Y Cyfarfod Llawn

Plenary

10/11/2020

Cynnwys

Contents

Datganiad gan y Llywydd Statement by the Llywydd
1. Cwestiynau i'r Prif Weinidog 1. Questions to the First Minister
2. Datganiad a Chyhoeddiad Busnes 2. Business Statement and Announcement
3. Datganiad gan y Gweinidog Addysg: Ymdrin â chymwysterau yn 2021 3. Statement by the Minister for Education: The approach to qualifications in 2021
4. Rheoliadau'r Cynllun Seibiant Dyledion (Moratoriwm Lle i Anadlu a Moratoriwm Argyfwng Iechyd Meddwl) (Cymru a Lloegr) 2020 4. The Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space Moratorium and Mental Health Crisis Moratorium) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020
6. Dadl: Cyfnod 3 y Bil Llywodraeth Leol ac Etholiadau (Cymru) 6. Debate: Stage 3 on the Local Government and Elections (Wales) Bill
Grŵp 1: Etholiadau llywodraeth leol (Gweliannau 84, 85, 1, 86, 87, 99, 101,102, 103,104,105, 2, 106, 62, 64, 65, 66, 67, 147, 58, 59, 60, 61, 79, 55, 56) Group 1: Local government elections (Amendments 84, 85, 1, 86, 87, 99, 101,102, 103,104,105, 2, 106, 62, 64, 65, 66, 67, 147, 58, 59, 60, 61, 79, 55, 56)
Grŵp 2: System bleidleisio ar gyfer etholiadau llywodraeth leol (Gwelliannau 152, 88, 89, 153, 154, 90, 91, 92, 94, 93, 95, 96, , 97, 155, 98, 156, 100, 157, 145, 176, 146, 63, 177, 83, 151, 148, 168, 137, 169, 170, 171, 144) Group 2: Voting system for local government elections (Amendments 152, 88, 89, 153, 154, 90, 91, 92, 94, 93, 95, 96, , 97, 155, 98, 156, 100, 157, 145, 176, 146, 63, 177, 83, 151, 148, 168, 137, 169, 170, 171, 144)
Grŵp 3: Safonau’r Gymraeg (Gwelliannau 158, 159, 165, 166) Group 3: Welsh Language Standards (Amendments 158, 159, 165, 166)
Grŵp 4: Pŵer cymhwysedd cyffredinol (Gwelliannau 107, 3, 108, 109, 110, 68, 74, 69) Group 4: General power of competence (Amendments 107, 3, 108, 109, 110, 68, 74, 69)
Grŵp 5: Cyfranogiad y cyhoedd (Gwelliannau 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117) Group 5: Public participation (Amendments 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117)
Grŵp 6: Cyfarfodydd awdurdodau lleol (Gwelliannau 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 77, 12, 13, 14, 15, 118, 16, 17, 18, 70, 4, 5, 50, 51, 52, 72, 53) Group 6: Local authority meetings (Amendments 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 77, 12, 13, 14, 15, 118, 16, 17, 18, 70, 4, 5, 50, 51, 52, 72, 53)
Grŵp 7: Aelodau a swyddogion awdurdodau lleol (Gwelliannau 119, 80, 75) Group 7: Local authority officers and members (Amendments 119, 80, 75)
Grŵp 8: Cydraddoldeb ac amrywiaeth a rhannu swydd (Gwelliannau 161, 178, 179, 162, 163, 160, 172, 174) Group 8: Equality and diversity and job sharing (Amendments 161, 178, 179, 162, 163, 160, 172, 174)
Grŵp 9: Cyd-bwyllgorau corfforedig—pan na fo cais wedi ei wneud (Gwelliannau 164, 120, 121, 122, 125, 126, 167, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 133, 135, 173, 175) Group 9: Corporate joint committees—where no request has been made (Amendments 164, 120, 121, 122, 125, 126, 167, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 133, 135, 173, 175)
Grŵp 10: Cyd-bwyllgorau corfforedig—gofynion eraill (Gwelliannau 19, 123, 124, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 132, 134, 149, 76, 150) Group 10: Corporate joint committees—other requirements (Amendments 19, 123, 124, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 132, 134, 149, 76, 150)
Grŵp 11: Perfformiad prif gynghorau a’u llywodraethu (Gwelliannau 136, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 81, 82) Group 11: Performance and governance of principal councils (Amendments 136, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 81, 82)
Grŵp 12: Ailstrwythuro awdurdodau lleol (Gwelliannau 138, 139, 140, 39, 141, 71, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 73, 78) Group 12: Restructuring local authorities (Amendments 138, 139, 140, 39, 141, 71, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 73, 78)
Grŵp 13: Rhan 9—amrywiol (Gwelliannau 45, 46, 47, 54) Group 13: Part 9—miscellaneous (Amendments 45, 46, 47, 54)
Grŵp 14: Awdurdodau tân ac achub (Gwelliannau 142, 48, 49, 57) Group 14: Fire and rescue authorities (Amendments 142, 48, 49, 57)
Grŵp 15: Iawndal i brif gynghorau (Gwelliant 143) Group 15: Compensation for principal councils (Amendment 143)

Yn y fersiwn ddwyieithog, mae’r golofn chwith yn cynnwys yr iaith a lefarwyd yn y cyfarfod. Mae’r golofn dde yn cynnwys cyfieithiad o’r areithiau hynny.

In the bilingual version, the left-hand column includes the language used during the meeting. The right-hand column includes a translation of those speeches.

Cyfarfu'r Senedd yn y Siambr a thrwy gynhadledd fideo am 13:30 gyda'r Llywydd (Elin Jones) yn y Gadair. 

The Senedd met in the Chamber and by video-conference at 13:30 with the Llywydd (Elin Jones) in the Chair.

Datganiad gan y Llywydd
Statement by the Llywydd

Croeso, bawb, i'r Cyfarfod Llawn a, chyn i ni ddechrau, dwi eisiau nodi ychydig o bwyntiau. Cynhelir y cyfarfod hwn ar ffurf hybrid, gyda rhai Aelodau yn Siambr y Senedd ac eraill yn ymuno drwy gyswllt fideo. Bydd yr holl Aelodau sy'n cymryd rhan yn nhrafodion y Senedd, ble bynnag y bônt, yn cael eu trin yn gyfartal. Mae Cyfarfod Llawn a gynhelir drwy gynhadledd fideo, yn unol â Rheolau Sefydlog Senedd Cymru, yn gyfystyr â thrafodion y Senedd at ddibenion Deddf Llywodraeth Cymru 2006. Bydd rhai o ddarpariaethau Rheol Sefydlog 34 yn gymwys ar gyfer y Cyfarfod Llawn heddiw, ac mae'r rhain wedi'u nodi ar eich agenda chi. A dwi eisiau atgoffa Aelodau fod y Rheolau Sefydlog sy'n ymwneud â threfn yn y Cyfarfod Llawn yn berthnasol i'r cyfarfod yma, ac yr un mor berthnasol i'r Aelodau sydd yn y Siambr ag i'r rhai sydd yn ymuno drwy gyswllt fideo. 

Welcome to this Plenary meeting. Before we begin, I want to set out a few points. This meeting will be held in hybrid format, with some Members in the Senedd Chamber and others joining by video-conference. All Members participating in Senedd proceedings, wherever they may be, will be treated equally. A Plenary meeting held using video-conference, in accordance with the Standing Orders of the Welsh Parliament, constitutes Senedd proceedings for the purposes of the Government of Wales Act 2006. Some of the provisions of Standing Order 34 will apply for today's Plenary meeting, and these are noted on your agenda. And I would remind Members that Standing Orders relating to order in Plenary meetings apply to this meeting, and apply equally to Members in the Chamber as to those joining virtually. 

1. Cwestiynau i'r Prif Weinidog
1. Questions to the First Minister

Gyda hynny, felly, yr eitem gyntaf ar ein hagenda ni yw'r cwestiynau i'r Prif Weinidog, ac mae'r cwestiwn cyntaf gan Delyth Jewell. 

With those few words, the first item on our agenda is questions to the First Minister, and the first question is from Delyth Jewell. 

Dealltwriaeth y Cyhoedd o Wleidyddiaeth
Public Understanding of Politics

1. A wnaiff y Prif Weinidog ddatganiad am bwysigrwydd cynyddu dealltwriaeth y cyhoedd o wleidyddiaeth yng Nghymru? OQ55848

1. Will the First Minister make a statement about the importance of increasing public understanding of politics in Wales? OQ55848

Llywydd, I thank Delyth Jewell for that question. Increasing the public’s understanding of democracy in Wales, and throughout the world, has never been more important. I have today written to President-elect Biden to congratulate him on his victory in last week's elections in the United States. Decision making in this Senedd during the coronavirus crisis has demonstrated the significance of politics in everyone’s lives in an unprecedented way.

Llywydd, diolchaf i Delyth Jewell am y cwestiwn yna. Ni fu cynyddu dealltwriaeth y cyhoedd o ddemocratiaeth yng Nghymru, a ledled y byd, erioed yn bwysicach. Rwyf i wedi ysgrifennu heddiw at y darpar Arlywydd Biden i'w longyfarch ar ei fuddugoliaeth yn etholiadau yr wythnos diwethaf yn yr Unol Daleithiau. Mae'r broses gwneud penderfyniadau yn y Senedd hon yn ystod argyfwng coronafeirws wedi dangos arwyddocâd gwleidyddiaeth ym mywydau pawb mewn ffordd ddigynsail.

I thank the First Minister for his answer. I'm sure that he, as he has just said, has been following not only the result of the US election, but the fascinating coverage that has been of it. I'm delighted by the Democrats' victory against probably the worst US President in history, and I'm glad that the First Minister has joined me in congratulating Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on their victory. But that detailed coverage stands in contrast with the situation in Wales, where people have to go out of their way to ascertain facts. Cardiff University's 2016 Welsh election study paints a bleak picture of political understanding of Senedd elections. Findings include that half the population didn't know the Welsh Government is in charge of health and education, and 40 per cent believed Plaid Cymru were a party of Government between 2011 and 2016. Now, we know the reason for this—most Welsh citizens get their news from London-based media. The same study shows only 6 per cent of Welsh voters read Welsh papers. In Scotland, it's 46 per cent. So, does the First Minister share my concern about these figures, and does he agree that it's not the fault of Welsh citizens, but rather it's that they're being let down by the current media landscape, and, if so, would he be willing to work cross-party to explore ways to properly inform the public ahead of next year's election?

Diolchaf i'r Prif Weinidog am ei ateb. Rwy'n siŵr, fel y mae newydd ei ddweud, ei fod wedi bod yn dilyn nid yn unig canlyniad etholiad yr Unol Daleithiau, ond y sylw diddorol sydd wedi bod iddo yn y cyfryngau. Rwyf i wrth fy modd â buddugoliaeth y Democratiaid yn erbyn Llywydd gwaethaf yr Unol Daleithiau mewn hanes, yn ôl pob tebyg, ac rwy'n falch bod y Prif Weinidog wedi ymuno â mi i longyfarch Joe Biden a Kamala Harris ar eu buddugoliaeth. Ond mae'r sylw manwl hwnnw yn gwrthgyferbynnu â'r sefyllfa yng Nghymru, lle mae'n rhaid i bobl fynd allan o'u ffordd i ganfod ffeithiau. Mae astudiaeth Prifysgol Caerdydd o etholiad Cymru yn 2016 yn cynnig darlun llwm o ddealltwriaeth wleidyddol o etholiadau'r Senedd. Mae'r canfyddiadau yn cynnwys nad oedd hanner y boblogaeth yn gwybod bod Llywodraeth Cymru yn gyfrifol am iechyd ac addysg, ac roedd 40 y cant yn credu mai Plaid Cymru oedd y blaid mewn Llywodraeth rhwng 2011 a 2016. Nawr, rydym ni'n gwybod y rheswm am hyn—mae'r rhan fwyaf o ddinasyddion Cymru yn cael eu newyddion gan gyfryngau yn Llundain. Mae'r un astudiaeth yn dangos mai dim ond 6 y cant o bleidleiswyr Cymru sy'n darllen papurau Cymru. Mae'n 46 y cant yn yr Alban. Felly, a yw'r Prif Weinidog yn rhannu fy mhryder i am y ffigurau hyn, ac a yw'n cytuno nad bai dinasyddion Cymru yw hyn, ond yn hytrach eu bod nhw'n cael eu siomi gan sefyllfa bresennol y cyfryngau, ac, os felly, a fyddai'n fodlon gweithio yn drawsbleidiol i archwilio ffyrdd o hysbysu'r cyhoedd yn briodol cyn etholiad y flwyddyn nesaf?

Llywydd, I thank Delyth Jewell for those supplementary questions. I agree with her that the weakness of the Welsh media has always been a challenge in communicating the significance of devolution here in Wales, and that stands in significant contrast to the position in Scotland, for example, where Scottish citizens are much more likely to get their news from a Scottish source, rather than relying on sources beyond Scotland, as we have so many citizens relying on sources beyond Wales. I do think the experience of this year has had a significant impact, however, on the recognition by people in Wales of the fact that devolution, and this Senedd, is in charge of so many aspects of their lives that have made such a difference over these months.

I'm very happy to commit to working with others to raise the awareness of the forthcoming elections here in Wales and of Welsh democracy. Earlier in this Senedd term, Llywydd, as part of a budget agreement with Plaid Cymru, we found some money for hyperlocal media here in Wales, and that has been significant during this pandemic crisis as well. 

Llywydd, diolchaf i Delyth Jewell am y cwestiynau atodol yna. Rwy'n cytuno â hi mai gwendid cyfryngau Cymru erioed fu her o ran cyfleu arwyddocâd datganoli yma yng Nghymru, ac mae hynny yn gwrthgyferbynnu'n sylweddol â'r sefyllfa yn yr Alban, er enghraifft, lle mae dinasyddion yr Alban yn llawer mwy tebygol o gael eu newyddion o ffynhonnell yn yr Alban, yn hytrach na dibynnu ar ffynonellau y tu hwnt i'r Alban, fel y mae gennym ni gynifer o ddinasyddion yn dibynnu ar ffynonellau y tu hwnt i Gymru. Rwy'n credu bod profiad eleni wedi cael effaith sylweddol, fodd bynnag, ar gydnabyddiaeth pobl yng Nghymru o'r ffaith bod datganoli, a'r Senedd hon, yn gyfrifol am gynifer o agweddau ar eu bywydau sydd wedi gwneud cymaint o wahaniaeth dros y misoedd hyn.

Rwy'n hapus iawn i ymrwymo i weithio gydag eraill i godi ymwybyddiaeth o'r etholiadau sydd ar ddod yma yng Nghymru ac o ddemocratiaeth Cymru. Yn gynharach yn nhymor y Senedd hon, Llywydd, yn rhan o gytundeb cyllideb gyda Phlaid Cymru, daethpwyd o hyd i rywfaint o arian ar gyfer cyfryngau hyperleol yma yng Nghymru, ac mae hynny wedi bod yn arwyddocaol yn ystod yr argyfwng pandemig hwn hefyd.

Thank you for your answer to Delyth Jewell, First Minister, but, of course, the media is only part of the solution. Education plays a vital part, and, with the next Welsh general election seeing the franchise being extended to include 16-year-olds, it is essential that young people gain an objective, fair and balanced view on the important role that politics plays in all of our lives. The new curriculum states that one of its core purposes is to ensure that our young people are able to become ethically and informed citizens of Wales, but it has failed to include learning about politics as a compulsory part of this. Politics is more than just putting a cross in the box, but understanding what change that cross can effect. Will you pledge to look again at the call, supported by the Electoral Reform Society, to enshrine political education into the curriculum, to ensure that Wales is able to fully realise her aim of empowering our young people with the knowledge as they enter into adulthood?

Diolch am eich ateb i Delyth Jewell, Prif Weinidog, ond, wrth gwrs, dim ond rhan o'r ateb yw'r cyfryngau. Mae addysg yn chwarae rhan hanfodol, a chyda'r etholfraint yn cael ei hymestyn i gynnwys pobl ifanc 16 oed yn etholiad cyffredinol nesaf Cymru, mae'n hanfodol bod pobl ifanc yn cael golwg wrthrychol, deg a chytbwys ar y rhan bwysig y mae gwleidyddiaeth yn ei chwarae ym mywydau pob un ohonyn nhw. Mae'r cwricwlwm newydd yn datgan mai un o'i ddibenion craidd yw sicrhau bod ein pobl ifanc yn gallu dod yn ddinasyddion moesegol a gwybodus o Gymru, ond mae wedi methu â chynnwys dysgu am wleidyddiaeth yn rhan orfodol o hyn. Mae gwleidyddiaeth yn fwy na dim ond rhoi croes yn y blwch, ond deall pa newid y gall y groes honno ei gyflawni. A wnewch chi addo edrych eto ar yr alwad, a gefnogir gan y Gymdeithas Diwygio Etholiadol, i ymgorffori addysg wleidyddol yn y cwricwlwm, er mwyn sicrhau bod Cymru yn gallu gwireddu yn llawn ei nod o rymuso ein pobl ifanc gyda'r wybodaeth wrth iddyn nhw ddechrau ar eu bywydau fel oedolion?

13:35

Well, Llywydd, I agree with Angela Burns about the importance of education in relation to 16 and 17-year-olds. It's one of the reasons why I was attracted to supporting that proposition, because young people will still be in compulsory education and will have an opportunity to become those ethically informed citizens of Wales and the world in a way that is not possible for many young people when they had already left school before becoming 18. But I don't agree with the Member that preparation is not possible within the new curriculum. The humanities area of learning and experience will deliver exactly what she is looking for, without freighting down the curriculum with another specific area by itself. I've lost count of the number of times in this Chamber that I have heard speeches by Members arguing for some specific niche to be identified separately within the curriculum. And the whole purpose of our reform has not to be to proceed in that way; it has been to provide broad areas, and then to give the responsibility to those in the classroom, who know their pupils the best, who understand the context in which they are delivering the curriculum. And they will do what Angela Burns has asked, I am sure, in preparing our young people to participate in Welsh democracy. Last Thursday, Llywydd, the Welsh Government's commission into educational resources, in advance of next May's elections, went live, hosted on the Hwb platform, available to schools in every part of Wales.

Wel, Llywydd, rwy'n cytuno ag Angela Burns ynglŷn â phwysigrwydd addysg o ran pobl ifanc 16 a 17 oed. Dyma un o'r rhesymau pam y cefais fy nenu at gefnogi'r cynnig hwnnw, gan y bydd pobl ifanc yn dal i fod mewn addysg orfodol ac yn cael cyfle i ddod y dinasyddion â gwybodaeth foesegol hynny o Gymru a'r byd mewn ffordd nad yw'n bosibl i lawer o bobl ifanc pan yr oedden nhw eisoes wedi gadael yr ysgol cyn cyrraedd 18 oed. Ond nid wyf i'n cytuno â'r Aelod nad yw paratoi yn bosibl o fewn y cwricwlwm newydd. Bydd maes y dyniaethau o ddysgu a phrofiad yn cyflawni yn union yr hyn y mae hi'n chwilio amdano, heb orlwytho'r cwricwlwm gyda maes penodol arall ar ei ben ei hun. Rwyf i wedi colli cyfrif o'r nifer o weithiau yn y Siambr hon yr wyf i wedi clywed areithiau gan Aelodau yn dadlau dros nodi rhyw fath o arbenigedd penodol ar wahân o fewn y cwricwlwm. Ac mae'n rhaid i holl ddiben ein diwygio olygu peidio â bwrw ymlaen yn y modd hwnnw; y nod fu darparu meysydd eang, ac yna rhoi'r cyfrifoldeb i'r rhai hynny yn yr ystafell ddosbarth, sy'n adnabod eu disgyblion orau, sy'n deall y cyd-destun y maen nhw'n darparu'r cwricwlwm ynddo. A byddan nhw'n gwneud yr hyn y mae Angela Burns wedi ei ofyn, rwy'n siŵr, wrth baratoi ein pobl ifanc i gymryd rhan yn nemocratiaeth Cymru. Ddydd Iau diwethaf, Llywydd, aeth comisiwn Llywodraeth Cymru i adnoddau addysgol, cyn etholiadau mis Mai nesaf, yn fyw, wedi'i gynnal ar blatfform Hwb, ac mae ar gael i ysgolion ym mhob rhan o Gymru.

Like you, First Minister, I was delighted to see President-elect Biden win the election last week. I was therefore surprised to learn, before joining the meeting today, that he did in fact lose the election last week and that he is no longer President-elect. This news was brought to me by an American website, which was fact-checked by another website, and supported by a different news website. All of those news items, of course, are fake and false and wrong and designed not to inform but to misinform and mislead. And one of my great concerns—and we have an election coming up ourselves in six months' time—is that the understanding of politics in Wales is being undermined by dark money, by foreign-funded media organisations, which seek to debase and undermine our politics. We saw this during the Brexit referendum, we've seen it repeatedly since then, and we've seen it in the United States today. Do you agree with me, First Minister, that if we are to ensure that people have a proper, fair understanding of politics and current affairs in Wales, not only do we need to do all the things that you've already debated and discussed, but we also need regulation of the financing of politics in the United Kingdom and regulation of social media?

Fel chithau, Prif Weinidog, roeddwn i wrth fy modd o weld y darpar Arlywydd Biden yn ennill yr etholiad yr wythnos diwethaf. Cefais fy synnu o ddarganfod, felly, cyn ymuno â'r cyfarfod heddiw, ei fod mewn gwirionedd wedi colli'r etholiad yr wythnos diwethaf ac nad yw'n ddarpar Arlywydd bellach. Cefais y newyddion hwn gan wefan Americanaidd, y gwiriwyd ei ffeithiau gan wefan arall, ac a gefnogwyd gan wefan newyddion wahanol. Mae'r holl eitemau newyddion hynny, wrth gwrs, yn ffug ac yn gelwydd ac yn anghywir a nid hysbysu yw eu nod, ond camhysbysu a chamarwain. Ac un o'm pryderon mawr—ac mae gennym ni etholiad ein hunain ymhen chwe mis—yw bod y ddealltwriaeth o wleidyddiaeth yng Nghymru yn cael ei thanseilio gan arian tywyll, gan sefydliadau cyfryngau a ariennir o dramor, sy'n ceisio amharu ar ein gwleidyddiaeth a'i thanseilio. Gwelsom hyn yn ystod refferendwm Brexit, rydym ni wedi ei weld dro ar ôl tro ers hynny, ac rydym ni wedi ei weld yn yr Unol Daleithiau heddiw. A ydych chi'n cytuno â mi, Prif Weinidog, os ydym ni'n mynd i sicrhau bod gan bobl ddealltwriaeth briodol a theg o wleidyddiaeth a materion cyfoes yng Nghymru, nid yn unig y mae angen i ni wneud yr holl bethau yr ydych chi eisoes wedi eu dadlau a'u trafod, ond mae angen i ni hefyd reoleiddio'r broses o ariannu gwleidyddiaeth yn y Deyrnas Unedig a rheoleiddio'r cyfryngau cymdeithasol?

Well, Llywydd, I very much share Alun Davies's concerns at the way in which modern social media, which on the whole is a huge boon to us, but nevertheless, exposes our democracy to attacks from people who are not interested for one moment in making sure that we have ethically informed young people, with an understanding of, an interest in, and an engagement with Welsh democracy, but instead peddle a very particular and sinister line about the way in which Government can play a part in their lives and they themselves can participate in the democratic process. And we're not immune from that here in Wales, as I know Alun Davies has himself made a particular point of drawing to people's attention. Those forces operate in Wales, as well as anywhere else, and they will play their part, if we allow them to, in our own elections in May, which is why the calls were made by Alun Davies at the end of his contribution to make sure that the proper regulation of this part of the world is seriously considered by Government, and that we don't allow our politics to become infected by money from elsewhere in the world designed not to inform or to educate, but to mislead and to persuade people that things that they are fearful of in their lives are very different to the reality that we understand. 

Wel, Lywydd, rwy'n sicr yn rhannu pryderon Alun Davies ynghylch y ffordd y mae cyfryngau cymdeithasol modern, sydd ar y cyfan o fantais enfawr i ni, ond serch hynny, yn amlygu ein democratiaeth i ymosodiadau gan bobl nad oes ganddyn nhw ddiddordeb am eiliad mewn gwneud yn siŵr ein bod ni wedi hysbysu pobl ifanc yn foesegol, gyda dealltwriaeth o ddemocratiaeth Cymru, a diddordeb ynddi ac ymgysylltiad â hi, ond sydd yn hytrach yn hysbysebu neges benodol a sinistr iawn am y ffordd y gall Llywodraeth chwarae rhan yn eu bywydau a gallan nhw eu hunain gymryd rhan yn y broses ddemocrataidd. Ac nid ydym ni'n ddiogel rhag hynny yma yng Nghymru, fel y gwn fod Alun Davies ei hun wedi gwneud pwynt arbennig o dynnu sylw pobl ato. Mae'r grymoedd hynny yn gweithredu yng Nghymru, yn yr un modd a phob man arall, a byddan nhw yn chwarae eu rhan, os byddwn ni'n caniatáu iddyn nhw wneud hynny, yn ein hetholiadau ein hunain ym mis Mai, a dyna pam y gwnaed y galwadau gan Alun Davies ar ddiwedd ei gyfraniad i wneud yn siŵr bod y Llywodraeth yn rhoi ystyriaeth ddifrifol i reoleiddio'r rhan hon o'r byd yn briodol, ac nad ydym ni'n caniatáu i'n gwleidyddiaeth gael ei heintio gan arian o fannau eraill yn y byd nad oes ganddo'r nod o hysbysu nac addysgu, ond i gamarwain a pherswadio pobl bod pethau y maen nhw'n eu hofni yn eu bywydau yn wahanol iawn i'r realiti yr ydym ni'n ei ddeall.

13:40
Cyfyngiadau'r Coronafeirws yng Nghaerffili
Coronavirus Restrictions in Caerphilly

2. A wnaiff y Prif Weinidog roi'r wybodaeth ddiweddaraf am lacio cyfyngiadau'r coronafeirws yng Nghaerffili? OQ55845

2. Will the First Minister provide an update on the easing of coronavirus restrictions in Caerphilly? OQ55845

I thank the Member for that, Llywydd. From 9 November, citizens of Caerphilly will help deal with coronavirus through a new set of national rules. Nowhere has more been asked of people in Wales than in Caerphilly, and I thank all of those who have made such efforts to keep themselves and others safe and well. 

Diolchaf i'r Aelod am hynna, Llywydd. O 9 Tachwedd, bydd dinasyddion Caerffili yn helpu i ymdrin â coronafeirws trwy gyfres newydd o reolau cenedlaethol. Ni ofynnwyd mwy gan bobl mewn unrhyw fan yng Nghymru nag yng Nghaerffili, a diolchaf i bawb sydd wedi gwneud cymaint o ymdrech i gadw eu hunain ac eraill yn ddiogel ac yn iach.

I'd like to thank the First Minister once again for recognising the efforts we've made, longer than anyone else in Wales, in Caerphilly, and we made a great deal of progress early on in arresting the growth of the virus in our communities. Many people are e-mailing me now and asking questions about a vaccine. We heard news breaking yesterday about progress made by Pfizer and a possible vaccine. My view is that we need to treat this announcement with caution, and we must emphasise the fact that people must continue to abide by the restrictions that the Welsh Government has in place in order to protect the NHS and to save lives. But can I ask the First Minister what plans he has to prepare Wales for a potential vaccine? What communication has he had with the UK Government, and how may this help us, with that cautious reservation in place, in the future? 

Hoffwn ddiolch i'r Prif Weinidog unwaith eto am gydnabod yr ymdrechion yr ydym ni wedi eu gwneud, yn hwy na neb arall yng Nghymru, yng Nghaerffili, a gwnaed llawer iawn o gynnydd gennym ni yn gynnar o ran atal twf y feirws yn ein cymunedau. Mae llawer o bobl yn anfon negeseuon e-bost ataf i nawr ac yn gofyn cwestiynau am frechlyn. Clywsom newyddion ddoe am gynnydd a wnaed gan Pfizer a brechlyn posibl. Rwyf i o'r farn bod angen i ni drin y cyhoeddiad hwn gyda gofal, ac mae'n rhaid i ni bwysleisio'r ffaith bod yn rhaid i bobl barhau i gadw at y cyfyngiadau sydd gan Lywodraeth Cymru ar waith er mwyn diogelu'r GIG ac achub bywydau. Ond a gaf i ofyn i'r Prif Weinidog pa gynlluniau sydd ganddo i baratoi Cymru ar gyfer brechlyn posibl? Pa gyfathrebiad y mae wedi ei gael gyda Llywodraeth y DU, a sut y gallai hyn ein helpu, gyda'r ymataliad gofalus hwnnw ar waith, yn y dyfodol?

I thank Hefin David for that, Llywydd. And let me begin just by associating myself with his opening remarks. I think there's a lot to be concerned with at the triumphalist way in which some of the right-wing press in the United Kingdom have reported Pfizer's announcement. Of course, it's welcome that their stage 3 trial has met with success, but that is not the end of the story at all. There are very important further steps that have to be taken before that vaccine, or any of the other 11 vaccines that are at stage 3 trials, might finally come to fruition, and I really, really do not want people in Wales to take the wrong message from what was being said yesterday. We will be fighting coronavirus with the current armoury that we have at our disposal for many months to come, and, while we look forward to the day when there is a vaccine, we need to be cautious in the way we approach it and not persuade people to act as though coronavirus is over and help is just around the corner. It really isn't going to be like that. 

In the meantime, we have an agreement with the UK Government. My colleague Vaughan Gething, was in a meeting with other health Ministers across the United Kingdom, on Thursday of last week, agreeing a whole series of measures. We will receive our population share of any vaccine once it becomes properly approved and available. The planning for its storage and distribution will be in the hands of the Welsh Government and, in relation to the Pfizer vaccine, that is a particularly important responsibility because this is a vaccine that can only properly be stored at very low temperatures indeed, far different to the way in which those who have been to have their flu vaccination at a GP surgery will see it stored in an ordinary fridge and absolutely safely in that way. The Pfizer vaccine is nothing like that at all, and the logistical issues that will fall to the Welsh Government are very real, but have been in preparation for many months, and when we get to a point where there is a vaccine that is genuinely safe and known to be so and for use in the population, then we will be prepared and ready to do that here in Wales. 

Diolchaf i Hefin David am hynna, Llywydd. A gadewch i mi ddechrau drwy gysylltu fy hun â'i sylwadau agoriadol. Rwy'n credu bod llawer i bryderu yn ei gylch o ran y ffordd fuddugoliaethus y mae rhai rhannau o'r wasg adain dde yn y Deyrnas Unedig wedi adrodd am gyhoeddiad Pfizer. Wrth gwrs, mae i'w groesawu bod cam 3 eu treial wedi bod yn llwyddiant, ond nid dyna ddiwedd y stori o gwbl. Mae camau pellach pwysig iawn y mae'n rhaid eu cymryd cyn y gallai'r brechlyn hwnnw, neu unrhyw un o'r 11 brechlyn arall sy'n destun treialon cam 3, gael eu rhyddhau yn y pen draw, ac rwyf i'n wirioneddol benderfynol nad yw pobl yng Nghymru yn cymryd y neges anghywir o'r hyn a oedd yn cael ei ddweud ddoe. Byddwn yn ymladd corofeirws gyda'r arfau presennol sydd ar gael i ni am fisoedd lawer i ddod, ac, er ein bod ni'n edrych ymlaen at y diwrnod pan fydd brechlyn ar gael, mae angen i ni fod yn ofalus yn y ffordd yr ydym ni'n mynd ati a pheidio â pherswadio pobl i ymddwyn fel pe byddai coronfeirws ar ben a bod cymorth ar fin cyrraedd. Nid yw'n mynd i fod felly o gwbl.

Yn y cyfamser, mae gennym ni gytundeb â Llywodraeth y DU. Roedd fy nghyd-Weinidog Vaughan Gething, mewn cyfarfod gyda Gweinidogion iechyd eraill ledled y Deyrnas Unedig, ddydd Iau yr wythnos diwethaf, yn cytuno ar gyfres drwyadl o fesurau. Byddwn yn cael ein cyfran boblogaeth o unrhyw frechlyn pan fydd wedi'i gymeradwyo yn briodol ac ar gael. Bydd y gwaith o gynllunio ar gyfer ei storio a'i ddosbarthu yn nwylo Llywodraeth Cymru ac, o ran brechlyn Pfizer, mae hwnnw'n gyfrifoldeb arbennig o bwysig gan fod hwn yn frechlyn y gellir ei storio yn briodol dim ond ar dymheredd isel dros ben, yn wahanol iawn i'r ffordd y bydd y rhai sydd wedi bod i gael eu brechiad rhag y ffliw mewn meddygfa deulu yn ei weld yn cael ei storio mewn oergell gyffredin ac yn gwbl ddiogel yn y modd hwnnw. Nid yw brechlyn Pfizer yn ddim byd tebyg i hynny o gwbl, ac mae'r materion logistaidd y bydd Llywodraeth Cymru yn gyfrifol amdanynt yn real iawn, ond maen nhw wedi bod yn cael eu paratoi ers misoedd lawer, a phan fyddwn ni'n cyrraedd pwynt lle ceir brechlyn sy'n wirioneddol ddiogel a'i fod yn hysbys bod hynny'n wir ac i'w ddefnyddio yn y boblogaeth, yna byddwn wedi paratoi ac yn barod i wneud hynny yma yng Nghymru.

First Minister, yes, that's very welcome news about the vaccine, but, as you say, people need to continue to act sensibly, and obviously safety comes first. But I have a question for you that I probably did not make as clear as I should have done last week, and that's on football. So, it affects clubs that have come to me from Caerphilly, South Wales East and, of course, it affects the whole of Wales. On the 30-outside post-firebreak rule, there are, obviously—I'm a football fan, so I know—11 a side in a football match. But in the rule of 30, you have 11 a side if football teams want to play each other, one sub each, one manager and one coach, and then there's enough room for a ref and a first aider. There is no room for linesmen and, obviously, there's no room for any more subs. So, I was just wondering, First Minister, as that's okay for training, and it's okay, sort of, for friendlies, but a bit of a strain with just having one sub, if our clubs are to start their season—they've started it in England, they're just on pause—if they're going to start their seasons here in Wales, how do you propose they do that if the rule of 30 obviously only means that they can have those people on the pitch, but they can't have the linesmen and everything like that? Is there going to be some concession to ensure that they can start their season? I just wonder if you could explain it a bit more for me, please, First Minister, or look into it. Thank you.

Prif Weinidog, ydy, mae hynny'n newyddion i'w groesawu'n fawr am y brechlyn, ond, fel y dywedwch, mae angen i bobl barhau i ymddwyn yn ddoeth, ac mae'n amlwg mai diogelwch sy'n dod gyntaf. Ond mae gen i gwestiwn i chi na wnes i ei wneud mor eglur ag y dylwn fod wedi ei wneud yr wythnos diwethaf, mae'n debyg, ac mae hwnnw yn ymwneud â phêl-droed. Felly, mae'n effeithio ar glybiau sydd wedi cysylltu â mi o Gaerffili, Dwyrain De Cymru ac, wrth gwrs, mae'n effeithio ar Gymru gyfan. O ran y rheol o gael 30 yn yr awyr agored ar ôl y cyfnod atal byr, mae'n amlwg—rwy'n gefnogwr pêl-droed, felly rwy'n gwybod—11 bob ochr mewn gêm bêl-droed. Ond yn y rheol o 30, mae gennych chi 11 bob ochr os yw timau pêl-droed eisiau chwarae yn erbyn ei gilydd, un eilydd bob un, un rheolwr ac un hyfforddwr, ac yna mae digon o le i ddyfarnwr a swyddog cymorth cyntaf. Nid oes lle i lumanwyr ac, yn amlwg, nid oes lle i ragor o eilyddion. Felly, roeddwn i'n meddwl tybed, Prif Weinidog, gan fod hynny yn iawn ar gyfer ymarfer, ac mae'n iawn, mewn ffordd, ar gyfer gemau cyfeillgar, ond yn dipyn o straen gyda dim ond un eilydd, os yw ein clybiau yn mynd i ddechrau eu tymor—maen nhw wedi dechrau arno yn Lloegr, dim ond ar seibiant maen nhw—os ydyn nhw'n mynd i ddechrau ar eu tymhorau yma yng Nghymru, sut ydych chi'n cynnig eu bod nhw'n gwneud hynny os yw'r rheol o 30 yn amlwg yn golygu y cawn nhw gael y bobl hynny ar y maes yn unig, ond ni allan nhw gael y llumanwyr a phopeth o'r math hwnnw? A fydd rhyw fath o hyblygrwydd i sicrhau y cawn nhw ddechrau eu tymor? Tybed a allech chi ei egluro ychydig yn fwy i mi, os gwelwch yn dda, Prif Weinidog, neu ymchwilio i'r mater. Diolch.

13:45

Well, Llywydd, I understand the constraints that there are when you have a maximum number of people who can participate in an organised event in the outdoors, but the rules are there for a reason. The biggest threat that we all face is from the reoccurrence of coronavirus, and the 30 number is designed to try to limit the risks that come with people meeting in any context in the outdoors. And a challenge as it is, and I do understand why these constraints are real for people who have to organise those activities—they're there for a very good and important reason, and it is only when we are more confident that we are genuinely suppressing the virus here in Wales that it will be possible to offer any further concessions.

Now, we continue to discuss these things all the time with the governing bodies, and we all look forward to the point when we will be able to offer more to people who give their time, give their commitment to organising teams and making sure that young people in particular can take part in them. But we're not at that point. We're at a point where we still have more people in our hospitals today and more people in critical care than we did back in May of this year. So, until we are at that point where things are improving and improving significantly, we've designed the system as best we can and we have to ask people to be able to operate within it.

Wel, Llywydd, rwy'n deall y cyfyngiadau sy'n bodoli pan fydd gennych chi uchafrif o bobl sy'n cael cymryd rhan mewn digwyddiad wedi'i drefnu yn yr awyr agored, ond mae'r rheolau yno am reswm. Y bygythiad mwyaf yr ydym ni i gyd yn ei wynebu yw ailymddangosiad coronafeirws, a bwriad y nifer o 30 yw ceisio cyfyngu'r risgiau sy'n dod gyda phobl yn cyfarfod mewn unrhyw gyd-destun yn yr awyr agored. Ac er ei fod yn her, ac rwy'n deall pam mae'r cyfyngiadau hyn yn real i bobl y mae'n rhaid iddyn nhw drefnu'r gweithgareddau hynny—maen nhw yno am reswm da a phwysig iawn, a dim ond pan fyddwn ni'n fwy ffyddiog ein bod ni'n atal y feirws yma yng Nghymru mewn gwirionedd y bydd modd cynnig unrhyw hyblygrwydd pellach.

