WQ91279 (e) Tabled on 09/02/2024

Will the Minister outline whether another form of crime prevention education will replace the SchoolBeat.Cymru programme?

Answered by Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing | Answered on 20/02/2024

Given the extraordinary fiscal constraints on the Welsh Government budget, Ministers have had to review all areas of funding, including in non-devolved areas where we have stepped in to provide funding in the absence of support from the UK Government or to close gaps. In these difficult times, Ministers reprioritised funding devolved areas for which they are responsible. As part of this process, I therefore had to take very difficult decisions about the Welsh Government’s commitments and priorities in my area, with a focus on protecting front-line services and saving lives. That has informed the challenging decision to withdraw Welsh Government funding for the Wales Police Schools Programme in 2024-25 as the funding for the programme comes from my substance misuse budget.

The landscape around wellbeing for learners on a range of important issues has changed significantly since the introduction of the programme. Many areas are now subject matter that would be considered in mandatory health and well-being  learning in Welsh schools. Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) covers a number of areas, including substance misuse, online safety and domestic violence.

Welsh Government officials will be working with a range of internal and external stakeholders to examine what existing or alternative provision and resources are available to ensure children are given relevant information to allow them to make informed decisions and keep them safe. There are plans to develop more resources for schools to inform learning about a range of health and wellbeing issues and Health officials will work with colleagues in Education to maximise learning from the programme.