Reflections on a productive year in the further education sector: Policy and Public Affairs

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August 2021 – July 2022 

This year, the FE sector has come together to adapt, collaborate, and innovate as a result of the challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic while maintaining as much of the usual offer to learners, staff, communities, and businesses as possible. Here we outline some of the fantastic work that ColegauCymru has delivered and supported throughout the first year of the new Senedd. 

In addition to arranging and attending meetings with key Senedd Members and Welsh Government Ministers, ColegauCymru responded to numerous consultations. Much of our attention has been devoted to the Tertiary Education and Research (Wales) Bill, where we gave both oral and written evidence, seeking to ensure that the Bill works well for the FE sector. We also responded to inquiries into Post-EU funding arrangements, Peer-on-peer sexual harassment among learners, Subordinate legislation under the Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Act 2021, Mental health inequalities and Participation in sport in disadvantaged areas. 

We have engaged with the equalities agenda, responding to Welsh Government consultations on the Race Equality Action Plan and the LGBTQ+ Action Plan. To help monitor and drive progress in the FE sector, ColegauCymru has also formed an Equality and Diversity Group. The group will serve as a safe forum in which to share stories and experiences along with best practice to ensure that the FE sector in Wales becomes more equal and diverse. This is in addition to our ongoing and exciting partnership with Black Leadership Group. Joined at the launch of the partnership by the Minister for Social Justice, Jane Hutt MS, we have already undertaken joint work on behalf of Welsh Government to help understand the current picture across the FE sector and specific actions that we can take to help meet the ambitions of an Anti-Racist Wales by 2030. John Griffiths MS, continues to chair our Cross-Party Group on FE and Future Skills, where our first meeting was on the issue of anti-racism.  

ColegauCymru has also been involved in work around period dignity where we are a member of the Period Dignity Roundtable, chaired by Minister for Social Justice, Jane Hutt MS. We have highlighted some notable examples of good practice across the sector where several colleges have created their own projects to help tackle period poverty, based on consultation with learners including those at Gr┼Áp Llandrillo Menai, NPTC Group of Colleges, Bridgend College and Coleg Cambria. 

We have also been active in promoting the importance of mental health. In joining forces with Universities Wales, NUS Wales and AMOSSHE, the Student Services Organisation, we developed policy proposals for the consideration of Welsh Government with recommendations in areas including parity of experience, information sharing, clarification of roles and responsibilities, and funding. 

Lastly, ColegauCymru is grateful to those Senedd Members who have taken the opportunity to engage with the FE sector over the past year, whether through visiting their local college, asking oral or written questions, raising issues in debates or through 90-second statements.

Further Information

Contact our Policy and Public Affairs Team for further Information.

Amy Evans, Policy Officer
Amy.Evans@colegaucymru.ac.uk    

Jamie Adair, Policy and Public Affairs Assistant
Jamie.Adair@colegaucymru.ac.uk

Dr Rachel Bowen, Director of Policy and Public Affairs
Rachel.Bowen@colegaucymru.ac.uk

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