Top

Top

CABINET

Minutes of a meeting held on 5 October, 2015.

Present: Councillor N. Moore (Chairman), Councillor S.C. Egan (Vice – Chairman); Councillors: B.E. Brooks, L. Burnett, C.P.J. Elmore and G. John.

Also Present: Councillor N. Hodges.
    

C2921        MINUTES –

RESOLVED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 21 September, 2015 be approved as a correct record.

C2922     DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –

The following declarations of interest were received:

Councillor C. Elmore.

Agenda Item 4 - Review of Individual School Progress Meetings

 

Reason for Declaration –

A Local Education Authority (LEA) appointed Governor at Barry Comprehensive School. As an LEA Governor, his personal interest did not equate to a prejudicial interest and therefore he was able to speak and vote on the matter.

Agenda Item 11 -  School Performance Report 2014-15: Foundation Phase and Key Stages 2 to 5.

Reason for Declaration –

A Local Education Authority (LEA) appointed Governor at Barry Comprehensive School. As an LEA Governor, his personal interest did not equate to a prejudicial interest and therefore he was able to speak and vote on the matter.

Councillor G. John. Agenda Item 4 - Review of Individual School Progress Meetings
 

Reason for Declaration –

A Local Education Authority (LEA) appointed Governor at Llantwit Major Comprehensive School. As an LEA Governor, his personal interest did not equate to a prejudicial interest and therefore he was able to speak and vote on the matter.

Agenda Item 11 - School Performance Report 2014-15: Foundation Phase and Key Stages 2 to 5.

Reason for Declaration –

A Local Education Authority (LEA) appointed Governor at Llantwit Major Comprehensive School. As an LEA Governor, his personal interest did not equate to a prejudicial interest and therefore he was able to speak and vote on the matter.
Councillor L. Burnett. Agenda Item 11 - School Performance Report 2014-15: Foundation Phase and Key Stages 2 to 5.

Reason for Declaration –

A Local Education Authority (LEA) appointed Governor at St Cyres Comprehensive School. As an LEA Governor, her personal interest did not equate to a prejudicial interest and therefore she was able to speak and vote on the matter.

 

C2923        REVIEW OF INDIVIDUAL SCHOOL PROGRESS MEETINGS (REF) –

The Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) on 7 September, 2015 considered the above report of the Director of Learning and Skills.

The Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer, in presenting the report, advised that Cabinet had recommended to the Scrutiny Committee in January 2013 that invitations be extended to the Chairmen of Governors and Headteachers of schools where performance issues had been identified, including those schools under Estyn following up arrangements, to a meeting to consider issues of performance.

On 18th February, 2013, the Scrutiny Committee had subsequently agreed to establish School Progress Panels consisting of three Members (minimum of two Elected Members), to be drawn from the 10 Elected Members and 4 statutory Co-opted Members of this Scrutiny Committee. The Panels had been established in order to ascertain whether the Schools to be visited had up to date and authoritative improvement plans, that they had in place arrangements to monitor the impact of the plans, to amend them as appropriate and to establish what progress had been made against each action within the plans and what further progress was required; this approach being deemed necessary in order to seek to improve the accountability of schools for pupil attainment

It was noted that to date Panel meetings had been held within four secondary schools and one primary school in the Vale, namely:

  • Barry Comprehensive
  • Bryn Hafren Comprehensive
  • Llantwit Major Comprehensive
  • St. Cyres Comprehensive
  • Eagleswell Primary School.

The Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer further highlighted that following the publication of GCSE results in August 2014, both Llantwit Major Comprehensive and St. Cyres Comprehensive schools were removed from the list of those requiring close monitoring. However, results achieved in Barry and Bryn Hafren Comprehensive schools were below the required targets and subsequent re-visits had been undertaken.  In addition, two visits to Eagleswell Primary School in Llantwit Major were held during July 2014 and February 2015.

Following a review of the process, on 23rd June, 2014 the Scrutiny Committee agreed an Action Plan and recommended that an update report be provided in 12 months' time. The Action Plan was developed following a desk top review of the work of the Panels and lessons learnt to date.

Appendix 1 to the report detailed an update on the Action Plan and showed the progress that had been made to date in relation to each individual action. Appendix 2 illustrated further improvement actions observed by the Panel visits conducted over the past 12 months and a summary of progress made to date was also detailed within the report.

In highlighting a number of the areas, Members were informed that one of the main issues identified by Panel Members whilst undertaking the process, was that good practice should be disseminated throughout schools in the Vale. Following a member query as to how this had been undertaken Committee was informed that this had been progressed via the “School to School” working initiative through strategies such as School Improvement Groups, Pathfinders and the use of “Hubs”. This had also led to a significant increase in the sharing of good practice throughout schools in the Vale.

Data capture and tracking of information was also considered essential to the process and should be regularly maintained and analysed. It was recognised that a number of schools operated different tracking / management systems and it was the Panel’s view that one Management Record System could be utilised. Current progress around this included the close monitoring and evaluation of tracking systems by Challenge Advisors. No progress had yet been made with regard to determining one such system to be used across the region, but the Consortium was however considering the potential benefits of a “Pupil Data Warehouse” to support regional monitoring of groups of learners.

