Y Pwyllgor Deddfwriaeth, Cyfiawnder a’r Cyfansoddiad

Legislation, Justice and Constitution Committee


Aelodau'r Pwyllgor a oedd yn bresennol

Committee Members in Attendance

Adam Price
Huw Irranca-Davies Cadeirydd y Pwyllgor
Committee Chair
Samuel Kurtz

Y rhai eraill a oedd yn bresennol

Others in Attendance

Dr Dave Harvey Staff Cymorth Aelod o'r Senedd
Senedd Member Support Staff
Gareth Rogers Rheolwr y Bil, Comisiwn y Senedd
Bill Manager, Senedd Commission
Jennifer Cottle Gwasanaeth Cyfreithiol Comisiwn y Senedd
Senedd Commission Legal Service
Manon Huws Gwasanaethau Cyfreithiol Comisiwn y Senedd
Senedd Commission Legal Service
Sam Rowlands Aelod Cyfrifol, Bil Addysg Awyr Agored Breswyl (Cymru)
Member in Charge, Residential Outdoor Education (Wales) Bill

Swyddogion y Senedd a oedd yn bresennol

Senedd Officials in Attendance

Gareth Howells Cynghorydd Cyfreithiol
Legal Adviser
Gerallt Roberts Ail Glerc
Second Clerk
P Gareth Williams Clerc
Sarah Sargent Ail Glerc
Second Clerk

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 13:30.

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

The meeting began at 13:30.

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

Prynhawn da. Croeso i bawb.

Good afternoon. Welcome, everyone.

Welcome to this hybrid meeting of the Legislation, Justice and Constitution Committee. We do have apologies today. We're normally fully quorate, with everybody here, but, once in a while, this happens. We've got apologies from our committee member Alun Davies, who can't be with us. We don't have a substitute, but we are still quorate, so the proceedings will still go ahead as per normal.

Just as a reminder, this is a hybrid meeting, so it's being broadcast also on Senedd.tv. The Record of Proceedings will be published as usual. In the event of a fire alarm, which we're not expecting, just follow the ushers, then, to the safe area that they'll take you to. If I can just check with everybody, and I'll do it myself, make sure your mobile devices are turned to silent. This is the classic when the Chair hasn't done it himself. Good, glad I checked. You don't need to adjust the microphones; that will be done for you by our operator behind the scenes. We're operating through both English and Welsh on channel 1 if you need it.

2. Y Bil Addysg Awyr Agored Breswyl (Cymru): Sesiwn Dystiolaeth
2. Residential Outdoor Education (Wales) Bill: Evidence Session

So, with that, we're going to turn to our first substantive item today, which is item No. 2, where we're going to look at the Residential Outdoor Education (Wales) Bill. We have with us Sam Rowlands MS—Sam, good to see you—the Member in charge of the Bill. I'll read through the colleagues who are with us, if that would help with time. We have Manon Huws, legal services; Jennifer Cottle, legal services; Gareth Rogers, Bill manager; and also, online, Dr Dave Harvey, Senedd Member support staff joining us as well. Hello there, Dave. Welcome to all of you here. I'm going to start with the one we always begin with, and this is the one that it'll all fall at if the answer—. Sorry, we already know that we've had the view from the Llywydd that this falls within devolved competence. Can I ask you, please, why you think, Sam, that this legislation is necessary? Why do we need this?

Thank you, Chair. Good afternoon, everybody. I appreciate the opportunity to be here with you today. I guess you don't have a huge amount of choice, as it's a piece of legislation. But in terms of the residential outdoor education Bill, whilst I appreciate this is not a policy committee, I think it is worth briefly laying out the importance, I see, of residential outdoor educational experiences for young people. As the Bill lays out, I believe every child should have this opportunity provided to them at least once in their schooling. The reason why I think legislation is necessary for that is to provide that guarantee for those young people. Not every school in Wales is making this provision available for young people, and it's such an important part, I believe, of a young person's education and experience as a young person. I think people around this table will have memories—hopefully, fond memories—of that time away that you had with your classmates for probably a couple of days, and they are memory-making experiences that are proven to build confidence, resilience and, certainly, have a lifelong impact on many young people as part of a course of outdoor experiences. So, fundamentally, I believe it's such an important part of a young person's schooling and upbringing that it needs legislation to have that guarantee so that every child is able to have that experience.

Thank you for that. Thank you for summarising the purposes and your concept behind the Bill and why it's necessary. Could I ask you: do you think that the aims of the Bill, which you've laid out, could be met in any other way that isn't legislative, because it's interesting for us as a committee as to whether legislation is actually needed to do what you're asking? Do you have a view on this and does your team have a view on whether it could be provided, for example, through non-statutory means or subordinate legislation?

Thanks, Chair. I'll happily bring colleagues in, perhaps, as part of this, as well. I am aware there are provisions in the Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Act 2021 that give the Welsh Ministers power by regulations to amend areas of learning and experience, which include, of course, residential outdoor education as part of the curriculum. So, there are provisions within there that could allow a Minister to do that. But, to make this compulsory and ensure this is futureproofed, then that's the reason why the Bill, in my view, should be in place. So, there are ways in which a Minister could do this, but I think primary legislation allows certainty, and perhaps removes any fragility within the opportunity for young people—so, it's that guarantee that primary legislation can provide.


So, this—I'll come to your colleagues now—you see very much as belt and braces, then. It could be done through other means, but you see this as—. It was interesting you mentioned futureproofing as well. Can you just expand on that a little bit, because you're quite explicit within your proposal as to what it's intended to do, the futureproofing element?

Yes. It's futureproofing because primary legislation tends to be fairly certain for at least a decent amount of time, I suppose—so, yes, futureproofing it. And fitting in within other parts of legislation like the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 would consider having some certainty for young people in the long run. Primary legislation, I'd expect, is a much more certain place for a guarantee to be there in the future.

Sometimes we'll have Ministers in front of us and they explain to us on this committee and others, 'We're futureproofing this by taking these powers, but giving the flexibility to change it in future, because it might—.' That's not quite what you're saying.

You're not anticipating that there might be some tweaking of this, going forward.

There's an element of that as well, because, as you'll understand, within the Bill, there are a number of items of guidance that, obviously, will provide some flexibility, perhaps in the way in which things are delivered in practice. But the principle of every child having an opportunity presented to them of the residential outdoor education experience, I think, is a principle thing that should be there for a long time to come.

That's brilliant, thank you. Jennifer, you wanted to come in on this.

Yes, just to elaborate slightly on what the Member said there in relation to, as Sam said, the regulation-making powers already in the curriculum and assessment Act. But what this Bill does is insert new provision that requires the Welsh Ministers to exercise those powers to put, of course, residential outdoor education in the Bill. Also, in the Bill as it's drafted, the funding element of the Bill—to require that additional funding—is also something that would need to be set out in primary legislation, and, indeed, to actually put residential outdoor education on the face of the 2021 Act—so, to amend that primary piece of legislation is something that this Bill is required for.

So, the funding is clearly a bespoke element of this legislation that couldn't be done in the same way through adjustments to existing legislation or regulations.

To have this specific requirement that's in the Bill relating to providing additional funding for this duty rather than the funding coming from the education budget, as would normally be the case.

