Welsh report on impact of loss of ring-fenced funding

The Welsh Assembly’s Children, Young People and Education Committee have published the final report from their Inquiry into the Education Improvement Grant, Gypsy, Roma and Traveller and Minority Ethnic Children

The overall aim of this inquiry is to consider the impact of amalgamating the previously ring-fenced grants into the new Education Improvement Grant from 2015-16 on Gypsy, Roma and Traveller, and Minority Ethnic children. The inquiry will focus specifically on their educational outcomes and considered:

  • How the Welsh Government monitors the way local authorities use the Education Improvement Grant and how the new, amalgamated grant supports Gypsy, Roma and Traveller, and Minority Ethnic children, with specific reference to improving educational outcomes;
  • the effectiveness of other Welsh Government policies and strategies for supporting the education of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller, and Minority Ethnic children; and
  • any key issues arising from amalgamating the other previously separate grants into the Education Improvement Grant.

The report highlights weaknesses in decision-making, data gathering and accountability around provision for these groupings of learners, linked to the implementation of the Education Improvement Grant and the delegation of funding and monitoring responsibilities to Consortia.

Dr Julian Benthall has written:

This is the first substantive official outcome we have had from sustained pressure and work carried out over the past couple of years to question the cuts and changes made between 2013 and 2016. Several of you provided me with help or advice to inform my presentations and evidence to the Committee for which I am very grateful. Whilst the recommendations are not quite as much as we’d hoped for, they are perhaps better than we expected.