As part of the self-evaluation process during the Summer of 2015, a survey of the Members Panel, officers, school representatives and the Challenge Advisors had been undertaken, although responses from all had not been received. Participants in the process had been asked to evaluate how well the Panels had operated to assess the Panels’ impact and to highlight any aspect in which the Panels could operate more effectively.  A summary of the results was contained within the report at paragraphs 38 to 46.

During the consideration of the report, the Head of School Improvement and Inclusion also provided a PowerPoint presentation for Members’ information, which outlined performance data headlines for schools in the Vale, across the Local Authorities within the Central South Consortium and including the all Wales picture for 2015. Standards in all indicators had improved since 2012. At this point the comparisons available were against the average performance of those local authorities within the Consortium and the all-Wales average. It was noted that the ambition of the Council was that the performance needed to be compared to the best in Wales and beyond. This would be completed in a full data analysis once all the data was available. A copy of the presentation was tabled at the meeting.

With regard to the Foundation Phase, it was noted that improvements were being made year on year within the Vale of Glamorgan and that they were above the Central South Consortium average as well as the all-Wales average. For Key Stage 2 core subject indicators, and Key Stage 3 the picture was the same with improvements being seen throughout all the Local Authorities within the Central South Consortium.

For Level 2 threshold Core including English/ Welsh and Maths there was again an increase of 2.5% with a 9.4% increase noted since the last inspection. For Key stage 4 level 2 English the percentage increase was reported as +5.2% for 2015 and +9.8% since the Council’s last inspection. However, for Key Stage 4 Level 2 the percentage had decreased by -1.4 % with the Council needing to continue to monitor this.

The presentation also highlighted FSM data versus non EFSM data for the Foundation Phase, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3 and Level 2 threshold, it being noted that performance was in the main improving for both areas. However, although the results in each category were improving, the graph highlighted that the gap between the two was widening at KS4 and remaining static at KS2 which would require continual monitoring by the Local Authority and the Central South Consortium.

The Chairman thanked the Head of Service for his presentation at the meeting as he was aware that it took some time for the data for each of the schools results to be validated before it could be presented to the Committee. It was however, noted that more detailed information would be available in time for the next meeting of the Committee which would be presented in report format.

The Director of Learning and Skills also advised that a further report in relation to a programme to be developed for consideration by the Committee regarding schools where individual school progress meetings would be most appropriate would be prepared for the next meeting for Members’ consideration.

Following consideration of the report and the presentation, it was subsequently

RECOMMENDED –

(1)    T H A T the contents of the report and the Action Plan at Appendices 1 and 2 to the report detailing the lessons learnt to date in respect of the School Progress Panel meetings be accepted.

(2)    T H A T the Action Plan be monitored and reviewed by the Scrutiny Committee in 12 months' time.
 

(3)    T H A T all reports of School Progress Panel meetings continue to be referred to the Scrutiny Committee for consideration.

(4)    T H A T the review of individual school progress meetings report be referred for consideration to Cabinet advising of the lessons learnt in respect of the progress meetings that had taken place to date.

(5)    T H A T a programme be developed for consideration by the Committee and Cabinet of Panels to take place to visit schools referred to in paragraph 49 as "coasting schools and high performing schools" in order to identify and share best practice.

Reason for recommendations

(1-5)    In recognition of the Scrutiny Committee’s recommendation in 2013 that a review of the process be undertaken in 12 months.

----------------------------------------------

Cabinet, having considered the recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning)

RESOLVED –

(1)    T H A T the contents of the report be noted.

(2)    T H A T the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) be thanked for its ongoing work.

(3)    T H A T Cabinet will advise the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) on visits requested as and when necessary.

Reasons for decisions

(1)    To note the contents of the report.

(2)    To thank the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) for its hard work.

(3)    To advise the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) on visits requested as and when necessary.

C2924        SUMMARY OF SCHOOL INSPECTION REPORTS FOR THE SUMMER TERM 2015 (REF) -

The Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) on 7 September, 2015 considered the above report of the Director of Learning and Skills.

The Head of School Improvement and Inclusion advised that Stanwell Comprehensive, St. Brides Primary and Victoria Primary Schools had been inspected during the Summer term 2015 and that a summary of the inspection findings for each of the named schools / playgroups was appended to the report.

The report advised that School inspections were governed by the Education Act 2005 and the purpose of the inspections was to

-    provide accountability to the users of the services and other stakeholders through public reporting on providers;
-    promote improvement in education and training; and
-    inform the development of national policy by Welsh Government.

The overall judgements achieved by the schools was noted as follows:

   Current Performance  Prospects for Improvement
 Stanwell Comprehensive  Excellent  Excellent
 St. Brides Primary  Good  Good
 Victoria Primary  Good  Good

 

When undertaking the inspections Estyn recognises the unique position to showcase some of the excellent practice identified across all of the education and training sectors it inspects and one way it does this is by asking schools it has identified excellence to write case studies outlining how excellence had been achieved in the identified areas. Two of the Vale schools had therefore produced the following case studies as below:

 School  Case Study
 Victoria Primary  Nurture provision for children with additional learning needs.
 Stanwell Comprehensive  How the development of teaching in the school has led to excellent teaching and outcomes.