Thank you for that. That's helpful. Just one other question related to this issue of how your aims are taken forward. The Minister has made clear previously that, on the issue of making residential outdoor education a mandatory part of the curriculum, he's expressed the view that this can be done without the need for primary legislation. So, away from the funding now, and so on, I'm assuming you would agree with that, from your opening remarks, that that element could be done without this.

From my side, certainly, there are possible ways in which this could be done, as we've outlined, but it clearly isn't being done at the moment. So, to make sure this is being done, then, my opportunity as a Member, in the Member ballot, is to present primary legislation, and I think this is the best way that I can, with the abilities and powers I have in my position, present something that can be done.

I fully understand. But you're not demurring from that opinion of the Minister—that that element could actually be done in a different way? I was looking to your side there, at Jennifer and Manon; the Minister is correct in that assertion, yes?


In the assertion that placing a course of residential outdoor education on the curriculum—. Yes, that can be done without primary legislation. 

Thank you. But, Sam, we note your comments on why this is your preferred mechanism as well. 

I mentioned there right at the outset that the Llywydd has already expressed a view on competence, but can I just ask you, as the Member bringing the Bill forward: do you consider that all of the provisions of this Bill fall within the legislative competence of the Senedd? 

Thank you very much, Chair. Prynhawn da, bob un; prynhawn da, Sam. So, do you feel that the Bill achieves the necessary balance between what is on its face and what is left for Welsh Ministers to set through subordinate legislation?

I think it's always a balancing act. I guess it's a fairly standard question that LJC like to ask, and it's a fair question to ask, certainly, as well. So, in terms of this Bill in particular, it's certainly my intention not to try and micromanage what is carried out in practice. I'm very much in favour of following the premise set out by the Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Act 2021, which puts a lot more responsibility on schools—headteachers in particular, and of course teachers—to set out how the curriculum should be delivered, with the best interests of the children in mind. 

To be clear, the Bill itself only contains one power to make subordinate legislation—so, in section 4, which provides the power to make transitional provision. Everything else is set out on the face of the Bill, to be provided for by the Welsh Ministers via a residential outdoor education code or in guidance. So, I think the balance is about right. I guess there also may be concerns, perhaps—. I don't want to second-guess LJC, of course, but there may be concerns about the ability of the Senedd to scrutinise some of the detail within guidance, which I can appreciate. But, going back to the curriculum and assessment Act, much of that, again, is—lots of the detail is contained within code and guidance. So, I can't see it being any different to what currently exists under the Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Act. I'm not sure if any of my colleagues want to add anything to that. No.

Thank you. So, moving on on that, in terms of residential outdoor education and its definition, now, your explanatory memorandum contains a discussion around its meaning, but you've not included a definition on the face of the Bill. I was just wondering why.

Yes, as you point out, the detail of a definition is within the explanatory memorandum—so, paragraphs 20 and 21 within the EM set that out. And it's open to the Minister to deal with the issue when issuing guidance under section 71A of the Bill, as I've outlined. The code could also issue this detail as well, if the Minister desired to have that within the code. But, just to go back to the broader point, my intention certainly is not to seek to micromanage and have exact detail for how every experience should be for every single child. So, going back to the Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Act, following the same spirit of that Act, which is, headteachers, teachers, trusting them to understand and know what's best for the children in front of them; the experience may differ slightly from one class or one school to the other, because that is what is best for them.

So, it is always tempting when you get a moment of being able to draft a Bill and have a moment of telling exactly what you think, to put that exact detail, exactly how I think it should be, but, certainly through the course of the consultation—. You'll be aware that I did a soft piece of consultation, as it were, initially, then I did a full consultation, and then I did a consultation specifically with children and young people. There were, obviously, mixed views on this particular issue, but a number of those responses didn't necessarily want a definitive definition of what that experience should look and feel like. 

So, on that point, then, you're quite comfortable that there could be inconsistent interpretations by local authorities and by local schools, given that it is the headteacher and the teachers who understand their pupils and therefore would deliver, or look to deliver, outdoor residential education that is most tailored to the classroom that they're teaching?


I wouldn't describe it as inconsistent, because that would also suggest that the delivery of the curriculum is inconsistent; I would describe it as being appropriate for the children or the class that those teachers and headteacher are responsible for. So, they're not inconsistent, they'll be consistent with the premise of the Bill or the spirit of the Bill, but it may look slightly different from one class to the next.

I'm grateful for that. Any other of your colleagues want to—? No.

So, moving on to the next question, the Bill requires the Welsh Ministers to 'take all reasonable steps' to ensure that a course of residential outdoor education is provided to all pupils in a maintained school. Now, in the evidence to this committee on 22 January 2024, the Minister for Education and the Welsh Language stated that

'beyond providing funding and providing a code and providing guidance',

he was not clear what further steps the Welsh Ministers could take. Now, what did you envisage taking 'all reasonable steps' would involve for the Welsh Ministers, and what is your view on the Minister's comments of 22 January?

It sounds like you had quite a good session with the Minister on 22 January, and you'll be aware, of course, of a letter I sent through to the Children, Young People and Education Committee following that session that you had with the Minister. On this particular point, of course, it's not unusual to have that phrase, 'taking all reasonable steps', within legislation, and there was an example in the Social Partnership and Public Procurement (Wales) Act 2023 recently—well, 2023—which specifically uses that phrase in a variety of contexts as well, so it's certainly not an unusual phrase to use within legislation. I guess the key point is that the Bill does not oblige the Welsh Minister themselves to provide residential outdoor education—I mean, you could take it to the nth degree; I can't imagine the Minister abseiling with a bunch of schoolchildren—so, it's not requiring the Welsh Minister to provide or the Welsh Government to provide that; it obliges the Welsh Minister to ensure that residential outdoor education is provided. So, just to get that difference between those two points, I think, is really important. And then, I suppose, if the phrase, 'taking all reasonable steps' wasn't within the Bill, I guess, then, it would have to put an absolute duty on the Minister to have this provision in place or to make sure this is provided, and I think that would be a step too far, quite honestly, an absolute duty, because there will be circumstances where it may not be appropriate for that provision to be there.

Okay. So, following on from what the Minister suggested on the twenty-second, in your opinion, is there anything in addition to that that can be suggested?

I think it's ultimately up to the Minister to decide how that's best interpreted and how it's best provided, and I guess, beyond that, it would be for the courts to decide whether a Minister has taken all reasonable steps to deliver what's intended in legislation.

Okay, thank you. Any of your colleagues—? No. So, moving on to section 2 of the Bill, which places a duty on the Welsh Ministers to ensure that local authorities receive sufficient funding to pay schools so that a course of residential outdoor education can be provided to every child free of charge. Now, the provision will impact on the current and future Governments by requiring them to ring-fence money for that purpose. So, why is placing this duty on the Welsh Government for this specific purpose appropriate, do you feel?

So, I absolutely, from the outset, Chair, recognise this is an unusual provision to have in a Bill, and recognise that LJC may grapple with this point to a certain extent. I think we're just trying to find a way of ensuring first of all that funding is made available for this provision and pointing to the fact that it doesn't have to come from an education pot or an education budget. I think, as Members, we may get frustrated from time to time when we hear Ministers perhaps seemingly working in silos and not considering how what they're delivering is affected by other Government departments, and it strikes me that something like this, residential outdoor education, is likely to have a level of impact on the mental health of our young people by being out and experiencing the great outdoors that we have to offer in Wales—certainly physical health. Neither of those two strict budgets sit within an education budget. There's evidence that residential outdoor education experiences certainly awaken young people to the impacts of climate change and the impact on our environment. So, there's a climate change budget there as well.

