SERVICE PLANNING AND DELIVERY

1. All staff involved in making policy for Wales are aware of the scheme. The use of annual reporting, monitoring, and written guidance to staff ensures the scheme is implemented in a comprehensive and consistent manner across all relevant policy areas.

2. Guidance on the Welsh Language Scheme is available to staff on the Department's Intranet.

3. We have ensured that the medium of Welsh is considered when formulating new policies and initiatives, and that the measures contained in the scheme apply to new policies and initiatives when they are implemented.

4. To ensure that Welsh Language Scheme requirements are fully addressed in our work, the Department uses contractors as appropriate. Last year we awarded a contract for the National Assessment of Advanced Skills Teachers and Excellent Teachers, where the Contractor has the Welsh Language Scheme obligation written into their contract. The Contractor has on-staff assessors who both speak and write in the Welsh Language.

5. During regular meetings with contractors, such as Capita Teachers' Pensions, Prudential and Atos Origin Occupational Health Services, we ensure that our contractors take account of Welsh Language issues.

6. The Department has nine non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) with responsibilities in Wales :

7. The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has implemented its own scheme and reports directly to the Welsh Language Board (WLB).

8. The Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) has an accessibility policy. This policy sets out the Agency's commitment to a culture of openness and states that information will be published pro-actively for its stakeholders and members of the public. It aims to make information available and accessible wherever possible. Provision of information relating to Wales is included as part of this document.

9. The TDA does not have its' own Welsh language scheme. However, the accessibility policy mentioned in the paragraph above outlines the Agency's commitment to provide all information on an equal footing. The TDA does not report directly to the Welsh Language Board, but reports quarterly to the Welsh Assembly Government who monitor the Agency's progress in meeting its performance indicators.

10. Investors in People UK (IiP UK ) have developed their own Welsh Language Scheme which is now ready for consultation.

11. The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) follow the Department's scheme. Compliance with the Department's scheme is a regular item on the management meeting agenda. The Department's Sponsor Team reminds QCA of their responsibilities at the outset of any new polices.

12. The Student Loans Company (SLC) has developed a draft Welsh Language Scheme in consultation with the Welsh Assembly Government, but will continue to follow the Department's Scheme until its own is agreed with the Welsh Language Board.

13. The Sector Skills Development Agency (SSDA), has adopted the principle that, in the conduct of its business in Wales , it will treat English and Welsh languages on the basis of equality. The SSDA has drawn up a Welsh Language Scheme which sets out how the SSDA will handle communications with Welsh speakers.

14. The Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) has its own Welsh Language Scheme, approved by the WLB.

15. The British Educational Communications and Technology Agency's (Becta) work in Wales is covered by a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Assembly for Wales , providing a framework for working relationships. There is an agreed criteria for determining which Becta publications and web-based materials should be available in Welsh. A review of the effectiveness and value of the Memorandum of Understanding is conducted annually.

16. The Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service (CAFCASS) works in the family courts to safeguard the interests of children and families. Its functions in Wales are devolved to the Wales Assembly Government.

Delivering services

17. Arrangements are now in place to ensure effective delivery in Wales of all the Department's services. To ensure accuracy and consistency of quality, policy teams use a recommended translation service. An aide-memoire is available on the Department's Intranet to remind staff of their responsibilities under the Department for Education and Skills Welsh Language Scheme when considering contracts.

18. Our standard list of contract clauses includes one on the use of Welsh in service contracts. For example, contractors who deal with Teachers' Pension issues have an obligation to provide a service in Welsh to Welsh speakers living in Wales which includes; (a) responding to telephone and written queries to the same timescales as in English and, (b) providing literature in Welsh in accordance with advice from the WLB.

19. A new contract was awarded for the provision of Medical Adviser services to the Department on teachers' ill health retirement issues (part of teachers' pensions policy). The contract signed by the preferred supplier, Atos Origin Occupation Health Services, sets out the requirement to provide services in accordance with the Welsh Language Scheme. Atos Origin do not have direct interaction with members of the public; however, they may be asked to correspond with individual GPs in Welsh.