 

During the Summer term Estyn also monitored Barry Comprehensive School, with the overall judgement for the school being noted as “insufficient progress in relation to the recommendations” with the outcome “placed in significant improvement”. The detail of the progress the school had made against each of the recommendations was provided at Appendix 3 to the report.

The Vale also currently had two schools in Estyn Local Authority monitoring namely Llanfair Primary and Bryn Hafren Comprehensive schools with Challenge Advisors overseeing the work of the schools, monitoring the delivery of an agreed action plan and reporting progress on a termly basis. The Local Authority was also required to submit a progress report to Estyn that summarised the progress made against each of the recommendations; make a judgement regarding the extent of the progress made in addressing the recommendations; and make a recommendation regarding whether or not the school setting should be removed from Local Authority monitoring. The Vale of Glamorgan also currently had two schools in Local Authority monitoring, Romilly Primary and Y Bont Faen Primary.

Appendix 4 to the report provided a summary of Estyn activity for the period September 2014 – July 2015.

In referring to the monitoring report for Barry Comprehensive and the fact that the school had been placed in significant improvement by Estyn, Members were advised that the monitoring had however, taken place 15 days prior to the announcements of the schools exam results in August 2015 which had shown improvement. However, the Estyn report had also found insufficient progress in relation to some of the recommendations that had been made previously.

In response to a question as to why Estyn had decided to undertake monitoring two weeks before the end of term, the Head of Service advised that this had indeed been unfortunate and Estyn recommendations had been made at that position in time, however, that was the position of the schools position at that moment in time.

The Chairman, in referring to the current performance and prospects for improvement for the three schools that had achieved success in their overall judgements, requested that the Committee agree to let its thanks be forwarded to the schools in this regard, following which it was subsequently

RECOMMENDED –

(1)    T H A T the inspections judgements about the schools inspected during the Summer term be noted.

(2)    T H A T the judgements made by Estyn in its monitoring visit regarding the progress of schools in addressing inspection recommendations be noted.

(3)    T H A T the judgements made by Estyn with regard to schools in Local Authority monitoring be noted.

(4)    T H A T a letter of congratulations be forwarded on behalf of the Scrutiny Committee by the Chairman to Stanwell Comprehensive, St. Brides Primary and Victoria Primary Schools.

 

(5)    T H A T the report be referred to Cabinet for its consideration, highlighting the overall judgements for the schools visited in the Summer term and the recommendations following the Estyn monitoring visit to Barry Comprehensive School.

Reasons for recommendations

(1-3)    In order that Members are aware of Estyn judgements about local schools.

(4)    To offer the Committee’s congratulations.

(5)    For Cabinet’s consideration.

----------------------------------------------

Cabinet, having considered the recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning)

RESOLVED – T H A T the contents of the report be noted and that Cabinet add their congratulations to Stanwell Comprehensive, St. Brides Primary School and Victoria Primary School on their recent inspection performance results.

Reason for decision

To note the contents of the report and offer the Cabinet’s congratulations to the schools involved.

C2925        UPDATE ON IMPLEMENTATION OF THE SOCIAL SERVICES AND WELL-BEING (WALES) ACT 2014 (REF) –

The Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) on 8 September, 2015 considered the above report of the Director of Social Services.

The Director of Social Services presented the Committee’s fifth monthly update in respect of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 (the Act) and the approach being taken in regard to implementation.

The report outlined that the Act would come into force in April 2016. The Committee had requested regular updates on progress being made in readiness for implementing the requirements of the Act in the Vale of Glamorgan. This month’s report updated information considered by the Committee in July 2015 which included:

  • Information on the second tranche of public consultation issued by Welsh Government on new Regulations and Codes of Practice
  • Plans for an awareness raising event in partnership with Glamorgan Voluntary Services
  • The Social Care and Workforce Development Programme (SCWDP) and arrangements for a regional SCWDP partnership.

The first tranche of regulations and codes of guidance were laid before the National Assembly in July and these have now been approved. Appendix 1 to the report contained the public consultation responses made by the Director of Social Services to the second tranche, submitted to the Welsh Government on 31st July, 2015. This covered the following areas:

  • The Code of Practice in relation to Part 10 (Complaints, Representations and Advocacy Services);
  • Regulations and Code of Practice in relation to Part 5 (Charging and Financial Assessment); and
  • Regulations and Code of Practice in relation to Part 6 (Looked After and Accommodated Children).

Additionally, on 30th June, the Minister of Health and Social Services issued a written statement, clarifying Welsh Government intentions about how the Act would affect Children and Young People’s Services. This was attached at Appendix 2.

As reported previously, the Vale of Glamorgan Social Care Development and Workforce Plan (SCDWP) had been submitted to Welsh Government, in order to qualify for the SCDWP grant, a new Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan Regional Social Care and Workforce Development Partnership had been established.

Members were advised that a workshop had been held with those partners who had expressed an interest in being part of this partnership. Discussions from this session would help to shape the Partnership Board and ensure that it was fit for purpose. The first meeting of the Partnership was held on 31st July, 2015. As well as confirming the terms of reference, governance and membership of the Partnership Board, it set out arrangements for ensuring robust communications were in place and that all partners were kept up to date. One of the first challenges for the Board would be to complete a regional update which needed to be returned to Welsh Government by 25th September, 2015.