Nawr, rydym ni'n parhau i drafod y pethau hyn drwy'r amser gyda'r cyrff llywodraethu, ac rydym ni i gyd yn edrych ymlaen at yr adeg pan fyddwn ni'n gallu cynnig mwy i bobl sy'n rhoi o'u hamser, yn rhoi eu hymrwymiad i drefnu timau a gwneud yn siŵr y caiff pobl ifanc yn arbennig gymryd rhan ynddyn nhw. Ond nid ydym wedi cyrraedd yr adeg honno. Rydym ni ar adeg pan fo gennym ni fwy o bobl o hyd yn ein hysbytai heddiw a mwy o bobl mewn gofal critigol nag oedd gennym ni yn ôl ym mis Mai eleni. Felly, tan ein bod ni wedi cyrraedd yr adeg honno pan fo pethau yn gwella ac yn gwella'n sylweddol, rydym ni wedi cynllunio'r system mewn modd cystal ag y gallwn ni ac mae'n rhaid i ni ofyn i bobl allu gweithredu yn unol â hi.

Cwestiynau Heb Rybudd gan Arweinwyr y Pleidiau
Questions Without Notice from the Party Leaders

Cwestiynau nawr gan arweinwyr y pleidiau. Arweinydd Plaid Cymru, Adam Price.

Questions now from the party leaders. Plaid Cymru leader, Adam Price.

Diolch, Llywydd. First Minister, we will all, of course, naturally, have been encouraged by the glimmer of hope we saw yesterday, but, as you say yourself, a vaccine should not be regarded as a silver bullet, certainly at this stage in the pandemic. But nevertheless, the news was, I think, potentially a silver lining of what's been a dark and difficult year so far. Could you say a little bit more about the plans that you referred to in your answer earlier? Are you planning, at least on a contingency basis, if the necessary approvals are delivered, or is there potential for the vaccine to be rolled out initially next month? And could you say a little bit more about the logistical plans that you referred to? So, are you looking at, potentially, a network of mass-immunisation centres, drive-through centres that have been suggested, possibly roving immunisation teams and temporary pop-up facilities in general practitioner surgeries? Who is co-ordinating and leading this effort across Government? And in terms of the refrigeration question you referred to, of course, there was a discussion about refrigeration capacity in relation to a 'no deal' Brexit and medicines a year ago, and we may be in that position again. Are you satisfied that we have the capacity in the cold chain in order to deal with the virus, potentially?

Diolch, Llywydd. Prif Weinidog, byddwn ni i gyd, wrth gwrs, yn naturiol, wedi ein calonogi gan y llygedyn o obaith a welsom ddoe, ond, fel yr ydych chi'n dweud eich hun, ni ddylid ystyried brechlyn fel bwled arian, yn sicr yng nghyfnod hwn y pandemig. Ond serch hynny, roedd y newyddion, rwy'n credu, o bosibl yn leinin arian i'r hyn sydd wedi bod yn flwyddyn dywyll ac anodd hyd yn hyn. A allwch chi ddweud ychydig mwy am y cynlluniau y cyfeiriasoch chi atyn nhw yn eich ateb yn gynharach? A ydych chi'n bwriadu, ar sail wrth gefn o leiaf, os caiff y cymeradwyaethau angenrheidiol eu rhoi, neu a oes potensial i gyflwyno'r brechlyn fis nesaf i gychwyn? Ac a allwch chi ddweud ychydig mwy am y cynlluniau logistaidd y cyfeiriasoch atyn nhw? Felly, a ydych o bosibl yn edrych ar rwydwaith o ganolfannau imiwneiddio torfol, canolfannau gyrru drwodd a awgrymwyd, timau imiwneiddio symudol o bosibl a chyfleusterau dros dro mewn meddygfeydd teulu? Pwy sy'n cydgysylltu ac yn arwain yr ymdrech hon ar draws y Llywodraeth? Ac o ran y cwestiwn oergelloedd y cyfeiriasoch ato, wrth gwrs, cafwyd trafodaeth am gapasiti oergelloedd o ran Brexit 'dim cytundeb' a meddyginiaethau flwyddyn yn ôl, ac efallai ein bod ni yn y sefyllfa honno unwaith eto. A ydych chi'n fodlon bod y capasiti gennym ni yn y gadwyn oer i ymdrin â'r feirws, o bosibl?

Llywydd, can I thank Adam Price for those important questions? I think his description of it as a glimmer of hope is a good one, because I think that is what it is. It is hopeful and we need a bit of hope in these difficult times, but we mustn't exaggerate it either. It is the chief medical officer's office in Wales that is in charge of planning for any vaccine that becomes available to us. The chief medical officer was involved in this as far back as June, and was in correspondence with our health boards in July to make sure that plans are in place. 

On the storage issue, Llywydd, I think our current expectation is that if it were to be the Pfizer vaccine that was available first, with its need to be stored at below -75 degrees centigrade, then we would use the facilities available to the Welsh Blood Service, which does have facilities and in different parts of Wales that are able to keep things refrigerated at that temperature. But there are complications. My understanding of this vaccine is that it can only be taken out of refrigeration on four occasions before it's no longer capable of being used. So, there are some very real constraints with it. It has to be administered twice, as I know the Member will know, at a three-week interval, and it doesn't become effective until the first week after the second dose of the vaccine has been delivered. So, there's another set of difficult complications there. We don't yet know as to whether or not it will be effective in older people, and that's particularly a challenge at the moment because the Welsh plan, which is very similar to plans elsewhere in the United Kingdom, is to begin with priority groups and to begin with priority staff who are capable of administering the vaccine. So, our plan is that we would start with experienced vaccinators, people who do this all the time, and then we would expand beyond that. So, that's in terms of delivering the vaccine.

In terms of who will get the vaccine, until we're certain—more certain than we are now—as to which groups in the population this particular vaccine will be effective for, then we're likely to start with healthcare staff, social care staff, to make sure that front-line workers who are regularly in contact with people with coronavirus are vaccinated, and then, if it is effective with older people, then it will be care home residents and people in later stages of life that will get the next priority. So, it's a priority system; it will depend on how quickly the vaccine becomes available. We'll get a population share of it here in Wales, but there are a lot of questions that we will not yet know the answers to, and as those answers emerge, we will be able to firm up the programme that we will have for delivering the vaccine to those who need it the most first. 

Llywydd, a gaf i ddiolch i Adam Price am y cwestiynau pwysig yna? Rwy'n credu bod ei ddisgrifiad ohono fel llygedyn o obaith yn un da, gan fy mod i'n credu mai dyna ydyw. Mae yn obeithiol ac mae angen ychydig o obaith arnom ni yn y cyfnod anodd hwn, ond mae'n rhaid i ni beidio â'i orliwio ychwaith. Swyddfa'r prif swyddog meddygol yng Nghymru sy'n gyfrifol am gynllunio ar gyfer unrhyw frechlyn a fydd yn dod ar gael i ni. Roedd y prif swyddog meddygol yn rhan o hyn mor bell yn ôl â mis Mehefin, ac roedd yn gohebu â'n byrddau iechyd ym mis Gorffennaf i wneud yn siŵr bod cynlluniau ar waith.

O ran y mater o storio, Llywydd, rwy'n credu mai ein disgwyliad ar hyn o bryd os mai brechlyn Pfizer fyddai ar gael yn gyntaf, gyda'r angen i'w storio islaw -75 gradd canradd, yna byddem ni'n defnyddio'r cyfleusterau sydd ar gael i Wasanaeth Gwaed Cymru, sydd â chyfleusterau ac mewn gwahanol rannau o Gymru sy'n gallu cadw pethau yn oer ar y tymheredd hwnnw. Ond ceir cymhlethdodau. Fy nealltwriaeth i o'r brechlyn hwn yw mai dim ond ar bedwar achlysur y gellir ei dynnu allan o'r oergell cyn nad oes modd ei ddefnyddio mwyach. Felly, ceir rhai cyfyngiadau gwirioneddol yn gysylltiedig ag ef. Mae'n rhaid ei roi ddwywaith, fel y gwn y bydd yr Aelod yn gwybod, bob tair wythnos, ac nid yw'n dod yn effeithiol tan yr wythnos gyntaf ar ôl rhoi ail ddos y brechlyn. Felly, dyna gyfres arall o gymhlethdodau anodd. Nid ydym ni'n gwybod eto pa un a fydd yn effeithiol ai peidio mewn pobl hŷn, ac mae honno yn her arbennig ar hyn o bryd gan mai cynllun Cymru, sy'n debyg iawn i gynlluniau mewn rhannau eraill o'r Deyrnas Unedig, yw dechrau gyda grwpiau blaenoriaeth a dechrau gyda staff blaenoriaeth sy'n gallu rhoi'r brechlyn. Felly, ein bwriad yw y byddem ni'n dechrau gyda brechwyr profiadol, pobl sy'n gwneud hyn drwy'r amser, ac yna byddem ni'n ehangu y tu hwnt i hynny. Felly, mae hynny o ran darparu'r brechlyn.

O ran pwy fydd yn cael y brechlyn, tan y byddwn ni'n sicr—yn fwy sicr nag yr ydym ni ar hyn o bryd—ynghylch pa grwpiau yn y boblogaeth y bydd y brechlyn penodol hwn yn effeithiol ar eu cyfer, yna rydym ni'n debygol o ddechrau gyda staff gofal iechyd, staff gofal cymdeithasol, i wneud yn siŵr bod gweithwyr rheng flaen sydd mewn cysylltiad rheolaidd â phobl â coronafeirws yn cael eu brechu, ac yna, os yw'n effeithiol mewn pobl hŷn, yna preswylwyr cartrefi gofal a phobl yn ddiweddarach yn eu bywydau fydd yn cael y flaenoriaeth nesaf. Felly, system flaenoriaeth yw hi; bydd yn dibynnu ar ba mor gyflym y bydd y brechlyn ar gael. Byddwn yn cael cyfran boblogaeth ohono yma yng Nghymru, ond ceir llawer o gwestiynau na fyddwn ni'n gwybod yr atebion iddyn nhw eto, ac wrth i'r atebion hynny ddod i'r amlwg, byddwn yn gallu cadarnhau'r rhaglen a fydd gennym ni ar gyfer darparu'r brechlyn i'r rhai sydd ei angen fwyaf yn gyntaf. 

13:50

Diolch. The Scottish Government has said that it's agreed for its vaccine quota, if you like, to be determined on a population-share basis because there's minimal difference between that and calculating on something more like a needs-based formula. You've said in the past, First Minister, that in the context of COVID Wales has a greater vulnerability because it's older, sicker and poorer than average. So, will you be making the case for our allocation to reflect a greater than population share on this basis?

And in terms of the prioritisation issue that you've just referred to and the interim order of prioritisation set out by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation on 25 September, which you said that we would broadly be following, have you looked at alternative methods for prioritisation, for example the Oxford risk prediction tool, which stratifies the population according to a wider list of risk factors? In particular, will you be prioritising the roll-out of the vaccine in communities with demonstrably greater risk of infection, for, principally, areas of high socioeconomic deprivation, the black, Asian, minority ethnic communities and areas with higher levels of infection?

Diolch. Mae Llywodraeth yr Alban wedi dweud ei bod wedi cytuno i'w chwota brechlynnau, os hoffech chi, gael ei bennu ar sail cyfran boblogaeth gan mai ychydig iawn o wahaniaeth sydd rhwng hynny a chyfrifo ar sail rhywbeth sy'n debycach i fformiwla yn seiliedig ar anghenion. Rydych chi wedi dweud yn y gorffennol, Prif Weinidog, bod Cymru, yng nghyd-destun COVID, yn fwy agored i niwed gan ei bod hi'n hŷn, yn fwy sâl ac yn dlotach na'r cyfartaledd. Felly, a fyddwch chi'n dadlau'r achos i'n dyraniad adlewyrchu cyfran fwy na chyfran poblogaeth ar y sail hon?

Ac o ran y mater blaenoriaethu yr ydych chi newydd gyfeirio ato a'r drefn flaenoriaethu dros dro a nodwyd gan y Cydbwyllgor ar Frechu ac Imiwneiddio ar 25 Medi, y dywedasoch y byddem ni'n ei dilyn yn fras, a ydych chi wedi ystyried dulliau eraill o flaenoriaethu, er enghraifft offeryn rhagfynegi risg Rhydychen, sy'n trefnu'r boblogaeth yn ôl rhestr ehangach o ffactorau risg? Yn arbennig, a fyddwch chi'n rhoi blaenoriaeth i gyflwyno'r brechlyn mewn cymunedau y mae'n amlwg eu bod yn fwy tebygol o gael eu heintio, yn bennaf ar gyfer ardaloedd o amddifadedd economaidd-gymdeithasol uchel, y cymunedau pobl dduon ac Asiaidd a lleiafrifoedd ethnig, ac ardaloedd â lefelau uwch o haint?

Llywydd, because of the speed at which we will need to move in the first instance, we've agreed a population share for Wales. That doesn't mean to say that we can't return to that, but in the first instance, getting our population share will allow us to get the programme going and we're likely to be guided in the first instance as well by the advice of the JCVI, which we've had a long history of engagement with and who do understand some of the particular challenges we face in relation to the Welsh population. None of that, however, means that, once we've got this vaccination programme under way, we are not able to fine-tune it, both by looking to see whether we have a case for additional volumes of vaccine coming to Wales and by making sure that the prioritisation that we agree is fine-tuned to meet the needs of the Welsh population. And I agree, of course, with Adam Price that there are particular groups in the population—the BAME community, certainly—who have a greater vulnerability to this virus and therefore, in a prioritisation system, you'd want to pay some proper attention to that.

Llywydd, oherwydd y cyflymder y bydd angen i ni symud yn y lle cyntaf, rydym ni wedi cytuno ar gyfran poblogaeth i Gymru. Nid yw hynny'n golygu na allwn ni ddychwelyd at hynny, ond yn y lle cyntaf, bydd cael ein cyfran poblogaeth yn ein galluogi i roi'r rhaglen ar waith ac rydym ni'n debygol o gael ein harwain yn y lle cyntaf hefyd gan gyngor y Cydbwyllgor ar Frechu ac Imiwneiddio, y mae gennym ni hanes maith o ymgysylltu ag ef ac sy'n deall rhai o'r heriau penodol sy'n ein hwynebu o ran poblogaeth Cymru. Fodd bynnag, nid oes dim o hynny yn golygu, ar ôl i ni roi'r rhaglen frechu hon ar waith, na allwn ni ei mireinio, trwy geisio gweld a oes gennym ni ddadl dros gael mwy o frechlynnau i Gymru a thrwy wneud yn siŵr bod y blaenoriaethu yr ydym ni'n ei gytuno yn cael ei fireinio yn fanwl i ddiwallu anghenion poblogaeth Cymru. Ac rwy'n cytuno, wrth gwrs, gydag Adam Price bod grwpiau penodol yn y boblogaeth—y gymuned pobl dduon ac Asiaidd a lleiafrifoedd ethnig yn sicr—sy'n fwy agored i niwed o ran y feirws hwn ac felly, mewn system flaenoriaethu, byddech chi'n dymuno rhoi rhywfaint o sylw priodol i hynny.

13:55

While we await the roll-out of an effective vaccine, other methods of avoiding an over-reliance on lockdowns as a primary policy tool are important, of course, which is why the mass-testing programme being piloted in Liverpool and the example that we had in Slovakia are important. The latest available data shows the weekly rate of COVID in Liverpool is 300 per 100,000 population. The corresponding figures for Merthyr Tydfil, Rhondda Cynon Taf and Blaenau Gwent are all above 400 cases per 100,000 of the population. While bearing in mind the advice of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies that mass testing should complement rather than replace track and trace, is there not a compelling case for the urgent roll-out of a similar mass-testing programme in these areas in Wales? I read today that England is talking about 66 local authorities being part of the next wave of the mass-testing programme. Can you confirm, First Minister, whether the Welsh Government is actively planning a similar programme in these areas in Wales and to do so at scale and at pace?

Tra ein bod ni'n aros am i frechlyn effeithiol gael ei gyflwyno, mae dulliau eraill o osgoi gorddibyniaeth ar gyfyngiadau symud fel prif arf polisi yn bwysig, wrth gwrs, a dyna pam mae'r rhaglen profi torfol sy'n cael ei threialu yn Lerpwl a'r enghraifft a gawsom yn Slofacia yn bwysig. Mae'r data diweddaraf sydd ar gael yn dangos mai 300 o bob 100,000 o'r boblogaeth yw'r gyfradd wythnosol o COVID yn Lerpwl. Mae'r ffigurau cyfatebol ar gyfer Merthyr Tudful, Rhondda Cynon Taf a Blaenau Gwent i gyd yn uwch na 400 o achosion fesul 100,000 o'r boblogaeth. Gan gofio cyngor y Grŵp Cynghori Gwyddonol ar Argyfyngau y dylai profion torfol ategu yn hytrach na disodli tracio ac olrhain, onid oes dadl gymhellol dros gyflwyno rhaglen profi torfol debyg ar frys yn yr ardaloedd hyn yng Nghymru? Darllenais heddiw fod Lloegr yn sôn y bydd 66 o awdurdodau lleol yn rhan o don nesaf y rhaglen profi torfol. A allwch chi gadarnhau, Prif Weinidog, pa un a yw Llywodraeth Cymru yn cynllunio yn weithredol rhaglen debyg yn yr ardaloedd hyn yng Nghymru ac i wneud hynny ar raddfa fawr ac yn gyflym?

Llywydd, mass testing does have a potentially very important role to play. We will learn a great deal from the Liverpool experiment. It's not straightforward. If you go for whole-population testing, you're doing it on a voluntary basis. There are very significant logistical issues to consider, and the testing is only one part of it, because you have to have everything in place to deal with the additional number of people who you will undoubtedly discover as being positive with coronavirus if you test in that way.

We are engaged with the Liverpool pilot. We are purposefully planning for the way in which we could use mass population 'whole-town testing', as it's called, here in Wales. And I think that by learning from the very early lessons that are emerging already from the Liverpool experience, we will be able to mount a whole-town approach to testing in a way that will be more immediately effective, and I want to make sure that when the moment comes, we're able to do that here in Wales. We've done all the preparatory work so that it delivers for that local population.

Llywydd, mae'n bosibl y bydd gan brofion torfol ran bwysig iawn i'w chwarae. Byddwn yn dysgu llawer iawn o arbrawf Lerpwl. Nid yw'n syml. Os byddwch chi'n dewis profi'r boblogaeth gyfan, rydych chi'n gwneud hynny ar sail wirfoddol. Mae materion logistaidd sylweddol iawn i'w hystyried, a dim ond un rhan ohono yw'r profion, oherwydd mae'n rhaid i chi gael popeth ar waith i ymdrin â'r nifer ychwanegol o bobl y byddwch chi'n sicr o ddarganfod eu bod nhw'n bositif gyda coronafeirws os byddwch chi'n profi yn y ffordd honno.

Rydym ni yn ymgysylltu â chynllun arbrofol Lerpwl. Rydym ni'n cynllunio yn bwrpasol ar gyfer y ffordd y gallem ni ddefnyddio 'profion tref gyfan' poblogaeth dorfol, fel y'i gelwir, yma yng Nghymru. A thrwy ddysgu o'r gwersi cynnar iawn sy'n dod i'r amlwg eisoes o brofiad Lerpwl, rwy'n credu y byddwn ni'n gallu bwrw ymlaen â dull tref gyfan o brofi mewn ffordd a fydd yn fwy effeithiol ar unwaith, ac rwyf i eisiau gwneud yn siŵr, pan ddaw'r adeg briodol, ein bod ni'n gallu gwneud hynny yma yng Nghymru. Rydym ni wedi gwneud yr holl waith paratoi fel ei fod yn cyflawni ar gyfer y boblogaeth leol honno.

Arweinydd y Ceidwadwyr, Paul Davies.

Leader of the Conservatives, Paul Davies.

Diolch, Llywydd. First Minister, you will have seen the very worrying concerns from some health experts that as many as 2,000 people in Wales could die as a result of COVID-related delays. Professor Tom Crosby of the Wales Cancer Network has said that he fears an unprecedented tsunami of demand for cancer services is coming. What urgent action is the Welsh Government taking to address these very worrying concerns?

Diolch, Llywydd. Prif Weinidog, byddwch wedi gweld y pryderon sydd gan rai arbenigwyr iechyd, ac sy'n peri gofid mawr, y gallai cynifer â 2,000 o bobl yng Nghymru farw o ganlyniad i oedi yn gysylltiedig â COVID. Mae'r Athro Tom Crosby o Rwydwaith Canser Cymru wedi dweud ei fod yn ofni bod tswnami digynsail o alw am wasanaethau canser ar y ffordd. Pa gamau brys y mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn eu cymryd i fynd i'r afael â'r pryderon hyn sy'n peri gofid mawr?

Obviously, Llywydd, the most urgent action we are taking lies in everything we are doing to turn back the tide of coronavirus, because the biggest threat to treatments for conditions other than coronavirus comes from our NHS not having the capacity to be able to go on offering those treatments, and we are still far too close to that position in Wales today. The firebreak period will, we hope, have given us the opportunity to go on in the Welsh NHS providing cancer care, providing coronary care, providing stroke care, and all those other really important things that the NHS does, but the most important action we can take, and the most important action that every single citizen in Wales can take, is to do everything to turn back the tide of coronavirus, because that will mean that our health service will be able to go on doing those other things and to do so increasingly, as it has built up its capacity to do so ever since April of this year.

Yn amlwg, Llywydd, mae'r camau mwyaf brys yr ydym ni'n eu cymryd ym mhopeth yr ydym ni'n ei wneud i wrthdroi llanw coronafeirws, oherwydd mae'r bygythiad mwyaf i driniaethau ar gyfer cyflyrau ac eithrio coronafeirws yn deillio o'r ffaith nad yw'r capasiti gan ein GIG i allu parhau i gynnig y triniaethau hynny, ac rydym ni'n dal yn rhy agos o lawer at y sefyllfa honno yng Nghymru heddiw. Rydym ni'n gobeithio y bydd y cyfnod atal byr wedi rhoi'r cyfle i ni barhau yn y GIG yng Nghymru i ddarparu gofal canser, i ddarparu gofal coronaidd, i ddarparu gofal strôc, a'r holl bethau pwysig eraill hynny y mae'r GIG yn eu gwneud, ond y camau pwysicaf y gallwn ni eu cymryd, a'r camau pwysicaf y gall pob un dinesydd yng Nghymru eu cymryd, yw gwneud popeth i wrthdroi llanw coronafeirws, oherwydd bydd hynny yn golygu y bydd ein gwasanaeth iechyd yn gallu parhau i wneud y pethau eraill hynny a gwneud hynny yn gynyddol, gan ei fod wedi cynyddu ei gapasiti i wneud hynny ers mis Ebrill eleni.

Of course, and I very much agree with the First Minister. Our priority has to be tackling this virus, but, of course, we need to make sure as well that routine surgery and routine services are able to continue, because figures today have shown that around 49,000 patients in September had been waiting for more than a year for an NHS treatment in Wales, and that's a tenfold increase for all treatments compared to September last year—49,000 people, with many people across the country living in pain and discomfort waiting for treatment. And those same figures show that 18,000 people are waiting for some kind of treatment at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board—a health board, of course, that is directly under your control. Now, the health Minister has himself admitted that as a result there will be poorer outcomes, more people having avoidable disability and more people potentially losing their lives with non-COVID care. So, First Minister, can you tell us what discussions the Welsh Government is having with health boards across Wales about managing these waiting times, and the impact that this may have on the Welsh NHS in the medium and longer term? And given the pressing nature of this matter, will you now give serious consideration to perhaps establishing COVID-free hospitals across Wales, so that we can start addressing these worrying figures?

Wrth gwrs, ac rwy'n cytuno yn llwyr â'r Prif Weinidog. Mae'n rhaid i ni roi blaenoriaeth i fynd i'r afael â'r feirws hwn, ond, wrth gwrs, mae angen i ni wneud yn siŵr hefyd y gall llawdriniaethau a gwasanaethau rheolaidd barhau, oherwydd mae ffigurau heddiw wedi dangos bod oddeutu 49,000 o gleifion ym mis Medi wedi bod yn aros am fwy na blwyddyn am driniaeth gan y GIG yng Nghymru, ac mae hynny yn gynnydd o ddeg gwaith cymaint ar gyfer pob triniaeth o'i gymharu â mis Medi y llynedd—49,000 o bobl, â llawer o bobl ledled y wlad yn byw mewn poen ac anesmwythder yn aros am driniaeth. Ac mae'r un ffigurau hynny yn dangos bod 18,000 o bobl yn aros am ryw fath o driniaeth ym Mwrdd Iechyd Prifysgol Betsi Cadwaladr—bwrdd iechyd, wrth gwrs, sydd o dan eich rheolaeth chi yn uniongyrchol. Nawr, mae'r Gweinidog iechyd ei hun wedi cyfaddef y bydd canlyniadau gwaeth o ganlyniad, mwy o bobl gydag anabledd y gellid ei osgoi a mwy o bobl o bosibl yn colli eu bywydau gyda gofal nad yw'n ofal COVID. Felly, Prif Weinidog, a allwch chi ddweud wrthym ni pa drafodaethau y mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn eu cael gyda byrddau iechyd ledled Cymru ynghylch rheoli'r amseroedd aros hyn, a'r effaith y gallai hyn ei chael ar GIG Cymru yn y tymor canolig a'r tymor hwy? Ac o ystyried natur frys y mater hwn, a wnewch chi roi ystyriaeth ddifrifol nawr i sefydlu ysbytai di-COVID ledled Cymru efallai, fel y gallwn ni ddechrau mynd i'r afael â'r ffigurau hyn sy'n peri pryder?

14:00

Well, Llywydd, of course we discuss these things all the time with our local health boards. The Member will see in their quarter 3 and quarter 4 plans all the actions that they are taking to try to provide for non-coronavirus care while dealing with the impact of the global pandemic. What health boards say to us is that their staff are exhausted by the experience of this year, and that we are going to be asking them again this winter to cope not just with the over 1,000—well, over 1,400—patients who are now in beds in Welsh hospitals suffering from coronavirus, but we are going to ask them to do all those other things as well. And our health boards report, as do organisations like the Royal Society of Medicine and so on, real concerns about the resilience of our workforce in everything that we are asking of them, and much of what we are doing is to try to make sure that we look after those staff so that they can go on doing all the things that Paul Davies has suggested. 

The idea of coronavirus-free hospitals in Wales is a difficult one, I think. Our health boards are preferring to have green zones and red zones inside existing hospitals. I'll give him the example that he will know the best. What would he like Withybush to be—a hospital devoted to coronavirus only, so that anybody with coronavirus ends up in Withybush, or anybody in the Withybush area who has coronavirus has to go somewhere else for their care, because Withybush has become a non-COVID hospital? And that's a difficult issue, as he will recognise, in every part of Wales, isn't it? Because we have rural communities with single hospitals, small often in scale, doing everything that is needed for that local population. And if you're in a very big metropolitan area, where you've got hospitals close by to one another, then maybe that is a viable possibility. I think it's much harder to make it fit the geography and the population distribution in Wales.

Wel, Llywydd, wrth gwrs rydym ni'n trafod y pethau hyn drwy'r amser gyda'n byrddau iechyd lleol. Bydd yr Aelod yn gweld yn eu cynlluniau chwarter 3 a chwarter 4 yr holl gamau y maen nhw'n eu cymryd i geisio darparu ar gyfer gofal nad yw'n ofal coronafeirws gan ymdrin ag effaith y pandemig byd-eang. Yr hyn y mae byrddau iechyd yn ei ddweud wrthym ni yw bod eu staff wedi blino'n lân yn sgil profiad eleni, a'n bod ni'n mynd i ofyn iddyn nhw eto y gaeaf hwn ymdopi nid yn unig â thros 1,000—wel, dros 1,400—o gleifion sydd mewn gwelyau yn ysbytai Cymru erbyn hyn yn dioddef o coronafeirws, ond rydym ni'n mynd i ofyn iddyn nhw wneud yr holl bethau eraill hynny hefyd. Ac mae ein byrddau iechyd yn adrodd, fel y mae sefydliadau fel y Gymdeithas Feddygaeth Frenhinol ac yn y blaen, pryderon gwirioneddol am gydnerthedd ein gweithlu ym mhopeth yr ydym ni'n ei ofyn ganddyn nhw, a llawer o'r hyn yr ydym ni'n ei wneud yw ceisio gwneud yn siŵr ein bod ni'n gofalu am y staff hynny fel y gallan nhw barhau i wneud yr holl bethau y mae Paul Davies wedi eu hawgrymu.

Mae'r syniad o ysbytai di-goronafeirws yng Nghymru yn un anodd, rwy'n credu. Mae'n well gan ein byrddau iechyd gael parthau gwyrdd a pharthau coch y tu mewn i ysbytai presennol. Fe roddaf yr enghraifft iddo y bydd yn ei hadnabod orau. Beth yr hoffai ef i Lwynhelyg fod—ysbyty wedi ei neilltuo ar gyfer coronafeirws yn unig, fel bod unrhyw un â coronafeirws yn mynd i Lwynhelyg, neu fod yn rhaid i unrhyw un yn ardal Llwynhelyg sydd â coronafeirws fynd i rywle arall i dderbyn eu gofal, gan fod Llwynhelyg wedi troi'n ysbyty di-COVID? Ac mae hwnnw yn fater anodd, fel y bydd e'n cydnabod, ym mhob rhan o Gymru, onid yw? Oherwydd mae gennym ni gymunedau gwledig gydag un ysbyty, bach yn aml o ran maint, yn gwneud popeth sydd ei angen ar gyfer y boblogaeth leol honno. Ac os ydych chi mewn ardal fetropolitan fawr iawn, lle mae gennych chi ysbytai yn agos at ei gilydd, yna efallai fod hynny yn bosibilrwydd ymarferol. Rwy'n credu ei bod hi'n llawer anoddach ei wneud i gyd-fynd â'r ddaearyddiaeth a dosbarthiad y boblogaeth yng Nghymru.

First Minister, of course, it is critical that the Welsh Government explores every opportunity to resume non-COVID care so that people can access vital treatments as soon as possible, and it's deeply worrying to hear the health Minister say it would be foolish to have a plan for backlogs before the pandemic is over. Now, it's also crucial that the Welsh Government considers how it also supports our NHS workers at this time, as the First Minister has just referred to. The Royal College of Nursing in Wales have made it clear that an increasing number of staff are actually accessing mental health support due to the pandemic, so it's absolutely critical that a strategy to support the NHS workforce is delivered to nurture and indeed support our front-line staff. So, can you tell us how is the Welsh Government responding to the concerns of the Royal College of Nursing, and indeed others, regarding the impact on NHS workers? And can you tell us what workforce planning is actually currently taking place, and, should there be further pressures on the NHS in the future, how will the Welsh Government protect and support our NHS workers in the face of those pressures?

Prif Weinidog, wrth gwrs, mae'n hanfodol bod Llywodraeth Cymru yn archwilio pob cyfle i ailddechrau gofal nad yw'n ofal COVID fel y gall pobl gael triniaethau hanfodol cyn gynted â phosibl, ac mae'n destun pryder mawr clywed y Gweinidog iechyd yn dweud y byddai'n ffôl cael cynllun ar gyfer ôl-groniadau cyn i'r pandemig ddod i ben. Nawr, mae hefyd yn hanfodol bod Llywodraeth Cymru yn ystyried sut y mae hefyd yn cefnogi ein gweithwyr GIG ar hyn o bryd, fel y mae'r Prif Weinidog newydd gyfeirio ato. Mae Coleg Nyrsio Brenhinol Cymru wedi ei gwneud yn eglur bod nifer gynyddol o staff yn cael cymorth iechyd meddwl oherwydd y pandemig, felly mae'n gwbl hanfodol bod strategaeth i gefnogi gweithlu'r GIG yn cael ei chyflwyno i feithrin ac yn wir cefnogi ein staff rheng flaen. Felly, a allwch chi ddweud wrthym ni sut y mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn ymateb i bryderon y Coleg Nyrsio Brenhinol, ac eraill yn wir, ynglŷn â'r effaith ar weithwyr y GIG? Ac a allwch chi ddweud wrthym ni pa waith cynllunio'r gweithlu sy'n cael ei wneud ar hyn o bryd, a, phe byddai pwysau pellach ar y GIG yn y dyfodol, sut y bydd Llywodraeth Cymru yn diogelu ac yn cefnogi ein gweithwyr GIG yn wyneb y pwysau hynny?

Well, I do entirely agree, Llywydd, and said so myself in answer to Paul Davies's second question, that one of the real constraints we face this winter is in the finite number of staff that we have, the experience they have all gone through, the fact that, as front-line staff, they are particularly vulnerable themselves to contracting coronavirus, their recovery is no different to anybody else and is often a long and difficult one. So, I said to the leader of the opposition that the quarter 3 and quarter 4 plans from our NHS colleagues focus particularly on making sure that we can sustain our staff through this very difficult period. We've provided new services, available to whole breadth of NHS staff, in relation to mental health; we've provided further training to staff to be able to deal with a broader range of demands that will come their way. But, when we look forward to a winter in which coronavirus shows very little sign of going away, where we've yet to begin the flu season, where winter brings with it all the other things that we know happen when you have an older, sicker, more vulnerable population, as Adam Price says, then doing everything we can to support our colleagues in the health service is top of my agenda and that of the health Minister here.

Some of the things we were able to use earlier in the year are not so easily available to us. We were, as Paul Davies will know, back in April and May, able to recruit students who were just finishing their courses; they were ready to be deployed in clinical circumstances. That isn't the case in November and December. We recruited back into the service people who had recently retired and were willing to come back. We may well be looking to people to help us in that way again.

The good news is that, despite all of this, recruitment to the Welsh NHS does go on being very successful. We have filled our general practitioner training rotas, and overfilled them this year, compared to any other year, including in north Wales, which the Member mentioned. So, the longer term sustainability of our health service staff is based upon our ability to recruit into courses, into training schemes, and, on that score, despite the very bleak year we're in, we continue to do well in Wales.

Wel, rwyf i yn cytuno yn llwyr, Llywydd, a dywedais hynny fy hun wrth ateb ail gwestiwn Paul Davies, mai un o'r cyfyngiadau gwirioneddol sy'n ein hwynebu y gaeaf hwn yw'r nifer gyfyngedig o staff sydd gennym ni, y profiad y maen nhw i gyd wedi ei gael, y ffaith eu bod nhw, fel staff rheng flaen, yn arbennig o agored i ddal coronafeirws eu hunain, nad yw eu gwellhad yn ddim gwahanol i un neb arall ac yn aml mae'n hir ac yn anodd. Felly, dywedais wrth arweinydd yr wrthblaid bod cynlluniau chwarter 3 a chwarter 4 gan ein cydweithwyr yn y GIG yn canolbwyntio yn benodol ar wneud yn siŵr y gallwn ni gynnal ein staff drwy'r cyfnod anodd iawn hwn. Rydym ni wedi darparu gwasanaethau newydd, sydd ar gael i holl staff y GIG, o ran iechyd meddwl; rydym ni wedi darparu hyfforddiant ychwanegol er mwyn i staff allu ymdopi ag amrywiaeth ehangach o ofynion a fydd yn eu hwynebu. Ond, pan edrychwn ni ymlaen at aeaf lle nad yw coronafeirws yn dangos fawr ddim arwydd o ddiflannu, lle nad ydym ni wedi dechrau tymor y ffliw hyd yn hyn, lle mae'r gaeaf yn dod â'r holl bethau eraill yr ydym ni'n gwybod sy'n digwydd pan fo gennych chi boblogaeth hŷn, salach, fwy agored i niwed, fel y mae Adam Price yn ei ddweud, yna mae gwneud popeth o fewn ein gallu i gefnogi ein cydweithwyr yn y gwasanaeth iechyd ar frig fy agenda i ac agenda'r Gweinidog iechyd yn y fan yma.

Nid yw rhai o'r pethau yr oeddem ni'n gallu eu defnyddio yn gynharach yn y flwyddyn ar gael mor rhwydd i ni. Roeddem ni, fel y bydd Paul Davies yn gwybod, yn ôl ym mis Ebrill a mis Mai, yn gallu recriwtio myfyrwyr a oedd ar fin gorffen eu cyrsiau; roedden nhw'n barod i gael eu defnyddio mewn amgylchiadau clinigol. Nid yw hynny yn wir ym mis Tachwedd a mis Rhagfyr. Recriwtiwyd yn ôl i'r gwasanaeth pobl a oedd wedi ymddeol yn ddiweddar ac a oedd yn barod i ddychwelyd. Mae'n ddigon posibl y byddwn ni'n gofyn i bobl ein helpu ni yn y modd hwnnw unwaith eto.

Y newyddion da, er gwaethaf hyn i gyd, yw bod recriwtio i GIG Cymru yn parhau i fod yn llwyddiannus iawn. Rydym ni wedi llenwi ein rotâu hyfforddi ymarferwyr cyffredinol, ac wedi eu gorlenwi eleni, o'u cymharu ag unrhyw flwyddyn arall, gan gynnwys yn y gogledd, y soniodd yr Aelod amdano. Felly, mae cynaliadwyedd tymor hwy ein staff yn y gwasanaeth iechyd yn seiliedig ar ein gallu i recriwtio i gyrsiau, i gynlluniau hyfforddi, ac, o'r safbwynt hwnnw, er gwaethaf y flwyddyn lem iawn yr ydym ni ynddi, rydym ni'n parhau i wneud yn dda yng Nghymru.

14:05
Bwrdd Iechyd Prifysgol Betsi Cadwaladr
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board

3. A wnaiff y Prif Weinidog ddatganiad am driniaeth nad yw'n gysylltiedig â COVID-19 ym Mwrdd Iechyd Prifysgol Betsi Cadwaladr? OQ55816

3. Will the First Minister make a statement on non-COVID-19 related treatment in Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board? OQ55816

Thank you, Llywydd. Each health board will continue to deliver essential services. The quarterly NHS Wales operating frameworks and the subsequent plans developed by health boards set out the actions being taken to increase capacity, cautiously restoring other services safely over time, with a phased approach based on clinical priority.

Diolch, Llywydd. Bydd pob bwrdd iechyd yn parhau i ddarparu gwasanaethau hanfodol. Mae fframweithiau gweithredu chwarterol GIG Cymru a'r cynlluniau dilynol sy'n cael eu datblygu gan fyrddau iechyd yn nodi'r camau sy'n cael eu cymryd i gynyddu capasiti, gan adfer gwasanaethau eraill yn ofalus ac yn ddiogel dros amser, gyda dull gweithredu fesul cam yn seiliedig ar flaenoriaeth glinigol.

