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Jeff Cuthbert: Students are 'not alone' during results

With thousands of students across the country due to receive their exam results over the next two weeks, Jeff Cuthbert AM says it is important for them to know that they are 'not alone' during this stressful time.

Waiting for exam results can be very stressful for young people and marks a major personal landmark when they are getting ready for the next stage of their lives. Their results will be a key factor as they look at options for the future.

It is important that they know they are not alone and that if they need to discuss and get help with their concerns, that they have somewhere to go where they can speak freely, confidentially and anonymously.

In previous years, Meic has made a real difference in helping young people who have gone through the same emotions and feelings. Meic gives them a chance to voice their concerns and ensures they are listened to.

– Jeff Cuthbert AM, Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty

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Welsh Govt offers students support for exam results

Thousands of students across the country will receive their exam results in the next two weeks. Credit: PA

Pupils who feel stressed as they await their A-Level, GCSE and other exam results can find emotional support through Meic, says Communities Minister Jeff Cuthbert.

Meic is the Welsh Government-funded advocacy, information and advice service for children and young people.

With results due over the next two weeks, the service is highlighting the emotional support it offers to those waiting to see how they have done in their GCSEs and A-Levels.

New centres to promote use of Welsh language

Credit: Barry Batchelor/PA Wire

A £1.25million fund to promote the use of the Welsh language is being announced by the First Minister today.

Distributed through local authorities, colleges and universities, the money will be used to develop innovative centres across Wales for people to learn and practice their Welsh.

These dynamic language spaces will enable people to engage and interact with the language and will also act as community hubs. There will be a strong emphasis on partners working together for the benefit of the wider community.

– Carwyn Jones AM, First Minister

The First Minister will launch a new campaign at the National Eisteddfod in Llanelli to promote the language called '#pethaubychain.' The campaign will encourage people to make small changes to increase their everyday use of Welsh.

Headteacher found guilty of helping pupils in exams

A former headteacher has been struck off the teaching register for two years, after admitting giving pupils help to answer questions in national exams, and even giving them another chance to try questions they hadn't answered correctly.

A tribunal today found Jonathan Rigby, who was headteacher at Coedpenmaen Primary School in Pontypridd, guilty of unacceptable professional conduct.

Mr Rigby worked at Coedpenmaen Primary School in Pontypridd Credit: ITV News Wales

He helped pupils in last year's National Reading and Numeracy tests, now taken by all seven to 14-year-olds in Wales.

A General Teaching Council for Wales committee ruled he 'acted dishonestly and/or with a view to altering the school's test results' and banned him from teaching for at least two years.

Concern over college bosses' £25k spend on flights

An ITV News investigation has found serious concerns around the running of Cardiff and Vale College.

They include allegations of a culture of intimidation and managers making expensive business class flights while cutting jobs and budgets. There are now fears about the impact on the 18,000 students. Tom Sheldrick has this exclusive report.

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College: We are being proactive in solving budget gap

The deputy principal of Cardiff and Vale College has defended the management of the further education provider.

Mark Roberts insisted fears about falling standards for students due to cost-cutting measures and redundancies are unfounded.

The restructuring that we're doing is based on trying to focus staff efforts more on frontline learner support, reducing the amount of time spent on internal processes, and making sure that we're focused on meeting students' needs.

– Mark Roberts, Deputy Principal of Cardiff and Vale College

He also defended the fact that more than £25,000 has been spent on overseas flights this year, and insisted that business class tickets are appropriate for long-haul flights, when going into meetings with senior government and partner officials.

The overseas trips will be generating over £500,000 of new income for next year which will help offset some of the funding reductions.

We've got to make £3m savings, and I recognise that's going to be very uncomfortable and worrying for some staff.

But that's why we're doing something about it, that's why we've invested in a new campus, that's why we're getting income from overseas.

– Mark Roberts, Deputy Principal of Cardiff and Vale College

Concerns over running of Cardiff and Vale College

An ITV News investigation has found significant concerns about the way further education provider Cardiff and Vale College is being run.

A member of staff contacted us to raise their fears, describing it as "a really unpleasant place to work, with morale at an all-time low," due to pressure from management, cost-cutting that affects teaching, and worries surrounding redundancies.

More than 80 academic and support staff have been given voluntary redundancy since 2011, with the college currently considering further employee reductions.

The UNISON Union says many of its members have "deep-seated fears" that cutbacks mean the college cannot continue delivering the standard of education that students should expect.

Cardiff and Vale College offers further and higher education courses to 20,000 students. Credit: Cardiff and Vale College

College leaders say they have to make up a £3m budget gap next year, due to Welsh Government funding cuts.

Money-saving measures have included changing the college's toilet paper supplier - while spending has increased elsewhere.

The college principal's salary rose by £20,000 to £140,000 at the end of his probation period.

Information obtained by ITV News under a Freedom of Information request shows spending on overseas travel for the principal and other senior members of staff has increased from nothing when the college was formed by a merger in 2011, to more than £25,000 this year.

£10,522 was spent on return flights to Malaysia, in business class.

Bill doesn't go far enough say campaign groups

The Welsh Government should give greater priority to the needs of future generations, according to campaign groups who've only given a qualified welcome to proposals unveiled today. The Sustainable Development Alliance says the 'Wellbeing of Future Generations Bill' needs to go further.

The bill published today is another step in the right direction, but the proposals are complex and we need to be sure they will make public bodies give far greater weight to meeting the needs of our children and grandchildren.

Too many political decisions these days give priority to short term gain at the expense of the future. If this law is to be effective in future-proofing our country, it needs to set clearer goals, which take account of future challenges and give more priority to the long term consequences of today’s decisions.

We need to be prepared for a world where there is fierce competition for resources such as energy and timber, and recognise that decisions we make in Wales have a direct impact on people and nature globally.

It’s notable that today’s interim report on ‘The Wales We Want’ highlights climate change as a key issue facing future generations. Yet as it stands, the bill falls short in terms of changing the way the public sector works to tackle such big, long term issues.

On a more positive note, we are pleased that the Government has responded to concerns about a lack of a goal relating to the Welsh environment. As an Alliance, we now want to work with all parties to develop legislation that will give future generations the life they deserve.

– Anne Meikle, Sustainable Development Alliance
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