The report outlined that the Care Council for Wales (Care Council) was working with a range of partners to develop a national learning and development plan to support implementation of the Act. The overall aim of this initiative (funded by Welsh Government) was to ensure that the workforce was supported and informed to deliver Social Services in accordance with Welsh law and and its interface with other relevant statutes and to practice in accord with the principles of the Act. It had developed and Information and Learning Hub, a One Stop Shop for the wide range of resources that would be produced as part of this initiative. Over time, the Hub would include training materials in different formats to help the social care professionals implement legislation in their day to day work.

In partnership with the Glamorgan Voluntary Service (GVS), officers from the Vale Social Services Management Team delivered a workshop event at the Barry Memorial Hall on 9th July, 2015. This event was aimed at staff working in the Third and Independent Sectors, as well as other local authority departments and the Local Health Board. Over 100 people attended the event which was very well received. It focussed mainly on areas which were perceived to be the most crucial in implementing, at an early stage, the new model of services required by the Act, which included the following:

  • Information, Advice and Assistance (IAA)
  • Planning and promoting preventative services
  • Supporting the development of new national assessments and eligibility tools
  • Workforce development and training needs.

The above list was not intended to underestimate the need for the service to focus too on many other key areas including safeguarding, charging, advocacy, social enterprises, performance management and regional partnership planning/working. However, given the very limited timeframe available and the scale of change required it was essential that the Directorate concentrated limited resources on those areas which would most change the relationship between individuals and public services and which would also represent the greatest risk to effective implementation. The Regional Implementation Plan will need to be amended so that it reflected the strategy.

Work to monitor progress against the current version of the Regional Implementation Plan was ongoing and an update was provided at Appendix 3.

With regard to Advocacy Services, the Committee noted that Welsh Government planned to invest money to develop advocacy services and had talked about the creation of regional advocacy services. However, Members were asked to note that regional services would take time to develop and that there would likely be cost implications which had not been fully recognised as yet by Welsh Government. This could possibly result in local authorities being subject to Judicial Reviews around provision of services which could have significant consequences.

A Member, referring to the Action Plan attached at Appendix 3, queried progress around action 11.3 on page 13. The Committee was informed that the intent was to have dedicated capacity on a regional basis to bring together training and development in respect of the requirements of the Act to ensure that staff and partners are fully briefed. An officer with responsibility for this was being recruited which would help to speed up this process.

In terms of the ambitions of the Act, the Director of Social Services stated that the timescales of the Act were challenging and that the Act would come into force during a period of austerity, which no one had anticipated would last for a period of at least 10 years. The Director stated that in some areas the Act would help to manage demand but in other areas it would increase demand. The National Assembly had discussed the Act in detail, so it was hoped that Welsh Government fully recognised some of the difficulties identified.

The Director of Social Services went on to state that Members would recollect a Third Sector partner event regarding the Act which was raised during the Committee’s previous meeting. At this event a video detailing some of the significant impacts from the Act were shown to participants and it would be useful for all Members of the Council to see this as well. The Committee therefore considered it useful that a Member briefing session be arranged which would highlight the main areas of the Act i.e. provision of information, planning and promoting preventative services, supporting the development of new national assessment and eligibility tools and workforce development and training needs. It was agreed that such a briefing session should take place after Christmas and should ideally be held during March 2016. Members considered that such a briefing session would be useful to Members, particularly as there would likely be concerns raised by service users living within all Wards.

Following consideration of the report the Committee

RECOMMENDED -

(1)    T H A T the contents of report be noted.

(2)    T H A T the Committee continues to receive regular updates about implementing the Act.

(3)    T H A T the report be referred to Cabinet, and Cabinet consider the request from the Scrutiny Committee that a briefing session for all Members around the implementation of the Act be arranged to take place some time during March 2016.

Reasons for recommendations

(1&2)    To ensure that Elected Members are kept informed about fundamental changes in the policy and legislative framework which underpins the work of Social Services.

(3)    To ensure that all Elected Members of the Council are fully aware of the potential impact of the Act and that Members are in a better position to respond to possible queries from service users within their Wards.

----------------------------------------------

Cabinet, having considered the recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health)

RESOLVED – T H A T the contents of the report be noted and that a briefing session on the implementation of the Social Services and Well Being (WALES) Act 2014 be arranged for all Councillors during March 2016.

Reason for decision

To note the contents of the report and to ensure that all Elected Members of the Council were fully aware of the potential impact of the Act and that Members would be in a better position to respond to possible queries from service users within their Wards.

C2926        PRESENTATION: CHILD AND ADOLESCENT MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES (CAMHS) (REF) -

The Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) on 8 September, 2015 considered the above report.

The Committee welcomed back Rose Whittle, the Commissioning Lead for the Cardiff and Vale Community and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), and she was joined by Dr. Claire Ball, the regional Clinical Director for CAMHS.

The Commissioning Lead began the presentation by advising Members that, in October 2013, the University Health Board commenced a work programme to agree a sustainable service model for emotional and mental health services. This was reported to the Scrutiny Committee back in September 2014.

