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Written Statement - Developing National Occupational Standards for the Education Welfare Service

Huw Lewis, Minister for Education and Skills

The Welsh Government’s ‘Behaving and Attending: Action Plan - Responding to the National Behaviour and Attendance Review’ contained a commitment to identify and recommend an appropriate training structure for the EWS in Wales.

To meet this commitment, we commissioned a research and consultation exercise.  The exercise considered issues around entry qualifications, induction, training and standards for the EWS. As a result of the research and consultation exercise, an induction pack for the EWS was commissioned in 2013, which will be published this year.

The research and consultation report also considered standards and numerous options around qualifications, but there was no consistent view as to the best approach. The current lack of consistent standards for the sector makes the development of qualifications and a training structure unfeasible at this stage.  However, the development of appropriate qualifications and a training structure could be considered in the longer term if National Occupational Standards (NOS) were drawn up and embedded in the EWS workforce.

The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) is the organisation responsible for administration and expenditure relating to the development and review of NOS in the UK. UKCES allocates funding to the appropriate Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) and Standard  Setting Organisations to develop NOS as required.  Accordingly, for 2014-15 we will approach  UKCES to initiate the development of NOS for the EWS in Wales.

As part of this process, the appropriate SSC/O will carry out consultation activities with local authorities, as the employers of the EWS.