It's really a way within legislation of trying to get Governments and Ministers to think of ways this can be funded without it strictly having to come from one pot. I'm certainly willing to hear from the Minister whether he would be willing to commit to this. It's perhaps a part of the legislation that I may be willing to consider adjusting or removing if it is such a troubling area of legislation.


Okay. Coming back, then, to the Minister's comments on 22 January, he believes that the intention of the Bill is for pupils to be provided with an offer of residential outdoor education, as described by the EM. However, he believes that the Bill doesn't achieve that, because the Bill itself makes it a compulsory part of the curriculum. I'm just looking for your views on that as the lead Member.

I'm really sorry, Sam. I was doing a really bad thing of reading my notes whilst I should have been listening to your question. Could you just repeat the question for me again?

Of course. On 22 January, the Minister stated to the committee that he believes the intention of the Bill is for pupils to be provided with an offer of residential outdoor education, as described in the EM. However, the Bill doesn't achieve this, because the Bill itself makes it a compulsory part of the curriculum. I'm just wondering how you square that hole.

Yes. I think there is some potential misunderstanding between what's laid out in the explanatory memorandum and what the Bill itself sets out. To be clear, the explanatory memorandum doesn't impose any duty, of course; it merely explains what the Bill does and how it's intended to work in practice. The legal duty that the Bill imposes is for the Welsh Ministers to take all reasonable steps to ensure that a free course of residential outdoor education is provided once to a child at a maintained school. So, the compulsory part is that it's provided to a child in a school, and this gives each child the opportunity to take up that provision. But there are, of course, existing mechanisms that allow children, if they so wish, to not take part in that offer of provision. I'll ask my colleagues to my right to expand on that, particularly, Chair, thinking of section 42 of the curriculum and assessment Act in particular.

Yes, so it's correct to say that, in placing a course of residential outdoor education on the curriculum, it does become compulsory, but, in line with the intention set out in the EM and also as the guidance is intended to explain, it isn't compulsory for a child to attend. This is due to the existing mechanism in section 42 of the Act. This allows a headteacher to disapply elements of the curriculum in relation to individual pupils temporarily. Therefore, in the round, the effect of this is that it will not be compulsory for children to attend the course if they do not wish to.

Okay. Can I just quickly ask one more question on that, Chair? Does that follow other legislative language already in statute within education so that is replicated elsewhere—the terminology around compulsory on the offer but not compulsory to take up the offer? Is that language replicated elsewhere?

The regulations that can be made under section 42, they apply across any component of the curriculum, so it wouldn't just be to residential outdoor education; it applies to anything.

Elsewhere. Okay. Thank you. Thank you, Chair. Thank you, Sam.

Can I just comment a little bit further, Chair, as well, on that there? I think this is an important part of the letter I wrote to CYPE as well, which you have a copy of, and in particular the section there that is under 'Placing a statutory duty on local authorities or the Minister?' and under 'Guidance making powers' as well, but I'll leave the committee to—. You've already had note of the letter, and I think there are important notes in there as well, referencing that.

Ie. Gaf i ddechrau drwy groesawu'r Aelod i'r sesiwn graffu y prynhawn yma a hefyd wrth gwrs y rhai sydd wedi bod yn ei gynorthwyo fe? Dwi'n diolch iddo fe yn y lle cyntaf am ddangos commitment i'r maes pwysig hwn, a'r gofal y mae e, yn amlwg, a'r rhai sydd wedi bod yn ei gynghori fe, wedi'i gymryd wrth lunio'r Ddeddf ddrafft yma.

Mae'r cwestiynau sydd gyda fi, oherwydd cyfrifoldeb y pwyllgor yma, yn mynd i fod yn rhai technegol iawn, felly ymddiheuriadau ymlaen llaw am hynny. Dwi'n mynd i gadw'n eithaf agos at y sgript, sydd ddim bob amser yn wir, jest er mwyn sicrhau ein bod ni'n cael yr holl atebion sydd yn bwysig o ran ein gwaith craffu ni.

A gaf i ddechrau trwy ofyn, felly, pam mae'r pŵer i wneud rheoliadau o dan adran 42 o Ddeddf Cwricwlwm ac Asesu (Cymru) 2021 yn fecanwaith priodol ar gyfer creu gweithdrefn i ddisgyblion optio mas o gwrs addysg awyr agored breswyl? Pa ystyriaeth a roddwyd gennych i fod yn fwy rhagnodol—yn fwy prescriptive—ar wyneb y Bil yn hytrach na gadael i faterion gael eu cyflwyno mewn rheoliadau?

Yes. If I could start by welcoming the Member to this scrutiny session this afternoon and also those who have been supporting him. I'd like to thank him in the first place for showing commitment to this important area, and the care he and others who have been advising him have taken in drawing up this draft Act.

The questions I have, because of the responsibility of this committee, are going to be very technical ones, so apologies beforehand about that. I'm going to keep quite closely to the script, which isn't always true, just to ensure that we have all the answers that are important in terms of our scrutiny work.

Could I start by asking, therefore, why the regulation-making power under section 42 of the Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Act 2021 is an appropriate mechanism for creating a procedure for pupils to opt out of attending a course of residential outdoor education? What consideration did you give to being more prescriptive on the face of the Bill rather than leaving matters to be set out in regulations?


Thanks, Adam. You did apologise for being technical, but I don't believe a word of that apology, because I'm sure you love it really when it comes to legislation. Obviously, we've just touched on section 42 in response to Sam Kurtz's questions there, and it is something that I thought through in developing the legislation: should there be something separate on the face of the Bill that deals with this issue. But I think, on reflection—and I think it's the right decision—it would cause, perhaps, confusion and needless extra legislation when the mechanism already exists to deliver the intention of the Bill.

Let's be clear again on that intention: the intention is that it is mandatory for the provision to be made available, but not all children should be compelled to have to go on that experience. I would have thought, and evidence seems to show, that the vast majority of children would want to take up that experience, so there's no doubt in that at all, but for those occasions where it will not be appropriate for the child or there are specific challenges, then it's absolutely right that there's the ability for a child to not have to be compelled to have that experience. So, in terms of the mechanism itself, I think it's appropriate to use it. It exists already. I think it removes any complication or complexity by shoehorning in another piece of legislation where section 42 delivers what's intended within this.

And there's a second part to this that is actually important as well, because section 42 also includes an important part of record keeping as well. So, section 42 also outlines how this process should work and there's proper records kept of all this as well, which is an important element of—I don't like to use the word 'tracking', but I think you understand what I mean—tracking whether children have had this opportunity presented to them or not, and the reasons why they may not wish to take up the offer. Section 42 already allows for that appropriate track and record keeping to be kept as well, both within the local authority and with the school itself, which perhaps doesn't sit with you as LJC, but is an important part of how, practically, this legislation could be delivered as well. I'll perhaps pause for one second, Adam, because my colleague wants to comment further.

Just to say that the section 42 regulations are already in place, so there wouldn't need to be any further regulations made by the Welsh Ministers in order to give effect to that. That's another reason why we didn't want to potentially confuse the issue by having two powers that would potentially conflict within the curriculum and assessment Act.