Thank you, First Minister. This, really, follows on the very pertinent points that our Welsh Conservative leader, Paul Davies, has raised here today, because, certainly, residents and, indeed, patients—residents of mine and patients in Aberconwy with non-COVID medical needs certainly are being left behind. I have one constituent who saw their gastro appointment cancelled in April and only secured a telephone consultation by turning and taking to Twitter. Another resident has been waiting for a double knee replacement since November 2017.

In response to another orthopaedic case, the Minister for health wrote to me that it is difficult for the health board to provide an understanding of when services may return for non-urgent patients. Finally, only last week, Mark Polin, the chairman of the health board, advised me that there now has been a considerable increase in the number waiting for orthopaedic appointments. Neither the acting chief executive nor the Minister is able to give me dates for treatment where my patients have been waiting for this treatment that is considered, in many cases, to be urgent, and they are just waiting weeks and months.

So, what urgent steps will you take to ensure that more wards are set aside for non-COVID related treatment in north Wales? Will you put some merit to the proposals put forward by Paul Davies today to actually open up some areas—non-COVID areas—where treatment can be carried out to deal, certainly in the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, with their orthopaedic crisis and other treatment requirements? Thank you. 

Diolch, Prif Weinidog. Mae hyn, mewn gwirionedd, yn dilyn y pwyntiau perthnasol iawn y mae ein harweinydd yn y Ceidwadwyr Cymreig, Paul Davies, wedi eu codi yma heddiw, oherwydd, yn sicr, mae trigolion ac, yn wir, cleifion—trigolion i mi a chleifion yn Aberconwy sydd ag anghenion meddygol nad ydynt yn rhai COVID yn sicr yn cael eu gadael ar ôl. Mae gen i un etholwr y cafodd ei apwyntiad gastro ei ganslo ym mis Ebrill a dim ond trwy droi at Twitter a'i ddefnyddio y llwyddodd i sicrhau ymgynghoriad dros y ffôn. Mae un arall o'm trigolion wedi bod yn aros am ddau ben-glin newydd ers mis Tachwedd 2017.

Mewn ymateb i achos orthopedig arall, ysgrifennodd y Gweinidog iechyd ataf ei bod hi'n anodd i'r bwrdd iechyd gynnig dealltwriaeth o pryd y gallai gwasanaethau ddychwelyd i gleifion nad ydynt yn achosion brys. Yn olaf, dim ond yr wythnos diwethaf, dywedodd Mark Polin, cadeirydd y bwrdd iechyd, wrthyf y bu cynnydd sylweddol erbyn hyn i'r nifer sy'n aros am apwyntiadau orthopedig. Ni all y prif weithredwr dros dro na'r Gweinidog roi dyddiadau i mi ar gyfer triniaeth lle mae fy nghleifion wedi bod yn aros am y driniaeth hon yr ystyrir, mewn llawer o achosion, ei bod yn driniaeth frys, ac maen nhw'n dal i aros am wythnosau a misoedd.

Felly, pa gamau brys a wnewch chi eu cymryd i sicrhau bod mwy o wardiau yn cael eu neilltuo ar gyfer triniaeth nad yw'n gysylltiedig â COVID yn y gogledd? A wnewch chi roi rhywfaint o werth i'r cynigion a wnaed gan Paul Davies heddiw i agor rhai mannau—mannau nad ydynt yn rhai COVID—lle gellir darparu triniaeth i ymdrin, yn sicr ym Mwrdd Iechyd Prifysgol Betsi Cadwaladr, gyda'u hargyfwng orthopedig a gofynion triniaeth eraill? Diolch.

Well, Llywydd, I don't think that is quite the point that Paul Davies made to me. Mr Davies was asking whether we would consider making whole hospitals non-coronavirus sites. I explained to him why I thought that would be challenging, given our geography. I think it would be challenging, given our geography, in north Wales. I'm not sure that the Member's electors would thank her if we were to take that advice, given the implications that that would have for people suffering from coronavirus in her constituency or others.

As I've said, the impact of coronavirus on our health service is profound, not simply in the number of people who are in our hospitals suffering from it, but in the ways in which clinicians now have to operate. So, an operating theatre that previously would have carried out eight orthopaedic operations in a single day is now probably only able to do three such procedures. That is because the operating theatre has to be cleaned after every single operation, because clinicians are wearing full personal protective equipment in doing so. The productivity—no matter how hard you try and no matter how much we ask of our staff, coronavirus has a very, very real impact, not just on the number of people who we are able to draw into the system, but the rate at which our clinicians are able to treat them.

Now, the health Minister made a statement here in the Senedd last week setting out plans for Betsi Cadwaladr. I'm sure the Member will have welcomed the £30 million extra a year for the next three and a half years that will be provided by the Welsh Government to make sure that we have a sustained unscheduled care and planned care programme, including orthopaedics, in north Wales, and I look forward to the new chief executive's arrival in the beginning of January, and for her now to be able to plan for the future of services in north Wales, knowing that she has that significant additional investment available to her from which she can take on the leadership of that organisation.

Wel, Llywydd, nid wyf i'n credu mai dyna'r union bwynt a wnaeth Paul Davies i mi. Roedd Mr Davies yn holi pa un a fyddem ni'n ystyried gwneud ysbytai cyfan yn safleoedd rhydd o goronafeirws. Eglurais wrtho pam yr oeddwn i'n meddwl y byddai hynny yn anodd, o ystyried ein daearyddiaeth. Rwy'n credu y byddai'n anodd, o ystyried ein daearyddiaeth, yn y gogledd. Nid wyf i'n siŵr a fyddai etholwyr yr Aelod yn diolch iddi pe byddem ni'n cymryd y cyngor hwnnw, o ystyried y goblygiadau y byddai hynny yn eu hachosi i bobl sy'n dioddef o coronafeirws yn ei hetholaeth hi neu etholaethau eraill.

Fel yr wyf i wedi dweud, mae effaith coronafeirws ar ein gwasanaeth iechyd yn ddofn, nid yn unig o ran nifer y bobl sydd yn ein hysbytai yn dioddef ohono, ond yn y ffyrdd y mae'n rhaid i glinigwyr weithredu erbyn hyn. Felly, mae'n debyg bod theatr lawdriniaeth a fyddai wedi cyflawni wyth llawdriniaeth orthopedig mewn un diwrnod yn gallu cyflawni tair llawdriniaeth o'r fath yn unig erbyn hyn. Y rheswm am hynny yw bod yn rhaid glanhau'r theatr lawdriniaeth ar ôl pob un llawdriniaeth, gan fod clinigwyr yn gwisgo cyfarpar diogelu personol llawn wrth wneud hynny. Mae'r cynhyrchiant—ni waeth pa mor galed yr ydych chi'n ceisio ac ni waeth faint yr ydym ni'n ei ofyn gan ein staff, mae coronafeirws yn cael effaith wirioneddol iawn, nid yn unig ar nifer y bobl y gallwn ni eu tynnu i mewn i'r system, ond y gyfradd y gall ein clinigwyr eu trin.

Nawr, fe wnaeth y Gweinidog iechyd ddatganiad yma yn y Senedd yr wythnos diwethaf yn nodi cynlluniau ar gyfer Betsi Cadwaladr. Rwy'n siŵr y bydd yr Aelod wedi croesawu'r £30 miliwn ychwanegol y flwyddyn am y tair blynedd a hanner nesaf a fydd yn cael ei ddarparu gan Lywodraeth Cymru i wneud yn siŵr bod gennym ni raglen gofal heb ei gynllunio a gofal wedi'i gynllunio barhaus, gan gynnwys orthopedeg, yn y gogledd, ac edrychaf ymlaen at weld y prif weithredwr newydd yn cyrraedd ddechrau mis Ionawr , ac iddi hi allu cynllunio nawr ar gyfer dyfodol gwasanaethau yn y gogledd, gan wybod bod ganddi'r buddsoddiad ychwanegol sylweddol hwnnw ar gael iddi y gall hi ei ddefnyddio i ymgymryd ag arweinyddiaeth y sefydliad hwnnw.

14:10

First Minister, the effect of the focus on COVID-19 by all health services in the UK has been well rehearsed in this Chamber, as we've just heard, but, once again, for the record, cancer charities estimate that referrals for cancer screening are down by 70 per cent. Now, even a lay person could see that the health service's focus on COVID—this is a disaster waiting in the wings. Now, recent reports suggest COVID was at No. 19 in the league of causes of death in Wales in September. In fact, the most prolific killers were heart disease and dementia-related illnesses. I still don't think you specifically answered Janet Finch-Saunders, so I'll ask this question with that in mind. What steps are you going to take to ensure that the Welsh NHS does not become the national COVID service? Thank you.

Prif Weinidog, mae effaith y pwyslais ar COVID-19 gan yr holl wasanaethau iechyd yn y DU wedi cael ei thrafod droeon yn y Siambr hon, fel yr ydym ni newydd ei glywed, ond, unwaith eto, er mwyn i bawb gael gwybod, mae elusennau canser yn amcangyfrif bod atgyfeiriadau ar gyfer sgrinio am ganser wedi gostwng gan 70 y cant. Nawr, gallai hyd yn oed person lleyg weld bod pwyslais y gwasanaeth iechyd ar COVID—mae hon yn drychineb sydd ar fin digwydd. Nawr, mae adroddiadau diweddar yn awgrymu bod COVID yn Rhif 19 yn y gynghrair o achosion marwolaeth yng Nghymru ym mis Medi. Mewn gwirionedd, y lladdwr mwyaf toreithiog oedd clefyd y galon a salwch yn gysylltiedig â dementia. Nid wyf i'n credu eich bod chi wedi ateb Janet Finch-Saunders yn benodol, felly gofynnaf y cwestiwn hwn gyda hynny mewn golwg. Pa gamau ydych chi'n mynd i'w cymryd i sicrhau nad yw GIG Cymru yn troi'n wasanaeth COVID cenedlaethol? Diolch.

Well, Llywydd, I completely disagree with the Member, because I think her suggestion is that we have somehow over-prioritised the treatment of coronavirus patients here in Wales. Last week, Public Health Wales reported that the two-thousandth patient in Wales to die from coronavirus was being reported in their statistics. I don't think those people or their families would agree with Mandy Jones that somehow we should have neglected the care of coronavirus patients in order to care for others. And she seems to deny the fact that there is a choice that has to be made here, because the health service cannot simply manage to do everything we are asking of it in a global pandemic and carry on as though the global pandemic were not taking place. It's very easy, where she sits, to think that easy choices of that sort can be made. They simply don't exist in the real world. They simply don't exist in the lives of the staff that we rely on to provide these services. The single biggest contribution that can be made to making sure that non-coronavirus care can be continued is to take coronavirus seriously. That's what she fails to do and she's doing it again this afternoon.

Wel, Llywydd, rwy'n anghytuno yn llwyr â'r Aelod, oherwydd rwy'n credu mai ei hawgrym hi yw ein bod ni rywsut wedi gor-flaenoriaethu triniaeth i gleifion coronafeirws yma yng Nghymru. Yr wythnos diwethaf, adroddodd Iechyd Cyhoeddus Cymru bod y ddwy filfed claf yng Nghymru i farw o coronafeirws yn cael ei adrodd yn eu hystadegau. Nid wyf i'n credu y byddai'r bobl hynny na'u teuluoedd yn cytuno â Mandy Jones y dylem ni rywsut fod wedi esgeuluso gofal cleifion coronafeirws er mwyn gofalu am bobl eraill. Ac mae'n ymddangos ei bod hi'n gwadu'r ffaith bod dewis y mae'n rhaid ei wneud yma, oherwydd, yn syml, ni all y gwasanaeth iechyd lwyddo i wneud popeth yr ydym ni'n ei ofyn ganddo mewn pandemig byd-eang a pharhau fel pe na byddai'r pandemig byd-eang yn digwydd. Mae'n hawdd iawn, o ble mae hi'n eistedd, meddwl y gellir gwneud dewisiadau hawdd o'r math hwnnw. Nid ydyn nhw'n bodoli yn y byd go iawn. Nid ydyn nhw'n bodoli ym mywydau'r staff yr ydym ni'n dibynnu arnyn nhw i ddarparu'r gwasanaethau hyn. Y cyfraniad unigol mwyaf y gellir ei wneud at wneud yn siŵr y gellir parhau â gofal nad yw'n ofal coronafeirws yw cymryd coronafeirws o ddifrif. Dyna mae hi'n methu â'i wneud ac mae hi'n ei wneud eto y prynhawn yma.

Rheoli'r Defnydd o Dân Gwyllt
Controlling the Use of Fireworks

4. Pa bwerau sydd gan Lywodraeth Cymru i reoli sut y defnyddir tân gwyllt? OQ55813

4. What powers does the Welsh Government have to control the use of fireworks? OQ55813

I thank Mike Hedges for that, Llywydd. The Welsh Government does not have any specific powers to control the use of fireworks. The sale and use of fireworks in Wales is governed by regulations under the Fireworks Act 2003. The power to make such regulations rests with UK Ministers.

Diolchaf i Mike Hedges am hynna, Llywydd. Nid oes gan Lywodraeth Cymru unrhyw bwerau penodol i reoli'r defnydd o dân gwyllt. Rheolir gwerthu a defnyddio tân gwyllt yng Nghymru gan reoliadau o dan Ddeddf Tân Gwyllt 2003. Gweinidogion y DU sy'n gyfrifol am wneud rheoliadau o'r fath.

Can I thank the First Minister for his answer and clarification of where powers reside? Firstly, I have no problem with fireworks on 5 November, an organised fireworks display, either on 5 November or for events like the Chinese new year and Diwali. My concern is around the all-year use of fireworks, which affect some young children, some elderly, and especially some military personnel, who could be re-traumatised by hearing an unexpected explosion, as well as the effect it has on animals. I also have concerns about the effect it has on air quality. What representation has the Welsh Government made to strengthen the Fireworks Act?

A gaf i ddiolch i'r Prif Weinidog am ei ateb a'i eglurhad o gan bwy y mae'r pwerau? Yn gyntaf, nid oes gen i unrhyw broblem gyda thân gwyllt ar 5 Tachwedd, arddangosfa tân gwyllt wedi'i threfnu, naill ai ar 5 Tachwedd neu ar gyfer digwyddiadau fel y flwyddyn newydd Tsieineaidd a Diwali. Mae fy mhryder i ynghylch y defnydd o dân gwyllt drwy gydol y flwyddyn, sy'n effeithio ar rai plant ifanc, rhai pobl oedrannus, ac yn enwedig rhai personél milwrol, a allai gael eu hail-drawmateiddio o glywed ffrwydrad annisgwyl, yn ogystal â'r effaith y mae'n ei chael ar anifeiliaid. Mae gen i bryderon hefyd am yr effaith y mae'n ei chael ar ansawdd yr aer. Pa sylwadau y mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi eu gwneud i gryfhau'r Ddeddf Tân Gwyllt?

I thank Mike Hedges for that. He rightly draws attention to the adverse impact on a whole range of individuals and other causes in our society of the irresponsible use of fireworks. Now, I know that Mike Hedges will know that the House of Commons Petitions Committee reported on the sale and use of fireworks towards the end of last year. On 14 January, my colleagues Lesley Griffiths and Hannah Blythyn wrote jointly to the UK Minister responsible for responding to that Petitions Committee report. We urged them to accept the recommendations of the report and we offered to work jointly with the UK Government on a range of issues. We specifically asked for a dialogue on reviewing local authority powers in this area; we asked for a review of decibel limits; and we pointed to the particular issue of online sales that are currently barely covered at all by the 2003 regulatory regime.

Llywydd, I've seen since that the Scottish Government has committed to introducing legislation in the Scottish Parliament, using powers that they have that we don't, and their prescription for the introduction of mandatory conditions where fireworks are purchased, restricting the times of day when fireworks can be sold, restricting the days and times where fireworks can be set off, and introducing no-firework areas or zones. All of those seem to me sensible measures, and we will continue to advocate for them, because if they were introduced on a whole-UK basis, Wales would certainly benefit. 

Diolchaf i Mike Hedges am hynna. Mae'n tynnu sylw yn briodol at yr effaith niweidiol ar amrywiaeth eang o unigolion ac achosion eraill yn ein cymdeithas o'r defnydd anghyfrifol o dân gwyllt. Nawr, gwn y bydd Mike Hedges yn gwybod bod Pwyllgor Deisebau Tŷ'r Cyffredin wedi adrodd ar werthu a defnyddio tân gwyllt tuag at ddiwedd y llynedd. Ar 14 Ionawr, ysgrifennodd fy nghyd-Weinidogion Lesley Griffiths a Hannah Blythyn ar y cyd at Weinidog y DU sy'n gyfrifol am ymateb i'r adroddiad hwnnw gan y Pwyllgor Deisebau. Fe'u hanogwyd gennym i dderbyn argymhellion yr adroddiad gan gynnig cydweithio â Llywodraeth y DU ar amrywiaeth o faterion. Fe wnaethom ni ofyn yn benodol am ddeialog ar adolygu pwerau awdurdodau lleol yn y maes hwn; fe wnaethom ni ofyn am adolygiad o derfynau desibelau;ac fe wnaethom ni dynnu sylw at fater penodol gwerthiannau ar-lein nad yw braidd yn cael sylw o gwbl ar hyn o bryd o dan trefn reoleiddio 2003.

Llywydd, rwyf i wedi gweld ers hynny bod Llywodraeth yr Alban wedi ymrwymo i gyflwyno deddfwriaeth yn Senedd yr Alban, gan ddefnyddio pwerau sydd ganddyn nhw nad ydyn nhw gennym ni, a'u presgripsiwn ar gyfer cyflwyno amodau gorfodol ar ble y ceir prynu tân gwyllt, cyfyngu ar yr adegau o'r dydd pan geir gwerthu tân gwyllt, cyfyngu ar y diwrnodau a'r amseroedd y ceir cynnau tân gwyllt, a chyflwyno ardaloedd neu barthau dim tân gwyllt. Mae'r rheini i gyd yn ymddangos i mi fel mesurau synhwyrol, a byddwn yn parhau i ddadlau drostyn nhw, oherwydd pe bydden nhw'n cael eu cyflwyno ar sail y DU gyfan, byddai Cymru yn sicr yn elwa.

14:15

Thank you for that answer, First Minister. I think it is important that action is taken to curtail the use of fireworks. There's no doubt in my mind that they've become a more frequent problem, it seems to me, from around the end of Halloween all the way through to the new year. And we know, as Mike Hedges has quite rightly pointed out, that it's not just pets, it's not just livestock, wildlife or young children, but our military personnel, in particular those with post-traumatic stress disorder, can suffer considerable harm, and it can trigger all sorts of awful memories for them.

Can I ask you, in the meantime, if Wales doesn't have the powers to take more concerted action, what work the Welsh Government will do in order to promote the responsible use of fireworks through things like guidance, which can be disseminated, then, to particularly those who organise events where fireworks are going to be let off? I think that these are useful things that could be done by the Welsh Government with its existing powers, and also, of course, there's the need to educate young people in our schools. We often talk about the dangers of fireworks in our schools for young people, but we don't often talk about the impact that using them has on other people. I think that that is something that perhaps could be done.

Diolch am yr ateb yna, Prif Weinidog. Rwy'n credu ei bod hi'n bwysig bod camau yn cael eu cymryd i leihau'r defnydd o dân gwyllt. Does dim amheuaeth yn fy meddwl i eu bod nhw wedi dod yn broblem fwy rheolaidd, mae'n ymddangos i mi, o tua diwedd Calan Gaeaf yr holl ffordd drwodd i'r flwyddyn newydd. Ac rydym ni'n gwybod, fel y mae Mike Hedges wedi ei nodi yn gwbl briodol, nad anifeiliaid anwes yn unig, nad da byw, bywyd gwyllt neu blant ifanc yn unig, ond gall ein personél milwrol, yn enwedig y rhai sydd ag anhwylder straen wedi trawma, ddioddef niwed sylweddol, a gall sbarduno pob math o atgofion ofnadwy iddyn nhw.

A gaf i ofyn i chi, yn y cyfamser, os nad oes gan Gymru y pwerau i weithredu yn fwy pendant, pa waith fydd Llywodraeth Cymru yn ei wneud er mwyn hyrwyddo'r defnydd cyfrifol o dân gwyllt trwy bethau fel canllawiau, y gellir eu dosbarthu, wedyn, yn enwedig i'r rhai sy'n trefnu digwyddiadau lle bydd tân gwyllt yn cael eu cynnau? Rwy'n credu bod y rhain yn bethau defnyddiol y gallai Llywodraeth Cymru eu gwneud gyda'i phwerau presennol, a hefyd, wrth gwrs, mae angen addysgu pobl ifanc yn ein hysgolion. Rydym ni'n aml yn sôn am beryglon tân gwyllt yn ein hysgolion ar gyfer pobl ifanc, ond nid ydym ni'n sôn yn aml am yr effaith y mae eu defnyddio yn ei chael ar bobl eraill. Rwy'n credu bod hynny yn rhywbeth efallai y gellid ei wneud.

Llywydd, I agree with all the points that the Member has made. What we want to see is responsible use of fireworks. As it happens, I quite like a good firework display myself; I enjoy seeing one. But you want to do it in a way that doesn't cause the unintended harms that Darren Millar has referred to. 

We have worked with our local authorities and our police here in Wales on the enforcement powers that they have. I know that the Member will be interested that reports from the four Welsh police forces after last week suggest quite a difference between those forces that essentially police rural areas, who reported a quiet bonfire night with very little calls on their services, and some far, far more difficult moments in the South Wales Police and Gwent Police areas, with utterly unacceptable attacks on firefighters and on police officers when called to deal with untoward incidents.

We did work with the UK Government in the run-up to this bonfire night on a promotion campaign trying to persuade people to use fireworks properly and responsibly. I'm very happy to go on doing more of that, but I do think that there is a regulatory issue here. The 2003 Act was put on the statute book because of the aftermath of the millennium, when the widespread use of fireworks appeared to carry on in the years immediately after it in a not-very-acceptable way. So, the 2003 regulations did help to put some shape around that and to bear down on the worst excesses. If we're seeing that beginning to happen again, then looking again at the regulations and doing more to make sure that fireworks are responsibly sold and responsibly used, I think, would be a very good use of Government time.

Llywydd, rwy'n cytuno â'r holl bwyntiau y mae'r Aelod wedi eu gwneud. Yr hyn yr ydym ni eisiau ei weld yw defnydd cyfrifol o dân gwyllt. Fel mae'n digwydd, rwy'n eithaf hoff o arddangosfa tân gwyllt dda fy hun; rwy'n mwynhau gweld un. Ond rydych chi eisiau ei wneud mewn ffordd nad yw'n achosi'r niwed anfwriadol y mae Darren Millar wedi cyfeirio ato.

Rydym ni wedi gweithio gyda'n hawdurdodau lleol a'n heddlu yma yng Nghymru ar y pwerau gorfodi sydd ganddyn nhw. Gwn y bydd gan yr Aelod ddiddordeb yn y ffaith fod yr adroddiadau gan bedwar heddlu Cymru ar ôl yr wythnos diwethaf yn awgrymu cryn wahaniaeth rhwng y lluoedd hynny sy'n plismona ardaloedd gwledig mwy neu lai, a adroddodd noson tân gwyllt dawel heb fawr ddim gofynion ar eu gwasanaethau, a rhai adegau llawer mwy anodd yn ardaloedd Heddlu De Cymru a Heddlu Gwent, gydag ymosodiadau cwbl annerbyniol ar ddiffoddwyr tân ac ar swyddogion heddlu pan alwyd arnynt i ymdrin â digwyddiadau anweddaidd.

Buom yn gweithio gyda Llywodraeth y DU yn y cyfnod cyn y noson tân gwyllt hon ar ymgyrch hyrwyddo yn ceisio perswadio pobl i ddefnyddio tân gwyllt yn briodol ac yn gyfrifol. Rwy'n hapus iawn i barhau i wneud mwy o hynny, ond rwy'n credu bod mater rheoleiddio yn y fan yma. Rhoddwyd Deddf 2003 ar y llyfr statud oherwydd y cyfnod ar ôl y mileniwm, pan oedd yn ymddangos bod defnydd eang o dân gwyllt wedi parhau yn y blynyddoedd yn syth ar ei ôl mewn ffordd nad oedd yn dderbyniol iawn. Felly, roedd rheoliadau 2003 o gymorth i roi rhywfaint o ffurf o amgylch hynny ac i atal yr achosion gwaethaf o ormodedd. Os ydym ni'n gweld hynny yn dechrau digwydd eto, yna byddai edrych eto ar y rheoliadau a gwneud mwy i wneud yn siŵr bod tân gwyllt yn cael ei werthu yn gyfrifol ac yn cael ei ddefnyddio yn gyfrifol, rwy'n credu, yn ddefnydd da iawn o amser y Llywodraeth.

14:20

I'm grateful to the First Minister for the answers that he's already given. I mean, it's certainly the experience of parts of the region that I represent. I've had unprecedented calls this last week from places like Llanelli, Pontyberem, Kidwelly, where the unregulated use of fireworks may have been greater than would normally have been the case, because, of course, there were no formal displays. I was interested in what the First Minister said about the lack of powers, and obviously that's not something that can be changed quickly, and also in what the First Minister had to say about working with local authorities around enforcement, and with the police service. Can I ask the First Minister today to look again at that as we run up to the new year, which is another time when we get a lot of fireworks being used, to see if there is sufficient capacity and whether some additional resources might be needed, either by the police service or by local authorities, to enable them to effectively police these kinds of incidents? Because, as the First Minister has said in responding to others, this can be very distressing for individuals as well as for pets and livestock.

Rwy'n ddiolchgar i'r Prif Weinidog am yr atebion y mae eisoes wedi eu rhoi. Hynny yw, dyna brofiad rhannau o'r rhanbarth yr wyf i'n ei gynrychioli yn sicr. Rwyf i wedi cael galwadau digynsail yr wythnos diwethaf o leoedd fel Llanelli, Pontyberem, Cydweli, lle gallai'r defnydd heb ei reoleiddio o dân gwyllt fod wedi bod yn fwy nag a fyddai wedi digwydd fel arfer, oherwydd, wrth gwrs, nad oedd unrhyw arddangosfeydd ffurfiol. Roedd gen i ddiddordeb yn yr hyn a ddywedodd y Prif Weinidog am y diffyg pwerau, ac mae'n amlwg nad yw hynny yn rhywbeth y gellir ei newid yn gyflym, a hefyd yn yr hyn a oedd gan y Prif Weinidog i'w ddweud am weithio gydag awdurdodau lleol o ran gorfodi, a chyda gwasanaeth yr heddlu. A gaf i ofyn i'r Prif Weinidog heddiw edrych unwaith eto ar hynny wrth i ni agosáu at y flwyddyn newydd, sy'n adeg arall pan fyddwn ni'n gweld llawer o dân gwyllt yn cael ei ddefnyddio, i weld a oes digon o gapasiti ac a allai fod angen rhai adnoddau ychwanegol, naill ai gan wasanaeth yr heddlu neu gan awdurdodau lleol, i'w caniatáu i blismona'r mathau hyn o ddigwyddiadau yn effeithiol? Oherwydd, fel y mae'r Prif Weinidog wedi ei ddweud wrth ymateb i bobl eraill, gall hyn beri gofid mawr i unigolion yn ogystal ag i anifeiliaid anwes a da byw.

Yes, certainly, Llywydd, we will look to work with our police forces and our local authorities, learning the lessons from the recent days. Of course, we were in a firebreak period here in Wales, which added another layer into the complexity of this, but we will want to make sure. As I said, we've got a preliminary set of reports from all four police forces in Wales, we'll collect information from our local authorities as well, and see whether there is anything further we can do, working together, to plan and prepare for other parts of the year when fireworks are in widespread use.

Yn sicr, Llywydd, ein nod fydd gweithio gyda'n heddluoedd a'n hawdurdodau lleol, gan ddysgu'r gwersi o'r dyddiau diwethaf. Wrth gwrs, roeddem ni mewn cyfnod atal byr yma yng Nghymru, a ychwanegodd haen arall at gymhlethdod hyn, ond byddwn ni eisiau gwneud yn siŵr. Fel y dywedais, mae gennym ni gyfres ragarweiniol o adroddiadau gan bob un o'r pedwar heddlu yng Nghymru, byddwn yn casglu gwybodaeth gan ein hawdurdodau lleol hefyd, a chawn weld a oes unrhyw beth arall y gallwn ni ei wneud, gan gydweithio, i gynllunio a pharatoi ar gyfer rhannau eraill o'r flwyddyn pan fydd tân gwyllt yn cael ei ddefnyddio yn eang.

First Minister, I too wish to emphasise the impact that fireworks have on people and pets each year. Bonfire night has become bonfire week in recent years, and fireworks have become increasingly more powerful. Combat veterans and pets live in fear during this period as quiet neighbourhoods resemble war zones. First Minister, what discussions have you had with the other Governments in the UK about restricting the use of fireworks to certain hours, for example, between 6 and 8 p.m. on 5 November, or, preferably, only allowing organised displays? Thank you.

Prif Weinidog, hoffwn innau hefyd bwysleisio'r effaith y mae tân gwyllt yn ei chael ar bobl ac anifeiliaid anwes bob blwyddyn. Mae noson tân gwyllt wedi troi'n wythnos tân gwyllt yn y blynyddoedd diwethaf, ac mae tân gwyllt wedi dod yn fwyfwy pwerus. Mae cyn-filwyr ac anifeiliaid anwes yn byw mewn ofn yn ystod y cyfnod hwn wrth i ardaloedd tawel ymdebygu i barthau rhyfel. Prif Weinidog, pa drafodaethau ydych chi wedi eu cael gyda'r Llywodraethau eraill yn y DU ynghylch cyfyngu'r defnydd o dân gwyllt i oriau penodol, er enghraifft, rhwng 6 ac 8 p.m. ar 5 Tachwedd, neu, yn ddelfrydol, caniatáu arddangosfeydd wedi eu trefnu yn unig? Diolch.

I thank Caroline Jones for that. We are in discussions with BEIS, the department in the UK Government, and indeed with the Scottish Government over their proposals. So, we're very keen to work with others on this issue. There are a range of different possible solutions, some of them that Caroline Jones referred to, but my understanding is that it is perfectly possible now to manufacture fireworks that don't have loud noises, so you can get the display without the adverse impacts that, as we heard from Darren Millar and others, have an impact on people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or animals or very young children, who can be very frightened indeed, more by the noise than by the sight of fireworks. If manufacturers can do that, then we may be able to bear down on the problem at source, as well as doing some of the other things that Members, this afternoon, have suggested.

Diolchaf i Caroline Jones am hynna. Rydym ni'n cynnal trafodaethau gyda'r Adran Busnes, Ynni a Strategaeth Ddiwydiannol yn Llywodraeth y DU, ac yn wir gyda Llywodraeth yr Alban ynghylch eu cynigion. Felly, rydym ni'n awyddus iawn i weithio gydag eraill ar y mater hwn. Ceir amrywiaeth o wahanol atebion posibl, a chyfeiriodd Caroline Jones at rai ohonyn nhw, ond fy nealltwriaeth i yw ei bod hi'n berffaith bosibl erbyn hyn gweithgynhyrchu tân gwyllt nad ydynt yn gwneud synau uchel, felly gallwch chi gael yr arddangosfa heb yr effeithiau niweidiol sydd, fel y clywsom gan Darren Millar ac eraill, yn cael effaith ar bobl sy'n dioddef o anhwylder straen wedi trawma neu anifeiliaid neu blant ifanc iawn, sy'n gallu bod yn ofnus iawn yn wir, yn fwy oherwydd y sŵn nag oherwydd gweld tân gwyllt. Os gall gweithgynhyrchwyr wneud hynny, yna efallai y gallwn ni ddatrys y broblem yn ei tharddle, yn ogystal â gwneud rhai o'r pethau eraill y mae Aelodau, y prynhawn yma, wedi eu hawgrymu.

Y Gronfa Ffyniant Gyffredin
The Shared Prosperity Fund

5. Pa drafodaethau y mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi'u cael gyda Gweinidogion y DU ynghylch gweithredu'r gronfa ffyniant gyffredin arfaethedig yn y dyfodol? OQ55821

5. What discussions has the Welsh Government had with UK Ministers regarding the future implementation of the proposed shared prosperity fund? OQ55821

Llywydd, minimal opportunities have been offered to discuss the shared prosperity fund with UK Ministers, despite requests to do so. We do not now expect this to be made good between now and the comprehensive spending review on 25 November.

Llywydd, ychydig iawn o gyfleoedd a gynigiwyd i drafod y gronfa ffyniant gyffredin gyda Gweinidogion y DU, er gwaethaf ceisiadau i wneud hynny. Nid ydym ni'n disgwyl bellach i hyn gael ei ddatrys rhwng nawr a'r adolygiad cynhwysfawr o wariant ar 25 Tachwedd.

Thank you, First Minister. I recently met with ColegauCymru to discuss the importance of the shared prosperity fund to the future funding of skills and apprenticeships, with, as you know, European funding having been a key driver of the skills agenda. There's real concern within the sector that without the same replacement funding it will be increasingly difficult for colleges to support local economies and wider society. We know that this is just one example of the harm caused by the lack of clarity and commitment from UK Ministers. First Minister, will your Government raise with your UK counterparts the concerns of the FE sector here in Wales?

Diolch, Prif Weinidog. Cefais gyfarfod yn ddiweddar â ColegauCymru i drafod pwysigrwydd y gronfa ffyniant gyffredin i ariannu sgiliau a phrentisiaethau yn y dyfodol, gan fod cyllid Ewropeaidd, fel y gwyddoch, wedi bod yn ysgogwr allweddol i'r agenda sgiliau. Ceir pryder gwirioneddol yn y sector y bydd yn fwyfwy anodd i golegau gefnogi economïau lleol a chymdeithas ehangach heb yr un faint o gyllid newydd ag a oedd ar gael ô'r blaen. Rydym ni'n gwybod mai dim ond un enghraifft yw hon o'r niwed a achosir gan y diffyg eglurder ac ymrwymiad gan Weinidogion y DU. Prif Weinidog, a wnaiff eich Llywodraeth godi pryderon y sector addysg bellach yma yng Nghymru gyda'ch cymheiriaid ar lefel y DU?

14:25

Thank you, Vikki Howells. We will certainly do that. We do this at every opportunity. It falls on very deaf ears, Llywydd. The Welsh Affairs Committee of the House of Commons, chaired by a Conservative Welsh MP, said themselves that they were

'disappointed that the UK Government appears to have made negligible progress in developing its replacement for ESI funding and that its repeated promises of a consultation have failed to materialise, demonstrating a lack of priority.' 

Our colleague the Counsel General wrote to Robert Jenrick, the member of the Cabinet responsible for the shared prosperity fund, on 12 October, asking for a meeting to discuss matters in relation to education and all the other things that have been supported by EU funding in Wales. We're yet even to receive a reply, let alone to have a meeting.

And Vikki Howells is right, Llywydd, to point to the importance of this funding in our further education sector. And there it is not simply a matter of the quantum of money, but it's the fact that, under European funding, you had a seven-year multi-annual funding framework, so that if you're going to bring apprentices through the system, you can't do it in a single year, you need to be able to plan over years ahead, so that you can employ staff, you can develop facilities, you can offer guarantees to those young people. We don't know even how much money we have coming from next year, let alone the opportunity to have that guaranteed over the sort of period that we'd previously been able to enjoy with all the benefits that Vikki Howells noted.

Diolch, Vikki Howells. Byddwn yn sicr yn gwneud hynny. Rydym ni'n gwneud hyn ar bob cyfle a gawn ni. Nid yw'n cael gwrandawiad o gwbl, Llywydd. Dywedodd Pwyllgor Materion Cymreig Tŷ'r Cyffredin, dan gadeiryddiaeth AS Ceidwadol yng Nghymru, eu bod eu hunain yn:

siomedig ei bod yn ymddangos mai cynnydd bach iawn y mae Llywodraeth y DU wedi ei wneud o ran datblygu ei threfniadau newydd yn hytrach na chyllid ESI ac nad yw ei haddewidion mynych o ymgynghoriad wedi eu gwireddu, gan ddangos diffyg blaenoriaeth.

Ysgrifennodd ein cyd-Aelod y Cwnsler Cyffredinol, at Robert Jenrick, yr aelod Cabinet sy'n gyfrifol am y gronfa ffyniant gyffredin, ar 12 Hydref, yn gofyn am gyfarfod i drafod materion yn ymwneud ag addysg a'r holl bethau eraill a gefnogwyd gan gyllid yr UE yng Nghymru. Dydyn ni ddim hyd yn oed wedi cael ateb hyd yma, heb sôn am gael cyfarfod.

Ac mae Vikki Howells yn iawn, Llywydd, i dynnu sylw at bwysigrwydd y cyllid hwn yn ein sector addysg bellach. Ac nid mater o'r cwantwm arian yn unig ydyw yn hynny o beth, ond y ffaith bod gennych chi, o dan gyllid Ewropeaidd, fframwaith ariannu aml-flwyddyn saith mlynedd, felly os ydych chi'n mynd i ddod â phrentisiaid drwy'r system, allwch chi ddim gwneud hynny mewn un flwyddyn, mae angen i chi allu cynllunio dros flynyddoedd i'r dyfodol, fel y gallwch chi gyflogi staff, y gallwch chi ddatblygu cyfleusterau, y gallwch chi gynnig sicrwydd i'r bobl ifanc hynny. Dydyn ni ddim hyd yn oed yn gwybod faint o arian a fydd yn dod i ni o'r flwyddyn nesaf ymlaen, heb sôn am gael cyfle i sicrhau hynny dros y math o gyfnod yr oeddem ni wedi gallu ei fwynhau yn flaenorol gyda'r holl fanteision a nodwyd gan Vikki Howells.

TAW ar Gyfarpar Diogelu Personol
VAT on Personal Protective Equipment

6. Pa drafodaethau y mae'r Prif Weinidog wedi'u cael gyda Thrysorlys y DU ynghylch TAW ar gyfarpar diogelu personol? OQ55832

6. What discussions has the First Minister had with the UK Treasury regarding VAT on personal protective equipment? OQ55832

I thank Joyce Watson for that, Llywydd. The Minister for Finance and Trefnydd wrote to the Financial Secretary to the Treasury on 30 October to ask that the decision to reinstate VAT on clinical PPE with effect from 1 November be urgently reconsidered.

Diolchaf i Joyce Watson am hynna, Llywydd. Ysgrifennodd y Gweinidog Cyllid a'r Trefnydd at Ysgrifennydd Ariannol y Trysorlys ar 30 Hydref i ofyn i'r penderfyniad i ail-gyflwyno TAW ar gyfarpar diogelu personol clinigol o 1 Tachwedd gael ei ailystyried ar frys.