20. The Contractor for the National Assessment of Advanced Skills Teachers and Excellent Teachers is aware of the need to deliver training etc and guidance for assessors in Welsh as necessary. When required, assessments will be conducted in Welsh. Applications for assessor accreditation are available in Welsh.

21. The Engineering Construction Industry Training Board has contractual arrangements with a recommended and established translation service which is based in Cardiff . Under the ECITB regional structure, a dedicated team has been established to ensure delivery of all of the ECITB's products and services in Wales .

Dealing with the Welsh speaking public

22. The Department's correspondence standards apply equally to all letters, whether in English or in Welsh. In areas for which the Department has responsibility in Wales , all correspondence that is received in Welsh is answered in Welsh. Staff are aware of how to deal with Welsh-medium correspondence, as this is included in the written guidance, along with a list of Welsh speakers in the Department who can be contacted for advice.

23. Over the reporting period, no items of correspondence were received in Welsh. Any correspondence received in Welsh is recorded and monitored by correspondence managers so we can confirm quantities and whether the standard was applied. By monitoring all correspondence, we can confirm that the Department does not communicate in Welsh regularly enough to warrant the establishment of a database.

24. The Teachers' Pensions Policy Team issues Teachers' Pensions Letters to local authorities and other Teachers' Pension Scheme employers from time to time. No Welsh TPS employer has requested a version in Welsh. The letter would be provided in Welsh for any Welsh TPS employer who requested it. The following documents have been translated into Welsh for Teachers' Pensions in previous years: Form 14A & Notes (version Jan 05); Form 14PR & Notes (version Mar 05); and Form 14A & Notes (version Nov 05), although no requests have been received for translating documents to Welsh in the past year.

25. All application and guidance documents relating to Advanced Skills Teachers and Excellent Teachers policy are bilingual. The New Professionalism Project did not receive any correspondence in Welsh nor did they receive any complaints. Currently there is one Excellent Teacher operating in Wales , however, to date there are no Advanced Skills Teachers posts.

26. To ensure accuracy and consistency in the quality of our Welsh Language documentation, we have advised our policy teams that all requests for small translations be handled through translation providers recommended by our Media Procurement Unit. Large publications are handled by our Corporate Publicity Unit who are aware of the requirements of our Welsh Language Scheme.

27. ECITB has a Welsh-speaking member of staff and correspondence can be conducted in Welsh if required.

28. Career Development Loans during 2006-07 did not receive any correspondence or complaints in Welsh.

29. The TDA received no correspondence requiring a response in Welsh, and there were no bilingual circular or standard letters issued to the public in Welsh. There were no complaints about the accuracy of Welsh in TDA communications. The TDA continued to quality assure all future advertisements through the Central Office of Information as agreed last year.

Public meetings

30. Where the Department holds public meetings in Wales , there is provision for the public to contribute in either Welsh or English. Participants are advised of this facility in advance in promotional literature. No public meetings have been held in Wales during this reporting period.

Our Public Face

Publicity campaigns, exhibitions and advertising

31. Advertisements, including those appearing in the Welsh media, are placed by our Communications and Corporate Publicity Units who follow standard polices and procedures including those outlined in the Welsh Language Scheme. This ensures that both Welsh and English versions appear together and are shown equal in terms of format, size, quality, legibility and prominence. Quality assurance of proofs by policy teams ensures that errors are picked up early and rectified prior to publication.

32. IiP UK's marketing department have confirmed that Welsh and English languages are treated equally. Performance is monitored through regular meetings with the Wales Assembly Government. The Department's sponsor team reminds IiP UK of its responsibilities regularly throughout the year.

33. National job vacancies within the SSDA are advertised in the local or national press in Wales . The Agency's advertisements are bilingual, with Welsh and English versions shown together and equal in terms of size, format, legibility and prominence.