Iawn. Gwnawn ni symud ymlaen, felly, i'r canllawiau arfaethedig. Mi oedd y Gweinidog yn ei dystiolaeth i'r pwyllgor hwn ar 22 Ionawr wedi dweud bod y canllawiau—ac mae hwn yn ddyfyniad o'r Saesneg—

'yn gofyn i Weinidogion wneud pethau na ddylai canllawiau ofyn i Weinidogion eu gwneud.'

Yn fras, beth roedd e'n cyfeirio ato oedd bod y canllawiau yn mynd i orfod cynnwys darpariaethau gorfodol yn ogystal â rhai cynghorol, ac ym marn y Gweinidog a'r Llywodraeth, dylai fod canllawiau ond yn gynghorol. So, ydych chi o'r farn bod y canllawiau, efallai, yn rhy prescriptive ar hyn o bryd, yn enwedig o ystyried y bydd gan y Senedd ddim mecanwaith i graffu ar y canllawiau, ac felly bydd yna rywfaint o fwlch atebolrwydd, mewn ffordd?

Okay. We'll move on, therefore, to the proposed guidance. The Minister, in his evidence to this committee on 22 January, stated that the guidance—and this is a quote from the English—

'is asking Ministers to do things that guidance should not ask Ministers to do.'

In general, what he was referring to was that the guidance was going to have to include mandatory provisions as well as advisory ones, and in the Government's view, the guidance should only be advisory. Are you of the view that the guidance, perhaps, is too prescriptive currently, especially given the fact that the Senedd won't have a mechanism to scrutinise the guidance, and therefore there'll be a bit of an accountability gap?


I absolutely appreciate the point being made. As a principle, I certainly see nothing wrong at all with providing guidance and then providing what should be in that guidance—I think that's completely appropriate within legislation. And to be really clear on what is set out as a 'must' within the guidance, so what the guidance must contain, if I may, Chair, I'm going to read these out; there are not too many. It must provide that residential outdoor education is not compulsory for pupils to attend; must provide that residential outdoor education is suitable to a pupil’s age, ability, aptitude and any additional learning needs; must provide that residential outdoor education be provided in Welsh, subject to availability, where requested by a school; and must make provision in respect of the costs that it would be reasonable to incur in connection with residential outdoor education, including, but not limited to, the cost of board and lodging and transport. They're the only areas that are a 'must' in terms of the guidance. I can't see anything within there that would be omitted from guidance, and I don't see anything in there that is unreasonable or untoward—I think they're four very clear areas. And it goes back to the point I made earlier to the questions—I think they were from Samuel Kurtz—about, generally, how the Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Act 2021 is set up, where guidance is a significant part of how that is being delivered, and the code is a significant part of that as well. 

Jest i adeiladau ar y pwynt diwethaf yna, oes yna enghreifftiau eraill fyddai'n ddefnyddiol i'r pwyllgor fod yn ymwybodol ohonyn nhw lle mae'r un dynesiad wedi cael ei ddilyn, hynny yw lle mae yna ddarpariaethau yn ymwneud â chanllawiau mewn Deddf sydd yn gorfodi'r Gweinidog i gynnwys yr elfennau hynny, yn yr un ffordd ŷch chi'n gwneud yn eich Bil drafft chi?

Just to build on that last point, are there other examples that would be useful for the committee to be aware of where that same approach has been taken, namely where there are provisions related to guidance in legislation that compel the Minister to include those elements, in the same way as you are doing in your draft Bill here?

I'm not sure what the answer is to that. I'm sure committee clerks would love to furnish you with that information. But I'm not sure if my colleagues are able to help either with that particular question, or with some of the points made earlier at all.

That would be helpful, because it's not a question of whether these are the right things to mandate; it's whether they should be mandated within guidance and whether you have precedent for that that would help us.

Can I do a classic Minister's response to this and say that I can write to the committee if something appropriate comes up, in the first instance?

—unless your colleagues do have something they can help us with already. If they don't, that's fine; by all means write to us.

Symudwn ni ymlaen. Mae yna ddadl fod yna densiwn, o bosib, yn y ddarpariaeth ar hyn o bryd sy'n nodi bod yn rhaid i ganllawiau ddarparu y caiff addysg awyr agored breswyl ei darparu yn Gymraeg, ond dim ond cyn belled â'i bod ar gael. Sut ŷch chi'n ymateb i'r ddadl bod yna densiwn yn y ddau beth yna ar hyn o bryd?

We'll move on. There is an argument that there could be a potential tension in the provision at the moment that notes that guidance must provide that residential outdoor education be provided in Welsh, but only subject to availability. How would you respond to the argument that there could be a tension between those two things?

Again, I recognise the blunt language of a piece of legislation perhaps doesn't convey as well as I would like the intention behind that. The reality is at the moment the availability of this provision in Welsh isn't at the level that we need for every school that wants to access it in Welsh. So, I think the legislation is currently reflecting reality in terms of what is available out there.

I'm going to ask my colleague Dave Harvey to come in in just a second, but before he does, I think what I would say at this point is that whilst the provision isn't available at the moment, there's a journey being undertaken that I hope Dave will be able to speak to on this. But at the moment, there's nothing within legislation or guidance or anything that says that it should be provided in Welsh. So, this is a million times better than what currently exists, which is that there's nothing in place at the moment that says it should be provided in Welsh. So, I think this does significantly strengthen the experience that children and young people could and will have.

In addition to that, within the guidance here, there's not only that it must be provided in Welsh where available, but also that it may provide that the experience promotes an understanding of Welsh language and culture, which I think could be even more significant, especially for existing English-medium schools to have that understanding of Welsh language and culture away from the classroom, which I think would be more impactful than to sit in a classroom with 25 or 30 of your classmates. 

But if you don't mind, I'll bring my colleague Dave Harvey in to speak to this point about the provision in the first instance. 


Thank you. Prynhawn da. It's an interesting conundrum, in a way. The committee may be aware of the work of the Outdoor Partnership, which began in north Wales in 2004 following a study done at Bangor University that found that there were very, very few—almost nil—practitioners working at the front line, so as instructors, in the outdoor education sector. There were plenty in the domestic side of provision but there were very, very few who were actually leading groups. And so the Outdoor Partnership was established to try and address that, and it's looking at generational change. So, their mission is to encourage grass-roots participation leading to engagement with outdoor activities over the life course, but then encouraging people into the sector itself in a work capacity. 

The work of Agored Cymru as well is there, creating a whole suite of outdoor education qualifications, and the idea is to increase that provision through the medium of Welsh. And that's already having an effect, but it's not something that is across the whole sector by any means. But the numbers of people in it are growing. The idea of the Bill as well is that that would then encourage more participation, because people can see it as a viable alternative means of employment as well. So, it's bringing more people into the sector to increase and gain further provision.

I think there's also, just to build on what Sam was saying, the aspect of although there may not be specific provision through the language of Welsh actually being spoken by instructors, there is still the opportunity for displays and for other ways of engaging people in the local environment where the centres operate, so bringing Welsh into it. And that's a challenge then: bringing the sector on board with that, and actually providing that through those ways. Teachers as well who are accompanying groups of Welsh-speaking students are still going to operate through the medium of Welsh, so it's not as if there is no provision through Welsh—it's just that the instructors won't be speaking it. 

So, as Sam says, it's actually about a generational shift that is coming through this that's actually increasing it. Although it may not be there en masse at the moment, it is part of a long-term process. 