I thank you for that answer, but it's actually unthinkable that the UK Treasury would add VAT to PPE and the impact that that surcharge would have on small businesses across Wales who are rightly trying to do the right thing for their staff and for their customers to keep those people safe, and also for charities and third sector organisations, who are providing direct help to people in communities right across Wales, and again trying to keep those people safe. So, will you ask again the UK Treasury to not force this safety tax on Welsh businesses, charities and third sector organisations?

Diolchaf i chi am yr ateb yna, ond ni ellir amgyffred mewn gwirionedd y byddai Trysorlys y DU yn ychwanegu TAW at gyfarpar diogelu personol a'r effaith y byddai'r gordal hwnnw yn ei chael ar fusnesau bach ledled Cymru sy'n ceisio gwneud y peth iawn, a hynny'n briodol, ar gyfer eu staff ac ar gyfer eu cwsmeriaid er mwyn cadw'r bobl hynny yn ddiogel, a hefyd o ran elusennau a sefydliadau trydydd sector, sy'n darparu cymorth uniongyrchol i bobl mewn cymunedau ledled Cymru gyfan, ac unwaith eto yn ceisio cadw'r bobl hynny yn ddiogel. Felly, a wnewch chi ofyn unwaith eto i Drysorlys y DU i beidio â gorfodi'r dreth ddiogelwch hon ar fusnesau, elusennau a sefydliadau'r trydydd sector yng Nghymru?

Well, Llywydd, I thank Joyce Watson for that and entirely agree with her. It's unfathomable to me as to why the UK Government has decided that this is the right moment to add additional costs on to essential safety equipment. We are providing PPE on an industrial scale in the Welsh NHS and social care system: 440 million items of PPE already this year, of which 220 million have been provided to social care providers. It will cost, in the Welsh system alone, an extra £20 million, which is money now we don't have to provide services for cancer patients and cardiac patients or the other things that Members on the Conservative benches have been asking me about this afternoon. That money will now be handed back to the Treasury as a result of this decision.

But Joyce Watson is very right to point to the impact on small businesses and charities here in Wales, organisations that are really struggling during the pandemic, whose business model has been very badly affected by it, who are trying to do the right thing, who are spending money on PPE for their staff and sometimes for customers. Now they will be paying VAT. Andrew R.T. Davies suggested to me they'll just get it back. Well, small businesses that are not VAT registered won't get it back at all. Charities that are VAT exempt will not get it back at all. So, I'm glad to see him defend it. I'm glad to see that he thinks it's a good idea that a safety tax should be introduced here in Wales. It tells us a lot about the priorities of people on those benches, that they're willing to pontificate when they think it suits them and then, when something as ridiculous as this happens, they're prepared to defend it as well.

Wel, Llywydd, diolchaf i Joyce Watson am hynna ac rwy'n cytuno yn llwyr â hi. Nid wyf i'n gallu amgyffred pam mae Llywodraeth y DU wedi penderfynu mai dyma'r adeg iawn i ychwanegu costau ychwanegol at gyfarpar diogelu hanfodol. Rydym ni'n darparu cyfarpar diogelu personol ar raddfa ddiwydiannol yn y GIG a'r system gofal cymdeithasol yng Nghymru: 440 miliwn o eitemau o gyfarpar diogelu personol eisoes eleni, a darparwyd 220 miliwn ohonyn nhw i ddarparwyr gofal cymdeithasol. Bydd yn costio, yn system Cymru yn unig, £20 miliwn yn ychwanegol, sy'n arian nad yw gennym ni nawr i ddarparu gwasanaethau i gleifion canser a chleifion cardiaidd na'r pethau eraill y mae Aelodau ar feinciau'r Ceidwadwyr wedi bod yn fy holi amdanyn nhw y prynhawn yma. Bydd yr arian hwnnw yn cael ei ddychwelyd i'r Trysorlys bellach, o ganlyniad i'r penderfyniad hwn.

Ond mae Joyce Watson yn llygad ei lle i dynnu sylw at yr effaith ar fusnesau bach ac elusennau yma yng Nghymru, sefydliadau sy'n ei chael hi'n anodd iawn yn ystod y pandemig, y mae eu model busnes wedi ei effeithio yn wael iawn ganddo, sy'n ceisio gwneud y peth iawn, sy'n gwario arian ar gyfarpar diogelu personol i'w staff ac weithiau i gwsmeriaid. Byddan nhw'n talu TAW nawr. Awgrymodd Andrew R.T. Davies wrthyf y byddan nhw'n ei gael yn ôl. Wel, ni fydd busnesau bach nad ydyn nhw wedi'u cofrestru ar gyfer TAW yn ei gael yn ôl o gwbl. Ni fydd elusennau sydd wedi'u heithrio rhag TAW yn ei gael yn ôl o gwbl. Felly, rwy'n falch o'i weld yn ei amddiffyn. Rwy'n falch o weld ei fod yn credu ei fod yn syniad da y dylid cyflwyno treth diogelwch yma yng Nghymru. Mae'n dweud llawer wrthym ni am flaenoriaethau pobl ar y meinciau yna, eu bod nhw'n barod i bregethu pan fyddan nhw'n credu ei fod o fantais iddyn nhw ac yna, pan fydd rhywbeth mor hurt â hyn yn digwydd, maen nhw'n barod i amddiffyn hynny hefyd.

14:30
COVID-19 ym Merthyr Tudful
COVID-19 in Merthyr Tydfil

7. A wnaiff y Prif Weinidog ddatganiad am y data diweddaraf am heintiau COVID-19 yn ardal awdurdod lleol Merthyr Tudful? OQ55843

7. Will the First Minister make a statement on the most recent COVID-19 infection data in the Merthyr Tydfil local authority area? OQ55843

Merthyr Tydfil local authority area has seen a high incidence of COVID-19 infection in recent weeks. The increase in incidence seen throughout Wales was the reason we introduced a firebreak. There are early signs of an incidence rate decrease in Merthyr Tydfil and elsewhere in Wales. 

Bu nifer fawr o achosion o haint COVID-19 yn ardal awdurdod lleol Merthyr Tudful yn ystod yr wythnosau diwethaf. Y cynnydd i nifer yr achosion a welwyd ledled Cymru oedd y rheswm dros i ni gyflwyno cyfnod atal byr. Ceir arwyddion cynnar o ostyngiad i nifer yr achosion ym Merthyr Tudful ac mewn mannau eraill yng Nghymru.

Thank you for that answer, First Minister. People are naturally relieved that we've now left the period of the firebreak. However, the data for Merthyr Tydfil does remain worrying. And while it's true, as you've already stated, that the initial indications from the firebreak appear positive in the area, we do need to continue behaving in ways that reduce the risk of infection, in the hope that, over the next two weeks, the positivity test rate continues to reduce. Like you, I'm certainly pressing that message at every opportunity. But also important, First Minister, were your comments yesterday that you're monitoring the success of the whole-town testing pilot in Liverpool, and I understand that active consideration is being given to this being done in Merthyr Tydfil. So, following on from your answer to Adam Price on this point earlier, can you confirm when we will get a decision on this, and when such a mass testing programme in Merthyr Tydfil specifically would be likely to start? And can you reassure me that discussions are taking place within Welsh Government about the logistical challenges of such a process and the many practical consequences that might arise, including ensuring that local authorities will have the adequate resources available to them to support such a programme, particularly in relation to track and trace and community support?

Diolch am yr ateb yna, Prif Weinidog. Mae pobl yn naturiol yn teimlo rhyddhad ein bod ni bellach wedi gadael y cyfnod atal byr. Fodd bynnag, mae'r data ar gyfer Merthyr Tudful yn dal i beri pryder. Ac er ei bod hi'n wir, fel yr ydych chi eisoes wedi dweud, bod yr arwyddion cychwynnol o'r cyfnod atal byr yn ymddangos yn gadarnhaol yn yr ardal, mae angen i ni barhau i ymddwyn mewn ffyrdd sy'n lleihau'r risg o haint, yn y gobaith y bydd cyfradd y profion positif yn parhau i ostwng dros y pythefnos nesaf. Fel chithau, rwy'n sicr yn pwysleisio'r neges honno ar bob cyfle. Ond hefyd yn bwysig, Prif Weinidog, oedd eich sylwadau ddoe eich bod chi'n monitro llwyddiant y cynllun arbrofol profion tref gyfan yn Lerpwl, ac rwy'n deall bod ystyriaeth weithredol yn cael ei rhoi i wneud hyn ym Merthyr Tudful. Felly, yn dilyn eich ateb i Adam Price ar y pwynt hwn yn gynharach, a allwch chi gadarnhau pryd y cawn ni benderfyniad ynghylch hyn, a phryd y byddai rhaglen brofi dorfol o'r fath ym Merthyr Tudful yn benodol yn debygol o ddechrau? Ac a allwch chi fy sicrhau bod trafodaethau yn cael eu cynnal o fewn Llywodraeth Cymru am heriau logistaidd proses o'r fath a'r canlyniadau ymarferol niferus a allai godi, gan gynnwys sicrhau y bydd gan awdurdodau lleol yr adnoddau digonol ar gael iddyn nhw i gefnogi rhaglen o'r fath, yn enwedig o ran profi ac olrhain a chymorth cymunedol?

Llywydd, I thank Dawn Bowden for that, and thanks to her for everything I know she is doing, as are other colleagues, to get that message across to people in different communities in Wales that, while we all feel a relief at the end of the firebreak period, it's how we behave in these next two weeks that will be absolutely crucial. And if people turn a sense of relief into a sense of not doing the things that we all need to do, then we will simply lose all the benefits that we have achieved together through the way in which the firebreak period in Wales was observed. So, I thank her very much for everything she is doing to reinforce that message. 

I'm happy to confirm again that there is a planning team in place. It's led by Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board. It's with the local authority, and its purpose is to plan for whole-borough testing in Merthyr. That team will be joined by three military planners on Thursday of this week. They will be individuals who have direct experience of what has been happening in Liverpool, and they'll bring all of that to that planning group. But it is still planning, and it's planning not simply for the testing, but as Dawn Bowden has said, for the aftermath of that testing, because when you find many, many more people who have tested positive, you need teams in the test, trace and protect system then to follow them up and make sure that they are properly advised. All of that needs to be in place in order to make sure that people in Merthyr, if that is where we have the first whole-town testing in Wales, get the service that they need. That's what that planning is designed to achieve. 

Llywydd, diolchaf i Dawn Bowden am hynna, a diolch iddi am bopeth y gwn ei bod hi'n ei wneud, fel y mae cyd-Aelodau eraill, i gyfleu'r neges honno i bobl mewn gwahanol gymunedau yng Nghymru, er ein bod ni i gyd yn teimlo rhyddhad ar ddiwedd y cyfnod atal byr, mai sut yr ydym ni'n ymddwyn yn y pythefnos nesaf hyn a fydd yn hollbwysig. Ac os bydd pobl yn troi synnwyr o ryddhad yn synnwyr o beidio â gwneud y pethau y mae angen i bob un ohonom ni eu gwneud, yna byddwn ni'n colli'r holl fuddion yr ydym ni wedi eu sicrhau gyda'n gilydd drwy'r ffordd y cydymffurfiwyd â'r cyfnod atal byr yng Nghymru. Felly, diolchaf yn fawr iawn iddi am bopeth y mae'n ei wneud i atgyfnerthu'r neges honno.

Rwy'n hapus i gadarnhau eto bod tîm cynllunio wedi'i sefydlu. Fe'i harweinir gan Fwrdd Iechyd Prifysgol Cwm Taf Morgannwg. Mae gyda'r awdurdod lleol, a'i ddiben yw cynllunio ar gyfer profion bwrdeistref gyfan ym Merthyr. Bydd tri chynllunydd milwrol yn ymuno â'r tîm hwnnw ddydd Iau yr wythnos hon. Byddan nhw'n unigolion sydd â phrofiad uniongyrchol o'r hyn sydd wedi bod yn digwydd yn Lerpwl, a byddan nhw'n dod â hynny i gyd i'r grŵp cynllunio hwnnw. Ond cynllunio yw er hynny, a chynllunio nid yn unig ar gyfer y profion, ond fel y dywedodd Dawn Bowden, ar gyfer canlyniadau'r profion hynny, oherwydd pan fyddwch chi yn dod o hyd i lawer iawn yn fwy o bobl sydd wedi cael profion positif, mae angen timau arnoch yn y system profi, olrhain a diogelu i wneud gwaith dilynol arnyn nhw wedyn a gwneud yn siŵr eu bod nhw'n cael eu cynghori yn briodol. Mae angen i hynny i gyd fod ar waith er mwyn gwneud yn siŵr bod pobl ym Merthyr, os mai dyna lle y cawn ni'r profion tref gyfan cyntaf yng Nghymru, yn cael y gwasanaeth sydd ei angen arnyn nhw. Dyna'r hyn y bwriedir i'r cynllunio hwnnw ei gyflawni.

Cefnogi Ysgolion
Supporting Schools

8. Sut mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn cefnogi ysgolion drwy'r pandemig COVID-19? OQ55846

8. How is the Welsh Government supporting schools throughout the COVID-19 pandemic? OQ55846

I thank Jayne Bryant for that, Llywydd. We continue to work with schools and local authorities to provide ongoing support based on the latest scientific and medical advice. The Minister for Education has published operational guidance for local authorities working with their schools to ensure schools remain as safe as possible.

Diolchaf i Jayne Bryant am hynna, Llywydd. Rydym ni'n parhau i weithio gydag ysgolion ac awdurdodau lleol i ddarparu cymorth parhaus yn seiliedig ar y cyngor gwyddonol a meddygol diweddaraf. Mae'r Gweinidog Addysg wedi cyhoeddi canllawiau gweithredu ar gyfer awdurdodau lleol sy'n gweithio gyda'u hysgolion i sicrhau bod ysgolion yn dal i fod mor ddiogel â phosibl.

Thank you for that answer, First Minister. The dedication and flexibility that the education sector has shown throughout this pandemic has been remarkable. Online learning, extensive health and safety protocols, bubbling, and the whole arrangement of school buildings has seen teachers and staff do everything in their power to ensure that pupils have as little disruption as possible. Despite these efforts, there are challenges. It's quite right that a lot of attention has been put on what that means for pupils in exam years, but there's an issue across all age groups, with early years and primary schools in particular seeing children needing to catch up on basic skills, and this is a problem across the UK. These are potential long-term consequences, ones that will be felt after we have finally passed the worst of the pandemic. I've no doubt that teachers will do all they can to support their pupils, but they will need significant support along the way. What plans does the Welsh Government have to address the progress gap in children's education, and what additional resources can we provide our schools to help them achieve this?

Diolch am yr ateb yna, Prif Weinidog. Mae'r ymroddiad a'r hyblygrwydd y mae'r sector addysg wedi eu dangos drwy gydol y pandemig hwn wedi bod yn rhyfeddol. Mae dysgu ar-lein, protocolau iechyd a diogelwch helaeth, swigod, a'r holl waith o drefnu adeiladau ysgolion wedi arwain at athrawon a staff yn gwneud popeth o fewn eu gallu i sicrhau bod cyn lleied â phosibl o darfu ar ddisgyblion. Er gwaethaf yr ymdrechion hyn, ceir heriau. Mae'n gwbl briodol bod llawer o sylw wedi ei roi i'r hyn y mae hynny yn ei olygu i ddisgyblion mewn blynyddoedd arholiad, ond ceir problem ar draws pob grŵp oedran, ac mae angen i'r blynyddoedd cynnar ac ysgolion cynradd yn arbennig ddal i fyny o ran sgiliau sylfaenol, ac mae hon yn broblem ledled y DU. Mae'r rhain yn ganlyniadau hirdymor posibl, rhai a fydd yn cael eu teimlo ar ôl i ni fynd heibio'r gwaethaf o'r pandemig o'r diwedd. Nid oes gen i unrhyw amheuaeth y bydd athrawon yn gwneud popeth o fewn eu gallu i gefnogi eu disgyblion, ond bydd angen cymorth sylweddol arnyn nhw ar hyd y ffordd. Pa gynlluniau sydd gan Lywodraeth Cymru i fynd i'r afael â'r bwlch cynnydd mewn addysg plant, a pha adnoddau ychwanegol allwn ni eu darparu i'n hysgolion i'w helpu i gyflawni hyn?

I thank Jayne Bryant for that question. Of course, at the heart of the Welsh Government's response is the Recruit, Recover and Raise Standards programme that my colleague the education Minister launched earlier in the year. That is designed to give schools the resources they need to recruit additional staff to deal with exactly the issues that Jayne Bryant has identified—the progress gap and the impact on learning that has taken place as a result of coronavirus. Now, my understanding is that schools are using that money in imaginative ways. They're recruiting new staff and new teaching assistants, but they're also extending the hours of part-time staff, deploying people in more flexible ways. And all of that is designed to do what Jayne Bryant has suggested, Llywydd—to make sure that the resources are there, financial and in staff terms, to make sure that those young people who've missed out on education through no fault of their own, because of the impact of the pandemic, can make good on that deficit as much as possible during what are still very challenging weeks that lie ahead.

Diolchaf i Jayne Bryant am y cwestiwn yna. Wrth gwrs, wrth wraidd ymateb Llywodraeth Cymru mae'r rhaglen Recriwtio, Adfer a Chodi Safonau a lansiwyd gan fy nghyd-Weinidog, y Gweinidog addysg, yn gynharach eleni. Nod honno yw rhoi i ysgolion yr adnoddau sydd eu hangen arnyn nhw i recriwtio staff ychwanegol i ymdrin â'r union faterion y mae Jayne Bryant wedi eu nodi—y bwlch cynnydd a'r effaith ar ddysgu sydd wedi digwydd o ganlyniad i'r coronafeirws. Nawr, fy nealltwriaeth i yw bod ysgolion yn defnyddio'r arian hwnnw mewn ffyrdd llawn dychymyg. Maen nhw'n recriwtio staff newydd a chynorthwywyr addysgu newydd, ond maen nhw hefyd yn ymestyn oriau staff rhan-amser, gan ddefnyddio pobl mewn ffyrdd mwy hyblyg. A bwriad hynny i gyd yw gwneud yr hyn y mae Jayne Bryant wedi ei awgrymu, Llywydd—gwneud yn siŵr bod yr adnoddau yno, yn ariannol ac o ran staff, gwneud yn siŵr bod y bobl ifanc hynny sydd wedi colli addysg heb fod unrhyw fai arnyn nhw eu hunain, oherwydd effaith y pandemig, yn gallu gwneud iawn am y diffyg hwnnw gymaint â phosibl yn ystod yr wythnosau anodd iawn sydd yn dal i fod o'n blaenau.

14:35
2. Datganiad a Chyhoeddiad Busnes
2. Business Statement and Announcement

Yr eitem nesaf, felly, yw'r datganiad a chyhoeddiad busnes. Mae'r datganiad hynny i'w wneud gan y Trefnydd, Rebecca Evans.

The next item is the business statement and announcement. I call on the Trefnydd, Rebecca Evans.

Diolch, Llywydd. There are no changes to this week's business. Draft business for the next three weeks is set out on the business statement and announcement, which can be found amongst the meeting papers available to Members electronically.

Diolch, Llywydd. Nid oes unrhyw newidiadau i fusnes yr wythnos hon. Mae'r busnes drafft ar gyfer y tair wythnos nesaf wedi'i nodi ar y datganiad a chyhoeddiad busnes, sydd i'w weld ymhlith papurau'r cyfarfod sydd ar gael i'r Aelodau'n electronig.

Since the impending lockdowns initiated by the Welsh Government, Business Wales has become a key source of information. Now, during the Committee for the Scrutiny of the First Minister last month, I raised the fact that the Business Wales website is not always providing accurate information, and this is really leading to confusion amongst many stressed business owners. Now, the First Minister welcomed this feedback about where things need to be done better, but there is an immediate need for some improvement. I have a number of businesses that have been required to provide extra information to Business Wales, but have not been advised by them how to do so. When they were applying for the funding grants available, in that very, very narrow window of opportunity, they were timed out after 20 minutes and unable to upload documents. Some obviously had poor broadband on the day and have been told, 'It's too late; it's closed, that window'. Others are complaining of extremely long waiting times on the phone. Yesterday, I had a member of staff phone Business Wales and, after an hour and 10 minutes, they gave up.

So, to establish whether the reports are correct, as I say, one of my team called them. The line was actually cut at 5 o'clock. I beg your pardon; it wasn't that my member of staff gave up—they carried on working, of course. But the line was cut at 5 p.m.. That is not satisfactory for business owners who are really, really struggling, Trefnydd. So, could you arrange for a statement to be made on the operating capabilities of Business Wales? I genuinely believe that this team may be overwhelmed and, as such, that we should be provided with regular updates in this Senedd as to how you are managing the huge business support responsibility, and when you can actually open a fund up—a meaningful fund—that will actually help to compensate for many of the losses of businesses that certainly mine—and I know it's applicable across Wales, Llywydd; you know, that people are really desperate for this support funding. Thank you.

Ers y cyfyngiadau symud a gyflwynwyd gan Lywodraeth Cymru, mae Busnes Cymru wedi dod yn ffynhonnell wybodaeth allweddol. Nawr, yn ystod y Pwyllgor Craffu ar Waith y Prif Weinidog y mis diwethaf, fe godais i'r ffaith nad yw gwefan Busnes Cymru bob amser yn darparu gwybodaeth gywir, ac mae hyn yn arwain at ddryswch ymhlith llawer o berchnogion busnes sydd dan straen. Nawr, croesawodd y Prif Weinidog yr adborth hwn ynghylch lle mae angen gwneud pethau'n well, ond mae angen rhywfaint o welliant ar unwaith. Mae gennyf i nifer o fusnesau y bu'n ofynnol iddyn nhw ddarparu gwybodaeth ychwanegol i Fusnes Cymru, ond ni chawsant gyngor ganddyn nhw ynghylch sut i wneud hynny. Pan oeddent yn ymgeisio am y grantiau cyllido a oedd ar gael, yn ystod y cyfnod cul iawn hwnnw, daeth eu hamser i ben ar ôl 20 munud ac nid oedd yn bosibl iddynt uwchlwytho dogfennau. Mae'n amlwg fod gan rai ohonyn nhw fand eang gwael ar y diwrnod a chawsant wybod ei bod yn rhy hwyr a bod y ffenestr wedi cau. Mae eraill yn cwyno ynghylch amseroedd aros hir iawn ar y ffôn. Ddoe, gofynnais i aelod o staff ffonio Busnes Cymru ac, ar ôl awr a 10 munud, fe roddwyd y gorau iddi.

Felly, er mwyn gwneud yn siŵr fod yr adroddiadau'n gywir, fel y dywedais i, rhoddodd un o fy nhîm i alwad iddyn nhw. Ond daeth y llinell i ben yn sydyn am 5 o'r gloch. Mae'n ddrwg gennyf; nid oedd yr aelod o fy staff i wedi rhoi'r gorau iddi—roedd e'n parhau i weithio, wrth gwrs. Ond daeth y llinell i ben am 5 p.m. Nid yw hynny'n foddhaol i berchnogion busnes sy'n ei chael hi'n wirioneddol anodd, Trefnydd. Felly, a allech chi drefnu i ddatganiad gael ei wneud am alluoedd gweithredu Busnes Cymru? Rwy'n wirioneddol gredu bod y tîm hwn yn cael ei orlethu ac, oherwydd hynny, dylem gael yr wybodaeth ddiweddaraf yn rheolaidd yn y Senedd hon ynghylch sut yr ydych chi'n rheoli'r cyfrifoldeb enfawr am gymorth busnes, a phryd y gallwch chi agor cronfa—cronfa ystyrlon—a fydd yn helpu i wneud yn iawn am lawer o golledion busnesau fel fy rhai i, yn sicr—a gwn  fod hyn yn berthnasol ledled Cymru, Llywydd; mae taer angen y cyllid cymorth hwn ar bobl. Diolch.

I thank Janet Finch-Saunders for raising that issue. Of course, colleagues will all be aware that the Welsh Government has put in place by far the most generous support package for businesses anywhere in the UK. But we're obviously very aware that not every business has been able to benefit from it. Last week, the Minister for economy and transport answered a topical question for some time on this particular issue, and was able to set out his response to some of the issues that Janet Finch-Saunders has raised. And of course, tomorrow, he has oral questions again in the Chamber. I've just checked, and there are numerous opportunities there for him to update on the economic support for business as well. And of course, there was a written report last week that was provided by the Minister for economy and transport as well. If you'd like to share with me some of those further examples, I'd be happy to look into them with the Minister for economy and transport. But clearly, like every other part of the public service, Business Wales is very stretched at the moment—the people working there are working really hard, under very difficult conditions. I do appreciate the huge volume of pressure that they're under. It just really represents the huge volume of pressure that the businesses in Wales are under. But we constantly strive to improve the service and the offer to business, so any comments that colleagues such as Janet Finch-Saunders would wish to make will be helpful. 

Diolch i Janet Finch-Saunders am godi'r mater hwnnw. Wrth gwrs, bydd cydweithwyr yn ymwybodol bod Llywodraeth Cymru wedi rhoi yn ei le y pecyn cymorth mwyaf hael i fusnesau unrhyw le yn y DU. Ond rydym yn amlwg yn ymwybodol iawn nad yw pob busnes wedi gallu elwa ohono. Yr wythnos diwethaf, atebodd Gweinidog yr Economi a Thrafnidiaeth gwestiwn amserol am beth amser ar y mater penodol hwn, ac roedd wedi gallu nodi ei ymateb i rai o'r materion a godwyd gan Janet Finch-Saunders. Ac wrth gwrs, yfory, mae ganddo gwestiynau llafar eto yn y Siambr. Rwyf newydd edrych, ac mae nifer o gyfleoedd yno iddo roi'r wybodaeth ddiweddaraf ynghylch y cymorth economaidd i fusnesau hefyd. Ac wrth gwrs, roedd adroddiad ysgrifenedig yr wythnos diwethaf wedi'i ddarparu gan Weinidog yr Economi a Thrafnidiaeth hefyd. Os hoffech rannu rhai o'r enghreifftiau eraill hynny gyda mi, byddwn i'n fodlon ymchwilio iddyn nhw gyda Gweinidog yr Economi a Thrafnidiaeth. Ond yn amlwg, fel pob rhan arall o'r gwasanaeth cyhoeddus, mae Busnes Cymru dan bwysau mawr ar hyn o bryd—mae'r bobl sy'n gweithio yno'n gweithio'n galed iawn, dan amodau anodd iawn. Rwy'n gwerthfawrogi'r pwysau enfawr sydd arnyn nhw. Mae'n wir yn cynrychioli'r pwysau enfawr sydd ar fusnesau yng Nghymru. Ond rydym ni'n ymdrechu'n gyson i wella'r gwasanaeth a'r cynnig i fusnesau, felly bydd unrhyw sylwadau y byddai cydweithwyr fel Janet Finch-Saunders yn dymuno'u gwneud yn ddefnyddiol.

14:40

Trefnydd, the Cwm Taf Morgannwg health board has very high rates of COVID-19, with the Merthyr area having the highest rate in the UK. Given these figures, I can't understand why we've not seen additional protective measures in our schools, where asymptomatic spread is taking place. Why are there no masks in the classroom? What is being done to reduce the risk of spread on school transport? How are we preventing children from passing on COVID-19 to their vulnerable relatives? Would weekly testing in schools, as well as the wider community, make sense, given that it's happening in Liverpool, where the rates are lower than we've got here? The view that the firebreak is over and we can now all return to normal is dangerous in an area like the Rhondda, where we see our local hospital at full capacity for intensive care beds and we are hearing talk of health services being withdrawn again. So, can we please have a statement outlining what additional support measures and finance can be made available to the areas that have the highest rates of COVID 19, and can we have that statement as a matter of urgency, please, Trefnydd? 

Trefnydd, mae gan fwrdd iechyd Cwm Taf Morgannwg gyfraddau uchel iawn o COVID-19, ac mae gan Ferthyr y gyfradd uchaf yn y DU. O ystyried y ffigurau hyn, ni allaf i ddeall pam nad ydym wedi gweld mesurau diogelu ychwanegol yn ein hysgolion, lle mae lledaeniad asymptomatig yn digwydd. Pam nad oes mygydau yn yr ystafell ddosbarth? Beth sy'n cael ei wneud i leihau'r risg o ledaenu ar gludiant i'r ysgol? Sut rydym yn atal plant rhag trosglwyddo COVID-19 i'w perthnasau sy'n agored i niwed? A fyddai profion wythnosol mewn ysgolion, yn ogystal â'r gymuned ehangach, yn gwneud synnwyr, o ystyried ei fod yn digwydd yn Lerpwl, lle mae'r cyfraddau'n is nag sydd gennym ni yma? Mae'r farn bod y cyfnod atal byr ar ben ac y gallwn ni i gyd ddychwelyd i normalrwydd yn awr yn beryglus mewn ardal fel y Rhondda, lle'r ydym yn gweld ein hysbyty lleol yn llawn o welyau gofal dwys ac yn clywed sôn am wasanaethau iechyd yn cael eu tynnu'n ôl eto. Felly, a gawn ni ddatganiad, os gwelwch yn dda, yn amlinellu pa fesurau cymorth ychwanegol a chyllid y byddai modd eu darparu i'r ardaloedd sydd â'r cyfraddau uchaf o COVID 19, ac a gawn ni'r datganiad hwnnw fel mater o frys, os gwelwch chi'n dda, Trefnydd?

Daeth y Dirprwy Lywydd (Ann Jones) i’r Gadair.

The Deputy Presiding Officer (Ann Jones) took the Chair.

Thank you for raising that issue. The first related specifically to the support and the advice that is being provided to schools, and there were a series of quite detailed questions there, so I will ask the education Minister to write to you with more information about the guidance that is being provided to schools in relation to PPE and other efforts to keep children and their families safe, and the rationale that sits behind the advice that we've provided on those matters. Clearly, there'll be multiple opportunities to question both the First Minister and the health Minister on the specific issues in relation to the community to which Leanne Wood refers and that she represents. 

Diolch am godi'r mater hwnnw. Roedd y cyntaf yn ymwneud yn benodol â'r cymorth a'r cyngor sy'n cael eu darparu i ysgolion, ac roedd cyfres o gwestiynau eithaf manwl yno, felly gofynnaf i i'r Gweinidog Addysg ysgrifennu atoch gyda mwy o wybodaeth am y canllawiau sy'n cael eu darparu i ysgolion mewn cysylltiad â chyfarpar diogelu personol ac ymdrechion eraill i gadw plant a'u teuluoedd yn ddiogel, a'r rhesymeg sy'n sail i'r cyngor yr ydym wedi'i ddarparu ar y materion hynny. Yn amlwg, bydd sawl cyfle i holi'r Prif Weinidog a'r Gweinidog Iechyd am y materion penodol o ran y gymuned y mae Leanne Wood yn cyfeirio ati ac yn ei chynrychioli.

I would like to ask for two education statements. Firstly, a statement on free school meals expanding into school holidays. I know the Welsh Government has made a decision on Christmas and Easter of this year, but I think it's something we need to look at being done all the time, rather than just as a one-off. It's something I've been calling for since I was elected. And also, what consideration has been given to expanding the eligibility of free school meal provision? For many children, this is their main meal of the day. 

Secondly, I would like a Government statement on home schooling, to include local authorities having a joined-up approach across Wales to engage with their local home-educating community that develops services and is built on mutual trust and respect and will build positive relationships between local authorities and the home-educating community and will organise things like accessing exam centres—obviously not this year, but in normal years—for those who have been home schooled. 

Hoffwn i ofyn am ddau ddatganiad addysg. Yn gyntaf, datganiad am brydau ysgol am ddim yn ehangu i wyliau ysgol. Rwy'n gwybod bod Llywodraeth Cymru wedi gwneud penderfyniad ar y Nadolig a'r Pasg eleni, ond rwy'n credu ei fod yn rhywbeth y mae angen i ni edrych arno drwy'r amser, yn hytrach na dim ond fel rhywbeth untro. Mae'n rhywbeth yr wyf i wedi bod yn galw amdano ers cael fy ethol. A hefyd, pa ystyriaeth sydd wedi'i rhoi i ehangu cymhwysedd darpariaeth prydau ysgol am ddim? I lawer o blant, dyma eu prif bryd bwyd am y diwrnod.

Yn ail, hoffwn i gael datganiad gan y Llywodraeth ar addysgu gartref, i gynnwys awdurdodau lleol yn defnyddio dull  cydgysylltiedig ledled Cymru o ymgysylltu â'u cymuned addysgu gartref leol sy'n datblygu gwasanaethau ac sy'n seiliedig ar gyd-ymddiriedaeth a pharch, ac a fydd yn meithrin perthynas gadarnhaol rhwng awdurdodau lleol a'r gymuned addysgu gartref ac yn trefnu pethau fel cael mynediad i ganolfannau arholiadau— nid eleni, mae'n amlwg, ond mewn blynyddoedd arferol—i'r rhai sydd wedi cael eu haddysgu gartref.

Thank you to Mike Hedges for raising both of these important issues this afternoon. As he says, he has been a long-time advocate for the provision of free school meals outside of term time. I'm really pleased that the Welsh Government didn't need to have to respond to a campaign by Marcus Rashford to do the right thing. We did the right thing a long time ago, right at the start of this pandemic. In terms of the future, increasing the numbers eligible for free school meals would necessitate a change to the eligibility criteria, and that could potentially involve increasing the earned income threshold for those who are claiming universal credit and who also want to claim free school meals for their children. At the moment, we plan to maintain the threshold as it is until the end of the universal credit roll-out period, but clearly we will keep that under review.

As Mike Hedges says, it's so important that parents who home school their children have a good relationship with the local authority in the area in which they live. So, Welsh Government has provided £400,000 to local authorities for 2020-21 to provide support to home-educating families. That's been allocated on a pro rata basis, based on the number of known home-educated children in the authority, as reported to the pupil level annual school census data. So, Welsh Government is providing that information, but, as Mike Hedges says, ensuring that there is a good level of trust between both parties is absolutely essential.

Diolch i Mike Hedges am godi'r ddau fater pwysig hyn y prynhawn yma. Fel y dywed, mae ef wedi bod yn eiriolwr dros ddarparu prydau ysgol am ddim y tu allan i'r tymor ers amser maith. Rwy'n falch iawn nad oedd angen i Lywodraeth Cymru ymateb i ymgyrch gan Marcus Rashford i wneud y peth iawn. Gwnaethom ni'r peth iawn amser maith yn ôl, ar ddechrau'r pandemig hwn. O ran y dyfodol, byddai cynyddu'r niferoedd sy'n gymwys i gael prydau ysgol am ddim yn golygu newid y meini prawf cymhwysedd, a gallai hynny o bosibl olygu cynyddu'r trothwy incwm ar gyfer y rhai sy'n hawlio credyd cynhwysol ac sydd hefyd eisiau hawlio prydau ysgol am ddim i'w plant. Ar hyn o bryd, rydym yn bwriadu cadw'r trothwy fel y mae tan ddiwedd y cyfnod cyflwyno credyd cynhwysol, ond mae'n amlwg y byddwn ni'n parhau i adolygu hynny.

Fel y dywedodd Mike Hedges, mae mor bwysig bod gan rieni sy'n addysgu eu plant gartref berthynas dda â'r awdurdod lleol yn yr ardal y maen nhw'n byw ynddi. Felly, mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi darparu £400,000 i awdurdodau lleol ar gyfer 2020-21 i roi cymorth i deuluoedd sy'n addysgu gartref. Mae hynny wedi'i ddyrannu ar sail pro rata, yn seiliedig ar nifer y plant yn yr awdurdod sy'n hysbys eu bod yn cael eu haddysg yn y cartref, fel y cawsant eu hadrodd i ddata cyfrifiad blynyddol ysgolion ar lefel disgyblion. Felly, mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn darparu'r wybodaeth honno ond, fel y dywed Mike Hedges, mae sicrhau bod lefel dda o ymddiriedaeth rhwng y ddwy blaid yn gwbl hanfodol.

14:45

Organiser, could I seek your assistance in seeking to address the quality of the answers the Welsh Government are giving to Members? I had some responses back last week that informed me that Ministers were going to write to me with their answers after sitting on them for about 10 days to a fortnight. They were pretty straightforward questions. One was asking where the data in the First Minister's briefing that compared Torfaen to Oldham came from. Now, I would have thought that, given that he talked about that in his press briefing, that information would be readily available, because obviously it could be cross-referenced. I fail to see why you'd sit on an answer for 10 days and then say that you're going to write to the Member. And the second was from the health Minister's briefing on 26 October—the press briefing, because that seems to be where most Members get their information from these days—about critical care beds. He referred to the extra critical care beds that would be made available to the Welsh NHS, and I posed a simple question: could he identify where these critical care beds would be allocated and which health boards would benefit from the extra capacity? Again, I received another answer saying that they would write to me with the answer when they felt able to.

Well, as both instances indicated information was used in a public press briefing, albeit for the press rather than for Members in this Parliament, I would have thought it would be relatively easy for the Welsh Government to provide those answers. It shows complete disdain for Members in this institution that these answers aren't being provided in a timely manner. Where the substantive answer could be enlarged, I fully accept a greater period of time might be required, but I've given you two instances there of relatively simple questions that could be answered readily, because the information has already been used in public press briefings. So, in your role as the organiser of Government business, could I seek your assistance in trying to clarify exactly how Welsh Government are going to up their game in addressing responses to Welsh parliamentary Members in this institution?

Trefnydd, a gaf i ofyn am eich cymorth wrth geisio mynd i'r afael ag ansawdd yr atebion y mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn eu rhoi i Aelodau? Cefais rai ymatebion yn ôl yr wythnos diwethaf a chefais wybod bod Gweinidogion yn mynd i ysgrifennu ataf gyda'u hatebion nhw ar ôl eistedd arnyn nhw am tua 10 diwrnod i bythefnos. Roeddent yn gwestiynau eithaf syml. Roedd un yn gofyn o ble y daeth y data ym mriff y Prif Weinidog a oedd yn cymharu Torfaen ag Oldham. Nawr, byddwn i wedi tybio, o gofio iddo sôn am hynny yn ei friff i'r wasg, y byddai'r wybodaeth honno ar gael yn rhwydd, oherwydd mae'n amlwg bod modd ei chroesgyfeirio. Ni allaf weld pam y byddech chi'n eistedd ar ateb am 10 diwrnod ac yna'n dweud eich bod yn mynd i ysgrifennu at yr Aelod. Ac roedd yr ail gwestiwn yn deillio o sesiwn friffio'r Gweinidog Iechyd ar 26 Hydref—y briff i'r wasg, oherwydd mae'n ymddangos mai dyna lle mae'r rhan fwyaf o'r Aelodau yn cael eu gwybodaeth y dyddiau hyn—o ran gwelyau gofal critigol. Fe gyfeiriodd at y gwelyau gofal critigol ychwanegol a fyddai ar gael i GIG Cymru, a gofynnais i gwestiwn syml: a allai nodi ym mhle y byddai'r gwelyau gofal critigol hyn yn cael eu dyrannu a pha fyrddau iechyd fyddai'n elwa o'r gallu ychwanegol? Unwaith eto, cefais i ateb arall yn dweud y byddent yn ysgrifennu ataf gyda'r ateb pan oeddent yn teimlo y gallent wneud hynny.

