WQ91285 (e) Tabled on 09/02/2024

What assessment has the Minister made of the impact that cutting the SchoolBeat.Cymru scheme will have on safeguarding and behaviour in schools?

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

As part of the 2024/25 budget process I, along with other Ministers, had to take very difficult decisions about the Welsh Government’s commitments and priorities, 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 impact of this decision on the current programme, and areas such as safeguarding and behaviour, is difficult to predict. This is because the programme is mainly measured in terms of outputs of lessons as opposed to outcomes.

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.