Onid yw'r Urdd a'u safleoedd hanesyddol nhw, a'r rhai mwy newydd maen nhw wedi'u hadeiladu, yn rhan o'r sector yma? Felly onid oes yna gapasiti ar ryw lefel, beth bynnag, i ddarparu yn Gymraeg?  

Isn't the Urdd and its historic sites, and the newer sites that it has built, part of this sector? So, isn't there already capacity at some level, at least, to provide through the medium of Welsh? 


Absolutely. Sorry, Dave. I'm glad we said the same word. There absolutely is a level of capacity at the moment, but it's not a level to guarantee every child or every school that wanted that experience in Welsh to be available to them.

But going back to the legislation, I think what we would risk happening is that the delivery of the legislation, if it wasn’t worded in the way it’s worded there—. I would expect a piece of guidance that, as that capacity increases, as it currently is increasing at the moment for provision in Welsh, a Minister could strengthen that guidance to reflect what is able to be delivered. But this is certainly an incentive for more of this provision to be made available in Welsh. At the moment, apart from it being the right thing to do, there isn’t a legislative incentive for it to happen.


Dwi ddim eisiau rhagddyfalu beth fydd barn y pwyllgor i gyd, a dwi ddim eisiau ychwaith ymdreiddio mewn i gwestiynau polisi, ond un o’r pethau, efallai, rŷn ni’n ceisio gyrru tuag ato fe ydy’r cwestiwn o effaith ddeddfwriaethol y cymal yma. Achos, fel pwyllgor sydd yn edrych ar ddeddfwriaeth, byddwn ni bob amser eisiau tanlinellu’r egwyddor y dylai deddfwriaeth fod yn cael effaith, neu does dim pwynt iddi hi. Hynny yw, byddai rhywun efallai yn medru dadlau bod y cymal

'cyn belled â’i bod ar gael'

mor benagored fyddai fe ddim yn creu unrhyw effaith o gwbl, oherwydd byddai rhywun yn gallu dadlau, 'Wel, dyw e ddim ar gael', ac felly fyddai dim byd yn newid. Ydych chi wedi ystyried termau cyfreithiol gwahanol? Er enghraifft, mae yna enghreifftiau eraill, 'ymdrechion gorau', 'best endeavours', hynny yw, a fyddai’n gorfodi rhyw fath o ddyletswydd, wedyn, i symud tuag at sefyllfa lle byddai yna ddarpariaeth Gymraeg yn gallu cael ei chynnig i bawb. Ond byddai’n creu effaith, byddai’n creu rhyw gamau a fyddai’n deillio, wedyn, o’r cymal.

I don’t want to presuppose where the committee will be on this, nor do I want to go into the policy questions, but one of the things, perhaps, that we are trying to get to here is this question of the legislative impact of this clause. Because, as a committee that looks at legislation, we will always want to underline the principle that legislation should have an effect, or there’s no point in having that legislation in the first place. So, one perhaps could argue that the clause

'subject to availability'

is so open-ended that it wouldn’t have any effect at all, because one could argue, 'Well, it's not available', and then nothing would change. So, have you considered different legal terms? For example, there are other examples, such as 'best endeavours', that would enforce some sort of duty, then, to move towards a situation where there would be Welsh-medium provision that could be offered to everyone. But it would deliver that effect. It would deliver some steps that would emanate, then, from the clause itself. 

I think that's absolutely a fair point, and I'd be really willing to hear from the committee a recommendation that would enable this to be strengthened, whilst also recognising the reality on the ground at the moment. But as you say, and I completely accept it, we need to incentivise the sector to move along the journey that we are moving along in Wales. I think this helps. I accept that it may not go as far as it could, and I'll be willing to hear, perhaps, a recommendation from the committee as to how that could be strengthened.

And on the same theme, actually, as I'm listening to what is a very cogent explanation of where the landscape of the sector currently is, and the journey that they’re on, what strikes me is that we’re not only looking at a legislative vehicle coming forward, but there’s funding attached to it that would be Welsh Government funding. I’m wondering, as we talk about this, what the interplay there is in education—local education authority providers, Welsh Government money, a mandation of an offer—and how that binds on the delivery of a Welsh and English offer. I’m just wondering whether you've had those discussions as you’ve brought this Bill forward. Is that something perhaps you would take away, either you or your officials, to think about? Because it seems it’s not only a legislative offer we’ve got here, but we’ve got a funding offer, a mandation.

As I say, you can see a very clear incentive, both in legislative terms and perhaps in other ways, for the sector to move along this journey, because it’s absolutely right that, if children want that experience in Welsh, they should be able to access it. What I didn’t want to do is remove the experience as a whole, because literally the sector is not able to deliver at the moment. I completely accept that we need to move along that journey at pace. At the moment, though—and let’s be very clear—there’s no incentive at all, financially or legislatively, for that to happen. So, this is much better than currently exists, but I accept perhaps it could be even better. 

Os oedd yna ryw gymal sydd yn gosod rhaglen drosiannol gydag arian a buddsoddiad yn y sector, i dyfu'r sector ac i greu sylfaen sefydlog i'r sector o ran cynnig y ddarpariaeth yma, ond hefyd, fel rhan o hwnna, tyfu'r capasiti i wneud hynny yn y Gymraeg, efallai byddai rhyw ddyddiad, blwyddyn, i anelu ato fe, fel bod hwnna'n gallu cael ei gynnig yn gyfan oll drwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg, efallai, yn ffordd o gyrraedd y nod lle mae'n ymddangos i ni i gyd—wel, hynny yw, nid i ni fel pwyllgor, ond ŷch chi'n gytûn ynglŷn â'r nod, felly mater o elfen fecanwaith.

A gaf i droi at y cwestiwn olaf sydd gen i? Mae'r Bil yn darparu ar gyfer cod addysg awyr agored breswyl a fydd yn nodi sut y caiff addysg awyr agored breswyl ei darparu fel rhan o'r cwricwlwm. Yn ei dystiolaeth, eto i'r pwyllgor yma, dywedodd y Gweinidog fod hyn yn lefel o fanylder, neu granularity, sy'n bell o'r trefniadau presennol yn y Bil. Nododd ei fod e'n groes i'r codau eraill y darperir ar eu cyfer ar hyn o bryd o ran Deddf Cwricwlwm ac Asesu (Cymru) 2021. Hynny yw, byddai creu cod manwl ar gyfer y sector yma ddim yn gydnaws â'r mathau o bethau mae codau eraill wedi cael eu cynhyrchu ar eu cyfer nhw gan yr adran addysg. Felly, sut ydych chi'n ymateb i hynny?

If there was some clause that set out a transition programme with investment and funding in the sector, to grow it and to create a stable basis for the sector in terms of this provision, but also, as part of that, to grow the capacity to do so through the medium of Welsh, perhaps there'd be some date, a year, to aim for, so that it could be offered wholly through the medium of Welsh, perhaps that would be a way of reaching the aim where it appears to us all—well, that is, not to us a committee, but you're in agreement with that aim, so it's a matter of a mechanism.

May I turn to the final question that I have? The Bill provides for a residential outdoor education code that will set out how residential outdoor education will be delivered as part of the curriculum. In his evidence, again to this committee, the Minister described this as a level of granularity that is very, very far removed from the current arrangements in the Bill. He stated that it was at odds with other codes currently provided for in terms of the Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Act 2021. That is, creating a detailed code for this sector would not be in alignment with the sorts of things that other codes have been produced for by the education department. So, what is your view on that?