Wel, oherwydd bod y ddau achos yn awgrymu bod gwybodaeth wedi'i defnyddio mewn sesiwn friffio i'r wasg gyhoeddus, er i'r wasg yn hytrach nag i Aelodau'r Senedd hon, byddwn i wedi tybio y byddai'n gymharol hawdd i Lywodraeth Cymru ddarparu'r atebion hynny. Mae'n dangos dirmyg llwyr i Aelodau'r sefydliad hwn nad yw'r atebion hyn yn cael eu darparu mewn modd amserol. Rwy'n derbyn yn llawn y gallai fod angen mwy o amser pe bai modd ei ehangu i fod yn ateb o sylwedd, ond rwyf  wedi rhoi dau achos ichi yna o gwestiynau cymharol syml y byddai wedi bod yn bosibl eu hateb yn rhwydd, oherwydd mae'r wybodaeth eisoes wedi'i defnyddio mewn sesiynau briffio i'r wasg gyhoeddus. Felly, yn eich swydd fel trefnydd busnes y Llywodraeth, a gaf i ofyn am eich cymorth wrth geisio egluro sut yn union y mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn mynd i wella eu ffordd o fynd i'r afael ag ymatebion i Aelodau seneddol Cymru yn y sefydliad hwn?

I do note Andrew R.T. Davies's concerns this afternoon. I just think it's ridiculous to suggest that Welsh Government is sitting on answers. Welsh Government is working literally around the clock to try and address a global pandemic and the implications of it in Wales, and we are doing our best to provide answers in a timely manner. With regard to the two to which you refer, obviously I will seek to ensure that an answer is forthcoming as soon as possible. As I say, I've noted your comments, but we are doing our very best to provide answers as quickly as we possibly can.

Rwy'n nodi pryderon Andrew R.T. Davies y prynhawn yma. Rwy'n credu ei bod yn hurt awgrymu bod Llywodraeth Cymru yn eistedd ar atebion. Mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn gweithio o amgylch y cloc, yn llythrennol, i geisio mynd i'r afael â phandemig byd-eang a goblygiadau hynny yng Nghymru, ac rydym ni'n gwneud ein gorau i ddarparu atebion mewn modd amserol. O ran y ddau gwestiwn yr ydych chi'n cyfeirio atyn nhw, mae'n amlwg y ceisiaf i sicrhau bod ateb yn dod cyn gynted ag sy'n bosibl. Fel y dywedais, rwyf wedi nodi eich sylwadau, ond rydym ni'n gwneud ein gorau glas i ddarparu atebion cyn gynted ag y gallwn ni.

Minister, we're in such strange times at the moment, and sporting events are not immune from the impacts of the coronavirus measures, but it is important to look to the future with some hope. So, my thanks to keen cyclist Geraint Rowlands for his suggestion, which has led me to ask whether we can have a debate on hosting future major sports events in Wales and, in particular, with the three intersecting roads climbing from the Rhondda, the Afan and the Ogmore valleys over the breathtaking—literally breathtaking, and figuratively breathtaking—Bwlch, and the awesome Rhigos thrown in for good measure, as a natural post-glacial amphitheatre, which enhances the visual effect and the spectator appeal of cycling events, close to local population areas, could we in future bid to make this part of a future, epic Welsh stage of the cycling Tour of Britain, Minister? Let's have a debate on that.

Gweinidog, rydym ni mewn cyfnod mor rhyfedd ar hyn o bryd, ac nid yw digwyddiadau chwaraeon yn ddiogel rhag effeithiau'r mesurau coronaferirws, ond mae'n bwysig edrych tua'r dyfodol gyda rhywfaint o obaith. Felly, rwy'n diolch i'r beiciwr brwd Geraint Rowlands am ei awgrym, sydd wedi fy arwain i ofyn a gawn ni ddadl ar gynnal digwyddiadau chwaraeon mawr yng Nghymru yn y dyfodol? Ac yn benodol, gyda'r tair ffordd sy'n croestorri ei gilydd ac yn dringo o'r Rhondda, yr Afan a chymoedd Ogwr dros y Bwlch—sy'n llythrennol yn hollol syfrdanol—a'r Rhigos anhygoel yn cael ei gynnwys ar ben hynny, fel amffitheatr ôl-rewlifol naturiol, sy'n cyfrannu at yr effaith weledol a'r apêl i wylwyr digwyddiadau beicio, yn agos at ardaloedd poblog lleol, a gawn ni yn y dyfodol gynnig gwneud hyn yn rhan o gam epig Cymru o Daith Feicio Prydain, Gweinidog? Gadewch inni gael dadl ar hynny.

Thank you to Huw Irranca-Davies for reminding us that, actually, in this difficult time, we all need something to look forward to. I think that, before the pandemic, Wales was doing a wonderful job in terms of putting itself on the map as a major place to host major events and internationally important events. You'll be aware, of course, that we have hosted stages of the men's and women's Tour of Britain since 2010, and, over the years, stages of the race have been held right across Wales. Officials in Events Wales are working closely now with the race organisers to ensure that there is a fair geographical spread across the country. But I can assure Huw Irranca-Davies that officials will look at the suggestion that he has brought forward today to host a stage in the areas suggested, which are, as he says, very challenging routes indeed, and obviously they form part of the very successful Dragon Ride as well, which is one of the oldest and most iconic events of its type across the UK. So, I can reassure Huw Irranca-Davies that officials will look into that suggestion.

Diolch i Huw Irranca-Davies am ein hatgoffa bod angen rhywbeth arnom ni i gyd, mewn gwirionedd, i edrych ymlaen ato yn y cyfnod anodd hwn. Rwy'n credu bod Cymru, cyn y pandemig, yn gwneud gwaith gwych yn rhoi ei hun ar y map fel man pwysig i gynnal digwyddiadau mawr a digwyddiadau rhyngwladol pwysig. Byddwch chi'n ymwybodol, wrth gwrs, ein bod ni wedi cynnal camau o Daith Dynion a Merched Prydain ers 2010, a, thros y blynyddoedd, cafodd camau'r ras eu cynnal ledled Cymru. Mae swyddogion yn Digwyddiadau Cymru yn gweithio'n agos nawr gyda threfnwyr y ras i sicrhau bod dosbarthiad daearyddol teg ledled y wlad. Ond gallaf i sicrhau Huw Irranca-Davies y bydd swyddogion yn edrych ar yr awgrym a gyflwynwyd ganddo heddiw i gynnal cam yn yr ardaloedd a awgrymodd, sydd, fel y dywed, yn llwybrau heriol iawn, ac yn amlwg maen nhw'n rhan o'r Dragon Ride llwyddiannus iawn hefyd, sef un o'r digwyddiadau hynaf a mwyaf eiconig o'i fath ledled y DU. Felly, gallaf i sicrhau Huw Irranca-Davies y bydd swyddogion yn ymchwilio i'r awgrym hwnnw.

14:50

Trefnydd, I would like to call for a statement from the Minister for Health and Social Services regarding the Flying Start programme. I have been contacted by a prominent figure in Port Talbot who raised concerns regarding the future viability of the programme. Childcare facilities in Port Talbot have not seen an increase in the rates they are paid for providing care for the past four years, with many providers stating it's now becoming unsustainable. The programme cannot exist without these providers, and I'm sure that the Trefnydd will agree that business deserves to be adequately compensated for the services they provide, particularly as childcare providers have been hard hit by the pandemic. So, I would therefore be grateful if the Minister for health or his deputy could make a statement to this Chamber about the future of the Flying Start programme and whether providers will see any increase in their fees. Diolch yn fawr. 

Trefnydd, fe hoffwn i alw am ddatganiad gan y Gweinidog Iechyd a Gwasanaethau Cymdeithasol ynglŷn â rhaglen Dechrau'n Deg. Mae rhywun amlwg ym Mhort Talbot wedi cysylltu â mi yn mynegi pryderon ynghylch hyfywedd y rhaglen i'r dyfodol. Nid yw cyfleusterau gofal plant ym Mhort Talbot wedi gweld cynnydd yng nghyfraddau eu tâl nhw am ddarparu gofal dros y pedair blynedd diwethaf, gyda llawer o ddarparwyr yn datgan bod y sefyllfa yn mynd yn anghynaladwy erbyn hyn. Ni all y rhaglen fodoli oni bai am y darparwyr hyn, ac rwy'n siŵr y bydd y Trefnydd yn cytuno bod busnes yn haeddu cael tâl sy'n ddigonol am y gwasanaethau y maen nhw'n eu cynnig, yn enwedig gan fod darparwyr gofal plant wedi cael eu taro'n arbennig o galed gan y pandemig. Felly, fe fyddwn i'n ddiolchgar pe bai'r Gweinidog Iechyd neu ei ddirprwy yn rhoi datganiad i'r Siambr hon ynglŷn â dyfodol rhaglen Dechrau'n Deg ac a fydd darparwyr yn gweld unrhyw gynnydd yn eu harian nhw. Diolch yn fawr.

Thank you for raising this particular issue. Of course, throughout the pandemic, Welsh Government has provided a range of support, which childcare providers have been able to access—from paying for places that children weren't actually using in order to ensure that provision was continuing to be viable, to the provision of grants for parts of the sector as well. But clearly, again, we're not able to reach every single provider, so it would be really helpful if Caroline Jones would write to the health Minister regarding the specific cases that she's familiar with in Port Talbot in order for that to inform the thinking for the support for the sector as we move forward.

Diolch am godi'r mater penodol hwn. Wrth gwrs, drwy gydol y pandemig, mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi darparu ystod o gymorth, y bu modd i ddarparwyr gofal plant gael gafael arno—sy'n amrywio o dalu am leoedd nad oedd plant yn eu defnyddio ar gyfer sicrhau y bydd y ddarpariaeth yn para i fod yn hyfyw, i ddarparu grantiau ar gyfer rhannau o'r sector hefyd. Ond yn amlwg, unwaith eto, nid yw'n bosibl inni gyrraedd pob darparwr unigol, felly fe fyddai o werth mawr pe byddai Caroline Jones yn ysgrifennu at y Gweinidog Iechyd am yr achosion penodol hynny y mae hi'n gyfarwydd â nhw ym Mhort Talbot er mwyn i hynny lywio'r ystyriaeth a roddir i gefnogaeth i'r sector wrth inni symud ymlaen.

I wonder if I could ask for two statements from the Minister for Education, please, Trefnydd—I appreciate she's here today to hear the request. The first is about the registration of teachers in independent schools. I know this has been raised with you fairly recently, but because it's a safeguarding issue and you're fighting a very strong fight on safeguarding when it comes to the relationships and sexuality education element of the curriculum, I think it would be quite helpful for the Senedd to understand why this much easier task isn't a little higher up the agenda. 

And then, secondly, I wonder if we could have an update on teachers' induction, because we hear quite frequently that there's a weakness with teaching, and I'm sure that's not because teachers don't want to be good teachers. 

And then if I can extend it by one more, I would love a statement from the environment Minister on woodchip fires. It's been a few years since we've heard about major problems in my particular region, but we were promised at the time some changes to regulations that would empower either planning authorities or Natural Resources Wales, and so I'd just like to know what's actually happened on that front. Thank you.  

Tybed a gaf i ofyn am ddau ddatganiad gan y Gweinidog Addysg, os gwelwch chi'n dda, Trefnydd—rwy'n gwerthfawrogi ei bod hi yn y fan hon heddiw i glywed y cais. Mae'r cyntaf yn ymwneud â chofrestru athrawon mewn ysgolion annibynnol. Rwy'n gwybod i hynny gael ei godi gyda chi'n weddol ddiweddar, ond gan ei fod yn fater o ddiogelu ac rydych chi'n brwydro'n gryf iawn o ran diogelu yng nghyd-destun elfen addysg cydberthnasau a rhywioldeb y cwricwlwm, rwy'n credu y byddai'n dra defnyddiol i'r Senedd gael deall pam na roddir lle mwy blaenllaw ar yr agenda i'r dasg hon sy'n llawer haws.

Ac yna, yn ail, tybed a gawn ni'r wybodaeth ddiweddaraf ynglŷn â sefydlu athrawon, gan ein bod ni'n clywed yn aml iawn y ceir gwendid o ran addysgu, ac rwy'n siŵr nad amharodrwydd athrawon i fod yn athrawon da yw achos hynny.

Ac yna os caf i ymestyn hyd at un arall, fe fyddwn i wrth fy modd cael datganiad gan Weinidog yr Amgylchedd ar danau naddion pren. Mae sawl blwyddyn wedi mynd heibio ers inni glywed am broblemau mawr yn fy rhanbarth arbennig i, ond fe gawsom ni addewid bryd hynny am newidiadau i reoliadau a fyddai'n grymuso naill ai'r awdurdodau cynllunio neu Gyfoeth Naturiol Cymru, ac felly fe hoffwn i wybod beth sydd wedi digwydd yn hyn o beth mewn gwirionedd. Diolch.

As you said, the education Minister has been here to hear your requests for a statement on the regulation and registration of teachers in independent schools and the teachers' induction issues that you've described as well. And the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs will be watching on Zoom, but I'll make a point of also speaking to her and seeking that update for you on woodchip fires. 

Fel yr oeddech chi'n dweud, mae'r Gweinidog Addysg yn bresennol i glywed eich ceisiadau am ddatganiad ar reoleiddio a chofrestru athrawon mewn ysgolion annibynnol a'r materion o ran sefydlu athrawon y gwnaethoch chi eu disgrifio hefyd. Ac mae Gweinidog yr Amgylchedd, Ynni a Materion Gwledig yn gwylio ar Zoom, ond fe wnaf innau ymdrech i siarad â hi hefyd a cheisio'r wybodaeth ddiweddaraf honno i chi ynglŷn â thanau naddion pren.

3. Datganiad gan y Gweinidog Addysg: Ymdrin â chymwysterau yn 2021
3. Statement by the Minister for Education: The approach to qualifications in 2021

Item 3 on the agenda this afternoon is a statement by the Minister for Education on the approach to qualifications in 2021, and I call on the Minister, Kirsty Williams. 

Eitem 3 ar yr agenda y prynhawn yma yw Datganiad gan y Gweinidog Addysg ar ymdrin â chymwysterau yn 2021, ac rwy'n galw ar y Gweinidog, Kirsty Williams.

Thank you very much, Deputy Presiding Officer. Today, I want to share with you my policy decision on the approach to qualifications in Wales in 2021. As I do that, I would first like to thank Qualifications Wales and the independent review, chaired by Louise Casella, for their considered recommendations and advice to me. I have drawn equally on their thinking in coming to my position. Alongside this, I have met with headteachers and college leaders, universities, and with learners directly to hear their views. I have also looked carefully at the early analysis of the around 4,000 views expressed in the survey that the independent review undertook.  

Deputy Presiding Officer, this is a time like no other. I am providing clarity and certainty at as early a stage as possible, to set out a path that is deliverable and, crucially, is as resilient as possible to the uncertainties of the coming year. Again, this is an exceptional year, but exceptional in a different way to qualifications in 2020. This year’s exam cohorts were not only out of school and college during the summer term, but they have also already experienced inconsistencies in their learning experience during this term. 

Diolch yn fawr iawn, Dirprwy Lywydd. Heddiw, fe hoffwn i rannu fy mhenderfyniad polisi â chi ynglŷn â'r dull o ymdrin â chymwysterau yng Nghymru yn 2021. Wrth wneud hynny, fe hoffwn i ddiolch yn gyntaf i Cymwysterau Cymru a'r adolygiad annibynnol, dan gadeiryddiaeth Louise Casella, am eu hargymhellion a'u cyngor nhw i mi. Rwyf wedi cael fy arwain gan yr ystyriaethau yn y ddau adolygiad fel ei gilydd wrth imi ddod i'm penderfyniad i. Law yn llaw â hyn, rwyf wedi cyfarfod â phenaethiaid ac arweinwyr colegau, prifysgolion, a'r dysgwyr yn uniongyrchol i glywed eu barn nhw. Rwyf wedi edrych yn ofalus hefyd ar y dadansoddiad cynnar o oddeutu 4,000 o safbwyntiau a fynegwyd yn yr arolwg a ymgymerodd yr adolygiad annibynnol.

Dirprwy Lywydd, mae hwn yn gyfnod na welwyd ei debyg erioed. Rwyf am roi eglurder a sicrwydd ar gam mor gynnar â phosibl, i nodi llwybr y gellir ei droedio ac, yn hollbwysig, sy'n ddull mor gadarn ag sy'n bosibl o gofio'r ansicrwydd a all fod yn y flwyddyn sydd i ddod. Unwaith eto, mae hon yn flwyddyn eithriadol, ond yn eithriadol mewn ffordd wahanol i gymwysterau yn 2020. Roedd carfannau sydd i'w harholi eleni nid yn unig yn absennol o'r ysgol a'r coleg yn ystod tymor yr haf, ond maen nhw eisoes wedi gweld anghysondebau yn eu profiad nhw o addysg yn ystod y tymor hwn hefyd.

In some schools and colleges, COVID-19 has required pupils to self-isolate for weeks at a time. Some schools have, at times, even temporarily had to close. Other schools and colleges have been much more fortunate to date, but we cannot, I cannot, be confident as to what will happen for the rest of the school year. And it is this ongoing uncertainty and ensuring fairness, equity and well-being for learners that guide my thinking on qualifications for 2021.

My other key consideration is the need to provide time for good-quality teaching and learning experiences this year, to ensure that learners have the knowledge, the skills and the confidence to progress to their next stage. I want learners to be in school or college enjoying positive learning experiences, not just preparing for assessments. It is on this basis, and in line with the recommendation of both Qualifications Wales and the independent review, that I intend to direct Qualifications Wales that there should be no end-of-year exams for GCSE or AS-level qualifications for 2021. I can also confirm that it is my intention that there will be no final exams for A-level learners, who will follow a similar process as for GCSEs and AS qualifications. I have seen concerns that we cannot predict the status of the virus in the summer and, therefore, it could be difficult to physically hold exams, and it is true that there could be challenges. However, I must reiterate that the primary reason for my policy is down to fairness, and the time learners will spend in schools and colleges will have varied hugely. It is simply unfair to think that the exams could be conducted on a level playing field.

I have consulted with universities, who have highlighted that their priority is for students to have covered core aspects of their course. They have confirmed that they are used to accepting many different types of qualifications. They expect a transparent and robust approach that provides evidence of a learner’s knowledge and ability. And my intended approach does just that, as it is designed to maximise the time for teaching and learning. Instead of end-of-year exams, we intend to work with teachers and lecturers to take forward teacher-managed assessments. These should include assessments that will be externally set and marked, but delivered within a classroom environment under teacher supervision. Teachers will have flexibility as to when it is best to undertake them, in the context of results timetables. My expectation is that these will form the basis for centre-based outcomes, linked to an agreed national approach, providing consistency across Wales. It is my intention that this applies to GCSEs, AS-levels and A-levels approved by Qualifications Wales. The proposed approach to this will be developed by school and college leaders, and supported by Welsh Government and advised by Qualifications Wales and WJEC. In developing the centre-based outcome proposal, we intend to learn from the experiences of 2020 and be informed also by the second stage of the independent review's work. It is my policy intention that there will be a common approach across Wales through WJEC, providing transparency and rigour to assure universities and colleges of our approach.

Turing to vocational qualifications, as Members will be aware, the vocational qualification landscape is different. A significant amount of vocational learning is delivered on a roll-on, roll-off basis, with learners starting throughout the year. Most vocational qualifications taken by learners in Wales are also available in the other UK nations. To ensure consistency, I have asked Qualifications Wales to work closely with other regulators to ensure a pragmatic approach that works in learners’ interests and gives them clarity about the way forward. Guidance for vocational qualifications was published last month, which sets out the principles that awarding bodies must apply when making adaptations in response to the impact of COVID-19. This means that timetabled examinations for vocational qualifications for the summer series will continue in order to maintain a consistent approach across Wales, England and Northern Ireland. However, my officials and Qualifications Wales will keep this position under review and we will continue to work closely with other qualification regulators in light of the public health situation.

Today, I am also establishing a design and delivery advisory group of school and college leaders, the regulator and the awarding body. This group will be chaired by Geraint Rees and supported by Welsh Government officials. The group will not stray into individual organisational accountabilities, those of schools, the regulator or the awarding body, but they will develop policy proposals for our approach, including detailed proposals for the range of assessment and appeals processes. The regulator and awarding body for Wales will provide expertise to the group on assessment, and I expect to consider and confirm our policy direction by the end of December to provide time for implementation from January. The group will then, over the course of the year, advise me on the delivery of this package of work and I will expect to see our equalities priorities front and centre.

Deputy Presiding Officer, this remains a highly challenging year. I have set a course today that removes pressures from learners and provides clear time for teaching and learning. I look to our schools, colleges, qualifications bodies and the wider education sector to work co-operatively and collaboratively through the year to support our learners and enable them to progress with confidence. Diolch yn fawr.

Mewn rhai ysgolion a cholegau, mae COVID-19 wedi ei gwneud hi'n ofynnol i ddisgyblion hunanynysu am wythnosau ar y tro. Mae rhai ysgolion, ar adegau, wedi gorfod cau dros dro hyd yn oed. Mae ysgolion a cholegau eraill wedi bod yn llawer mwy ffodus hyd yn hyn, ond ni allwn ni, ni allaf i, fod yn hyderus ynghylch yr hyn wnaiff ddigwydd yn ystod gweddill y flwyddyn ysgol. A'r ansicrwydd parhaus hwn yn ogystal â sicrhau tegwch, cyfiawnder a lles i ddysgwyr sy'n llywio fy meddylfryd i o ran cymwysterau ar gyfer 2021.

Fy ystyriaeth allweddol arall i yw'r angen i neilltuo amser ar gyfer profiadau addysgu a dysgu o ansawdd da yn ystod y flwyddyn hon, i sicrhau bod yr wybodaeth gan y dysgwyr, ynghyd â'r sgiliau a'r hyder, i symud ymlaen i'w cam nesaf nhw. Rwy'n awyddus i ddysgwyr mewn ysgol neu goleg fod yn mwynhau profiadau addysgol cadarnhaol, nid dim ond yn paratoi ar gyfer asesiadau a hynny'n unig. Ar y sail hon, ac yn unol ag argymhelliad Cymwysterau Cymru a'r adolygiad annibynnol, rwy'n bwriadu dweud wrth Cymwysterau Cymru na ddylid cael arholiadau diwedd blwyddyn ar gyfer cymwysterau TGAU na Lefel AS ar gyfer 2021. Rwy'n gallu cadarnhau hefyd mai fy mwriad i yw na fydd yna unrhyw arholiadau terfynol ar gyfer disgyblion Lefel A, a fydd yn dilyn proses debyg i'r hyn a geir ar gyfer cymwysterau TGAU a Lefel AS. Rwyf wedi nodi pryderon na allwn ni ragweld beth fydd y sefyllfa o ran y feirws yn ystod yr haf ac, felly, fe allai fod yn anodd cynnal arholiadau yn ffisegol, ac mae'n wir y gallai hynny fod yn heriol. Eto i gyd, mae'n rhaid imi ailadrodd mai prif ddiben fy mholisi i yw sicrhau tegwch, ac fe fydd y cyfnodau o amser a dreulir gan ddysgwyr mewn ysgolion a cholegau wedi amrywio yn aruthrol. Mae'n annheg i gredu y gellid cynnal yr arholiadau ar unrhyw sail a fyddai'n cynrychioli tegwch i bawb.

Rwyf wedi ymgynghori â phrifysgolion, sydd wedi tynnu sylw at y ffaith mai eu blaenoriaeth nhw yw i fyfyrwyr fod wedi ymdrin ag agweddau hanfodol ar eu cyrsiau nhw. Maen nhw wedi cadarnhau eu bod yn gyfarwydd â derbyn llawer o wahanol fathau o gymwysterau. Maen nhw'n disgwyl dull tryloyw a chadarn sy'n dangos tystiolaeth o wybodaeth a gallu dysgwr. Ac mae fy null arfaethedig i o weithredu yn gwneud yn union hynny, gan iddo gael ei gynllunio i wneud yn fawr o'r amser ar gyfer addysgu a dysgu. Yn hytrach nag arholiadau ar ddiwedd blwyddyn, rydym ni'n bwriadu gweithio gydag athrawon a darlithwyr i ddatblygu asesiadau a reolir gan athrawon. Fe ddylai'r rhain gynnwys asesiadau a fydd yn cael eu gosod a'u marcio yn allanol, ond a gynhelir yn amgylchedd yr ystafell ddosbarth o dan oruchwyliaeth athrawon. Fe fydd gan athrawon hyblygrwydd o ran yr amser mwyaf addas i ymgymryd â nhw, yng nghyd-destun amserlenni'r canlyniadau. Fy nisgwyliad i yw y bydd y rhain yn sail i ganlyniadau sy'n cael eu cynnal mewn canolfannau, yn gysylltiedig â dull cenedlaethol cyffredin, gan sicrhau cysondeb ledled Cymru. Fy mwriad i yw i hyn fod yn berthnasol i gymwysterau TGAU, Lefel AS a Lefel A a gymeradwyir gan Cymwysterau Cymru. Fe fydd y dull arfaethedig o ymdrin â hyn yn cael ei ddatblygu gan arweinwyr ysgolion a cholegau, ac yn cael ei gefnogi gan Lywodraeth Cymru ac yn cael ei gyfarwyddo gan Cymwysterau Cymru a CBAC. Wrth ddatblygu'r cynnig ynglŷn â chanlyniadau wedi eu seilio ar ganolfan, rydym ni'n bwriadu dysgu o brofiadau 2020 ac fe gaiff ei lywio gan ail gam gwaith yr adolygiad annibynnol hefyd. Fy mwriad i o ran polisi yw y bydd dull cyffredin o weithredu ledled Cymru drwy gyfrwng CBAC, gan ddarparu tryloywder a thrylwyredd i sicrhau prifysgolion a cholegau o'n dull ni o weithredu.

Gan droi at gymwysterau galwedigaethol, fel y gŵyr yr Aelodau, mae'r tirlun cymwysterau galwedigaethol yn wahanol. Fe gaiff swm sylweddol o ddysgu galwedigaethol ei gyflwyno ar sail mewn ac allan, gyda dysgwyr yn dechrau arni gydol y flwyddyn. Mae'r rhan fwyaf o gymwysterau galwedigaethol a gymerir gan ddysgwyr yng Nghymru ar gael yng ngwledydd eraill y DU hefyd. Ar gyfer sicrhau cysondeb, rwyf i wedi gofyn i Cymwysterau Cymru weithio'n agos gyda rheoleiddwyr eraill i sicrhau dull pragmatig sy'n gweithio er budd dysgwyr ac sy'n rhoi eglurder iddyn nhw ynglŷn â'r ffordd ymlaen. Fe gyhoeddwyd canllawiau ar gyfer cymwysterau galwedigaethol fis diwethaf, sy'n nodi'r egwyddorion y mae'n rhaid i gyrff dyfarnu eu cymhwyso wrth wneud addasiadau mewn ymateb i effaith COVID-19. Mae hyn yn golygu y bydd archwiliadau sydd wedi eu hamserlennu ar gyfer cymwysterau galwedigaethol ar gyfer cyfres yr haf yn parhau er mwyn cynnal dull cyson ledled Cymru, Lloegr a Gogledd Iwerddon. Serch hynny, fe fydd fy swyddogion i a Cymwysterau Cymru yn parhau i adolygu'r sefyllfa hon ac fe fyddwn ni'n parhau i weithio'n agos gyda rheoleiddwyr cymwysterau eraill yng ngoleuni'r sefyllfa o ran iechyd y cyhoedd.

Heddiw, rwyf hefyd yn sefydlu grŵp cynghori dylunio a darparu o blith arweinwyr ysgolion a cholegau, y rheoleiddiwr a'r corff dyfarnu. Geraint Rees fydd cadeirydd y grŵp hwn ac fe'i cefnogir gan swyddogion Llywodraeth Cymru. Ni fydd y grŵp yn ymhél ag atebolrwydd sefydliadau unigol, atebolrwydd yr ysgolion, y rheoleiddiwr na'r corff dyfarnu, ond fe fydd yn datblygu cynigion polisi ar gyfer ein dull gweithredu ni, gan gynnwys cynigion manwl ar gyfer yr ystod o brosesau asesu ac apelio. Fe fydd rheoleiddiwr a chorff dyfarnu Cymru yn cynnig arbenigedd i'r grŵp ynglŷn ag asesu, ac rwy'n disgwyl gallu ystyried a chadarnhau cyfeiriad ein polisi erbyn diwedd mis Rhagfyr ar gyfer rhoi amser i'w weithredu o fis Ionawr ymlaen. Fe fydd y grŵp wedyn, yn ystod y flwyddyn, yn fy nghynghori i ar gyflawni'r pecyn gwaith hwn ac rwy'n disgwyl gweld ein blaenoriaethau cydraddoldeb ni wrth galon y cyfan.

Dirprwy Lywydd, mae hon yn parhau i fod yn flwyddyn heriol iawn. Rwyf wedi pennu llwybr heddiw sy'n tynnu'r pwysau oddi ar ddysgwyr ac yn rhoi amser clir i addysgu a dysgu. Rwy'n gofyn i'n hysgolion ni, ein colegau ni, ein cyrff cymwysterau ni a'r sector addysg yn fwy eang weithio ar y cyd ac yn gydweithredol drwy gydol y flwyddyn i gefnogi ein dysgwyr a'u galluogi nhw i fwrw ymlaen yn hyderus. Diolch yn fawr.

15:00

Can I begin as well by thanking Louise Casella and Qualifications Wales for the advice that they've given the Minister on this? I have to begin, though, by saying that while I was completely understanding of your position in wanting to issue a written statement a little earlier today so that schools would know that this is the way that you are proceeding, I'm deeply disappointed that The Sunday Times seems to have had hold of this story at least 48 hours before presenting it on the floor of this Chamber. Rumour has it that it was the result of an interview two weeks ago, but perhaps you can clarify that, Minister, because obviously—[Interruption.] Well, as a long-time Member of the opposition, I would have hoped that you would have realised how important it is to make statements of this nature on the floor of the Chamber.

Anyway, I'm glad to hear that you said it's an exceptional year. I wouldn't want to run away from the decision today as a precedent, when this is clearly a response to a particular set of challenges. Coronavirus, of course, is going to be with us for the foreseeable future, but the response to it just can't be a perpetual cycle of closing down year groups or even schools, so perhaps I think my first question would be whether you're making the argument for priority for the new vaccine to be offered to children and teachers. Now, obviously I understand it's early days as far as the progress of the vaccination is going, but perhaps you could give us a little bit of an insight into your thoughts on that to make sure that this kind of disruption is limited in the future, because I think what these reviews have revealed is that home learning and blended learning are really no equivalent of learning in a school.

The inconsistency of the experience of young people, and, to be fair, our teachers as well, that time out of school—it's been effectively pin-pointed in your decision today as a prime reason for dropping exams as we know them, and rather than the uncertainty about what the summer will look like, it's what we've already experienced that seems to be a driving force in this. So, I'm glad that you've gone with the Qualifications Wales proposal on the alternative to exams insofar as there's an external element to this, which I think—. Setting these assessments externally and marking them externally gives them a level of comparability, I think, with the traditional exams that we're more familiar with. So, in choosing this way forward, what consideration did you give to the content of these assessments having an identifiable similarity with what's gone before and therefore supporting the argument that I've just made that there's a level of comparability between years?

And while this was about fairness, equity and well-being for learners, as you highlighted in the statement today, how much consideration did you give to the well-being of teachers too? Because personally I think teachers have got plenty on their plate at the moment dealing with the catch-up, dealing with preparations for the curriculum, and the last thing I think they needed now was to be taking up time as major players in the design of a moderation system. So, how influential was Qualifications Wales's observation that getting a robust moderation system up and running, given this time, was pretty much impossible? But had there been time to introduce a system of moderation for centrally assessed grades, would that have been your preferred option? I'd also appreciate your early thoughts on how you think teachers might manage assessments within the classroom if a school, at a crucial time, has to either be suspended totally, or that year group has to be sent home. I can't really see this working online, so what's the alternative for that, if you've got a school year that can't sit a teacher-managed classroom-based assessment?

I think I just need to ask you something about the A-levels. I understand the reason you've given for why A-level students won't be sitting an exam of any kind, and I also hear what you said about the universities saying that they're used to this sort of thing, but what advice would you give your successor about making sure that universities stick to their word on this? Are there any thoughts about how their decisions—it's going to be next summer, isn't it—are likely to be monitored to make sure that they're sticking to their word?

And then finally on vocational qualifications, I'm really glad you mentioned these. I know this is a far more complicated picture because it's a UK picture, pretty much. I wonder if you could tell me what the response to the UK guidance issued about a month ago has been like, and also, to square this circle, the position of students studying for vocational qualifications primarily in colleges—their position will have been exactly the same as those studying for general qualifications in terms of disruption, and yet the presumption is they will be sitting exams in the summer. So, why are exams for these students fair when they're not fair for A-level students? Thank you.

A gaf innau ddechrau hefyd drwy ddiolch i Louise Casella a Cymwysterau Cymru am y cyngor y maen nhw wedi ei roi i'r Gweinidog ynglŷn â hyn? Mae'n rhaid imi ddechrau, serch hynny, drwy ddweud, er fy mod i'n deall eich safbwynt chi'n llwyr o ran dymuno cyhoeddi datganiad ysgrifenedig ychydig yn gynharach heddiw fel y bydd ysgolion yn deall mai hon yw'r ffordd yr ydych chi'n bwrw ymlaen â hi, rwy'n siomedig iawn ei bod yn ymddangos bod y Sunday Times wedi cael gafael ar y stori hon o leiaf 48 awr cyn ei chyflwyno ar lawr y Siambr hon. Y sibrydion yw bod hynny o ganlyniad i gyfweliad bythefnos yn ôl, ond efallai y gwnewch chi egluro hynny, Gweinidog, oherwydd yn amlwg—[Torri ar draws.] Wel, yn Aelod hir sefydlog o'r wrthblaid, roeddwn i wedi gobeithio y byddech chi wedi sylweddoli pa mor bwysig yw hi inni wneud datganiadau o'r fath ar lawr y Siambr.

Beth bynnag am hynny, rwy'n falch o'ch clywed chi'n dweud bod hon yn flwyddyn eithriadol. Ni fyddwn i'n dymuno ffoi oddi wrth benderfyniad heddiw oherwydd ei fod yn gosod cynsail, pan mae'n amlwg mai ymateb yw hwn i gyfres benodol o heriau. Mae'r Coronavirus, wrth gwrs, yn mynd i fod gyda ni hyd y gellir rhagweld, ond ni ddylai'r ymateb iddo fod yn gylch parhaus o gau grwpiau blwyddyn neu ysgolion hyd yn oed. Felly, efallai mai fy nghwestiwn cyntaf, rwy'n credu, fyddai a ydych chi'n dadlau dros roi blaenoriaeth i blant ac athrawon wrth gynnig y brechlyn newydd. Nawr, mae'n amlwg fy mod i'n deall mai dyddiau cynnar iawn yw hi o ran cyflwyniad y brechiadau, ond efallai y gwnewch chi roi ychydig o ddealltwriaeth i ni o'ch barn chi am hynny i sicrhau bod tarfu fel hyn yn cael ei gyfyngu yn y dyfodol, oherwydd rwyf i o'r farn mai'r hyn a ddatgelodd yr adolygiadau hyn yw nad yw addysg yn y cartref na dysgu cyfunol yn cyfateb o gwbl i ddysgu mewn ysgol mewn gwirionedd.

Fe gafodd yr anghysondeb o ran profiad pobl ifanc, a'n hathrawon hefyd, a bod yn deg, yn y cyfnod hwnnw pan oedd yr ysgol ar gau—fe'i nodwyd i bob pwrpas yn eich penderfyniad chi heddiw yn brif reswm dros ddiddymu arholiadau fel yr ydym ni'n meddwl amdanynt. Ac yn hytrach na'r ansicrwydd ynghylch y sefyllfa y byddwn ni ynddi yn yr haf, mae'n ymddangos mai'r hyn a welwyd yn barod a fu'n ysgogydd i hyn. Felly, rwy'n falch eich bod chi wedi cytuno ar gynnig Cymwysterau Cymru o ran dewis amgen i arholiadau cyn belled ag y bydd yna elfen allanol yn hyn, sydd, yn fy marn i—. Mae gosod yr asesiadau hyn yn allanol a'u marcio nhw'n allanol yn rhoi cyfradd o gydraddoldeb iddyn nhw, rwy'n credu, â'r arholiadau traddodiadol yr ydym ni'n fwy cyfarwydd â nhw. Felly, wrth ddewis y ffordd hon ymlaen, pa ystyriaeth a wnaethoch chi ei rhoi i gynnwys yr asesiadau hyn o ran cydraddoldeb y gellir ei nodi â'r hyn sydd wedi bod o'r blaen ac felly'n cefnogi'r ddadl a wnes i gynne o ran cael cyfradd o gydraddoldeb rhwng blynyddoedd?

Ac er bod hyn yn ymwneud â thegwch, cyfiawnder a lles i ddysgwyr, fel yr oeddech chi'n ei ddweud yn eich datganiad heddiw, faint o ystyriaeth a roddwyd i les athrawon hefyd? Oherwydd yn bersonol rwyf i o'r farn fod gan yr athrawon ddigon ar eu plât ar hyn o bryd yn ceisio dal i fyny, ac yn ymdrin â pharatoadau ar gyfer y cwricwlwm, a'r peth olaf sydd ei angen arnyn nhw nawr, yn fy marn i, yw treulio amser yn cymryd rhan fawr yn nyluniad system gymedroli. Felly, pa mor ddylanwadol oedd sylw Cymwysterau Cymru ynglŷn â sefydlu system gymedroli gadarn, o ystyried y tro hwn ei bod hi bron yn amhosibl gwneud hynny? Ond pe bai amser i gyflwyno system gymedroli ar gyfer graddau a aseswyd yn ganolog, ai hwnnw fyddai eich dewis chi wedi bod? Fe fyddwn i'n falch o glywed eich syniadau cynnar chi ynglŷn â sut rydych chi'n credu y gallai athrawon reoli asesiadau yn y stafell ddosbarth os bydd yn rhaid cau ysgol, ar adeg dyngedfennol, naill ai'n gyfan gwbl neu ei bod yn rhaid anfon grŵp blwyddyn adref. Nid wyf i'n gweld hyn yn gweithio ar-lein mewn gwirionedd, felly beth yw'r dewis arall ar gyfer hynny, os oes gennych chi flwyddyn ysgol heb fod mewn sefyllfa i gael asesiad yn y stafell ddosbarth a reolir gan athrawon?