To progress this piece of work the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board had allocated £180,000 in 2015/16 to improve primary mental health services. In addition the Welsh Government had recently announced £7.65m recurring funding to support children with emotional and mental health difficulties across Wales.

In terms of progress since September 2014, Members were advised that an agreement had been reached regarding a primary multi-agency support pathway. In addition, a specialist CAMHS service specification had been developed and new specialist referral criteria were being finalised. These were in conjunction with a new pathway which was agreed for neurodevelopment disorders that now included a single point of referral.

In Cardiff and the Vale, its share of the new national funding had been allocated in principle and business cases had been developed which were awaiting approval and which focussed on the following

  • Primary mental health
  • Neurodevelopment pathways
  • Early psychosis and transition
  • Increased psychological approaches in specialist CAMHS
  • Seven day support for crisis intervention.

In terms of primary mental health services, the additional £180,000 would support the development and commissioning of an Emotional Wellbeing Service.

The Model for the new service was currently under development and this would include the following:

  • Access to rapid assessment
  • Direct access for general practitioners
  • Single point of entry for emotional wellbeing and CAMHS services
  • Intervention support, both as an end in itself and support while waiting for CAMHS
  • Interventions will include activities such as group work, text support, 1 : 1 work, mindfulness training, anger/anxiety management
  • Support for training and consultation
  • Interventions to be provided at a hub, or convenient locations such as schools or youth services.

The service specification for the Model would be completed by the end of September. Specification would include close working with colleagues in Social Services to close any gaps and to ensure that there was no disconnect. The specification would soon go out to tender and it was anticipated that a tender would come from a partnership approach led by a Third Sector organisation.

In referring to neurodevelopment disorders, the Committee was advised that a ‘single model, single pathway’ had been created that incorporated Community Child Health, Primary Care and CAMHS. Additional Welsh Government funding had been provided to support a multi-disciplinary approach, with a dedicated co-ordinator and nurse triage. A single point of contact had been developed and this would include a direct telephone link to allow families to speak directly to nurses

In addition, demand and capacity modelling was being undertaken to support the shaping of this model which would facilitate communication and information sharing across traditional boundaries. As part of the development, there would be an agreement from Education around what assessment would be used within schools. A minimum data set for referrals would be agreed and this information needed to be provided before a referral was accepted. This will help to facilitate the assessment and diagnosis of young people and would ensure that specialists could focus on areas that only they could do.

Further to the aspect of neurodevelopment disorders, the Clinical Director stated that there was a need to speed up the process. This was recognised as an important development and she stated that she was pleased that a lot of work around this had begun.  This would assist the prioritisation of resources to CAMHS and she went on to comment that Welsh Government had identified two performance targets which were:

  • All urgent CAMHS assessments to be undertaken within 48 hours, to commence from the end of October 2015 and;
  • All routine specialist CAMHS assessments seen within 28 days, to come into effect from 1st April 2016.

In terms of specific specialist CAMHS referral information for the Vale of Glamorgan, the Committee was advised that, between January and June 2015, 261 referrals were received. In total, there were 178 people on the waiting list of which 56 individuals had been waiting for a service for a period longer than 26 weeks. The longest wait for a service was 54 weeks. Members were also advised that 19% of appointments were cancelled by families and that 12% of appointments had resulted in families failing to attend. Members were advised that these figures related to the old service model.

The Chairman in referring to the extra funding provided by the Welsh Government queried whether this would be enough in order to carry out the necessary improvements. In response, the Clinical Director stated that the previous model was too focussed on the medical side of the service and it had been recognised that this was not fit for purpose. The important aspect of the new funding was around the recruitment of the necessary workforce which would be a challenge as there would be competition when attracting new staff. There would be a need, therefore, to be creative around how to attract the appropriate staff and this issue had been recognised by the Welsh Government.

A Committee Member queried as to what was the process for children that needed urgent help. In response, the Committee was advised that this would depend upon treatment. Urgent cases would be for those identified with an acute need such as psychiatric treatment or severe depression. Diagnosis by the general practitioner would be followed by rapid access to services for which an appropriate well-being pathway plan would then be devised.

In response to the Committee’s query as to whether children and young people were involved in the decision-making process, the Commissioning Lead advised that following the mental health measure children and young people had a critical part in deciding the pathway. All Care and Treatment Plans would be co-signed by the parents and the child or young person in question. An important part of this was the involvement of youth forums in devising service strategies which would also include colleagues from the Third Sector. The Commissioning Lead stated that ‘joining up the dots’ was now a key priority.

A Committee Member, in referring to the desire to reduce the waiting time down from 26 weeks to 28 days, queried how this would be achieved. The Clinical Director stated that an historic issue was that all referrals for neurodevelopment disorders had been referred to the CAMHS service. An identified issue had been the need for CAMHS staff to look at and consider all referrals, many of which were not appropriate to receive service support. This had caused a back log which the service was working through. Partnership planning and joint working would help to reduce this. Members were further advised that the new targets would be a challenge and that there was likely to be a lag before the service got things right. In the shorter term a bid for further funding for Welsh Government to recruit staff in a quicker time frame had been made which would be the start of the change process.