Publishing and printing material directed at the public in Wales

34. All relevant published, printed and electronic material should be made available in whole, part, or summary form in Welsh, with a presumption in favour of bilingual documents. To ensure this, all teams review new publications and forms to ensure they comply with the scheme. Project plans factor in production schedules for translating Welsh material. A policy manager reviews all new publications, forms and reprinted versions to ensure that the final version complies with the Scheme. Consideration of bilingual material is decided at planning stage.

35. Student Finance Wales ensures that all relevant publications are distributed to students in Wales , all publications issued for use by the public are bilingual.

36. All Teachers' Pay material other than legal material is translated into Welsh. For 2006-07, Teachers' Pay Policy Team published guidance on the Teachers' Pension Scheme in both English and Welsh languages.

37. There has been occasional slippage when Welsh versions of certain publications appeared later than English ones but this is an area in which we are committed to improve. Consultations with relevant policy teams and our Corporate Publicity Unit show that when issuing Welsh versions of material, small delays are sometimes unavoidable, due to necessarily short timescales involved and the need to issue material to customers quickly. Translation cannot start until the final English text has been agreed. Thus, when the English version is ready to go to print, the Welsh version is starting to be translated. This is the reason for the (up to) 10-day delay before the Welsh version is available.

38. However, the Department understands how important it is to forward plan and have asked our policy teams to build in extra time into their project plans for the translation of the Welsh versions, in order to ensure that delayed issue of Welsh documentation only happens in cases of emergency.

39. IiP UK has confirmed that all its core documents are available in Welsh. It issues a Welsh version of the overview of the Investors in People Standard to all Welsh organisations that have committed to or are recognised against the Standard.

40. The SSDA makes all its key documents available in Welsh, including the SSDA Strategic Plan and Annual Report, and Sector Skills Agreements.

41. The ECITB have made a number of key documents available in Welsh which include their latest Annual Report and Guide to Levy and Grants. These documents are available to view or download from the website or on request from the ECITB in hard copy form.

42. The Learning and Skills Council have responsibility for the administration of Career Development Loans in Great Britain . The following publications are issued separately in English and Welsh:

43. Key QCA documents, such as their annual report, are available in Welsh but take-up is extremely low. QCA will arrange for documents to be provided in Welsh if they are requested.

44. TDA's Memorandum of Understanding stipulates that its recruitment publications, web site and TDA advertisements should be available in both Welsh and English. The accessibility policy states than any other information should be made available in Welsh should there be a need for it. The following documents were distributed in Wales . All were bilingual:

Arrangements with third parties

45. Our NDPBs are aware that they need to report individually to the WLB on their compliance with their own schemes. Those NDPBs who follow the Department's Scheme are reminded by sponsor teams of their duties under the Department's Scheme, at the outset of new policies, or prior to implementation of new programmes.

46. The SLC operate a bilingual Customer Support Office in Colwyn Bay , North Wales . This facility provides current and potential students and their sponsors with information about student finance.

47. The National Training Awards (NTA) is a UK-wide initiative managed by UK Skills on behalf of the Department. In Wales the NTA is owned by the Welsh Assembly Government, which contracts separately with UK Skills to run certain areas of the Awards. This includes marketing, entrant support and the event itself.

48. The Welsh Assembly will agree with UK Skills in their contract which elements of the National Training Awards should be available in the Welsh language. In 2007 the generic mailer, entry acknowledgement card entry forms, handbook, event invitations and programmes have been/will be translated into Welsh. The Welsh Assembly has an agreement with UK Skills that if any entry forms are completed in Welsh, they will arrange for English translation to enable them to be assessed and judged. The NTA website also includes links to each of the Devolved Administrations' websites. This enables the Assembly to include details in both languages.

Websites

49. The Department has a Welsh language website which provides links to material in Welsh and it is a requirement for policy teams to ensure that relevant publications and links are included in Welsh on this site. For example, our bilingual Welsh Language Scheme and a copy of this report are included on this site. There are also links to other relevant sites, such as Career Development Loans and Student Finance Wales websites. The Student Finance Wales website, for example, contains a complete selection of forms and guides which are published simultaneously in both English and Welsh. This site also includes online and downloadable eligibility application forms for Student Finance that can be completed in both languages.

