To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what account was taken of the parameters set by the devolution settlement in the development of the proposed powers to pass information on an individual's benefits, income tax and tax credit status to the Welsh Assembly Government in clauses 72 and 73 of the Education and Skills Bill.
The Welsh Assembly government has been fully involved in the development of these proposals. The Welsh Ministers have devolved responsibility for education, skills, economic development and regeneration and therefore have a legitimate interest in the data sharing proposals as they will help them to monitor their policies to improve skills and the levels of sustainable employment in Wales. The Welsh Assembly government will supply data on the learning achievements of learners in Wales to DWP and will have access to aggregated data with items that explicitly identify individuate removed. These data will be on income tax, tax credits and benefits.
Section 72 and 73 of the Education and Skills Bill will enhance the ability of the Welsh Assembly government to analyse the effect of their spending on education and skills training, identify opportunities to modify activity to improve economic and social outcomes in Wales; and generally to assist in ensuring that their decisions with regard to education and training are made on a sound basis. Education outcome data supplied from Wales will be matched at an individual level by DWP, but will only be used for analysis in Wales as an aggregated dataset. The precise nature of the data items that will be matched and aggregated has yet to be defined.