Further to this, the Chairman queried as to how many children and young people on the waiting list were appropriate to the service. Members noted that across the Cardiff and Vale Health Boards there had been an issue with trawling the necessary data but there was somewhere in the region of 86 appropriate referrals on the waiting list with around a further 380 in the system for follow up. To tackle this backlog it had been recognised that a better process was needed which would free up capacity. A key aspect here was to co-ordinate the service efforts and to reduce the level of confusion for parents and to improve the time taken to complete an assessment. In addition, early intervention was crucial to prevent crisis and to reduce the risk of children and young people experiencing emotional and wellbeing disorders. The service had pledged to work together to improve access to therapists and to improve multi-agency working.

In response to the Chairman’s query around treatment for those outside of CAMHS, Members were advised that this would be a challenge and that the Community Health Council would be able assist. The quality of service was the key for which the single telephone service would be important from which all necessary advice and information would be provided.

In terms of future improvement and development, the Clinical Director stated that an important aim would be the need to improve child psychology services for which National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines would soon be published which provided ways of improving the quality of services. The Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) model in England had improved the treatment process and national outcomes were being compiled through a set of core data systems which would allow direct comparison around the quality of service across the whole of Wales.

A Committee Member commented that a lot of issues with young people would be picked up through schools and the Member questioned the link between the CAMHS service and school based counselling services. In response, the Clinical Director stated that the Mental Health Measure emphasised that the relationship between primary mental health services and schools needed to continue. It was important to ensure that counselling within schools was not a stand-alone service.

The Chairman, in referring to the preventative work undertaken by Social Services, including cases with domestic violence which were likely to affect the mental health and wellbeing of a child, queried whether any more funding would be available to support Social Services initiatives. In response the Commissioning Lead stated that these were very helpful comments and that it had been recognised that there was a disconnect between the CAMHS services and some of its partner agencies. Recent partnership events had highlighted this as an issue and greater partnership involvement around the planning of services would be undertaken. Further to this point, the Director of Social Services stated that from his perspective he would like to see recognition of the scale in respect of the growing number of children requiring mental health support and experiencing emotional distress as the CAMHS service was playing catch up and he would like to see better co-ordination of service development plans with Children’s Services.

With reference to the newsletter entitled ‘Together for Children and Young People’ which was attached at Agenda Item No. 4.3, a Member queried the statement that identified that over the past four years there had been over a 100% increase in referrals to CAMHS and Members asked whether an explanation could be provided. The Clinical Director informed Members that part of the growing demand was as a result of the disappearance, in some areas, of Council run youth services. This was in addition to the lack of awareness of options by people making referrals. She stated that referrals to primary and secondary CAMHS services were not always appropriate but often this was the only avenue available. In relation to this query, a Member questioned as to whether the economic difficulties within the country were having an effect. In response, Members noted that this was a complex issue and that the increase in demand was not necessarily linked in a direct linear relationship with the economic situation and that there were a number of reasons which accounted for the growing demand.

Having considered the progress in respect of the CAMHS service the Committee

RECOMMENDED -

(1)    T H A T the Committee thanks the representatives from the CAMHS service for the update report.

(2)    T H A T a further update report on progress be received in 12 months’ time.

(3)    T H A T the update presentation be forwarded to Cabinet for its consideration.

Reason for recommendation

(1)    To offer the Committee’s thanks and appreciation to the representatives from the CAMHS service.

(2&3)    To keep Members informed around developments to an important service area.

----------------------------------------------

Cabinet, having considered the recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health)

RESOLVED –

(1)    T H A T the contents of the report be noted and the Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) be thanked for ensuring that regular updates were received on the progress being made.

(2)    T H A T thanks be given to the Cardiff and Vale Community and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) for their ongoing work in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Reasons for decisions

(1)    To note the contents of the report and to thank the Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) for keeping Cabinet informed of developments to this important service area.

(2)    To give thanks to the Cardiff and Vale Community and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) for their hard work.

C2927        REVENUE AND CAPITAL MONITORING FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL TO 31ST JULY 2015 (REF) -

The Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) on 8 September, 2015 considered the above report of the Director of Social Services.

The purpose of the report was to advise the Scrutiny Committee of the position in respect of the revenue and capital expenditure for the period 1st April to 31st July 2015. In addition, the report also highlighted progress made in delivering the Social Services Budget Programme.

The current forecast for Social Services was a balanced budget. In addition to increased demand for services, there was pressure on the Directorate to achieve its savings targets for 2015/16 onwards.

A table and graph setting out the variance between the profiled budget and actual expenditure to date and the projected position at year end were attached at Appendix 1 to the report.

In terms of Children and Young People Services, it was still anticipated to outturn £300,000 under budget at year end. The key issue for this service continued to be managing the demand for the Joint Budget for Residential Placements for Looked After Children, but, currently it was forecast to outturn with a £100,000 underspend at year end. Work had been ongoing to ensure that children were placed in the most appropriate and cost effective placements. However, it was noted that it was still early in the financial year and that due to the potential high cost of each placement, the outturn position could fluctuate with a change in the number of Looked After Children. There were potential underspend elsewhere in Children’s Services of £65,000 in staffing budgets and £135,000 on alternative means of provision and accommodation costs required for the current cohort of children.

