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Jeremy Miles MS, Minister for Education and Welsh Language

First published:
18 March 2024
Last updated:

I have today published the Welsh Government’s response to the Children’s Commissioner for Wales report into education in healthcare settings in Wales. 

I welcome the work the commissioner has undertaken and the recommendations within the report, which provides evidence to inform education other than at school (EOTAS) policy development. 

We are committed to ensuring all children in Wales, regardless of their circumstances, have a full education, which is of high quality and suitable to their needs. 

I was pleased to read all the children who participated in the study valued the education and activities they received while they were being treated in hospital, and that there are examples of good practice in arranging education in hospital. However, it is disappointing to read that such practice is not common across all local authorities.

Although we would expect some variation in EOTAS being provided across local authorities, it is clearly not acceptable that some children have no, or limited, access to education whilst in hospital. 

I have set out the actions we will take in response to the recommendations in the commissioner’s report. This includes updating our Support for Learners with Healthcare Needs guidance to set out the duties placed on schools and local authorities under the Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Act 2021. It also underlines my expectation that all children who cannot attend school receive full-time education, unless this is not in their best interests. 

We are also developing referral and commissioning guidance to support local authorities to make arrangements for the provision of high-quality education other than at school (EOTAS) which supports the needs of children who are unable to attend school.