Julie Morgan, Deputy Minister for Social Services
I am pleased to announce that residential special schools in Wales have been defined as a new regulated service - ‘special school residential services’ - under the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016.
In doing so, we are responding to the recommendation made by Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse for all residential special schools to be inspected against the quality standards used to regulate care homes in Wales.
There are four maintained residential special schools in Wales which will fall within the scope of regulation. They provide a very valuable service to children and young people attending the schools and their families. The new regulations will enable existing and future special school residential services to register with the regulator, Care Inspectorate Wales, and will contribute towards establishing a more consistent approach to the regulatory oversight of services caring for vulnerable children.
My officials have worked closely with a group of stakeholders including Care Inspectorate Wales, Social Care Wales, local authorities, and representatives from the existing residential special schools. Their contribution has been extremely helpful in developing regulations which are proportionate, relevant, and fit for purpose.
I intend to complete the regulatory framework next month by bringing forward regulations which will place requirements on service providers and responsible individuals in terms of the quality and safety of the services they provide. I will also publish statutory guidance to support the regulations.
All the regulations have been subject to public consultation, and I have published a report on the consultation outcome.