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Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Act 2021

Part 1 - Basic Concepts and Key Documents

Section 1 – Introduction

12.This section describes the contents of Part 1 and specifies the curricula in relation to which the Part applies.

Sections 2 to 4 – Basic concepts

13.These sections set out basic concepts that have effect in relation to a curriculum for the pupils and children described in section 1.

14.Section 3 lists the areas of learning and experience and the mandatory elements within them. The mandatory elements are English; Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE); Religion, Values and Ethics (RVE); and Welsh. But subsection (3) provides that English is not to be treated as being a mandatory element of a curriculum for:

  • a class in which most pupils are aged under seven, or

  • funded non-maintained nursery education, or

  • pupils and children aged under seven for whom education is provided in a pupil referral unit or otherwise under section 19A of the Education Act 1996 (discussed further below).

Sections 6 to 8 - Codes

15.These sections require the Welsh Ministers to publish the following Codes:

  • the What Matters Code - setting out key concepts for each area of learning and experience;

  • the Progression Code – setting out how a curriculum must make provision for progression by pupils and children;

  • the RSE Code – setting out themes and matters that must be covered by the mandatory element of RSE.

16.A curriculum for the pupils and children described in section 1 must accord with the Codes.

17.The Welsh Ministers must keep the What Matters and Progression Codes under review and may revise those Codes.

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Explanatory Notes

Text created by the Welsh Government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of Senedd Cymru.


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