Well, I disagree with the Minister on that particular point. The use of codes is used throughout the Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Act 2021—the Minister knows that full well. And a specific example is the RSE code, which sets out a huge amount of detail within the Act. It follows the premise of the Act itself. It's not seeking to do anything unusual or especially different from what currently exists for the new curriculum, so I'd just disagree with the Minister on that point.

So, ife un ffordd o ddehongli'r gwahaniaeth barn rhyngoch chi a'r Gweinidog yw y buasech chi, oherwydd eich safbwynt, yn gosod addysg awyr agored breswyl ar yr un raddfa o bwysigrwydd cyffredinol ag addysg RSE, felly? Hynny yw, os ydych chi'n ei weld e'n gyffredinol bwysig, yn flaenoriaeth, wedyn mae'r pwynt mae'r Gweinidog yn ei wneud yn mynd i ffwrdd, ie? Achos dŷch chi ddim yn ei weld e fel rhyw fanylyn, neu rywbeth sydd ddim yn greiddiol bwysig, rydych chi yn gweld hwn yn greiddiol bwysig i addysg.

So, would one way of interpreting the difference of view between yourself and the Minister be that you, because of your stance, would put residential outdoor education at the same level of importance in general terms as RSE education? So, if you see it as generally important and a priority, then the point that the Minister makes goes away, doesn't it? Because you don't see it as a detail or an add-on, or something that isn't of core importance, you see it as being crucially important in terms of education in general.

I think these experiences are really, really important for children and young people. So, I agree with the premise of what you're saying. I don't want to start ranking one element of the curriculum against another. But they are really, really important experiences, and I wouldn't be bringing forward a piece of legislation if I didn't think so. They're important because of the outcomes, but this particular piece is important so that every child has an opportunity to access this, let's not forget that. There are too many children who don't have this opportunity to access this because either the school doesn't provide it or they fundamentally can't afford it—those are the main reasons why.

As I say, I don't want to start ranking one code against the other, or one part of the curriculum against the other. But I think there's more and more evidence—and in the explanatory memorandum I've set out, it shows this—that those outdoor experiences, residential and just in general, are very important to children's learning and development into young adults.

Okay, let's turn to the last few questions, then, in the minutes that we have. I'll ask colleagues as well if they've got any further questions for you then, as well.

Looking ahead a little bit now, if this receives the approval of the Senedd and we get to the point where this passes as a Bill, looking at the implementation of this, the Bill requires both the residential outdoor education code we've just been talking about, and the initial guidance in respect of residential outdoor education, to be issued within 15 months of the Act receiving Royal Assent. Can you just guide us through your thought processes on that 15-month time frame, and, in particular, whether you've considered that this makes enough allowance for proper consultation and development of the guidance and the code? And we're cognisant, as we've discussed this, that you've been commendably very involved with many of the outdoor sector providers and so on, but, of course, we also have local education authorities, we also have the Welsh Local Government Association, and we also have many other people that you'd want to—on the back of the conversations today—discuss this with to get it right. So, your thought processes, Sam, on getting us to a 15-month timetable from Royal Assent.


Yes, I appreciate it may feel like a tight timescale, but there's nothing quite like a sense of urgency to get something over the line. It's not an overly complicated—I would say that, wouldn't I—piece of legislation, as you can tell by the weight of the papers in front of you in the first instance. And, as you say, there is a level of legwork that's already been undertaken. I accept that's not what, perhaps, a Minister would accept, but that engagement hasn't just been with the sector. The consultation responses have come through from all of our relevant commissioners: the Children's Commissioner for Wales, the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, and the Welsh Language Commissioner have engaged with this process for the last 18 months. The WLGA has been involved with us for the last 18 months. The unions have been very much involved in this over the last 18 months as well as, as you say, the sector and schools themselves. 

So, there's a level of awareness out there, a level of eagerness to see this delivered quickly. And I think the lack of complexity within the Bill would enable it to take place within that 15 months. Now, I guess the one to compare it with would be the elements within the RSE code that, I think, were probably more controversial than some of the elements to people in some parts of Wales. I don't expect the same level of controversy over the ability for children to have some time away with their classmates.

Okay. Thank you. And can you give us a preview? Or are you thinking of any amendments to bring forward if this does pass the initial stages? Have you already got amendments in mind? 

Stop throwing it back at us. Have you got any amendments in mind? [Laughter.]

—of being sat in front of the Children, Young People and Education Committee, so I'm looking forward to their recommendations as well. But I'm not a closed shop at all and I've already suggested perhaps, today, some thoughts that I've got that could strengthen the legislation. And genuinely, from this side of the table, it's a really interesting and, actually, helpful experience to go through, to understand how legislation can be amended and adjusted to take on board thoughts and ideas that other people have.

Okay. Well, brilliant. Well, look, echoing what Adam said earlier on—I'm sure we all feel it as a committee—it's commendable to get to this stage. It's quite a labour of love to get any Bill to this moment and there are plenty more steps in front of you as well. So, we commend you on that.

Is there anything else, Sam, that you want to touch on from our perspective in respect of the Bill? You've spoken with passion about why you want to bring this forward, and what your concept and your vision is with this. But from our perspective, legislatively and from the constitutional perspective, is there anything else you want to add?

Nothing springs to mind, right now. I'm not sure if my colleagues—. If there's anything that we, or I, have perhaps not communicated as best I could, or if something could be clearer, I'm happy to hear it from anybody. 

There's Dave on the screen as well. He's just shaking his head generally at me, I'm sure. [Laughter.]

A gaf i jest ofyn un peth? Cwestiwn tipyn bach yn fwy cyffredinol sydd yn mynd tu hwnt i sgôp ein trafodaethau ni ynglŷn â'r Bil penodol yma, ond o ystyried ein cyfrifoldeb ni, a oes yna unrhyw bethau ŷch chi eisiau eu rhannu â ni o ran y profiad o gyflwyno Bil fel Aelod meinciau cefn? Rŷch chi wedi cynnal proses ymgynghorol estynedig ac yn y blaen. A oes yna unrhyw wersi neu unrhyw fewnwelediadau o ran sut allem ni wneud y broses yma'n rhwyddach, yn well ac yn gryfach, er mwyn annog mwy o Aelodau i gynnig Biliau?

May I just ask one question? Perhaps a more general question that's beyond the scope of our discussions on this specific Bill, but bearing in mind our specific responsibilities, are there any things that you'd like to share with us in terms of your experience of introducing a Member's Bill? You've undertaken an extended consultation process and so on. Are there any lessons or any insights that you could offer in terms of how we could make this process easier, better and more robust, to encourage more Members to propose Bills?


Yes. I think I've got some really interesting thoughts on this, and I think it may be helpful for the Llywydd, as well, in her role in particular, to engage with Members like me and Peter Fox previously, and others—James Evans has got his mental health Bill at the moment, as a Member of the Senedd—to hear some of that feedback as well.