Rwy'n credu bod angen imi ofyn rhywbeth ichi am Lefel A. Rwy'n deall y rheswm a roddoch i egluro pam na fydd myfyrwyr Lefel A yn sefyll arholiad o unrhyw fath, ac rwy'n deall yr hyn y dywedasoch am y prifysgolion yn adrodd eu bod nhw wedi arfer â phethau o'r fath, ond pa gyngor a fyddech chi'n ei roi i'ch olynydd chi ynghylch sicrhau bod prifysgolion yn cadw eu gair yn hyn o beth? A oes unrhyw syniadau gennych o ran sut y mae eu penderfyniadau nhw—haf nesaf fydd hi, onid e—yn debygol o gael eu monitro i wneud yn siŵr eu bod nhw'n cadw at eu gair?

Ac yna'n olaf ynglŷn â chymwysterau galwedigaethol, rwy'n falch iawn eich bod chi wedi crybwyll y rhain. Rwy'n gwybod mai darlun llawer mwy cymhleth yw hwn gan ei fod yn ddarlun o'r DU, fwy neu lai. Tybed a wnewch chi ddweud wrthyf sut ymateb a fu i ganllawiau'r DU a gyhoeddwyd tua mis yn ôl, a hefyd, i sgwario'r cylch hwn, beth yw sefyllfa myfyrwyr sy'n astudio ar gyfer cymwysterau galwedigaethol mewn colegau yn bennaf—fe fyddan nhw wedi bod yn yr union sefyllfa o ran tarfu â'r rhai sy'n astudio ar gyfer cymwysterau cyffredinol, ac eto i gyd y rhagdybiaeth yw y byddan nhw yn sefyll arholiadau yn yr haf. Felly, pam mae arholiadau ar gyfer y myfyrwyr hyn yn deg pan nad ydyn nhw'n deg i fyfyrwyr Lefel A? Diolch.

15:05

Thank you, Deputy Presiding Officer, and can I thank Suzy Davies for those questions? Can I begin by saying that absolutely no disrespect was meant to Members of this Chamber with regard to an interview I gave The Sunday Times? The Member is quite right, that interview took place two weeks ago. I'm not clear why The Sunday Times decided to sit on the interview, and it was given to that paper in response to the publication of both sets of advice given to me, and what we gave the paper was a description, because they didn't understand the difference between the two sets of advice. That publication was beyond my control, but I assure you no disrespect was meant to Members of this Chamber, and as you will have read, if you read The Sunday Times story, there was a great deal of speculation, some of it quite obvious, given the similarity between both sets of advice in regard to—[Inaudible.]—and the story was wrong with regard to the decision I've made about A-levels. So, I just want to reassure the Chamber that no disrespect was meant by that, and it's a lesson for me.

The Member talked about the vaccine, and I understand why, because this has been an incredibly grim year for all of us and therefore even this chink of light at the prospect of the vaccine coming forward is something that we all want to grab a hold of in the circumstances we find ourselves in. Deputy Presiding Officer, I guess we're all grateful for those incredible minds across the world that are working so hard to try and develop that vaccine, but I just think we have to have a little bit of caution. There is still a long way to go, and the sheer scale of the challenges of distribution, even if we get to the point where a vaccine can be distributed, is really, really challenging, and the First Minister outlined some of those earlier.

With regard to the roll-out of that vaccine, then, clearly, we will be guided by the committee that provides advice to Governments across the UK as to the appropriate use of the vaccine, and it's simply too early to tell at this stage, but, clearly, vulnerable members of society, whether they be working in education or outside of education I'm sure will be a priority. What we're also looking at are alternative testing regimes to support education and help minimise the disruption and that's much more in the forefront of our minds, because that's a much more likely situation that we can implement sooner in Wales rather than the vaccine.

Suzy Davies says that the decision today demonstrates the challenges of blended learning, and how we have supported learners who find themselves outside of school. I think she is right to point out the fact that that situation is variable, and we continue to work with the education sector to iron out that variability. Only last week, during the firebreak, I'm aware of some schools that delivered the entirety of their timetable via live lessons; other schools weren't able to do that. But I'm sure the Member would admit—and if she listened to the headteacher that was on Radio Wales this morning—even when that blended learning is of the best quality, it is no substitute for being in school. And the problem that I face, and the problem that our teachers and our students face, is that we cannot guarantee how much time they will spend in front of their teachers. We have already seen huge amounts of variability. Some children, as I said, are very, very fortunate, have not been affected and they've been able to be in school all of the time. Other children—students I spoke to—have already endured four weeks of having to isolate because they've been in a bubble that has seen a positive case. So, it's not—. I agree we need to do better on blended learning, but that's not necessarily the reason for this driver today.

With regard to the nature of the assessments, it is really important that there is a variety of ways in which children are assessed. With regard to the nature and number of the assessments, that detail will be for the design and delivery group, as in response to the recommendation by Louise Casella's report, learning the lessons from last year of not doing something to the system, but actually working with the system to create a robust and equal and as fair a system as possible that is indeed mindful of teacher workload. There is a balance to be struck about empowering teachers in this process and, believe me, they want to be empowered, and there are lots of them that want to take on this role, but also to be mindful of the incredible pressure that they're already under simply keeping the doors open, and there's that balance to be struck between what other members of the education sector can do in Wales to support them in this work. 

The Member also talked about what happens if a group is out. Well, the externally set assessments will be made available to schools, but it will be for schools to decide, when they can, when those assessments should be undertaken, so there's a degree of flexibility there that should account for some of the public health challenges that we may face. With regard to universities, the universities were very clear with me what their priorities were. Firstly, that is learning, teaching and learning, and ensuring that students have the key knowledge and concepts to allow them to be successful when they get to university. And so therefore maximising the time for teaching and learning was very important for them; this system allows us to do that. The other important element was that there was an equality assurance, and that our regulator was happy to sign off on these proposals, and that is, again, the system that we have arrived at. 

With regard to vocational qualifications, we simply are not in the same position with vocational qualifications, given the nature that, as I said in my statement, the vast majority of Welsh students take qualifications that are shared with the rest of the UK, and are not actually regulated by our own regulator. Therefore, I am not able to order another country's regulator to act in a certain way. But that's why our regulator will continue to work with the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation to ensure that the appropriate steps are taken, to ensure fairness in the vocational sectors as well, where we do not have control over our regulator's qualifications. 

Diolch, Dirprwy Lywydd, ac a gaf ddiolch i Suzy Davies am y cwestiynau yna? A gaf i ddechrau drwy ddweud nad oeddwn i'n bwriadu dirmygu Aelodau'r Siambr hon o gwbl o ran y cyfweliad a roddais i i'r Sunday Times? Mae'r Aelod yn llygad ei lle, fe gynhaliwyd y cyfweliad hwnnw bythefnos yn ôl. Nid wyf i'n deall yn iawn pam wnaeth y Sunday Times oedi cyn cyhoeddi'r cyfweliad, ac fe'i rhoddwyd i'r papur hwnnw mewn ymateb i gyhoeddi dwy gyfres o gynghorion a roddwyd i mi, a'r hyn a roddwyd i'r papur oedd disgrifiad o hynny, oherwydd nid oedden nhw'n deall y gwahaniaeth rhwng y ddwy gyfres o gynghorion. Roedd cyhoeddi'r cyfweliad hwn y tu hwnt i'm rheolaeth i, ond fe allaf i eich sicrhau chi nad oeddwn i'n bwriadu dirmygu Aelodau'r Siambr hon mewn unrhyw ffordd, ac fel yr ydych chi wedi darllen, os ydych chi wedi darllen y stori yn y Sunday Times, roedd yna lawer iawn o ddyfalu, rhywfaint o hynny'n amlwg iawn, o gofio'r tebygrwydd rhwng y ddwy gyfres o gynghorion o ran—[Anghlywadwy.]—ac roedd y stori'n anghywir o ran y penderfyniad a wneuthum i o ran Lefel A. Felly, rwy'n awyddus i dawelu meddwl y Siambr nad oedd hynny'n golygu unrhyw amharch, ac fe ddysgais innau wers yn hynny o beth.

Fe soniodd yr Aelod am y brechlyn, ac rwy'n deall pam, oherwydd mae hon wedi bod yn flwyddyn sobr o ddigalon i bob un ohonom ac felly mae hyd yn oed y llygedyn hwn o oleuni ynglŷn â'r posibilrwydd y caiff brechlyn ei gyflwyno yn rhywbeth yr ydym i gyd yn awyddus i ddal ein gafael ynddo o dan yr amgylchiadau. Dirprwy Lywydd, rwy'n amau ein bod ni i gyd yn ddiolchgar am y doniau anhygoel hynny ledled y byd sydd wedi gweithio mor galed i geisio datblygu'r brechlyn hwnnw, ond rwy'n credu ei bod yn rhaid inni bwyllo ychydig bach. Mae llawer i'w wneud eto, ac mae maint y sialens o ran dosbarthu, hyd yn oed os byddwn ni'n cyrraedd y sefyllfa lle gellir dosbarthu brechlyn, yn wirioneddol heriol, ac fe amlinellodd y Prif Weinidog rai o'r rhain yn gynharach.

O ran cyflwyno'r brechlyn hwnnw, yn amlwg, rydym ni'n cael ein harwain gan y pwyllgor sy'n rhoi cyngor i Lywodraethau ledled y DU ynghylch defnyddio brechlyn yn briodol, ac mae'n rhy gynnar i ddweud ar hyn o bryd, ond, yn amlwg, fe fydd aelodau'r gymdeithas sy'n agored i niwed, os bydden nhw'n gweithio ym myd addysg neu'r tu allan i fyd addysg, rwy'n siŵr, yn cael blaenoriaeth. Yr hyn yr ydym ni'n edrych arno hefyd yw cyfundrefnau profi eraill ar gyfer cefnogi addysg a helpu i leihau'r tarfu ac mae hynny'n llawer mwy blaenllaw yn ein hystyriaethau ni, oherwydd mae honno'n sefyllfa sy'n llawer mwy tebygol y gallwn ni weithredu yn gynt arni yng Nghymru yn hytrach nag aros am y brechlyn.

Roedd Suzy Davies yn dweud bod y penderfyniad heddiw yn amlygu heriau dysgu cyfunol, a'n dull ni o gefnogi dysgwyr sy'n eu cael eu hunain y tu allan i'r ysgol. Rwyf i o'r farn ei bod hi'n iawn i dynnu sylw at y ffaith bod y sefyllfa honno'n amrywio, ac rydym yn parhau i weithio gyda'r sector addysg i ddatrys amrywioldeb hynny. Dim ond yr wythnos diwethaf, yn ystod y cyfnod atal byr, rwy'n ymwybodol bod rhai ysgolion wedi cyflwyno eu hamserlen gyfan drwy wersi byw; nid oedd ysgolion eraill mewn sefyllfa i allu gwneud hynny. Ond rwy'n siŵr y byddai'r Aelod yn cyfaddef—a phe bai hi wedi gwrando ar y pennaeth a oedd yn siarad ar Radio Wales y bore yma—hyd yn oed pan fo'r dysgu cyfunol hwnnw o'r ansawdd gorau, nid yw hynny'n cymryd lle cael bod mewn ysgol. A'r broblem sy'n fy wynebu i, a'r broblem y mae ein hathrawon a'n myfyrwyr ni'n ei hwynebu, yw na allwn ni warantu faint o amser y byddan nhw'n ei dreulio yng nghwmni eu hathrawon. Rydym eisoes wedi gweld llawer iawn o amrywioldeb. Mae rhai plant, fel y dywedais i, yn ffodus iawn, heb gael eu heffeithio ac maen nhw wedi gallu bod yn yr ysgol drwy'r amser. Mae plant eraill—myfyrwyr y bûm i'n siarad â nhw—wedi colli pedair wythnos eisoes oherwydd gorfod ynysu gan eu bod nhw mewn swigen a oedd wedi bod ag achos cadarnhaol o'r feirws. Felly, nid—. Rwy'n cytuno bod angen inni wneud yn well o ran dysgu cyfunol, ond nid dyna'r rheswm am ysgogi hyn heddiw o reidrwydd.

O ran natur yr asesiadau, mae'n bwysig iawn fod yna amrywiaeth o ffyrdd ar gyfer asesu plant. O ran natur a nifer yr asesiadau, y grŵp dylunio a chyflwyno a fydd yn rhoi ystyriaeth i hynny, fel mewn ymateb i argymhelliad adroddiad Louise Casella, gan ddysgu gwersi'r llynedd yn sgil peidio â gwneud unrhyw beth i'r system, ond mewn gwirionedd gan weithio gyda'r system i greu system sydd mor gadarn a chyfartal a theg â phosibl ac sy'n wir ymwybodol o'r pwysau gwaith ar athrawon. Mae yna gydbwysedd i'w ganfod o ran grymuso athrawon yn y broses hon, a chredwch chi fi, maen nhw'n dymuno cael eu grymuso, ac mae llawer ohonyn nhw'n awyddus i ymgymryd â'r gwaith, ond, yn ogystal â hynny, i ystyried y pwysau anhygoel sydd arnyn nhw eisoes wrth gadw'r drysau ar agor, ac mae'r cydbwysedd hwnnw i'w ganfod yn yr hyn y gall aelodau eraill o'r sector addysg ei wneud yng Nghymru i'w cefnogi nhw yn y gwaith hwn.

Fe soniodd yr Aelod am yr hyn sy'n digwydd hefyd os bydd grŵp allan o'r ysgol. Wel, fe fydd yr asesiadau a bennir yn allanol ar gael i ysgolion, ond yr ysgolion a fydd yn penderfynu, pan fyddan nhw'n gallu gwneud hynny, pryd y dylid cynnal yr asesiadau hyn, felly mae yna rywfaint o hyblygrwydd yn hyn o beth a ddylai roi ystyriaeth i rai o'r heriau o ran iechyd y cyhoedd y gallwn ni fod yn eu hwynebu. O ran prifysgolion, fe fynegodd y prifysgolion yn eglur iawn i mi beth oedd eu blaenoriaethau nhw. Yn gyntaf, addysg, addysgu a dysgu yw hynny, a sicrhau bod yr wybodaeth a'r cysyniadau allweddol ym meddiant y myfyrwyr i ganiatáu iddyn nhw fod yn llwyddiannus pan fyddan nhw'n cyrraedd y brifysgol. Ac felly roedd gwneud yn fawr o'r amser ar gyfer addysgu a dysgu yn bwysig iawn iddyn nhw;  mae'r system hon yn caniatáu inni wneud hynny. Yr elfen bwysig arall oedd bod sicrwydd cydraddoldeb, a bod ein rheoleiddiwr yn fodlon i roi eu henwau nhw wrth y cynigion hyn, a honno, unwaith eto, yw'r system y gwnaethom ni ymgyrraedd ati.

O ran cymwysterau galwedigaethol, nid ydym yn yr un sefyllfa o ran cymwysterau galwedigaethol, o ystyried eu natur nhw, sef bod y mwyafrif llethol o fyfyrwyr Cymru, fel y dywedais i yn fy natganiad, yn dilyn cymwysterau sy'n cael eu rhannu â gweddill y DU, ac nad ydyn nhw mewn gwirionedd yn cael eu rheoleiddio gan ein rheoleiddiwr ni ein hunain. Felly, ni allaf i orchymyn rheoleiddiwr mewn gwlad arall i weithredu mewn ffordd arbennig. Ond dyna pam y bydd ein rheoleiddiwr ni'n parhau i weithio gyda'r Swyddfa Rheoleiddio Cymwysterau ac Arholiadau i sicrhau bod y camau priodol yn cael eu cymryd, i sicrhau tegwch yn y sectorau galwedigaethol hefyd, lle nad oes gennym ni reolaeth ar gymwysterau ein rheoleiddiwr ni. 

15:10

Dwi yn croesawu'r newyddion yma. Fel y gwyddoch chi, mae Plaid Cymru wedi bod yn gwneud yr achos dros ddileu arholiadau'r haf ers misoedd bellach. Mi fydd y cyhoeddiad yma yn rhyddhad i bobl ifanc, i rieni ac i ysgolion ledled Cymru. Mi fyddai hi wedi bod yn amhosib cynnal arholiadau allanol mewn modd fyddai'n rhoi tegwch i ddisgyblion dan yr amgylchiadau presennol. Mae'r penderfyniad yn golygu y bydd trefniadau amgen yn eu lle ac na fydd angen gwneud newidiadau disymwth funud olaf, fel y digwyddodd yr haf diwethaf, ac mae hynny i'w groesawu yn fawr iawn. Ni ddylai unrhyw Lywodraeth roi ei phobl ifanc dan bwysau sylweddol diangen, fel y gwnaethpwyd yr haf diwethaf. Byth eto roi cymhwyster cyn llesiant. Byth eto greu cymaint o bryder i filoedd o bobl ifanc Cymru.

Felly, dwi yn croesawu'r newyddion, ond mae gen i bryderon a llawer iawn o gwestiynau am y trefniadau amgen sydd i'w rhoi ar waith. Rydych chi newydd gyhoeddi gwybodaeth am gymwysterau galwedigaethol, ac y bydd yna arholiadau diwedd blwyddyn i'r cohort yma o fyfyrwyr. Ac unwaith eto, mae'r myfyrwyr yma—y bobl ifanc yma—yn cael eu gadael i lawr, achos maen nhw'n cael eu heffeithio yn union yr un peth â disgyblion eraill Cymru, ac mi fyddwn i yn eich annog chi yn gryf i gadw hyn dan adolygiad manwl a chadw golwg barcud ar y sefyllfa.

A gaf i droi at y trefniadau asesu newydd—y profion a'r asesiadau allanol—ar gyfer TGAU, AS a lefel A? Pam wnaethoch chi benderfynu bod yn rhaid cael asesiadau allanol, sef asesiadau sydd yn cael eu gosod a'u marcio yn allanol? Dwi wedi cael etholwr prynhawn yma yn cysylltu ac yn gofyn hyn: beth ydy'r gwahaniaeth rhwng asesiadau dan amodau arholiad sydd wedi eu cynllunio gan fwrdd arholi o'i gymharu â sefyll arholiadau o dan yr hen drefn? Mae'r etholwr yma yn dweud bod y gair 'canslo' yn rhoi camargraff llwyr, ac mai arholiadau drwy'r drws cefn fydd yn digwydd efo'r asesiadau allanol yma, felly hoffwn i gael eich barn chi am hynny. Pam ddim gosod y tasgau'n fewnol a'u safoni yn allanol? Oni fyddai hynny yn ffordd decach ymlaen, o gofio bod addysg ein pobl ifanc ni yn cael ei amharu arni yn waeth mewn rhai mannau lle mae'r haint yn uchel, a bod y bwlch digidol hefyd yn creu sefyllfa anghydradd, sef yr un dadleuon, mewn gwirionedd, dros ganslo arholiadau? Onid ydy'r rheini yn berthnasol i brofion allanol hefyd?

Fe fydd pobl eisiau gwybod faint o brofion fydd yna a faint fydd gwerth y profion tuag at y cymhwyster terfynol, ac mi fydd yna gwestiynau hefyd ynglŷn ag aseiniadau—yr aseiniad lle mae disgybl yn cael y cwestiwn ymlaen llaw ac arholiad ar ddiwedd y dydd. Ai hynny fydd yn digwydd efo aseiniadau? A fydd yna aseiniad ym mhob pwnc ac a fyddan nhw'n seiliedig ar y fanyleb gyfan ym mhob pwnc? Nifer o gwestiynau, a dwi'n gwybod eich bod chi'n nodi bod grŵp wedi cael ei sefydlu i bennu y manylder yma ynglŷn â'r trefniadau asesu amgen. Mae yna lawer iawn o waith i'w wneud a thrafodaethau manwl a thechnegol i'w cael, ac mae hi yn bwysig bod y penderfyniadau cywir yn cael eu gwneud o safbwynt faint o'r trefniadau sy'n digwydd yn fewnol, yn yr ysgolion, a faint o rôl fydd gan CBAC neu eraill. Mi fyddai'n dda cael gwybod prynhawn yma beth ydy union amserlen y grŵp yma.

Rydym ni'n disgwyl penderfyniadau erbyn diwedd y flwyddyn. Gobeithio na fydd yna ddim llusgo traed. Mae'n rhaid caniatáu i ysgolion roi'r trefniadau priodol yn eu lle ac i ddisgyblion gael deall sut y byddan nhw'n cael eu hasesu, achos tra bo ansicrwydd yn parhau mi fydd athrawon a disgyblion yn parhau i fod yn bryderus. Llawer o fanylion i'w trafod, felly, a'u cytuno, ac mi fyddaf i'n parhau i gyfrannu'n adeiladol at y trafodaethau, ac mi fyddaf i, bob tro, yn mynnu mai lles plant a phobl ifanc fydd canolbwynt pob penderfyniad gan y Llywodraeth hon.

I do welcome this news. As you know, Plaid Cymru has been making the case for having no end-of-year exams for months now. This announcement will be a relief to young people, their parents and to schools across Wales. It would have been impossible to hold external examinations in a way that would be fair to pupils under current circumstances. The decision does mean that alternative arrangements will be in place, and that no last-minute changes will need to be made, as was the case last summer, and that is to be warmly welcomed. No Government should put its young people under significant pressures unnecessarily, as happened last summer. Never again should we put qualifications before well-being. Never again should we create so much anxiety to thousands of young people in Wales.

Therefore, I do welcome the news, but I do also have some concerns and a huge number of questions on the alternative arrangements to be put in place. You have just announced information about vocational qualifications, and that there will be end-of-year examinations for that cohort of students. And once again, those students and those young people are being let down, because they are being affected in exactly the same way as other pupils in Wales, and I would urge you to keep this under detailed review and keep a very close eye on the situation.

May I turn now to the new assessment arrangements—the externally set tests for GCSE, AS and A-level? Why did you decide that there needed to be external assessments, namely assessments set and marked externally? I've had a constituent contact me this afternoon, asking: what is the difference between assessments in exam conditions that are planned by an examination board, as compared to taking examinations under the old system? This constituent says that the word 'cancel' gives a complete misimpression and these are examinations through the back door, and that that's what these externally set assessments will be, so I'd like your view on that. Why not set those tasks internally and moderate them externally? Wouldn't that be a fairer way forward, bearing in mind that the education of our young people has been affected more in certain areas where cases of COVID are high, and that a digital divide also creates inequality, which are exactly the same arguments for canceling the examinations? Aren't they also pertinent to external tests too?

People will want to know how many tests there will be and what the value of those will be in terms of their contribution to qualifications, and there will also be questions on assignments, where pupils receive a question beforehand and an examination at the end of the day. Is that what will happen with assignments? Will these happen in every subject, and will they apply to the whole curriculum? I know that there are a number of questions, and I know that you noted that a group had been established to look at the detail in terms of the alternative assessment arrangements. But there is a great deal of work to be done and detailed and technical discussions to be had. It is important that the right decisions are made in terms of how much of this happens internally within schools and what role the WJEC or others may have. I would like to know this afternoon what the exact timetable is for this advisory group. 

We are expecting decisions by the end of the year. Hopefully, there will be no delays. We must allow schools to put appropriate arrangements in place so that pupils can understand how they will be assessed, because, whilst there is ongoing uncertainty, teachers and pupils will continue to be concerned. There are many details to be discussed and agreed, and I will continue to contribute constructively to those discussions, and I will always insist that it's the well-being of children and young people that should be the focus of all decisions taken by this Government.

15:15

Thanks, Siân Gwenllian, for those questions. She began by saying that she believed that exams should have been scrapped at an earlier point. Well, the policy of Plaid Cymru is to get rid of exams, and that's a perfectly legitimate policy to have. It's not a policy I share; I believe exams are an important part of our education system. If I thought it was possible to run exams in a fair and equitable way, that's what I would've done this year. It's not an easy decision that we've made today to scrap them.

So, I don't share her overall view with regard to exams, but it is clear to me that, in the circumstances in which we find ourselves, and with the ongoing uncertainty about what the public health situation may be as we move over the winter, exams in these circumstances cannot be delivered fairly or equitably, and I have made that decision as soon as I can. I daresay some people will criticise me and say that I should hang on and wait to see how the winter has been, but, if I had done that, that would have led to further—not confusion, but further anxiety as students and teachers tried to ride both horses, one horse thinking that the exam would happen and therefore cramming through content and getting ready for an exam, and another horse of continuous assessment and testing, not knowing from one lesson to another which piece of work would be the piece of work that would be looked at by, potentially, an external examiner. That is what is putting stress on our children and our teachers, and we've made a decision today to give absolute clarity, so that all of our time and attention can now turn to really positive teaching and learning experiences.

With regard to vocational qualifications, I understand that the situation is difficult and different for those students, but, as I explained to Suzy Davies, I simply am not in a position to issue instructions to a different regulator, and therefore—. But I can give the assurance that we will be keeping, as with Qualifications Wales, in close touch with Ofqual to ensure that those students are not disadvantaged. 

With regard to what the Member described as 'tests', these are not tests and I think we do have to be really, really careful with our terminology here. These are assessments that will be provided to schools by the WJEC. And why is that? Well, there are two very important reasons. We've just heard from Suzy Davies about workload for teachers. Actually, having an outside body bringing that extra capacity and resource into the system means that they don't have to design these assessments. Somebody else will do that work for them. And that is one way in which we can take the burden off the teaching profession. The second is because then there is a national consistency that allows us to do moderation, because each child will have been asked to complete a similar task within that classroom setting.

So, when it comes to moderation and ensuring that an A in Llandudno is exactly the same as an A score in Cardiff, then that can be done on the basis of exactly the same task that has been undertaken within the classroom, therefore ensuring that there is that national consistency. And secondly also ensuring that—. I'm sure the Member has read in great detail the analysis of qualifications work with regard to the equality impacts of CAGs, which is where we ended up last summer. They raised some very, very serious issues about equality issues, and therefore having some uniformity in this system ensures that those people that have concerns about unconscious bias et cetera—those concerns can be addressed. Also, it allows us to provide a route into the examination system for our independent candidates.

Earlier on, Suzy Davies asked me for a statement—oh, sorry, it was Mike Hedges that asked for a statement—on home-schooled children. Now, last year we found it very, very difficult to be able to respond to independent candidates. Having nationally agreed, designed by our examination board tasks for children to sit gives us a route in for some of those independent candidates to be able to access a grade this year in a way that they can't do if they're not part of a formal assessment centre. So, this gives us an opportunity to address those students' needs as well, and we're trying to be fair to every learner that we have in our system at the moment.

With regard to the number and the nature, then that will be a matter for the group. We could see—. Potentially, they could advise me that maybe the number of tasks will be different depending on the nature of the course of study. When talking to universities, for instance, they were very concerned with regard to maths and students that were wanting to go on to do a maths-related degree—ensuring that they had all the basic underpinnings to allow them to be successful in the next stage of their careers. Therefore, the group may recommend slightly different approaches, depending on subjects, but that is a matter for them, and it's very important to recognise that those matters will be addressed by headteachers and lecturers and college leaders who are on the front line and know how best we can do that fairly. I expect that work, as I said in my statement, to be completed by December, so we can begin the roll-out of this programme of work in January.

Diolch, Siân Gwenllian, am y cwestiynau yna. Fe ddechreuodd drwy ddweud ei bod hi'n credu y dylid bod wedi diddymu'r arholiadau cyn hyn. Wel, polisi Plaid Cymru yw cael gwared ar arholiadau, ac mae hwnnw'n bolisi cwbl ddilys i'w gael. Nid yw'n bolisi yr wyf i'n cytuno ag ef; rwyf i o'r farn fod arholiadau yn rhan bwysig o'n system addysg ni. Pe bawn i'n credu bod modd cynnal arholiadau mewn ffordd deg a chyfartal, fe fyddwn i wedi eu cynnal nhw eleni. Nid penderfyniad hawdd i ni heddiw oedd eu diddymu nhw.

Felly, nid wyf i o'r un farn gyffredinol â hi ynglŷn ag arholiadau, ond mae'n amlwg i mi, o dan ein hamgylchiadau presennol, a chyda'r ansicrwydd parhaus ynghylch beth allai'r sefyllfa fod o ran iechyd y cyhoedd dros y gaeaf, na ellir cyflwyno arholiadau mewn ffordd deg a chyfartal, ac rwyf wedi gwneud y penderfyniad hwn cyn gynted ag yr oeddwn i'n gallu gwneud felly. Mae'n gwbl bosibl y bydd rhai yn fy meirniadu i gan ddweud y dylwn i ddal fy ngafael ac aros i weld sut aeaf fydd hwn, ond, pe byddwn i wedi gwneud hynny, fe fyddai hynny wedi arwain at ragor—nid o ddryswch, ond rhagor o ofid wrth i fyfyrwyr ac athrawon geisio marchogaeth dau geffyl, gydag un ceffyl yn credu bod arholiad am ddigwydd ac felly'n dysgu'r holl ffeithiau ac yn paratoi am arholiad, a'r ceffyl arall yn asesu a phrofi'n barhaus, heb wybod o un wers i'r llall pa ddarn o waith fyddai'r darn o waith i'w ystyried gan arholwr allanol o bosibl. Dyna sy'n rhoi straen ar ein plant a'n hathrawon ni, ac rydym wedi gwneud penderfyniad heddiw i roi eglurder llwyr, fel y gall ein holl amser a'n sylw ni droi nawr at brofiadau addysgu a dysgu gwirioneddol gadarnhaol.

O ran cymwysterau galwedigaethol, rwy'n deal bod y sefyllfa yn un anodd a gwahanol ar gyfer y myfyrwyr hynny, ond, fel yr oeddwn i'n egluro i Suzy Davies, nid wyf i mewn sefyllfa i roi cyfarwyddiadau i wahanol reoleiddiwr, ac felly—. Ond fe allaf i roi'r sicrwydd y byddwn ni'n cadw, fel gyda Cymwysterau Cymru, mewn cysylltiad agos gyda'r Swyddfa Rheoleiddio Cymwysterau ac Arholiadau i sicrhau nad yw'r myfyrwyr hynny o dan anfantais.

O ran yr hyn a ddisgrifiodd yr Aelod yn 'brofion', nid profion yw'r rhain ac rwy'n credu y dylem ni fod yn ofalus iawn gyda'r derminoleg yn hyn o beth. Asesiadau yw'r rhain a ddarperir ar gyfer ysgolion gan CBAC. A pham hynny? Wel, mae yna ddau reswm pwysig iawn. Rydym newydd glywed gan Suzy Davies am bwysau gwaith ar athrawon. Mewn gwirionedd, mae cael corff allanol sy'n dod â'r capasiti a'r adnodd ychwanegol hwnnw i mewn i'r system yn golygu nad oes yn rhaid iddyn nhw gynllunio'r asesiadau hyn. Fe fydd rhywun arall yn gwneud y gwaith hwnnw drostyn nhw. Ac mae honno'n un ffordd o dynnu'r baich oddi ar y proffesiwn addysgu. Yr ail reswm yw bod cysondeb cenedlaethol ar gael wedyn sy'n ein galluogi ni i gymedroli, oherwydd fe ofynnir i bob plentyn gwblhau tasg gymharol yn yr un modd yn y stafell ddosbarth honno.

Felly, o ystyried cymedroli a sicrhau bod sgôr o A yn Llandudno yn gwbl gyfystyr â sgôr A yng Nghaerdydd, yna fe ellir gwneud hynny ar sail yr un dasg yn union sy'n cael ei chyflawni o fewn y dosbarth, gan sicrhau'r cysondeb cenedlaethol hwnnw. Ac yn ail hefyd sicrhau bod—. Rwy'n siŵr bod yr Aelod wedi darllen yn fanwl trwy'r dadansoddiad o waith ynglŷn â chymwysterau o ran effeithiau graddau a asesir mewn canolfannau ar gydraddoldeb, sef pen ein taith ni'r haf diwethaf. Roedden nhw'n codi rhai materion difrifol iawn ynglŷn â materion cydraddoldeb, ac felly mae cael rhywfaint o unffurfiaeth yn y system hon yn sicrhau bod y bobl hynny sydd â phryderon am ragfarn anymwybodol ac ati—fe ellir mynd i'r afael â'r pryderon hynny. Hefyd, mae hyn yn caniatáu inni gael llwybr i'r system arholi ar gyfer ein harholwyr annibynnol ni.

Yn gynharach, fe ofynnodd Suzy Davies imi am ddatganiad—o, mae'n ddrwg gen i, Mike Hedges oedd yn gofyn am ddatganiad—am blant sy'n cael eu haddysg yn y cartref. Nawr, y llynedd, roedd hi'n anodd iawn gallu ymateb i ymgeiswyr annibynnol. Ar ôl cytuno'n genedlaethol ar dasgau a gynlluniwyd gan ein bwrdd arholi ni i blant eu cyflawni, mae hynny'n cynnig llwybr inni ar gyfer rhai o'r ymgeiswyr annibynnol hynny i allu ennill gradd eleni mewn ffordd nad oedd yn bosibl iddyn nhw heb fod yn rhan o ganolfan asesu ffurfiol. Felly, mae hyn yn gyfle inni fynd i'r afael ag anghenion y myfyrwyr hynny hefyd, ac rydym yn ceisio gwneud cyfiawnder â phob dysgwr sydd gennym yn ein system ar hyn o bryd.

O ran eu nifer a'u natur nhw, mater i'r grŵp fydd hynny. Fe allem ni weld—. Fe allen nhw fy nghynghori i y bydd nifer y tasgau yn amrywio yn ôl natur y cwrs a astudir. Wrth siarad â phrifysgolion, er enghraifft, roedden nhw'n pryderu llawer am fathemateg a myfyrwyr a oedd yn awyddus i fynd ymlaen i astudio am radd sy'n gysylltiedig â mathemateg—ac am sicrhau bod yr holl sail sylfaenol yn cael ei gosod i ganiatáu iddyn nhw allu llwyddo yng ngham nesaf eu gyrfaoedd nhw. Felly, efallai y bydd y grŵp yn argymell dulliau ychydig yn wahanol, yn ôl y pynciau, ond mater iddyn nhw yw hynny, ac mae'n bwysig iawn cydnabod y bydd penaethiaid a darlithwyr ac arweinwyr colegau sydd ar y rheng flaen yn mynd i'r afael â'r materion hynny ac fe fydd y ffordd orau o wneud hynny mewn ffordd deg yn hysbys iddyn nhw. Rwy'n disgwyl y bydd y gwaith hwnnw, fel y dywedais i yn fy natganiad, wedi ei gwblhau erbyn mis Rhagfyr, ac felly fe allwn ni ddechrau cyflwyno'r rhaglen waith hon ym mis Ionawr.

15:20

Can I thank the Minister for her statement this afternoon? I very much welcome the ability to actually have clarity now, for our young people and for teachers to know where they will be going and heading towards at the end of this year. I also have—. With experience of having taught in comprehensives, further education and universities, I know there's a great deal of experience out there of the profession being able to do assessments like this, have external moderation, and ensure that consistency and fairness apply across the piste for all subjects. So, I think that's very, very positive for us.

I want to ask a couple of questions in relation to, perhaps, the AS-level—we've talked about A-levels and we've talked about GCSEs, but what about the year 10s and the year 12s? How will this impact upon their studies for the following year in 2022, so that they also know and teachers know what their targets will be for that examination? Because that's critical for those groups of students. It is true that disruption is going to happen. I have full confidence in the blended learning approach, but we also need to look at those assessments, particularly in vocational work, where there are centre-based assessments based upon practical assessments, where they have to be on site. How have you sorted out that arrangement to ensure that, if there's disruption, those students who need to be on site for practical work will be able to do so and those tests or assessments will be taking place?

Can you also tell me, clearly, in relation to the training of teachers to ensure that they're fully aware and have an understanding of what their role will be in this? Because what I'm assuming is that, when you talk about an externally-set assessment and external marking, what will come is actually teachers may well be doing the marking based upon externally-set marking schemes, and that will be moderated by sampling. Because, otherwise, there is a huge amount of work that would be required by the external examiners or external moderators to examine all and moderate all during that time. So, there is a difference there. Can you just make sure that there's clarity that they will be assessed by the teachers initially, based upon an external set of marking schemes, and they will then be sampled and moderated across Wales to ensure consistency there? 

A gaf i ddiolch i'r Gweinidog am ei datganiad y prynhawn yma? Rwy'n mawr groesawu'r gallu i gael eglurder gwirioneddol nawr, er mwyn i'n pobl ifanc ni a'n hathrawon wybod i ble y byddan nhw'n mynd a beth i'w anelu ato ar ddiwedd y flwyddyn. Mae gennyf i hefyd—. Gyda phrofiad o fod wedi dysgu mewn ysgolion cyfun, colegau addysg bellach a phrifysgolion, rwy'n gwybod fod yna lawer iawn o brofiad o fewn y proffesiwn i allu cynnal asesiadau fel hyn, cael cymedroli allanol, a sicrhau bod cysondeb a thegwch yn berthnasol ledled y pynciau i gyd. Felly, rwy'n credu bod hynny'n rhywbeth sydd o'n plaid ni'n fawr iawn.

Rwyf i'n awyddus i ofyn ychydig o gwestiynau am Lefel AS, efallai—rydym wedi sôn am Lefel A ac rydym wedi sôn am gymwysterau TGAU, ond beth am flwyddyn 10 a blwyddyn 12? Sut fydd hyn yn effeithio ar eu hastudiaethau nhw ar gyfer y flwyddyn ganlynol yn 2022, fel eu bod nhw hefyd yn gwybod a'u hathrawon nhw'n gwybod beth fydd eu targedau nhw ar gyfer yr arholiadau hynny? Oherwydd fe fydd hynny'n hanfodol i'r grwpiau hynny o fyfyrwyr. Mae'n wir y bydd yna darfu. Mae gennyf hyder llwyr yn y dull cyfunol o ddysgu, ond mae angen inni hefyd edrych ar yr asesiadau hynny, yn enwedig o ran gwaith galwedigaethol, lle ceir asesiadau a gynhelir mewn canolfannau sy'n seiliedig ar asesiadau ymarferol, y mae'n rhaid eu cynnal ar y safle. Sut ydych chi wedi datrys y trefniant hwnnw i sicrhau, os bydd yna darfu, y gall y myfyrwyr y mae angen iddyn nhw fod ar y safle ar gyfer gwaith ymarferol wneud hynny ac y bydd y profion neu'r asesiadau hynny'n cael eu cynnal?