For Adult Services, this service was currently anticipated to outturn £300,000 over budget at year end. This was due to a projected overspend on Community Care Packages of £300,000 as a result of increased demand for services, particularly for frail older clients. The service would strive to manage demand, not only to avoid a further increase in the overspend, but also to reduce the overspend. Whilst every effort would be made to improve this position, it could not guarantee that it would not deteriorate further by year end as this budget was extremely volatile and there was a continued increase in demand for services. The annual deferred income budget for 2015/16 had been set at £739,000 and as at 31st July 2015 income received to date was £18,000 under-recovered. As it was early in the financial year, the year end project was to breakeven against this budget.

Capital

Appendix 2 to the report detailed financial progress on the Capital Programme as at 31st July 2015. No changes had been requested to the Programme for this month.

Appendix 3 to the report provided non-financial information on capital construction schemes. For all schemes where it was evident that the full year’s budget would not be spent during the year, the relevant officers were required to provide an explanation for the shortfall which would be taken to the earliest available Cabinet meeting.

2015/16 Budget Programme

The Directorate was currently required to find savings totalling £3.568m by the end of 2019/20 and this target was analysed by year in the following table.

Year

Savings

Required
£000

Savings

Identified
£000

In Year

Surplus/

(Shortfall)
£000

Cumulative

Surplus/

(Shortfall)
£000

 Savings Brought Forward    34  34  34
 2015/16  1,465  1,541  76  110
 2016/17  1,133  1,209  76  186
 2017/18  320  320  0  186
 2018/19  320  320  0  186
 2019/20  330  330  0  186
 TOTAL  3,568  3,754    

 

The surplus shown and the savings brought forward figures were as a result of the foster carer recruitment project, which was being developed in addition to the required savings targets. This surplus could be used to mitigate any increase in savings to be found in future years.

Attached at Appendix 4 to the report was an update on each individual area of saving.

With regard to the development of the former Bryneithin site, the Head of Adult Services stated that the site had been sold subject to planning permission. Members were advised that the land had been earmarked for the use of people over the age of 50 and following a request by the Chairman, the Committee agreed that an update report would be provided at the next meeting.

A Committee Member in referring to Appendix 4 and project reference B9 - The Contract Arrangements for Domiciliary Care - questioned whether there were any intentions for an on-line auction system to be used. In response, the Director of Social Services stated that no, this had never been discussed.

The Chairman, in referring to the £270,000 savings target for domiciliary care services which was required in 2016/17 queried whether this was achievable particularly with regard to the fact that over 95% of the care sector was provided by independent providers to which costs would be incurred following the national implementation of the Living Wage. In response, the Head of Finance stated that it had been recognised that this was a challenging target for the service to hit. However, she stated that the Commissioning Strategy of the service was fairly robust and was considering a number of options. Furthermore, the service had correctly recognised the problems associated with block contracts. In addition to this point, the Director of Social Services alluded to the integration of services with health and the possibility of health investing in some social services, particularly those which aided the discharge of patients from hospitals.

A Committee Member queried the progress around the establishment of two working groups, which were aimed at taking forward the work which focussed on outcome based commissioning and the understanding of pressures in the domiciliary care sector. In response, the Head of Finance stated that the first Working Group focussed around outcome based commissioning started last year and it would link in with implementation of the new Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014. The aim of this Working Group would be to change the working arrangements and relationships within the sector in order to focus the service on becoming more outcome based. The second group was looking at the costs associated with domiciliary care providers. Members were advised that both were internal Working Groups and that the Head of Finance felt reasonable progress had been made.

In response to a Member’s query regarding the detail contained within project reference A23 regarding Reshaping Services, the Head of Adult Services stated that the savings target was rather broad and that it was still very much early on in the process and that it was important to have a target to focus the work of the service.

The Committee requested further detail about the predicted overspend to the Older People’s Budget. The Head of Finance agreed that this would be followed up and information sent to Members accordingly.

Having considered the report the Committee

RECOMMENDED –

(1)    T H A T the position with regard to the 2015/16 revenue and capital monitoring be noted.

(2)    T H A T the progress made in delivering the Social Services Budget Programme be noted and referred to Cabinet for information.

Reasons for recommendations

(1)    To ensure that Members are aware of the position with regard to the 2015/16 revenue and capital monitoring relevant to the Committee.

(2)    That Members are aware of the progress made to date on the Social Services Budget Programme.

----------------------------------------------

Cabinet, having considered the recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health)

RESOLVED – T H A T the contents of the report be noted and thanks be given to the Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) for their continued Scrutiny of the budgets.

Reason for decision

To note the contents of the report and thanks the Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health).

C2928        USE OF THE MANAGING DIRECTOR’S EMERGENCY POWERS (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – ALL) -

Cabinet was advised of the exercising of Emergency Powers by the Managing Director since the last report in March 2015.