I think it's an interesting process that we have in the Senedd, that we have a fixed timescale for Bill development—so, 13 months from the leave-to-proceed vote—which is helpful in terms of momentum and urgency, but, of course, getting into levels of detail across 13 months can be a challenge. Thankfully, my Bill is fairly simple, to say the least. I think to bring a very complex Bill, perhaps—. I don't want to speak for Peter Fox, but his Bill was fairly broad and I guess 13 months to have the level of detail for such a broad Bill must be a challenge. So, I think it's an interesting thought for us as a Senedd, and I don't know where it sits with you as a committee, but whether there's any flexibility within that, as well. I understand that many people won't want it to be open-ended. Of course, Government, pretty much, have as much time as they want to be able to pull something together so that they can cover every possible base along the way. I think there's also a point about engagement with Government as well within this, and I think it would be helpful to be clear of what should be expected in terms of that engagement with Government, and whether there are some kind of gates along the way, in which that conversation is had and maybe set out. That may be helpful as well, rather than what I think is, at the moment, a fairly informal process and engagement with Government and their officials. They're the two broad things that I would say. I don't know if the Llywydd usually does this, but I think it would be helpful for her and her team to sit down with, perhaps, me and Peter and others to have that more candid conversation about some points.

Very good. Thank you very much. Well, can I thank you, Sam, and your colleagues as well, for appearing in front of us today? We really appreciate it. We like to see private Member's Bills coming forward, as well, and, as Adam was saying, for us to learn from the process as well. So, I'm sure your experience will be really helpful. We wish you well with this. We'll come forward with the result of our deliberations in fairly short order. But there were a couple of items that you suggested that you might want to write to us on if you have any more thoughts, and we'll probably follow up with you as well. We'll send you the transcript so that you can check it for factual accuracy, but just for now, breathe. Breathe. Well done. Very well done indeed.

Colleagues, do you want to take a short break, or do you want to proceed straight on? Sam, we'll let you and your officials leave.

Okay, what we'll do is we'll literally take a minute so that we can rearrange the furniture in here. Diolch.

Gohiriwyd y cyfarfod rhwng 14:28 ac 14:30.

The meeting adjourned between 14:28 and 14:30.

3. Offerynnau nad ydynt yn cynnwys unrhyw faterion i’w codi o dan Reol Sefydlog 21.2 neu 21.3
3. Instruments that raise no reporting issues under Standing Order 21.2 or 21.3

Okay, we're coming back now into public session of the Legislation, Justice and Constitution Committee, this afternoon's session. We've just had an evidence session for the Member's Bill, the Residential Outdoor Education (Wales) Bill, with Sam Rowlands and his colleagues. But, we're now moving on to item 3, instruments that raise no reporting issues under Standing Order 21.2 or 21.3. We only have one item in this section. We have a draft report under paper 3 for an affirmative resolution instrument. It's SL(6)449, the Non-Domestic Rating (Multiplier) (Wales) Regulations 2024. These set the non-domestic rating multiplier for Wales for the financial year ahead, 2024-25. They reflect the decision announced on 19 December 2023 by the Welsh Government to increase the multiplier by 5 per cent, rather than using growth in the consumer prices index of 6.7 per cent. But, we have no reporting points to announce. So, are we happy to agree that? Thank you. 

4. Offerynnau sy’n cynnwys materion i gyflwyno adroddiad arnynt i’r Senedd o dan Reol Sefydlog 21.2 neu 21.3
4. Instruments that raise issues to be reported to the Senedd under Standing Order 21.2 or 21.3

We'll go on, then, to item No. 4, instruments that raise issues to be reported to the Senedd under Standing Order 21.2 or 21.3. We begin with item 4.1—again, it's the only item within this section—SL(6)447, the Government of Wales Act 2006 (Budget Motions and Designated Bodies) (Amendment) Order 2024. And, again, we have a draft report on this made negative resolution instrument. This Order amends the 2018 Order, which designates bodies in relation to the Welsh Ministers. The purpose of such designation is so that information relating to the resources expected to be used by those bodies can be included within a budget motion of the Senedd. The intended effect of this Order is that four additional bodies are designated, the names of some designated bodies are changed, and the company numbers for 10 previously designated bodies are now included. Now, our lawyers have identified two technical and one merits reporting points, which are in the reports pack there. We have not yet had a Welsh Government response. Is there anything particular, Gareth, that you want to highlight?

Diolch. Well, the first technical point seeks confirmation of the bodies that are being designated by this Order, because a line in the explanatory note causes a bit of confusion. The second technical point relates to the formal company name of Transport for Wales and whether it is correct to translate the formal registered company name into Welsh. And there's a merits point regarding the Welsh Government's continued use of 'Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Education and Training in Wales'. We think it should be 'His Majesty's Chief Inspector', which is also what the Estyn website says. 

Thank you very much. Are you happy with those reporting points? We are. Thank you very much. Thanks, Gareth.

5. Offerynnau sy’n cynnwys materion i gyflwyno adroddiad arnynt i’r Senedd o dan Reol Sefydlog 21.2 neu 21.3—trafodwyd yn flaenorol
5. Instruments that raise issues to be reported to the Senedd under Standing Order 21.2 or 21.3—previously considered

We'll go on, then, to item No. 5, which is instruments that raise issues to be reported to the Senedd under Standing Order 21.2 or 21.3 that we've previously considered. We have a couple of items here. Item 5.1 is in respect of the Agricultural Holdings (Units of Production) (Wales) Order 2024. We have a report and a Welsh Government response. We considered this instrument at our meeting on 29 January, and we laid our report that same day. So, it's just to note the Welsh Government response to the report. There are no particular comments on this, Gareth—or have you?

Could I just mention that the committee raised a point about the length of time it took the Welsh Government to make this Order, noting there were people whose succession claims were put on hold because of the delay? The Welsh Government response gives a basic outline of the timetabling involved, but the committee's point was really about the people whose claims were put on hold, and the Welsh Government doesn't say anything about the effect of the delay on those people, so it's impossible, really, to understand how they have been affected.

Thank you very much. That's a really important point. Okay, we have that on record. We might want to return to that in private session for further discussion, but it's good that we've got that on record. Thank you, Gareth. Are we happy to agree those reporting points? I think that was quite important. 

We go on to item 5.2, then, SL(6)441, the Firefighters' Pension Schemes and Compensation Scheme (Amendment) (Wales) Order 2024. And, again, we have a report and a Welsh Government response. We also considered this in our meeting of 29 January and laid our report the same day. Anything to comment on this, Gareth?


If I could draw attention to the response to technical point 3, where the committee reported that the English and Welsh texts have opposite meanings in one place. The Welsh Government accepts there is opposite meaning and will address the error, in the Government's words, 'at the next available opportunity'. But there's no indication as to when that might be or that it will be done urgently. In the meantime, the Welsh and English texts of this law have opposite meanings in one place.

Okay, so that might well be something that we want to return to, because we're quite used to tracking and harrying the Government to make these changes, as they've said, at the next available opportunity there. We'd want to see when that was. Adam.

Allaf i jest ofyn, fel mater o ffaith, ac ar sail unrhyw brofiad lle mae hyn wedi codi, cyn bod y testun yn cael ei newid i fod yn gyson, beth fyddai'n digwydd yn gyffredinol, felly, pe bai yna ryw her gyfreithiol yn digwydd? Sut fyddai rhywun yn penderfynu pa destun sydd yn gyfreithiol effeithiol?

May I just ask, as a matter of fact, on the basis of any experience where this has arisen previously, before the text is amended to ensure consistency, what would happen, in general terms, if there were to be a legal challenge? How would one decide which text has legal effect?

