(This note is not part of the Regulations)
These Regulations are made under section 23C(5B) of the Children Act 1989 (“the 1989 Act”). As this is the first time the powers in section 23C(5B)(b) (prescribing the meaning of “higher education” for the purposes of section 23C(5A)) have been exercised by the Welsh Ministers, the Regulations have been laid in draft before, and approved by a resolution of, the National Assembly for Wales in accordance with section 104A(3) and (4) of the 1989 Act.
Regulation 3 prescribes that the relevant amount (higher education bursary) payable under section 23C(5A) of the 1989 Act by a local authority to a former relevant child is £2,000. A higher education bursary is payable to a former relevant child who begins a higher education course on or after 1 September 2010 in accordance with their pathway plan.
A former relevant child is a person aged 18 or above who was previously either a relevant child or an eligible child for the purposes of the 1989 Act.
A pathway plan is a plan setting out the advice, assistance and support which a local authority intend to provide to a former relevant child.
Regulation 4 prescribes the meaning of “higher education” as being a course of higher education leading to a first degree or other qualification of an equivalent standard, that is of at least two years' duration (when taken as a full-time course or a part-time equivalent) and is designated by or under Regulations made under section 22 of the Teaching and Higher Education Act 1998.
Regulation 5 makes provision for the payment of the higher education bursary as a lump sum or by instalments. It is for the local authority to decide on the method of payment having, as far as reasonably practicable, ascertained and given due consideration to the wishes and feelings of the former relevant child. If the higher education bursary is paid as a lump sum it must be paid by the local authority to the former relevant child during the first academic year of the course of higher education. If the higher education bursary is to be paid by instalment the first instalment must be paid during the first academic year of the course of higher education, with the final instalment being paid before the end of the course of higher education. Alternatively, if the course has a duration of 4 years or more, the final instalment must be paid in the first 4 weeks of the fourth year of the course.
Regulation 5(5) allows the local authority to withhold any unpaid element of the higher education bursary during periods when a former relevant child is not pursuing the higher education course in accordance with their pathway plan.
Regulation 6 makes provision for the local authority to recover any sums paid by mistake to any person.
A regulatory impact assessment has been prepared in connection with these Regulations. A copy can be obtained from the Welsh Assembly Government, Cathays Park, Cardiff, CF10 3NQ.