schools is trying to protect girls from female genital mutilation, because clearly the protection is not going to come from the home, as that's where the perpetrators are. So, I was surprised when Bethan said you have the capacity to analyse black and ethnic minority aspects of your questionnaires, but that this isn't currently being done. So, how are we endeavouring to identify those who are vulnerable to FGM?

Sorry, I will just jump in and just address what I did say, and what I meant was that, with the data that we have, we could, but we don't currently have the capacity. If we had the capacity to do so, we would, certainly. We acknowledge that that is a real issue, especially in Wales, and that, with the data, that is something that we could look at in terms of black and ethnic minority groups. I'm not sure that we ask questions specifically around female genital mutilation in our SHRN survey, and whether that would be something that we would have the capacity to do would be something that we could talk about with the committee. But, yes, I'm not sure whether anyone else wants to jump in and—

Okay. Well, I wouldn't expect a question that asked, 'Have you ever had your genitalia cut off?' but I think it's more the issue of how do we safeguard children, and how do we use all the wealth of effort that is going into trying to understand and mitigate the issues that we've been talking about.

We have run out of time. There are a few questions that we haven't quite reached, so I wondered if we can—. There are only three or four, and they're not substantive, so if we could just write to you about those things, then that would be extremely useful for us. 

We will send you a transcript of your contributions, and it's your opportunity to correct the record if we haven't quite captured your evidence accurately. Thank you very much indeed for taking part, and I hope you found it useful for yourselves as well as for us. So, thank you very much indeed. 

The committee will now go back into private session, as already agreed earlier this morning. 

Daeth rhan gyhoeddus y cyfarfod i ben am 14:38.

The public part of the meeting ended at 14:38.