A wnewch chi ddweud wrthyf hefyd, yn glir, ynglŷn â hyfforddi athrawon i sicrhau eu bod nhw'n gwbl ymwybodol ac yn deall yn union beth yw eu swyddogaeth nhw yn hyn? Oherwydd rwy'n tybio, pan fyddwch chi'n siarad am asesiad a bennwyd yn allanol a marcio allanol, mai'r hyn fydd yn digwydd mewn gwirionedd yw y gallai athrawon fod yn gwneud y gwaith marcio yn seiliedig ar gynlluniau marcio a bennwyd yn allanol, ac fe gaiff hynny ei gymedroli drwy samplu. Oherwydd, fel arall, byddai angen i'r arholwyr allanol neu gymedrolwyr allanol wneud llawer o waith i archwilio popeth a chymedroli'r cyfan yn ystod y cyfnod hwnnw. Felly, mae yna wahaniaeth yn hynny o beth. A allwch wneud yn siŵr fod yna eglurder y byddan nhw'n cael eu hasesu gan yr athrawon i ddechrau, yn seiliedig ar gyfres allanol o gynlluniau marcio, ac yna y byddan nhw'n cael eu samplu a'u cymedroli ledled Cymru i sicrhau cysondeb? 

15:25

Thank you very much to David Rees for his questions. I think what is really important is that we are looking to design a system that is familiar to teachers. Now is not the time to create newfangled and new ways of doing things, when we all recognise the immense strain that individual teachers, schools and colleges are under at the moment. So, carrying out assessments, tasks of this kind and continuous assessment—these processes are well-known to schools and well understood by schools. So, there shouldn't be a need for a school to acquaint themselves with a completely new, different system—the principles that we're talking about here are well-known and well understood by our teaching workforce.

With regard to practical examinations, David, you are right. For some vocational qualifications, the ability to demonstrate your technical skill, expertise and your ability to undertake that role is a crucial part of gaining your accreditation to enter into a profession. We're very mindful of that, and you will be aware that those learners were prioritised in the late spring and early summer of last year to get them back into college before anybody else to allow them to complete their studies. And we will work with our colleges and our work-based learning providers to ensure that every step is made to allow students to finish and gain a qualification that allows them either to move on to further study or on into the world of work.

With regard to training, clearly, there will be a training need and our expectation is that it's a question of all hands to the pump in this scenario. So, we would be expecting our regional school improvement services, as well as the WJEC, to be able to provide training and advice to schools as to how they should administer any class-based assessments, and, as you said, any marking schemes, not just for the externally assessed assessments, but, actually, the entire moderating process and allocating grades, because that's a really difficult and challenging job to do. Last year, the criticism was—and quite rightly so—that we didn't put in place that opportunity to provide that support for schools. Schools were left pretty much on their own to get on with it. And we need to learn the lessons and ensure that there is an infrastructure around schools this time to support the implementation and operationalisation of this system. Thank you.

Diolch yn fawr iawn i David Rees am ei gwestiynau ef. Rwy'n credu mai'r hyn sy'n wirioneddol bwysig yw ein bod ni'n ceisio cynllunio system sy'n gyfarwydd i'r athrawon. Nid dyma'r amser i greu ffyrdd newydd sbon o wneud pethau, a ninnau'n  cydnabod y straen aruthrol sydd ar athrawon, ysgolion a cholegau unigol ar hyn o bryd. Felly, cynnal asesiadau, tasgau o'r math hwn ac asesu parhaus—mae'r prosesau hyn yn gyfarwydd i'r ysgolion ac mae'r ysgolion yn eu deall nhw'n iawn. Felly, ni ddylai fod angen i ysgol ymgyfarwyddo â system gwbl newydd a gwahanol—mae'r egwyddorion yr ydym yn sôn amdanyn nhw yma yn hysbys ac yn cael eu deall yn iawn gan y gweithlu addysgu.

O ran arholiadau ymarferol, David, rydych chi'n iawn. Ar gyfer rhai cymwysterau galwedigaethol, mae'r gallu i ddangos eich sgil technegol, eich arbenigedd a'ch gallu chi i ymgymryd â'r gwaith hwnnw'n rhan hanfodol o ennill eich achrediad ar gyfer ymuno â phroffesiwn. Rydym yn ymwybodol iawn o hynny, ac fe fyddwch chi'n ymwybodol bod y dysgwyr hynny wedi cael blaenoriaeth ar ddiwedd y gwanwyn ac ar ddechrau'r haf y llynedd i'w cael nhw yn ôl i'w colegau o flaen neb arall i'w galluogi nhw i orffen eu hastudiaethau. Ac fe fyddwn ni'n gweithio gyda'n colegau a'n darparwyr addysg sy'n seiliedig ar waith i sicrhau bod pob cam yn cael ei gwblhau i ganiatáu i fyfyrwyr orffen ac ennill cymhwyster sy'n eu galluogi i naill ai symud ymlaen i astudio ymhellach neu fynd ymlaen i'r byd gwaith.

O ran hyfforddiant, yn amlwg, fe fydd yna angen hyfforddiant a'n disgwyliad ni yw mai mater o bob un yn torchi ei lewys fydd hi yn y senario hwn. Felly, fe fyddem ni'n disgwyl i'n gwasanaethau rhanbarthol gwella ysgolion ni, yn ogystal â CBAC, allu darparu hyfforddiant a chyngor i ysgolion ynghylch sut y dylen nhw weinyddu unrhyw asesiadau yn y dosbarth, ac, fel yr oeddech chi'n dweud, unrhyw gynlluniau o ran marcio, nid yn unig ar gyfer yr asesiadau a asesir yn allanol, ond, mewn gwirionedd, y broses gymedroli gyfan a neilltuo graddau, oherwydd mae hwnnw'n waith anodd a heriol iawn. Y llynedd, y feirniadaeth oedd—a hynny'n gwbl briodol—na roddwyd y cyfle hwnnw ar waith i roi'r cymorth hwnnw i ysgolion. Cafodd yr ysgolion eu gadael i fwrw ymlaen fwy neu lai ar eu pennau eu hunain. Ac mae angen inni ddysgu'r gwersi a sicrhau bod seilwaith yno o ran yr ysgolion y tro hwn i gefnogi'r gwaith o wireddu a gweithredu'r system hon. Diolch.

15:30

Minister, thank you for this statement and clarification today. I think there'll be some people who will criticise you for not waiting longer, there will be others who will say you waited too long. I just think you had to make the decision, and you've looked at the evidence and decided the best way forward, and a judgment call had to be made. At least now we've got certainty and clarity for students and for teachers and for headteachers and senior staff. So, thank you for this today.

Can I ask you, what do the proposals mean as they come forward for those pupils and students who are already educationally disadvantaged, either because of their past experience of education, or home circumstances, and so on? Will the proposals, as they're developed by the group you've set up, enable them to actually not only keep pace but catch up if they have fallen behind? Can I also ask whether there will be flexibility for any cohorts or any individuals that are especially impacted, either now or over the next few months by COVID, which is still with us? Will there be some flexibility around dates and times of teaching and assessment—limited as it must be—in order that they can also complete their course and have good outcomes at the end?

And finally, we're not in this alone, Minister, of course. I'm just wondering what discussions you're having with counterparts in England, in Scotland, Northern Ireland, but also in our European neighbours close by, including in Ireland, so we can share experience, learn lessons, and devise the best way forward together, learning from each other.

Gweinidog, diolch am y datganiad hwn a'r eglurhad heddiw. Rwy'n credu y bydd yna rai yn eich barnu chi am beidio â phwyllo digon, ac fe fydd yna eraill yn dweud eich bod wedi cymryd gormod o bwyll. Rwyf i o'r farn eich bod wedi gorfod gwneud penderfyniad, rydych wedi edrych ar y dystiolaeth ac wedi penderfynu ar y ffordd orau ymlaen, ac roedd yn rhaid dod i farn ynglŷn â hynny. Bellach o leiaf mae gennym sicrwydd ac eglurder i fyfyrwyr ac athrawon a phenaethiaid ac uwch staff. Felly, diolch i chi am yr hyn a gawsom heddiw.

A gaf i ofyn ichi, beth fydd y cynigion hyn yn ei olygu,wrth iddyn nhw gael eu cyflwyno, i'r disgyblion a'r myfyrwyr hynny sydd eisoes dan anfantais addysgol, naill ai oherwydd eu profiad blaenorol nhw o addysg, neu'r amgylchiadau ar yr aelwyd, ac yn y blaen? A fydd y cynigion hyn, wrth iddyn nhw gael eu datblygu gan y grŵp a sefydlwyd gennych chi, yn eu galluogi nhw nid yn unig i weithio'r un mor gyflym ond i ddal i fyny os ydyn nhw wedi colli tir? A gaf i ofyn hefyd a fydd yna hyblygrwydd i unrhyw garfannau neu unrhyw unigolion sydd wedi eu heffeithio, naill ai nawr neu dros y misoedd nesaf, gan COVID, sy'n parhau i fod gyda ni? A fydd rhywfaint o hyblygrwydd o ran dyddiadau ac amseroedd addysgu ac asesu—cyfyngedig fel y mae'n rhaid i hynny fod—er mwyn iddyn nhw allu cwblhau eu cwrs a chael canlyniadau da ar y diwedd?

Ac yn olaf, wrth gwrs, nid ydym ar ein pennau ein hunain yn hyn o beth, Gweinidog. Tybed pa drafodaethau sy'n digwydd gyda chymheiriaid yn Lloegr, yn yr Alban, yng Ngogledd Iwerddon, ond hefyd â'n cymdogion Ewropeaidd cyfagos, gan gynnwys yn Iwerddon, fel y gallwn ni rannu profiadau, dysgu gwersi, a chynllunio'r ffordd orau ymlaen gyda'n gilydd, gan ddysgu oddi wrth ein gilydd.

Thank you very much to Huw Irranca-Davies. Can I just say, throughout this pandemic, whichever portfolio you find yourself in, there are no easy decisions to be made? Each decision that comes in front of myself, or any other colleagues, often is far from the optimum situation that we would want to find ourselves in. And it's really very, very challenging, as it is very, very challenging to be out there in our schools and colleges at the moment. I don't think we should under-estimate how difficult and challenging it is. I simply cannot predict how the months ahead may go, but if the disruption that we have seen to date is replicated, then, clearly, it is simply not fair.

Your question about how we can help students catch up. You will have seen in the advice to me from Qualifications Wales that it is not the job nor is it possible for a qualifications system to address the fundamental issue that we have here, which is this massive disruption to our education. The qualifications system can't in itself, on its own, make up for those lost lessons. What the qualifications system has to do is reflect the circumstances in which education is being delivered at the moment. And we have other policy initiatives that are designed to address the concerns that you have raised. It is nigh on impossible for the qualifications system to do that, but we need to make it as fair as we possibly can in the circumstances, and I believe that is what we have done today.

It is a 'yes' to your flexibility question around timing. This is about empowering our headteachers, our senior management teams, and our classroom teachers to undertake assessments at a time that is best for them and best for their cohort.

And with regards to discussions within the rest of the United Kingdom, well, we're the last part of the United Kingdom to make a decision on 2021. We've been criticised for that, but it has allowed us to really reflect on what has happened and on the advice of the independent review. I don't criticise education Ministers in other parts of the United Kingdom for taking different approaches; we're all struggling with the same wicked problems, and, as I said, there are no easy answers. They have taken their paths, I have taken the decision that I feel is in the best interests of our own education system. But we keep talking to one another as to how we can learn lessons from one another, and how we can implement the best policy ideas, if they are in the interests of our own children. And we do that both within the United Kingdom and part of our membership of the Atlantic Rim Collaboratory, where we're looking internationally at experiences in other parts of the world, to see what lessons we can learn from them, not just around examinations, but how we run an education system in the middle of a global pandemic.

Diolch yn fawr iawn i Huw Irranca-Davies. A gaf i ddweud, drwy gydol y pandemig hwn, pa bortffolio bynnag y cewch chi eich hunan ynddo, nid oes unrhyw benderfyniadau yn hawdd eu gwneud? Mae pob penderfyniad sy'n dod ger fy mron i, neu gerbron unrhyw gyd-Aelodau eraill, ymhell o fod y sefyllfa orau y byddem ni'n dymuno bod ynddi. Ac mae hyn yn heriol iawn, iawn, gan ei bod yn heriol iawn i fod allan yno yn ein hysgolion a'n colegau ni ar hyn o bryd. Nid wyf i'n credu y dylem fod dan unrhyw gamargraff pa mor anodd a heriol yw hyn. Ni allaf i ragweld yr hyn a all ddigwydd yn y misoedd o'n blaenau ni, ond os gwelwn ni'r tarfu a welsom hyd yn hyn yn cael ei ailadrodd, yna, yn amlwg, nid yw'n deg o gwbl.

Eich cwestiwn chi o ran sut y gallwn helpu myfyrwyr i ddal i fyny. Rydych chi wedi gweld yn y cyngor gan Cymwysterau Cymru, sy'n mynegi nad swyddogaeth system gymwysterau, ac nad yw'n bosibl chwaith i system gymwysterau, fynd i'r afael â'r mater sylfaenol sydd gennym dan sylw yma, sef y tarfu enbyd ar ein haddysg. Ni all y system gymwysterau ynddi hi ei hun, ar ei phen ei hun, lenwi bwlch y gwersi hynny a gollwyd. Yr hyn y mae'n rhaid i'r system gymwysterau ei wneud yw adlewyrchu amgylchiadau'r addysg a roddir ar hyn o bryd. Ac mae gennym ni fentrau polisi eraill a gynlluniwyd i fynd i'r afael â'r pryderon a godwyd gennych chi. Mae bron yn amhosibl i'r system gymwysterau wneud hynny, ond mae angen inni ei wneud mor deg ag y gallwn ni o dan yr amgylchiadau, ac rwyf i o'r farn mai dyna a wnaethom ni heddiw.

Bydd, fe fydd yna hyblygrwydd ynghylch amseru yw'r ateb i'ch cwestiwn chi. Mae hyn yn ymwneud â grymuso ein penaethiaid ni, ein huwch dimau rheoli ni, a'n hathrawon dosbarth ni i gynnal asesiadau ar yr amserau mwyaf cyfleus iddyn nhw a'u carfan nhw.

Ac o ran y trafodaethau yng ngweddill y Deyrnas Unedig, wel, ni yw'r rhan olaf o'r Deyrnas Unedig i wneud penderfyniad ynglŷn â 2021. Rydym wedi cael ein barnu oherwydd hynny, ond mae hyn wedi ein galluogi ni i roi ystyriaeth wirioneddol i'r hyn sydd wedi digwydd ac i gyngor yr adolygiad annibynnol. Nid wyf yn feirniadol o'r Gweinidogion Addysg mewn rhannau eraill o'r Deyrnas Unedig am ddewis dulliau amrywiol; rydym ni i gyd yn ymlafnio gyda'r un problemau dybryd, ac, fel y dywedais, nid oes atebion hawdd. Maen nhw wedi cymryd eu llwybrau eu hunain, ac rwyf innau wedi gwneud y penderfyniad yn y ffordd yr wyf i'n teimlo sydd er lles gorau ein system addysg ni ein hunain. Ond rydym yn dal i siarad â'n gilydd am sut y gallwn ddysgu gwersi oddi wrth ein gilydd, a sut y gallwn ni weithredu'r syniadau gorau o ran polisi, os ydyn nhw er budd ein plant ni ein hunain. Ac rydym ni'n gwneud hynny o fewn y Deyrnas Unedig ac yn rhan o'n haelodaeth ni o'r Atlantic Rim Collaboratory, lle rydym ni'n edrych o safbwynt rhyngwladol ar brofiadau mewn rhannau eraill o'r byd, i weld pa wersi y gallwn ni eu dysgu, nid yn unig o ran arholiadau, ond o ran sut yr ydym ni am redeg system addysg yng nghanol pandemig byd-eang.

Can I just take the opportunity to welcome your announcement, and also all the work that you've done as education Minister? Since I was first elected in 2016 I've often sat in awe of the work that you've done, and we're very proud to have you as part of this Chamber.

With regard to this decision, can I just press you a little bit more on what David Rees asked? And perhaps you could say a little bit more about the moderation process and how moderation is going to happen in a way that will engender confidence in the education population. And one other aside to that, is it not possible to introduce a process of peer review at a local level amongst clusters of schools in order to add an extra layer of rigour there? And I understand perhaps it's a bit ambitious for next year, but isn't this a way of perhaps building back better in the future too? 

A gaf i achub ar y cyfle i groesawu eich cyhoeddiad chi, a'r holl waith a wnaethoch fel Gweinidog Addysg hefyd? Ers imi gael fy ethol gyntaf yn 2016 rwyf wedi eistedd yma droeon yn rhyfeddu at y gwaith a wnaethoch, ac rydym yn falch iawn o'ch cael chi yn rhan o'r Siambr hon.

O ran y penderfyniad hwn, a gaf i bwyso arnoch ryw ychydig bach ynglŷn â'r hyn a ofynnodd David Rees? Ac efallai y gwnewch chi ddweud ychydig mwy wrthym ni am y broses gymedroli a sut fydd y cymedroli'n digwydd mewn ffordd a fydd yn ennyn hyder ymysg y boblogaeth addysg. Ac un peth arall ar ben hynny, onid oes modd cyflwyno proses o adolygu gan gymheiriaid ar lefel leol ymhlith clystyrau o ysgolion er mwyn ychwanegu haen ychwanegol o drylwyredd? Rwy'n deall efallai y byddai hynny'n reit uchelgeisiol ar gyfer y flwyddyn nesaf, ond onid yw hon yn ffordd o ailgodi'n gryfach efallai yn y dyfodol hefyd?

15:35

Can I thank Hefin David for his questions and his kind comments? I think I've got the best job in the world, even in the middle of a global pandemic, so thank you for your kind words. It's always the kindness that kills you, isn't it, Deputy Presiding Officer? But thank you very much for that. 

In terms of moderation, the details of the moderation process is the main job of the design and delivery group. I'm not putting any constraints on that, except the broad principles about them being equitable and fair and building confidence. And we will look to have a verification of moderation processes, whether that be at a school based level or whether that be at a cluster based level, but we want a national verification that the school—the individual centre—has everything that they need in place to give confidence that their moderation processes are fair and robust. I'm mindful of workload, as always, in all of this, and, of course, the more we take teachers out into time to do these kinds of issues we're taking them away from being in front of their children and their students. But, clearly, that will be a consideration for the design and delivery group, but it's certainly something that should be considered carefully. 

A gaf i ddiolch i Hefin David am ei gwestiynau a'i sylwadau caredig? Rwy'n credu bod gennyf i'r swydd orau yn y byd, hyd yn oed yng nghanol pandemig byd-eang, felly diolch am eich geiriau caredig. Y caredigrwydd sydd wastad yn eich llethu chi, onid e, Dirprwy Lywydd? Ond diolch yn fawr am hynny.

O ran cymedroli, manylion y broses gymedroli yw prif waith y grŵp dylunio a chyflawni. Nid wyf yn cyfyngu ar hynny mewn unrhyw fodd, ac eithrio'r egwyddorion cyffredinol eu bod yn deg ac yn gyfiawn ac yn magu hyder. A byddwn ni'n ceisio gwirio prosesau cymedroli, boed hynny ar lefel ysgol neu boed hynny ar lefel clwstwr, ond fe hoffwn ni wirio'n genedlaethol bod gan yr ysgol—y ganolfan unigol—bopeth sydd ei angen arni i fod yn ffyddiog bod ei phrosesau cymedroli yn deg ac yn gadarn. Rwy'n ymwybodol o'r llwyth gwaith, fel bob amser, yn hyn i gyd, ac, wrth gwrs, wrth inni hawlio mwy o amser athrawon a'u cymryd nhw o'u dosbarthiadau i ymdrin â'r mathau hyn o faterion, rydym ni yn eu tynnu nhw oddi wrth eu gwaith o ddysgu eu plant a'u myfyrwyr. Ond, yn amlwg, bydd hynny'n ystyriaeth i'r grŵp dylunio a chyflawni, ond mae'n sicr yn rhywbeth y dylid ei ystyried yn ofalus.

Thank you very much, Minister, for grasping the nettle, because I think it's really important for the well-being, not just of learners, but also of teachers to have some certainty about how we're going to move forward on this important matter, because otherwise the poor old teachers are absolutely agonising over how they're going to get their students through this when they may have to quarantine a particular cohort of students for a couple of weeks, or even for a second period. So, I think this is a really helpful announcement.

Equity is an aspiration but, frankly, in this situation, it's really difficult to see how we're going to achieve equity, because it depends on the rigour with which senior management teams are running their schools to ensure that we are containing any outbreak that a student or a teacher brings in from the community to the minimum amount of teachers, and it also depends on our personal circumstances. We're not teachers. We might be able to make a good fist at A-level politics, but unless our name's Dai Lloyd, we're not going to be able to teach our students biology. I'd be absolutely lost. So, I think we have to understand that if pupils aren't in school they're probably not going to be learning to the standard that they would be if they were in school.

So, for a start, we have to make it perfectly acceptable for a student to want to redo a year, because if they've missed huge quantities of learning and haven't been able to get the A-levels that they want in order to go on to the next level say, for example, university, they need to be able to have a second chance at being able to demonstrate that they have that level of competency. But, equally, we can't just be passporting students through just because we want to be kind to them if they don't actually have the grounding required to follow higher education, and universities are quite right to emphasise that point.

So, I strongly support this idea of a stakeholder group of a design and delivery advisory group who are going to help you decide on the rigour with which we are going to ensure that standards in Caernarfon, Caersws and Cardiff are going to be the same to ensure that people get particular qualifications. But, as you say, the rigour of this process is going to enable universities, with confidence, to be certain they can offer places to people, because they are very used to accepting different qualifications, because university education is one of our most successful exports and they're obviously assessing people who have—

Diolch yn fawr iawn, Gweinidog, am fynd i'r afael â'r broblem, oherwydd rwy'n credu ei bod hi'n llesol iawn, nid yn unig i ddysgwyr, ond hefyd i athrawon gael rhywfaint o sicrwydd ynghylch sut y byddwn yn gweithredu ar y mater pwysig hwn, oherwydd fel arall mae'r hen athrawon druan yn poeni'n fawr am sut y byddant yn tywys myfyrwyr drwy hyn i gyd pan fydd yn rhaid iddyn nhw ynysu carfan benodol o fyfyrwyr am ychydig wythnosau, neu hyd yn oed am ail gyfnod. Felly, rwy'n credu bod hwn yn gyhoeddiad defnyddiol iawn.

Mae tegwch yn ddyhead ond, a dweud y gwir, yn y sefyllfa hon, mae'n anodd iawn gweld sut y byddwn yn sicrhau tegwch, oherwydd mae'n dibynnu ar ba mor drylwyr y mae uwch dimau rheoli yn rhedeg eu hysgolion i sicrhau ein bod yn cyfyngu unrhyw achosion o'r haint y mae myfyriwr neu athro yn eu trosglwyddo o'r gymuned i gyn lleied o athrawon â phosib, ac mae hefyd yn dibynnu ar ein hamgylchiadau personol. Nid athrawon ydym ni. Efallai y gallem ni gael hwyl pur dda ar wleidyddiaeth Safon Uwch, ond oni bai mai Dai Lloyd yw ein henw ni, ni fyddem yn gallu dysgu bioleg i'n myfyrwyr. Byddem ar goll yn llwyr. Felly, rwy'n credu bod yn rhaid i ni ddeall, os nad yw disgyblion yn yr ysgol, mae'n debyg na fyddant yn dysgu i'r safon â phe baen nhw yn yr ysgol.

Felly, i ddechrau, mae'n rhaid i ni ei gwneud hi'n gwbl dderbyniol i fyfyrwyr fod eisiau ail-wneud blwyddyn, oherwydd os ydyn nhw wedi colli llawer iawn o ddysgu ac nad ydynt nhw wedi gallu cael y graddau Safon Uwch sydd eu heisiau arnyn nhw er mwyn mynd ymlaen i'r cam nesaf, dyweder, er enghraifft, prifysgol, mae angen iddyn nhw gael ail gyfle er mwyn dangos bod ganddyn nhw y cymhwysedd hwnnw. Ond, yn yr un modd, ni allwn ni fod yn rhoi graddau i fyfyrwyr o ran caredigrwydd yn unig os nad oes ganddyn nhw'r sylfaen sydd ei hangen i ddilyn cwrs addysg uwch, ac mae prifysgolion yn llygad eu lle i bwysleisio hynny.

Felly, rwy'n cefnogi'n gryf y syniad hwn o grŵp o randdeiliaid, o grŵp cynghori dylunio a darparu a wnaiff eich helpu i benderfynu pa mor drylwyr fyddwn ni o ran sicrhau y bydd safonau yng Nghaernarfon, Caersws a Chaerdydd yr un fath i sicrhau y caiff bobl gymwysterau penodol. Ond, fel y dywedwch chi, bydd trylwyredd y broses hon yn galluogi prifysgolion, i fod yn ffyddiog eu bod yn sicr y gallan nhw gynnig lleoedd i bobl, oherwydd maen nhw wedi hen arfer â derbyn cymwysterau gwahanol, oherwydd addysg prifysgol yw un o'n hallforion mwyaf llwyddiannus ac mae'n amlwg eu bod yn asesu pobl sydd—

15:40

—a whole range of qualifications. So, I'd be grateful if you could tell us how you think universities are going to grasp this with enthusiasm, not just in Wales but in England.

—ag ystod eang o gymwysterau. Felly, byddwn yn ddiolchgar pe gallech chi ddweud wrthym ni sut ydych chi'n credu y bydd prifysgolion yn ymroi yn frwdfrydig i hyn, nid yn unig yng Nghymru ond yn Lloegr.

Thank you very much. Can I just say this is absolutely not a question of us being kind or being soft on students in this cohort? It is a question of being fair to them. Their education has been affected in a way that none of us could have imagined in February of last year, so this is not a question of being soft or kind; this is about creating a rigorous system that allows them to be awarded a grade and allows them to progress. And teachers know, teachers absolutely know that they're not doing their students any favours at all if they over-represent that student's ability within a subject. That only leads to failure potentially later on and a great deal of distress, and I know that our professionals working with our children and young people do not want that to happen. They will give a fair assessment, and they will be helped to give a fair assessment by that national approach to having tasks that they will be able to refer to as part of this system.

And with regard to universities, can I just say, as I said, they are very clear that they want some external validation? They're are also very clear to me that they expect our qualifications regulator to sign these qualifications off as being robust. But they also have something else that they can bank on when they're considering Welsh students: our pass rate, at the very highest levels of A-levels prior to the pandemic, was growing every year. In 2019, we had the highest percentage of A* and A students at A-levels. That was the quality of our post-16 education in Wales before the pandemic. I understand that cohorts change from year to year, but that quality is still there. It's still there in our system, it's being delivered day in, day out, whether that's in in-person teaching in a classroom or teachers working from home, or students learning from home. That quality is still there and they can be assured of the quality of a candidate coming from Wales, that they will have been awarded a fair grade for their work and they can look to offer them a place at the university with utter, utter confidence.

Diolch yn fawr iawn. A gaf i ddweud nad oes a wnelo hyn o gwbl â ni yn bod yn garedig neu yn glên wrth fyfyrwyr yn y garfan hon? Mae'n fater o fod yn deg â nhw. Effeithiwyd ar eu haddysg mewn ffordd na allai'r un ohonom ni fod wedi'i dychmygu ym mis Chwefror y llynedd, felly nid yw hyn yn fater o fod yn glên nac yn garedig; mae a wnelo hyn â chreu system drylwyr sy'n caniatáu iddyn nhw gael gradd ac yn caniatáu iddyn nhw wneud cynnydd. Ac mae athrawon yn gwybod, mae athrawon yn gwybod yn iawn nad ydyn nhw yn gwneud unrhyw gymwynas o gwbl os ydyn nhw yn gorbwysleisio gallu'r myfyriwr hwnnw mewn pwnc. Nid yw hynny ond yn arwain at fethiant o bosib yn ddiweddarach a llawer iawn o drallod, ac rwy'n gwybod nad yw ein gweithwyr proffesiynol sy'n gweithio gyda'n plant a'n pobl ifanc eisiau i hynny ddigwydd. Byddant yn rhoi asesiad teg, a byddant yn cael cymorth i roi asesiad teg gan y dull cenedlaethol hwnnw o fod â thasgau y gallan nhw gyfeirio atyn nhw yn rhan o'r system hon.

Ac o ran prifysgolion, a gaf i ddweud, fel y dywedais, eu bod yn glir iawn bod arnyn nhw eisiau rhywfaint o ddilysu allanol? Buon nhw hefyd yn glir iawn gyda mi eu bod yn disgwyl i'n rheoleiddiwr cymwysterau gadarnhau fod y cymwysterau hyn yn rhai cadarn. Ond mae ganddyn nhw rywbeth arall y gallan nhw fod yn sicr ohono hefyd pan fyddant yn ystyried myfyrwyr Cymru: roedd ein cyfradd basio, ar y lefelau uchaf un o Safon Uwch cyn y pandemig, yn tyfu bob blwyddyn. Yn 2019, cawsom y ganran uchaf o fyfyrwyr a gafodd A* ac A yn eu harholiadau Safon Uwch. Dyna oedd ansawdd ein haddysg ôl-16 yng Nghymru cyn y pandemig. Deallaf fod carfannau'n newid o flwyddyn i flwyddyn, ond mae'r ansawdd hwnnw yno o hyd. Mae'n dal yno yn ein system, caiff hynny ei ddarparu o ddydd i ddydd, boed hynny drwy addysgu wyneb yn wyneb mewn ystafell ddosbarth neu drwy athrawon yn gweithio gartref, neu drwy fyfyrwyr yn dysgu gartref. Mae'r ansawdd hwnnw yno o hyd a gallant fod yn sicr o ansawdd ymgeisydd sy'n dod o Gymru, y bydd wedi cael gradd deg am ei waith ac fe allan nhw gynnig lle iddo yn y brifysgol yn gwbl, gwbl ffyddiog. 

Diolch, Dirprwy Lywydd. Minister, you can assert that quality, but whether universities accept that or make their own potentially different judgment, and, similarly, for employers, will be their decision. You said that what you've done is ensure national consistency, so an A in Llandudno will mean the same as an A in Cardiff, but it won't mean that an A in Llandudno means the same as an A in Liverpool or an A in London. And no wonder Plaid Cymru support this policy: you have put yet another divide between Wales and England. The results that Welsh students get, because of the very different means of assessment to how children in England are going to be judged this year, is going to be a challenge, whether it's with universities or whether it's persuading employers that their teachers' view of them is equivalent to an external competitive examination that many of the people they are competing with will have achieved in England, with the decisions of the UK Government. So, that decision to make us different, despite knowing the decisions that have been made elsewhere, will surely make it more difficult for those here affected to compete, whether in a university or in the employment market. Didn't Tony Blair's Minister for schools Andrew Adonis hit it on the head when he said earlier today, in response to the leak of your announcement and statement,

'I strongly support the sitting of GCSEs and A-levels by students in England next year & would not wish the government to copy the socially regressive policy of Wales in suspending them'?

Diolch, Dirprwy Lywydd. Gweinidog, fe allwch chi honni'r ansawdd hwnnw, ond penderfyniad prifysgolion yw derbyn hynny neu ddod i'w casgliad eu hunain a allai fod yn wahanol, ac, yn yr un modd, cyflogwyr. Fe wnaethoch chi ddweud mai'r hyn yr ydych chi wedi'i wneud yw sicrhau cysondeb cenedlaethol, felly bydd A yn Llandudno yn golygu'r un peth ag A yng Nghaerdydd, ond ni fydd yn golygu bod A yn Llandudno yn golygu'r un peth ag A yn Lerpwl neu A yn Llundain. Does dim rhyfedd bod Plaid Cymru yn cefnogi'r polisi hwn: rydych chi wedi creu rhaniad arall eto rhwng Cymru a Lloegr. Bydd y canlyniadau a gaiff myfyrwyr Cymru, oherwydd y dull gwahanol iawn o asesu o'i gymharu â sut y caiff plant yn Lloegr eu hasesu eleni, yn her, boed hynny gyda phrifysgolion neu ynglŷn â darbwyllo cyflogwyr bod barn eu hathrawon amdanyn nhw'n cyfateb i arholiad cystadleuol allanol y bydd llawer o'r bobl y maen nhw'n cystadlu yn eu herbyn wedi'u cyflawni yn Lloegr, gyda phenderfyniadau Llywodraeth y DU. Felly, mae'n siŵr y bydd y penderfyniad hwnnw i'n gwneud yn wahanol, er ei bod yn gwybod am y penderfyniadau a wnaed mewn mannau eraill, yn ei gwneud hi'n anoddach i'r rhai yma yr effeithir arnyn nhw, gystadlu, boed hynny mewn prifysgol neu yn y farchnad gyflogaeth. Oni wnaeth Andrew Adonis, Gweinidog ysgolion Tony Blair, daro'r hoelen ar ei phen pan ddywedodd yn gynharach heddiw, mewn ymateb i ddatgelu eich cyhoeddiad a'ch datganiad,

Rwy'n cefnogi'n gryf bod myfyrwyr yn Lloegr yn sefyll arholiadau TGAU a Safon Uwch y flwyddyn nesaf ac ni fyddwn yn dymuno i'r llywodraeth efelychu polisi Cymru yn eu hatal, sy'n gam yn ôl yn gymdeithasol'?

Mr Reckless, you talk down Welsh teachers, Welsh students and the Welsh education system as much as you want; I disagree, sir. I have every confidence in our young people, our children, our lecturers, our teachers, our exam board and our independent regulator to ensure that students that leave our education system this year will have qualifications that are equally regarded as anywhere else, not just in this United Kingdom, about which you spend a lot of your time talking, but, indeed, the world.

I don't know the last time you spoke to an admissions tutor, but the university system deals with qualifications of students from across the globe. They are assessed in lots and lots and lots of different ways, they accept those students into their universities, and there is nothing different this year. Indeed, it is slightly a myth to think that the A-levels across the United Kingdom and the Scottish highers mirror and ape them; they don't. There are already differences in our systems.

I've taken this decision now in the best interests of our children and the best interests of our education system. I really hope for students in other parts of the United Kingdom that they will be able to proceed in the way in which their Governments have outlined to date, but I am not willing to take that risk with our students of making a late change of mind. I'm delivering clarity now to those young people, and I am delivering the time so that they can have positive teaching and learning experiences and we can design a different type of system of assessment this year that is robust.

Mr Reckless, dywedwch a fynnoch chi i ddifrïo athrawon Cymru, myfyrwyr Cymru a system addysg Cymru; rwy'n anghytuno, syr. Mae gennyf bob ffydd yn ein pobl ifanc, ein plant, ein darlithwyr, ein hathrawon, ein bwrdd arholi a'n rheoleiddiwr annibynnol i sicrhau y bydd gan fyfyrwyr sy'n gadael ein system addysg eleni gymwysterau a gaiff eu hystyried yn gyfwerth â rhai o unrhyw le arall, nid yn unig yn y Deyrnas Unedig hon, yr ydych chi'n treulio llawer o'ch amser yn siarad amdani, ond, yn wir, y byd.

Wn i ddim pryd oedd y tro diwethaf i chi siarad â thiwtor derbyn, ond mae'r system brifysgol yn ymdrin â chymwysterau myfyrwyr o bedwar ban byd. Cânt eu hasesu mewn amryfal ffyrdd gwahanol, maen nhw'n derbyn y myfyrwyr hynny i'w prifysgolion, ac nid oes dim byd gwahanol eleni. Yn wir, cyfeiliornus braidd yw meddwl bod arholiadau Safon Uwch ar draws y Deyrnas Unedig a'r arholiadau uwch yn Yr Alban yn cyfateb yn union iddyn nhw; dydyn nhw ddim. Mae gwahaniaethau eisoes yn ein systemau.

Rwyf wedi gwneud y penderfyniad hwn yn awr er lles ein plant a lles ein system addysg. Rwy'n gobeithio'n fawr y gall myfyrwyr mewn rhannau eraill o'r Deyrnas Unedig fwrw ymlaen yn y ffordd y mae eu Llywodraethau wedi amlinellu hyd yma, ond nid wyf yn fodlon mentro felly gyda'n myfyrwyr ni a newid meddwl yn hwyr yn y dydd. Rwy'n egluro nawr i'r bobl ifanc hynny, ac rwy'n neilltuo'r amser fel y gallan nhw gael profiadau addysgu a dysgu cadarnhaol ac y gallwn ninnau gynllunio math gwahanol o system asesu eleni sy'n gadarn.

15:45
4. Rheoliadau'r Cynllun Seibiant Dyledion (Moratoriwm Lle i Anadlu a Moratoriwm Argyfwng Iechyd Meddwl) (Cymru a Lloegr) 2020
4. The Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space Moratorium and Mental Health Crisis Moratorium) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020

Item 4 on the agenda this afternoon is the Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space Moratorium and Mental Health Crisis Moratorium) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 and I call on the Deputy Minister and Chief Whip to move the motion. Jane Hutt.

Eitem 4 ar yr agenda y prynhawn yma yw Rheoliadau'r Cynllun Seibiant Dyledion (Moratoriwm Lle i Anadlu a Moratoriwm Argyfwng Iechyd Meddwl) (Cymru a Lloegr) 2020 a galwaf ar y Dirprwy Weinidog a'r Prif Chwip i gynnig y cynnig. Jane Hutt.

Cynnig NDM7451 Rebecca Evans

Cynnig bod y Senedd, yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 27.5:

1. Yn cymeradwyo bod y fersiwn ddrafft o Reoliadau’r Cynllun Seibiant Dyledion (Moratoriwm Lle i Anadlu a Moratoriwm Argyfwng Iechyd Meddwl) (Cymru a Lloegr) 2020 yn cael ei llunio yn unol â’r fersiwn ddrafft a osodwyd yn y Swyddfa Gyflwyno ar 13 Hydref 2020.

Motion NDM7451 Rebecca Evans

To propose that the Senedd, in accordance with Standing Order 27.5:

1. Approves that the draft The Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space Moratorium and Mental Health Crisis Moratorium) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 is made in accordance with the draft laid in the Table Office on 13 October 2020.

Cynigiwyd y cynnig.

Motion moved.

Thank you, Dirprwy Lywydd, and thank you for the opportunity to open the debate seeking Members' approval of the Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space Moratorium and Mental Health Crisis Moratorium) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020. These regulations, commonly referred to as 'breathing space', fall outside of the Senedd's legislative competence. However, without the approval of the Senedd, the protections offered through breathing space will not be accessible to people in Wales. We know that life events like unemployment, illness and relationship breakdown are the key triggers for debt problems, and the circumstances we're facing with COVID-19 are increasing debt in households across Wales. When people fall into debt, the consequences can be severe.