50. The Department's School Workforce Group work with the internal Internet Team to monitor the Welsh content of the Teachernet website which includes material on Teachers' Pay and Conditions of Service.

51. The result of further negotiations with stakeholders about the proposals to change the Teachers' Pension Scheme was to launch a public consultation in 2006. Details of the consultation, which ran from 17 May 2006 to 9 August 2006 , were published on the Department's Consultation Website and made available from the TeacherNet website. This included a Welsh version of both the consultation document and response form. Both documents were available in hard copy. No requests to receive a Welsh version in hard copy were received and no responses were received in Welsh. The consultation was widely promoted including on the Welsh Assembly website and by union and employer associations throughout England and Wales . Results of the consultation exercise were circulated directly to all stakeholders including Welsh Assembly officials. Throughout the review process TeacherNet has been regularly updated with information provided on the site in both English and Welsh.

52. The revised scheme Teachers' Pension Scheme arrangements were introduced from 1 January 2007 . To coincide with this, a whole new suite of literature was developed with Capita Teachers' Pensions, and the scheme administrators. Welsh versions are available on request. No requests have yet been received. Teachers' Pensions have also revised all other scheme literature, forms and the website to reflect the revised arrangements. Welsh versions of any of the forms are also available on request from Teachers' Pensions.

53. The SSDA's website provides Welsh translations of all material where a hard copy equivalent has also been produced. All hard copy material in stock is regularly checked to ensure it's on the website. The SSDA have produced a Welsh ‘gateway' on its website leading to material that has been produced in Welsh.

54. The ECITB website is the main vehicle for conveying information and contains a section in Welsh with links to key documents which are translated into Welsh. Key documents can be downloaded in Welsh. ECITB will provide, on request, a Welsh version of any of their documents or publications.

55. QCA does not have a Welsh version of their website. The decision not to have a Welsh version was taken in the light of the very low/non existent demand for Welsh Language documents. However, the QCA would review their decision if the Department deemed it appropriate.

56. Learndirect have responsibility for the Career Development Loans Helpline, and they are able to provide Welsh speakers to answer Welsh speaking callers. However, there was no dedicated Welsh line as the helpline was not part of a campaign. Advertising activities undertaken by CDL are small scale and made available in Welsh and English.

Implementing the Scheme

External arrangements

57. Public information on our services in Welsh is now available on the Department's website, which also includes the WLS. Copies of the Scheme are also available on request from the Department's Public Enquiry Unit ( PO Box 12 , Runcorn, Cheshire , WA7 2GJ ).

58. Where a telephone helpline forms part of a campaign that is applicable to a Welsh-speaking audience, a Welsh language service is offered. The availability of the service is made clear in any associated publicity. The telephone helpline for National Training Awards is run by UK Skills and Welsh language speakers are available, if required, through the Welsh Assembly.

59. Welsh speakers were also available at the Career Development Loan (CDL) telephone helpline. This helpline is run by learndirect. If a caller rang up and wanted to speak to a Welsh speaker, one would have been provided. However, there was no dedicated Welsh line a s this helpline was not part of a campaign.

Internal arrangements

60. Policy teams have been reminded of the existence of the Scheme through the Department's intranet and have been reminded individually by the central co-ordinating team in Public Affairs Division of their responsibilities to ensure they comply with the Scheme.

61. We do not publish performance statistics as the quantity of correspondence received in Welsh is so small.

Monitoring

62. Our Whitehall Relations Team in the Commercial Directorate monitors compliance with the Scheme centrally for the Department and is responsible for day- to-day monitoring. Overall responsibility for the Scheme during the reporting period sat with the Deputy Head of Commercial Directorate, Darron Cox (Grade 5).

63. The Department's customer service standards provide a complaints procedure, which is easy to use and well publicised. We know that one complaint has been received during this reporting period concerning student loans. All enquiries have been dealt with satisfactorily.