Mater o ddehongliad fyddai fe wedyn i lys ddehongli, wrth edrych ar y cyd-destun cyfan, beth yw'r gyfraith, a dyna pam mae e mor bwysig i gywiro hwn yn gyflym, fel ein bod ni'n sicrhau bod yr ystyr yn glir ar wyneb y ddeddfwriaeth. Ond, tan hynny, mae'n fater o ddehongli, a gallai un person ddehongli y ffordd hon a'r person arall ddehongli ffordd arall. Wedyn byddai angen i'r llys benderfynu beth yw'r dehongliad cywir, a byddai fe'n well, wrth gwrs, osgoi—

It would be up to a court to interpret, in looking at the whole context, and to decide what the law is. That's why it's important that this is dealt with quickly, to ensure that the meaning is clear on the face of the legislation. But, until then, it's a matter of interpretation, and one person could interpret one way and another person the other way. Then it's up to the court to decide what is the correct interpretation, and it would be better, of course, to avoid—

—sefyllfa honno, yr amwysedd.

—that situation, that ambiguity.

So, from a clarity of law perspective, the role of our committee, then, is not just to highlight it, but to follow it up and make sure that the Government is going to make the necessary changes.

A fyddai'n bosib i ni fonitro neu gael rhyw fath o syniad, neu hyd yn oed gael ymateb gan y Llywodraeth, pan fyddan nhw'n dweud—achos mae hyn yn digwydd mor aml nawr—eu bod nhw'n mynd i newid e i fod yn gyson, faint o amser mae hyn yn cymryd fel arfer? Oes gyda nhw ryw fath o ganllaw? Hynny yw, a ydyw e'n dair wythnos, tri mis, blynyddoedd neu beth bynnag, achos dyw e ddim yn glir ar hyn o bryd? Ac ydyn nhw'n ceisio cadw at ryw fath o reol gyson?

Would it be possible for us to monitor or to have an idea, or even a Government response, when they say—because this is happening so often now—that they're going to change something to ensure consistency, how much time that takes usually? Do they have any guideline they follow, in terms of the timeline? Is it three weeks, three months or years, because it isn't clear at the moment? And do they seek to adhere to a consistent rule on this?

I don't think we have a set time frame, although what we have done in the past is to seek clarification from the Ministers as to when the next available opportunity will be, and then make that transparent to the Senedd as well, so that they can make a judgment as to whether that is reasonable. Ideally, of course, this would not have been done in the first place, the 'correcting it as soon as possible'. I suspect this is something we can return to in the private session and decide a way forward, but, Gareth, I don't know if you have precedent on this, on how we've done it, or, I'm looking at Gareth to my left as well. I'm surrounded by Gareths.

I think we can perhaps consider bringing a paper to the committee to set out what's happened so far, how the Welsh Government have responded and then draw attention to whether there's any further action the committee might consider the Welsh Government could take.

Diolch. We will turn now to the final—I said there were a couple; there are more than a couple—the final item in this section, item 5.3, which is SL(6)444, the Independent Schools (Prohibition on Participation in Management) (Wales) Regulations 2024. Again, we have a report and the Welsh Government response in our packs. This also was considered in our committee on 29 January, and we laid our report the same day. So, we have the report there. Gareth, anything you want to pick up? Nothing in this one in particular. Anything, colleagues? No. Okay. So, we will note that.

6. Offerynnau sy’n cynnwys materion i gyflwyno adroddiad arnynt i’r Senedd o dan Reol Sefydlog 21.7—trafodwyd eisoes
6. Instruments that raise issues to be reported to the Senedd under Standing Order 21.7—previously considered

And then we move on to item No. 6, which is instruments that raise issues to be reported to the Senedd under Standing Order 21.7, which we have previously considered. We have one item here under item 6.1, SL(6)435, Part 8 code of practice on the role of director of social services, and we have the report and the Welsh Government response here. This was considered at our meeting on 22 January, and we laid our report the same day. So, do we have anything, Gareth, that you want to pick up on this?

Only to note that the committee raised a large number of relatively minor points, and the Welsh Government response shows that they will be making lots of changes to address the committee’s points.


That’s good—good to hear. Okay, thank you very much.

7. Cytundeb cysylltiadau rhyngsefydliadol
7. Inter-institutional relations agreement

So, we’ll move ahead, then, to item No. 7, which are notifications and correspondence under the inter-institutional relations agreement, and the first item on this section is item 7.1, where we have for us to note the correspondence with the Minister for Economy in relation to the United Kingdom Internal Market Act 2020 (Services Exclusions) Regulations 2023, and the Minister has responded to our request for more information around consent and says that, in this case, Welsh Government ‘agreed’—in quotes—there was no policy reason to withhold consent for a reserved area with no direct impact in areas of devolved competence. Colleagues, I’ll go through these items, and if there’s anything you want to flag up with me, just jump in on it.

Item 7.2, we have to note the correspondence from the Deputy Minister for Climate Change in relation to the next meeting of the transport inter-ministerial standing committee, which is taking place today. So, those are the only two items in that section, if you’re happy to note that.

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

We’ll go on, then, to the papers to note. Now, we’ve got several papers, but if I could suggest we take three items together for convenience, 8.1, 8.2 and 8.3, because they are related. Within these items, we note the correspondence from the Counsel General and the Minister for the Constitution to this committee and to the Reform Bill Committee and the Finance Committee in response to our respective reports on the Senedd Cymru (Members and Elections) Bill, which were published on 19 January. So, there’s a fair bit to get into there, and we might want to return to that in our discussions in private, but are you happy to note that for now, that correspondence?

Then we’ll go on to item 8.4. There to note is the summary of responses to the Welsh Government consultation on reform to the Welsh tribunals, which are provided as an internet link in the paper pack we have. The consultation description states that it proposes to reform Wales’s devolved tribunals 

'to create a unified and coherent tribunal system that will better meet the present needs of tribunal justice in Wales.'

This is something we’ve been keeping a watch on as a committee, so it’s interesting to see that. If we’re happy to note that, and we might return to it.

Then, 8.5, the last piece within this section: we have in front of us to note the correspondence with the chair of the House of Lords Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee. We wrote to them at the end of January to draw their attention to our report on the Welsh Government’s supplementary legislative consent memorandum, memorandum No. 3, on the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill, in the hope that it would be helpful to them in their consideration of the Bill, and it is good to note, colleagues, that they have indeed replied stating they will take our concerns into consideration to the extent that they fall within their remit, which is good. And I think it’s welcome to have that, because we have a lot of engagement with the committees in Westminster, and we often have very constructive engagement where they do pick up, and, likewise, we pick up from them as well.

9. Cynnig o dan Reol Sefydlog 17.42 i benderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o weddill y cyfarfod
9. Motion under Standing Order 17.42 to resolve to exclude the public from the remainder of the meeting


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


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

Cynigiwyd y cynnig.

Motion moved.

So, on that basis, colleagues, if I can turn to item No. 9, which is to seek your permission under Standing Order 17.42 to exclude the public for the remainder of the meeting so we can go into private. Are we happy to do that? We are. And we’ll go into private session, please.

Derbyniwyd y cynnig.

Daeth rhan gyhoeddus y cyfarfod i ben am 14:44.

Motion agreed.

The public part of the meeting ended at 14:44.