But, thankfully, people can recover from debt. What they need is the time to seek professional advice and to understand their options without creditors threatening enforcement action or increasing their debt by adding on interest charges and other fees. This is what breathing space offers. For a 60-day period, people struggling with debt will get legal protection from creditors increasing their debt and from taking enforcement action, giving them the time to get the advice they need to start to bring their debts under control.

The link between poor mental health and debt is well evidenced. Half of all adults in problem debt also have a mental health problem, and I'm pleased people receiving mental health crisis treatment have an easier pathway to the protections offered by breathing space. Their protections will also last for longer than the standard 60 days, allowing people to complete their treatment, and then have the time to get advice and the help to make informed decisions on managing their debt.

Breathing space is the first part of the debt respite scheme. The statutory debt repayment plan is the second part and is expected to be introduced to 2022. As with breathing space, officials will work with policy makers to ensure the statutory debt repayment plan aligns with the needs of the people of Wales and the regulations will be brought before the Senedd for our approval. Diolch.

Diolch, Dirprwy Lywydd, a diolch am y cyfle i agor y ddadl yn gofyn i Aelodau gymeradwyo Rheoliadau'r Cynllun Seibiant Dyledion (Moratoriwm Lle i Anadlu a Moratoriwm Argyfwng Iechyd Meddwl) (Cymru a Lloegr) 2020. Mae'r rheoliadau hyn, y cyfeirir atyn nhw yn gyffredin fel 'lle i anadlu', y tu allan i gymhwysedd deddfwriaethol y Senedd. Fodd bynnag, heb gymeradwyaeth y Senedd, ni fydd yr amddiffyniadau a gynigir drwy'r moratoriwm lle i anadlu ar gael i bobl yng Nghymru. Gwyddom mai digwyddiadau bywyd fel diweithdra, salwch a chwalu perthynas yw'r sbardunau allweddol ar gyfer problemau dyled, ac mae'r amgylchiadau yr ydym ni yn eu hwynebu gyda COVID-19 yn cynyddu dyled ar aelwydydd ledled Cymru. Pan fydd pobl yn mynd i ddyled, gall y canlyniadau fod yn ddifrifol.

Ond, diolch byth, gall pobl ddod allan o ddyled. Yr hyn sydd ei angen arnyn nhw yw'r amser i geisio cyngor proffesiynol a deall y dewisiadau sydd ar gael iddyn nhw heb gredydwyr yn bygwth camau gorfodi neu yn cynyddu eu dyled drwy ychwanegu taliadau llog a ffioedd eraill. Dyma'r hyn y mae lle i anadlu yn ei gynnig. Am gyfnod o 60 diwrnod, caiff pobl sy'n ymrafael gyda dyled, amddiffyniadau cyfreithiol i atal credydwyr rhag cynyddu eu dyled a rhag cymryd camau gorfodi, gan roi amser iddyn nhw gael y cyngor sydd ei angen arnyn nhw i ddechrau rheoli eu dyledion.

Mae digon o dystiolaeth o'r cysylltiad rhwng iechyd meddwl gwael a dyled. Mae gan hanner yr holl oedolion sydd mewn dyledion sylweddol broblem iechyd meddwl hefyd, ac rwy'n falch ei bod hi'n haws i'r bobl sy'n cael triniaeth argyfwng iechyd meddwl elwa ar y warchodaeth y mae lle i anadlu yn ei chynnig. Bydd eu hamddiffyniadau hefyd yn para'n hwy na'r 60 diwrnod safonol, gan ganiatáu i bobl gwblhau eu triniaeth, ac yna i gael amser i gael cyngor a'r cymorth i wneud penderfyniadau gwybodus ynglŷn â rheoli eu dyled.

Lle i anadlu yw rhan gyntaf y cynllun seibiant dyledion. Y cynllun ad-dalu dyledion statudol yw'r ail ran a disgwylir iddo gael ei gyflwyno hyd at 2022. Fel gyda lle i anadlu, bydd swyddogion yn gweithio gyda llunwyr polisi i sicrhau bod y cynllun ad-dalu dyledion statudol yn cyd-fynd ag anghenion pobl Cymru ac fe gaiff y rheoliadau eu cyflwyno i'r Senedd i ni eu cymeradwyo.

I call on Carwyn Jones to speak on behalf of the Legislation, Justice and Constitution Committee. Carwyn Jones.

Galwaf ar Carwyn Jones i siarad ar ran Y Pwyllgor Deddfwriaeth, Cyfiawnder a’r Cyfansoddiad. Carwyn Jones.

Thank you, Dirprwy Lywydd. The Legislation, Justice and Constitution Committee considered these regulations on 2 November, and our report is available as part of the agenda. We have noted that these regulations are made by the Treasury under Part 1 of the Financial Guidance and Claims Act 2018, to which the Senedd gave its legislative consent on 13 February 2018. During that Plenary debate, the Minister for Housing and Regeneration at the time said this of any future debt respite scheme:

'This is still some way off, but we will continue to work closely with the UK Government and the SFGB, when it's established, in addition to advice providers and other stakeholders to influence the development of any scheme and determine whether it meets the requirements of Wales.'

Given this statement, we asked the Welsh Government to set out how the debt respite scheme has been developed to meet the requirements of Wales and to confirm whether it's content that these regulations do not generally come into force until 4 May next year. In its response, the Welsh Government advised us that officials had been working closely with the Treasury on the policy for the debt respite scheme since 2018. In addition, we were told that Welsh Government lawyers assessed the draft regulations for the scheme, following which the UK Government made amendments to the draft regulations to ensure they aligned with Welsh legislation.

With regard to the commencement date of the regulations, the Welsh Government's response indicates that the development of the debt respite scheme was delayed on two occasions, a fact that it has found disappointing. However, the Welsh Government considers that there remains a lot of challenging work, and while it would welcome the implementation of the scheme taking place before May of next year, it considers that it is more important that a scheme is implemented with all protections in place. As such, the Welsh Government has accepted an implementation date of 4 May 2021.

As a committee, we are aware that the Welsh Government has laid a legislative consent memorandum before the Senedd in addition to the UK Financial Services Bill. I draw this to Members' attention this afternoon because that LCM indicates that the regulations being considered today are the first part of the debt respite scheme. The second part, the statutory debt repayment plan, is the subject of the UK Financial Services Bill. Our committee will consider the LCM for this Bill in the coming weeks, and no doubt the Senedd will be asked to consider a consent motion in the near future. Thank you, Dirprwy Lywydd.

Diolch, Dirprwy Lywydd. Ystyriodd Y Pwyllgor Deddfwriaeth, Cyfiawnder a’r Cyfansoddiad y rheoliadau hyn ar 2 Tachwedd, ac mae ein hadroddiad ar gael yn rhan o'r agenda. Rydym ni wedi nodi y gwneir y rheoliadau hyn gan y Trysorlys o dan Ran 1 o Ddeddf Canllawiau Ariannol a Hawliadau 2018, y rhoddodd y Senedd ei chydsyniad deddfwriaethol iddi ar 13 Chwefror 2018. Yn ystod y ddadl honno yn y Cyfarfod Llawn, dyma ddywedodd y Gweinidog Tai ac Adfywio ar y pryd am unrhyw gynllun seibiant dyledion yn y dyfodol:

Mae ffordd bell i fynd, ond byddwn yn parhau i weithio'n agos gyda Llywodraeth y DU a'r Corff Canllawiau Ariannol Sengl, pan gaiff ei sefydlu, yn ogystal â darparwyr cyngor a rhanddeiliaid eraill i ddylanwadu ar ddatblygiad unrhyw gynllun a phenderfynu a yw'n diwallu anghenion Cymru.

O ystyried y datganiad hwn, gofynnwyd i Lywodraeth Cymru nodi sut y datblygwyd y cynllun seibiant dyledion i ddiwallu anghenion Cymru a chadarnhau a yw'n fodlon nad yw y rheoliadau hyn yn dod i rym yn gyffredinol tan 4 Mai y flwyddyn nesaf. Wrth ymateb, dywedodd Llywodraeth Cymru wrthym y bu swyddogion yn gweithio'n agos gyda'r Trysorlys ar y polisi ar gyfer y cynllun seibiant dyledion ers 2018. Yn ogystal, dywedwyd wrthym ni fod cyfreithwyr Llywodraeth Cymru wedi asesu'r rheoliadau drafft ar gyfer y cynllun, ac yn dilyn hynny diwygiodd Llywodraeth y DU y rheoliadau drafft i sicrhau eu bod yn cyd-fynd â deddfwriaeth Cymru.

O ran dyddiad cychwyn y rheoliadau, mae ymateb Llywodraeth Cymru yn dangos y bu oedi cyn datblygu'r cynllun seibiant dyledion ar ddau achlysur, ffaith y bu yn siomedig yn ei chylch. Fodd bynnag, mae Llywodraeth Cymru o'r farn bod llawer o waith heriol eto i'w wneud, ac er y byddai'n croesawu gweithredu'r cynllun cyn mis Mai y flwyddyn nesaf, mae hi o'r farn ei bod hi'n bwysicach gweithredu cynllun gyda phob amddiffyniad ar waith. O'r herwydd, mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi derbyn dyddiad gweithredu o 4 Mai 2021.

Fel pwyllgor, rydym yn ymwybodol bod Llywodraeth Cymru wedi cyflwyno memorandwm cydsyniad deddfwriaethol gerbron y Senedd yn ogystal â Bil Gwasanaethau Ariannol y DU. Tynnaf sylw'r Aelodau at hyn y prynhawn yma gan fod y memorandwm hwnnw'n dangos mai'r rheoliadau sy'n cael eu hystyried heddiw yw rhan gyntaf y cynllun seibiant dyledion. Mae'r ail ran, y cynllun ad-dalu dyledion statudol, yn destun Bil Gwasanaethau Ariannol y DU. Bydd ein pwyllgor yn ystyried y memorandwm ar gyfer y Bil hwn yn ystod yr wythnosau nesaf, ac mae'n siŵr y gofynnir i'r Senedd ystyried cynnig cydsyniad yn y dyfodol agos. Diolch, Dirprwy Lywydd.

15:50

Thank you. I call on the Deputy Minister and Chief Whip to reply to the debate.

Diolch. Galwaf ar y Dirprwy Weinidog a'r Prif Chwip i ymateb i'r ddadl.

Thank you very much, Deputy Presiding Officer. As Carwyn Jones has said, I think the responses to the Legislation, Justice and Constitution Committee have demonstrated that this is the appropriate time to proceed. If introduced in Wales in May 2021, breathing space will help those people who have been suffering from debt, the households whose financial burden is considerable, particularly with COVID-19 putting household finances under enormous strain. We have to move forward in terms of ensuring that breathing space will help these people to deal with their debt, perhaps at a time when, as I said, help has never been so needed. So I hope Members will join me in giving their approval to the breathing space regulations.

Diolch yn fawr iawn, Dirprwy Lywydd. Fel y dywedodd Carwyn Jones, credaf fod yr ymatebion i'r Pwyllgor Deddfwriaeth, Cyfiawnder a’r Cyfansoddiad wedi dangos mai dyma'r adeg briodol i fwrw ymlaen. Os caiff ei gyflwyno yng Nghymru ym mis Mai 2021, bydd lle i anadlu yn helpu'r bobl hynny sydd wedi bod yn dioddef o ddyled, yr aelwydydd y mae eu baich ariannol yn sylweddol, yn enwedig gyda COVID-19 yn rhoi cyllid cartrefi o dan straen enfawr. Rhaid i ni symud ymlaen o ran sicrhau y bydd lle i anadlu yn helpu'r bobl hyn i ymdrin â'u dyled, efallai ar adeg, fel y dywedais, pan na fu erioed mwy o angen am gymorth. Felly rwy'n gobeithio y gwnaiff yr Aelodau ymuno â mi i gymeradwyo'r rheoliadau ar gyfer lle i anadlu.

Thank you. The proposal is to agree the motion. Does any Member object? I see no objections. Therefore, in accordance with Standing Order 12.36, the motion is agreed.

Diolch. Y cynnig yw cytuno ar y cynnig. A oes unrhyw Aelod yn gwrthwynebu? Ni welaf unrhyw wrthwynebiadau. Felly, yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 12.36, derbynnir y cynnig.

Derbyniwyd y cynnig yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 12.36.

Motion agreed in accordance with Standing Order 12.36.

We will now take a break before we go into Stage 3, and we will ring the bell when we are ready to resume proceedings.

Fe gawn ni seibiant nawr cyn i ni ddechrau ar Gyfnod 3, a byddwn yn canu'r gloch pan fyddwn yn barod i ailddechrau'r trafodion.

Ataliwyd y Cyfarfod Llawn am 15:52.

Plenary was suspended at 15:52.

16:05

Ailymgynullodd y Senedd am 16:06, gyda'r Llywydd yn y Gadair.

The Senedd reconvened at 16:06, with the Llywydd in the Chair.

6. Dadl: Cyfnod 3 y Bil Llywodraeth Leol ac Etholiadau (Cymru)
6. Debate: Stage 3 on the Local Government and Elections (Wales) Bill

Croeso nôl, a dyma ni'n cyrraedd Cyfnod 3 ar Fil Llywodraeth Leol ac Etholiadau (Cymru).

Welcome back, and that brings us to the Stage 3 proceedings on the Local Government and Elections (Wales) Bill.

Grŵp 1: Etholiadau llywodraeth leol (Gweliannau 84, 85, 1, 86, 87, 99, 101,102, 103,104,105, 2, 106, 62, 64, 65, 66, 67, 147, 58, 59, 60, 61, 79, 55, 56)
Group 1: Local government elections (Amendments 84, 85, 1, 86, 87, 99, 101,102, 103,104,105, 2, 106, 62, 64, 65, 66, 67, 147, 58, 59, 60, 61, 79, 55, 56)

Mae'r grŵp cyntaf o welliannau'n ymwneud ag etholiadau llywodraeth leol. Gwelliant 84 yw'r prif welliant yn y grŵp yma, a dwi'n galw ar Mark Isherwood i gynnig y prif welliant a'r gwelliannau eraill yn y grŵp. Mark Isherwood.

The first group of amendments relates to local government elections. The lead amendment is amendment 84, and I call on Mark Isherwood to move and speak to the lead amendment and the other amendments in the group. Mark Isherwood.

Cynigiwyd gwelliant 84 (Mark Isherwood).

Amendment 84 (Mark Isherwood) moved.

Good afternoon. Amendments 84, 85 and 103 seek to remove the current provision that extends the right to vote in local government elections for all foreign citizens, regardless of citizenship. Most countries and nations that allow non-citizens to vote have a minimum residency requirement. For example, to be eligible to vote in New Zealand, the person has to have lived continuously in the country for 12 months, whilst to vote in regional and municipal elections in Denmark, for example, a person has to have had permanent residence in the country for three years before the date of the election. However, if these amendments fall, our belief that voting rights should be attached to a person's citizenship is reflected in our amendment 104, which is a compromise amendment to introduce a minimum residency requirement of three years, reflecting the pretty much average norm across the world, for qualifying foreign citizens to be eligible to vote in local government elections.

As I stated in the Stage 1 debate, currently Irish and Commonwealth citizens and relevant EU citizens can vote in local government and devolved elections, but this Bill would enable all foreign citizens legally resident in Wales to vote in local government elections. There's a long-standing reciprocal agreement between the UK and the Republic of Ireland as a consequence of the historic relationship between both countries, and the ability of Commonwealth citizens to vote at UK elections is a legacy of the Representation of the People Act 1918. However, this Bill, we believe, proposes a step too far. At least most of the few countries that allow foreign citizens to vote have a minimum residency requirement, but even that is missing here. As David Melding said when scrutinising similar provisions in this Senedd and elections Bill,

'their citizenship should determine where they principally vote, and if they make the choice not to pursue citizenship here, then it's their choice not to have political rights to the extent of voting in our elections'.

Amendments 86 and 87 place a specific duty on Welsh Ministers to introduce a national framework to promote awareness of the extension of the franchise for 16 and 17-year-olds and to develop a national framework on promoting awareness on political education. These amendments respond to the Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee's recommendation 2, which argued that the Bill should be amended to include specific provision that will add some adequate level of education on politics and democracy in Wales across all schools.

The Electoral Reform Society, or ERS, recommends that the Bill should be amended to include specific provision to roll out an adequate level of education on politics and democracy in Wales across all schools. In particular, they say, young people from the ages of 14 and 15 should receive this education to prepare them for voting at 16 years old. This programme of political awareness should be accompanied by clear lesson plans, they said, to empower teachers to deliver the lessons.

Pnawn da. Nod gwelliannau 84, 85 a 103 yw dileu'r ddarpariaeth bresennol sy'n ymestyn yr hawl i bleidleisio mewn etholiadau llywodraeth leol ar gyfer pob dinesydd tramor, waeth beth fo'i ddinasyddiaeth. Mae gan y rhan fwyaf o wledydd a chenhedloedd sy'n caniatáu i bobl nad ydynt yn ddinasyddion bleidleisio, ofyniad preswylio sylfaenol. Er enghraifft, er mwyn bod yn gymwys i bleidleisio yn Seland Newydd, mae'n rhaid i'r person fod wedi byw'n barhaus yn y wlad am 12 mis, ac i bleidleisio mewn etholiadau rhanbarthol a threfol yn Nenmarc, er enghraifft, mae'n rhaid i berson fod wedi preswylio'n barhaol yn y wlad am dair blynedd cyn dyddiad yr etholiad. Fodd bynnag, os bydd y gwelliannau hyn yn methu, adlewyrchir ein cred y dylai hawliau pleidleisio fod ynghlwm wrth ddinasyddiaeth person yng ngwelliant 104 o'n heiddo ni, sy'n welliant cyfaddawd i gyflwyno gofyniad preswylio sylfaenol o dair blynedd, gan adlewyrchu'r hyn sy'n eithaf cyffredin ledled y byd, i ganiatáu i ddinasyddion tramor cymwys bleidleisio mewn etholiadau llywodraeth leol.

Fel y dywedais yn y ddadl yn ystod Cyfnod 1, gall dinasyddion Iwerddon a'r Gymanwlad ar hyn o bryd, a dinasyddion perthnasol yr UE bleidleisio mewn llywodraeth leol ac etholiadau datganoledig, ond byddai'r Bil hwn yn galluogi pob dinesydd tramor sy'n preswylio'n gyfreithlon yng Nghymru i bleidleisio mewn etholiadau llywodraeth leol. Mae cytundeb cyfatebol hirsefydlog rhwng y DU a Gweriniaeth Iwerddon o ganlyniad i'r berthynas hanesyddol rhwng y ddwy wlad, ac mae gallu dinasyddion y Gymanwlad i bleidleisio yn etholiadau'r DU yn etifeddiaeth o Ddeddf Cynrychiolaeth y Bobl 1918. Fodd bynnag, credwn fod y Bil hwn yn cynnig cam yn rhy bell. Mae gan o leiaf y rhan fwyaf o'r ychydig wledydd sy'n caniatáu i ddinasyddion tramor bleidleisio ofyniad preswylio sylfaenol, ond mae hyd yn oed hynny ar goll yma. Fel y dywedodd David Melding wrth graffu ar ddarpariaethau tebyg yn y Bil Senedd ac etholiadau:

dylai eu dinasyddiaeth benderfynu ble maen nhw'n pleidleisio'n bennaf, ac os ydyn nhw'n dewis peidio â cheisio am ddinasyddiaeth yma, yna eu dewis nhw yw peidio â bod â hawliau gwleidyddol i'r graddau y gellir pleidleisio yn ein hetholiadau.

Mae gwelliannau 86 ac 87 yn gosod dyletswydd benodol ar Weinidogion Cymru i gyflwyno fframwaith cenedlaethol i hyrwyddo ymwybyddiaeth o ymestyn yr etholfraint i bobl ifanc 16 a 17 oed ac i ddatblygu fframwaith cenedlaethol ynglŷn â hyrwyddo ymwybyddiaeth o addysg wleidyddol. Mae'r gwelliannau hyn yn ymateb i argymhelliad 2 y Pwyllgor Cydraddoldeb, Llywodraeth Leol a Chymunedau, a oedd yn dadlau y dylid diwygio'r Bil i gynnwys darpariaeth benodol a fydd yn ychwanegu rhyw lefel ddigonol o addysg ynglŷn â gwleidyddiaeth a democratiaeth ym mhob ysgol yng Nghymru.

Mae'r Gymdeithas Diwygio Etholiadol, neu yr ERS fel y'i gelwir hi, yn argymell y dylid diwygio'r Bil i gynnwys darpariaeth benodol i gyflwyno lefel ddigonol o addysg ar wleidyddiaeth a democratiaeth yng Nghymru ym mhob ysgol. Yn benodol, dywedant, dylai pobl ifanc o 14 a 15 oed gael yr addysg hon i'w paratoi ar gyfer pleidleisio yn 16 oed. Dylai'r rhaglen hon o ymwybyddiaeth wleidyddol gyd-fynd â chynlluniau gwersi clir, maen nhw'n dweud, i rymuso athrawon i gyflwyno'r gwersi.

During Stage 2 of this Bill, the Minister argued against this amendment, stating that the new Curriculum for Wales will allow teachers to decide how to deliver education tailored to the specific needs of their pupils. This includes political education, which will come under the core purpose of supporting learners to become ethical and informed citizens of Wales and the world, highlighting opportunities to explore politics within the curriculum through the Welsh baccalaureate as part of the global citizenship challenge. As the Electoral Reform Society states, however, the reality is that, both at present and even in the context of the new curriculum, the teaching of political education will be at the discretion of teachers, and that is regardless of the amount of resources available. In the future, like now, there will therefore be pupils with different tiers of understanding of how decisions in Wales are made, and those on the lowest tier will struggle to better know how they can make their voices heard within their society. As the Electoral Reform Society said to me just 11 days ago, 'We worry about not including an implicit requirement that all pupils are taught politics as part of the curriculum. Having read and listened to Welsh Government on the matter', they said, 'they place a heavy emphasis that there will be first-class resources available but, again, there would be no guarantee that, in a purpose-led curriculum, they would be used.' Our amendment, therefore, seeks to ensure that there is consistency of political education and awareness across Wales. This issue is too important to do otherwise in a nation struggling with a democratic deficit already.

Amendment 99 seeks to ensure that Welsh Government fully involves stakeholders before making rules on the conduct of local elections in Wales. In its Stage 1 report, the Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee suggested that the Welsh Government engages with principal councils and communities before reforming the electoral arrangements. Our amendment seeks to go further than the committee's suggestion by making it a requirement to actively involve principal and community councils as well as local communities to ensure that any changes to electoral arrangements are co-produced by the communities that they affect, rather than them being imposed upon them. Our amendment would also bring this Bill in line with the seven well-being goals and five ways of working required of public bodies in order to meet their duties under the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, too often ignored in practice.

As I argued in the Stage 1 committee debate, it is therefore deeply concerning that the Minister rejected the committee recommendation that the Welsh Government undertakes an engagement programme with the Welsh Local Government Association. During Stage 2 proceedings, the Minister stated that the Welsh Government believes that the Welsh Ministers should consult those they deem appropriate, and this would include those listed in this amendment when developing the rules for local government elections in Wales. However, our amendment will ensure that stakeholders are fully involved in the co-production of rules for local government elections, by being included on the face of the Bill, turning rhetoric into reality about empowering local communities.

Amendments 101, 102 and 147 seek to amend the provisions relating to registration without application to ensure that individuals registered in this way are placed on the closed full electoral register rather than the open full register—I should say the 'closed register' rather than the 'open full register'. These amendments seek to respond to concerns about the current provision included within the Bill that means that people who are registered without application are automatically placed on the open register. Academics Toby James and Paul Bernal from the University of East Anglia argue that the edited register is made freely available for purchase to companies and third parties with no restrictions on its use. It serves no purpose for the running of the election. It is likely that citizens will know little that their data is being used in this way. Information about the Welsh electorate would therefore be for sale without their active consent. We therefore propose that the Bill is amended so that automatically registered citizens are not added to the edited register by default. Cytûn, Churches Together in Wales, stated that the current requirement to write to individuals notifying them of automatic registration is not sufficient, as many people in certain circumstances do not respond to official correspondence. Furthermore, Cytûn raised a specific concern about the current registration provision. They state that, by placing people on the open register, this may impact on some individuals who have purposely chosen not to register for fear of being identified by a violent former partner or others who may wish to harm them. As such, our amendment gives people the option of being placed on the open register, rather than being automatically placed on the open register.

At Stage 2, the Minister argued that, quote,

'I believe voters should be given a choice about how their information is used.... As such, the provisions as drafted will allow a person to make their wishes known to the ERO',

the electoral registration officer. However, this misses the point of our amendment. Our amendment seeks to ensure that people placed on the electoral register without application are automatically placed on the closed register and given the choice to be placed on the open register, rather than vice versa. This is to ensure that people who have purposely not chosen to be on the electoral register continue to be protected, whilst fulfilling the aim of the Bill of improving voter registration.

Amendment 105 seeks to expand the definition of politically restricted posts that are disqualified from becoming a member of a local authority. The amendment modifies the definition of politically restricted posts in section 2 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 by including any council employee who provides advice and support on a regular basis to an elected member or elected members of the authority. This broadens the current scope of the provision, which refers to giving advice on a regular basis to any member of the executive who is also a member of the authority. The Bill as drafted will allow council staff to stand for their own council without having to resign first. We support this. However, our amendment clarifies and ensures that any officer who has regular contact with and provides advice for and support for elected members, and who may have a significant conflict of interest should they stand for the council that they are an employee of, is not able to stand for election without resigning first.

In Stage 2, the Minister argued that she would not accept our amendment, as she said:

'I want more people to stand for election to councils in Wales, so I could not without good reason support a provision that sought to bar more people from standing for election.'

Our intention is not to reduce the number of people who stand for election. Our provision would still allow more people to stand for election. And whilst we agree that most council staff should be able to stand for their own council without having to resign first, the purpose of our amendment is to broaden the definition of politically restricted posts, which currently is very narrowly defined, reflecting the fact that there is not a formal separation of power between the executive and legislature within a principal council, and the same council officers, therefore, support both cabinet and backbenchers, unlike the separation between the staff supporting parliaments and the civil servants supporting Government in this place and elsewhere. In other words, we seek to avoid inevitable conflicts of interest that would otherwise arise.

Amendment 106 seeks to bring the regulations for online paid-for political advertisements—

Yn ystod Cyfnod 2 y Bil hwn, dadleuodd y Gweinidog yn erbyn y gwelliant hwn, gan ddweud y bydd Cwricwlwm newydd Cymru yn caniatáu i athrawon benderfynu sut i ddarparu addysg wedi'i theilwra i anghenion penodol eu disgyblion. Mae hyn yn cynnwys addysg wleidyddol, a fydd yn dod o dan y diben craidd o gefnogi dysgwyr i ddod yn ddinasyddion egwyddorol a gwybodus yng Nghymru a'r byd, gan dynnu sylw at gyfleoedd i archwilio gwleidyddiaeth o fewn y cwricwlwm drwy fagloriaeth Cymru yn rhan o'r her dinasyddiaeth fyd-eang. Fel y dywed y Gymdeithas Diwygio Etholiadol, fodd bynnag, y gwir amdani yw, ar hyn o bryd a hyd yn oed yng nghyd-destun y cwricwlwm newydd, athrawon fydd yn dysgu addysg wleidyddol, a hynny beth bynnag fo'r adnoddau sydd ar gael. Yn y dyfodol, fel yn awr, bydd disgyblion felly â gwahanol haenau o ddealltwriaeth o sut y gwneir penderfyniadau yng Nghymru, a bydd y rheini ar yr haen isaf yn ei chael hi'n anodd gwybod yn well sut y gallan nhw leisio eu barn yn eu cymdeithas. Fel y dywedodd y Gymdeithas Diwygio Etholiadol wrthyf dim ond 11 diwrnod yn ôl, 'Rydym yn poeni am beidio â chynnwys gofyniad pendant y dysgir gwleidyddiaeth i bob disgybl yn rhan o'r cwricwlwm. Ar ôl darllen a gwrando ar Lywodraeth Cymru ar y mater,' medden nhw, 'maen nhw'n rhoi pwyslais mawr y bydd adnoddau o'r radd flaenaf ar gael ond, unwaith eto, ni fyddai sicrwydd, mewn cwricwlwm yn seiliedig ar fwriad, y caent eu defnyddio.' Mae ein gwelliant, felly, yn ceisio sicrhau cysondeb o ran addysg wleidyddol ac ymwybyddiaeth ledled Cymru. Mae'r mater hwn yn rhy bwysig i'w wneud fel arall mewn cenedl sydd eisoes yn cael trafferth gyda diffyg democrataidd.

Mae gwelliant 99 yn ceisio sicrhau bod Llywodraeth Cymru yn cynnwys rhanddeiliaid yn llawn cyn gwneud rheolau ynglŷn â chynnal etholiadau lleol yng Nghymru. Yn ei adroddiad Cyfnod 1, awgrymodd y Pwyllgor Cydraddoldeb, Llywodraeth Leol a Chymunedau fod Llywodraeth Cymru yn ymgysylltu â phrif gynghorau a chymunedau cyn diwygio'r trefniadau etholiadol. Mae ein gwelliant yn ceisio mynd ymhellach nag awgrym y pwyllgor drwy ei gwneud hi'n ofynnol cynnwys prif gynghorau a chynghorau cymuned yn ogystal â chymunedau lleol i sicrhau y caiff unrhyw newidiadau i drefniadau etholiadol eu cyd-gynhyrchu gan y cymunedau y maen nhw yn effeithio arnynt, yn hytrach na chael eu gorfodi arnynt. Byddai ein gwelliant hefyd yn sicrhau bod y Bil hwn yn cyd-fynd â'r saith nod llesiant a'r pum ffordd o weithio y mae hi'n ofynnol i gyrff cyhoeddus eu harddel er mwyn cyflawni eu dyletswyddau o dan Ddeddf Llesiant Cenedlaethau'r Dyfodol (Cymru) 2015, a anwybyddir yn rhy aml yn ymarferol.

Fel y dadleuais yn nadl pwyllgor Cyfnod 1, mae'n destun pryder mawr felly i'r Gweinidog wrthod argymhelliad y pwyllgor bod Llywodraeth Cymru yn ymgymryd â rhaglen ymgysylltu â Chymdeithas Llywodraeth Leol Cymru. Yn ystod trafodion Cyfnod 2, dywedodd y Gweinidog fod Llywodraeth Cymru yn credu y dylai Gweinidogion Cymru ymgynghori â'r rhai y tybiant ei bod hi'n briodol ymgynghori â nhw, a byddai hyn yn cynnwys y rhai a restrir yn y gwelliant hwn wrth ddatblygu'r rheolau ar gyfer etholiadau llywodraeth leol yng Nghymru. Fodd bynnag, bydd ein gwelliant yn sicrhau y caiff rhanddeiliaid eu cynnwys yn llawn yn y gwaith o gyd-gynhyrchu rheolau ar gyfer etholiadau llywodraeth leol, drwy eu cynnwys ar wyneb y Bil, gan droi rhethreg yn realiti ynghylch grymuso cymunedau lleol.

Mae gwelliannau 101, 102 a 147 yn ceisio diwygio'r darpariaethau sy'n ymwneud â chofrestru heb wneud cais i sicrhau y caiff unigolion sydd wedi'u cofrestru eu rhoi ar y gofrestr etholiadol lawn gaeedig yn hytrach na'r gofrestr lawn agored—dylwn ddweud y 'gofrestr gaeedig' yn hytrach na'r 'gofrestr lawn agored'. Mae'r gwelliannau hyn yn ceisio ymateb i bryderon am y ddarpariaeth bresennol sydd wedi'i chynnwys yn y Bil sy'n golygu y caiff pobl sydd wedi'u cofrestru heb iddyn nhw wneud cais am hynny eu rhoi ar y gofrestr agored yn ddiofyn. Mae'r Academyddion Toby James a Paul Bernal o Brifysgol East Anglia yn dadlau bod y gofrestr a olygwyd ar gael yn rhwydd i gwmnïau a thrydydd partïon ei phrynu heb unrhyw gyfyngiadau ar ei defnyddio. Nid yw'n ateb unrhyw ddiben o ran cynnal yr etholiad. Mae'n debygol na fydd dinasyddion yn gwybod fawr ddim bod eu data'n cael ei ddefnyddio fel hyn. Felly, byddai gwybodaeth am etholwyr Cymru ar werth heb eu caniatâd penodol.

Cynigiwn felly y caiff y Bil ei ddiwygio fel na chaiff dinasyddion sydd wedi'u cofrestru'n awtomatig eu hychwanegu yn ddiofyn at y gofrestr a olygwyd. Dywedodd Cytûn, Eglwysi Ynghyd yng Nghymru, nad yw'r gofyniad presennol i ysgrifennu at unigolion yn rhoi gwybod iddyn nhw am gofrestru awtomatig yn ddigonol, gan nad yw llawer o bobl mewn rhai amgylchiadau yn ymateb i ohebiaeth swyddogol. At hynny, cododd Cytûn bryder penodol am y ddarpariaeth gofrestru bresennol. Dywedant, drwy roi pobl ar y gofrestr agored, y gallai hyn effeithio ar rai unigolion sydd wedi dewis peidio â chofrestru'n bwrpasol rhag ofn iddyn nhw gael eu hadnabod gan gyn-bartner treisgar neu eraill a allai ddymuno eu niweidio. Felly, mae ein gwelliant yn rhoi'r dewis i bobl gael eu rhoi ar y gofrestr agored, yn hytrach na chael eu rhoi'n ddiofyn ar y gofrestr agored.

Yng Nghyfnod 2, dadleuodd y Gweinidog, ac rwy'n dyfynnu:

Rwy'n credu y dylid rhoi dewis i bleidleiswyr ynglŷn â sut y defnyddir eu gwybodaeth.... O'r herwydd, bydd y darpariaethau fel y'u drafftiwyd yn caniatáu i berson hysbysu'r Swyddog Cofrestru Etholiadol o'i ddymuniad.

Fodd bynnag, nid dyma ddiben ein gwelliant. Mae ein gwelliant yn ceisio sicrhau y caiff pobl a roddir ar y gofrestr etholiadol heb gais eu rhoi ar y gofrestr gaeedig yn awtomatig ac yn cael y dewis i'w cynnwys ar y gofrestr agored, yn hytrach nag i'r gwrthwyneb. Diben hyn yw sicrhau bod pobl nad ydyn nhw wedi dewis bod ar y gofrestr etholiadol yn fwriadol yn parhau i gael eu diogelu, gan gyflawni nod y Bil o gynyddu faint o bobl sy'n cofrestru i bleidleisio. 

Mae gwelliant 105 yn ceisio ehangu'r diffiniad o swyddi sydd wedi'u cyfyngu'n wleidyddol nad yw eu deiliaid yn gymwys i fod yn aelod o awdurdod lleol. Mae'r diwygiad yn addasu'r diffiniad o swyddi sydd wedi'u cyfyngu'n wleidyddol yn adran 2 Deddf Llywodraeth Leol a Thai 1989 drwy gynnwys unrhyw un sy'n gyflogedig gan gyngor ac sy'n rhoi cyngor a chymorth yn rheolaidd i aelod etholedig neu aelodau etholedig o'r awdurdod. Mae hyn yn ehangu cwmpas presennol y ddarpariaeth, sy'n cyfeirio at roi cyngor yn rheolaidd i unrhyw aelod o'r weithrediaeth sydd hefyd yn aelod o'r awdurdod. Bydd y Bil fel y'i drafftiwyd yn caniatáu i staff y cyngor sefyll dros eu cyngor eu hunain heb orfod ymddiswyddo'n gyntaf. Rydym yn cefnogi hyn. Fodd bynnag, mae ein gwelliant yn egluro ac yn sicrhau nad yw unrhyw swyddog sy'n dod i gysylltiad rheolaidd ag aelodau etholedig ac yn rhoi cyngor iddynt, ac a allai fod â gwrthdaro buddiannau sylweddol pe baent yn sefyll dros y cyngor y maent yn gyflogedig ganddo, yn cael sefyll mewn etholiad heb ymddiswyddo'n gyntaf.

Yng Nghyfnod 2, dadleuodd y Gweinidog na fyddai'n derbyn ein gwelliant, fel y dywedodd:

Hoffwn i fwy o bobl sefyll i gael eu hethol i gynghorau yng Nghymru, felly ni allwn i heb reswm da gefnogi darpariaeth a oedd yn ceisio gwahardd mwy o bobl rhag sefyll mewn etholiad.

Nid ein bwriad yw lleihau nifer y bobl sy'n sefyll mewn etholiad. Byddai ein darpariaeth yn dal i ganiatáu i fwy o bobl sefyll mewn etholiad. Ac er ein bod yn cytuno y dylai'r rhan fwyaf o staff y cyngor gael sefyll dros eu cyngor eu hunain heb orfod ymddiswyddo'n gyntaf, diben ein gwelliant yw ehangu'r diffiniad o swyddi sydd wedi'u cyfyngu'n wleidyddol, sydd wedi'i ddiffinio'n gul iawn ar hyn o bryd, gan adlewyrchu'r ffaith nad yw pŵer wedi'i wahanu'n ffurfiol rhwng y weithrediaeth a'r ddeddfwrfa o fewn prif gyngor, ac mai'r un swyddogion cyngor, felly, sy'n cefnogi'r cabinet a'r meinciau cefn, yn wahanol i'r rhaniad rhwng y staff sy'n cefnogi seneddau a'r gweision sifil sy'n cefnogi'r Llywodraeth yn y fan yma ac mewn mannau eraill. Mewn geiriau eraill, rydym ni yn ceisio osgoi gwrthdaro buddiannau anochel a fyddai'n codi fel arall.

Mae gwelliant 106 yn ceisio dod â'r rheoliadau ar gyfer hysbysebion gwleidyddol ar-lein y telir amdanynt—

16:15

Mark Isherwood, if I can just cut across you for one second, you have 10 minutes to introduce your amendments, and you're now on 12 minutes. You will have time to close this group as well, so can you conclude your introductory comments? I'll call you at the end of the group again to return to any issues you need to address.

Mark Isherwood, os gaf i dorri ar eich traws am eiliad, mae gennych chi 10 munud i gyflwyno'ch gwelliannau, ac rydych ni nawr ar 12 munud. Bydd gennych chi amser i gau'r grŵp hwn hefyd, felly a wnewch chi orffen eich sylwadau agoriadol? Byddaf yn eich galw ar ddiwedd y grŵp eto i ddychwelyd at unrhyw faterion y mae angen i chi ymdrin â nhw.