At the meeting the Leader amended the alphabetical list to ensure accuracy in the resolutions of the report to ensure the last two items were correctly labeled as (O) and (P) as below;

(o) Innovation Quarter - Sharing of Capital Receipts for Pumphouse and Triangle Land Transactions with Welsh Government (as per JV agreement)

(p) Amendments to Capital Programme to pay marketing agent fees relating to disposal of Former Ysgol Maes Dyfan site

This was a matter for Executive decision

RESOLVED – T H A T the exercising of the Managing Director’s Emergency Powers as indicated below be noted –

(a)    Wales Coast Path Development Programme 2013-15

 

Authority to accept Community Links and Equestrian Development Projects Grant Offer GU9441 - An award of funding of £22,530 has been received in relation Community Links and Equestrian Development Projects. This funding is to be used for Rhoose community link and ancillary works. It is therefore requested that the grant offer from Natural Resources Wales of £22,530 be included in the 2014/15 Capital Programme.

 

Authority to accept Wales Coast Path Development Programme 2013-15 Grant Offer GU9484 - The grant award of £45,000 from Natural Resources Wales for Wales Coast Path Development Programme has been increased to £80,299. In addition to this there is also £15,000 match funding contribution from Capital Receipts. It is therefore requested that the £35,299 increase in grant from Natural Resources Wales be included in the 2014/15 Capital Programme.

 

Authority to make consequential amendments to 2014/15 Capital Programme to reflect the above grant funding.

(Scrutiny - Economy and Environment)

(b)    Metro Fund Grant Funding 2014-15 - Dinas Powys to Cardiff Bus Priority Corridor

 

Authority to accept additional Metro Fund Transport Grant by the Welsh Government for 2014/15 to carry out feasibility and design of Bus Priority Measures along the Dinas Powys to Cardiff corridor to the value of £7,270. This brings to total of funding for 2014/15 to £59,770.

 

Authority to amend the 2014/15 Capital Programme by including the above grant in the 2014/2015 Capital Programme.

 

(Scrutiny - Economy and Environment)

(c)    Additional Capital Scheme - Llansannor CIW Primary School, replacement of pathway, access ramp and fencing across the rear of the school

 

(i)    Authority to fund Llansannor CiW Primary School replacement of pathway access ramp element of the scheme £30,25) from DDA Adaptations to Council's Buildings Budget

 

(ii)    Authority to reallocate £11.5k of additional capital funding to St. Joseph's Security Entrance Gate Scheme and £6k of additional capital funding is allocated to Llansannor CCTV scheme.

(Scrutiny - Lifelong Learning)

(d)    Repairs to Porthkerry Country Park access road

 

Authority to amend the Capital Programme. After identifying sufficient savings on revenue budgets, the Director of Development authorised expenditure of £29,353.36 on essential repairs to the access road through Porthkerry Country Park.

 

(Scrutiny - Economy and Environment)

(e)    Variation to Award of Funding in relation to Vibrant and Viable Places, Tackling Poverty Fund Programme (Barry Parks Enhancement Programme)

 

(i)    Authority to accept grant funding of £94,000 from Welsh Government which forms part of the larger Vibrant and Viable Places, Tackling Poverty Fund Programme award to fund the Barry Parks Enhancement Programme Scheme.

 

Welsh Government have been advised that the Council will draw down £78,498 of this grant as the contractor is only now taking delivery of the various walling elements.

 

(ii)    Authority to amend the 2014/15 Capital Programme by £78,498.

(Scrutiny - Economy and Environment)

(f)    Amendment to the Housing Renewal Policy 2014

 

Authority to amend

 

(i)    The Housing Renewal Policy in respect of Upper Holton Road to increase the maximum level of grant from 85% to 95%.

 

(ii)    Housing Renewal Policy in respect of Main Street to increase the maximum level of grant from 85% to 95%.

 

(iii)    The Housing Renewal Policy in respect of Upper Holton Road and Main Street to allow owners to apply for the 95% grant funding and not use the Council's Renewal Area agency service.

 

(iv)    Authority to approve an Exception Policy for Upper Holton Road and Main Street for small scale improvements to maximise the impact of the amended Housing Renewal Policy for the wider areas.

 

(Scrutiny - Housing and Public Protection)

(g)    Education Asset Renewal

 

Authority to approve the allocations listed below ahead of the report to Cabinet:

-        £250k allocated for Ysgol Bro Morgannwg kitchen roof renewal
-        £10k allocated for Llanfair Primary kitchen floor, and
-        £120k allocated for Peterston Super Ely Primary to renew electric heaters.

(Scrutiny - Corporate Resources)

(h)    Amendments to the Capital Programme for the following schemes

 

Authority to amend the Capital Programme to provide a capital budget to cover the costs of the marketing and disposal of the following projects:

    -        Marketing and Disposal of the 'Innovation Quarter Southern Development             Site, Barry Waterfront'
    -        Marketing and Disposal of 'Nell's Point, Barry Island' and
    -        Marketing and Disposal of Park of Cowbridge Livestock Market.

 (Scrutiny - Economy and Environment and Corporate Resources)

(i)    Barry Community Watersports Facilities

Authority to amend the Capital Programme by the inclusion of £106k of S106 funding.

(Scrutiny - Economy and Environment)

(j)    Old Coal Yard, St. Athan and St. Athan Crossroads Scheme- Highway Works

Authority to amend the Capital Programme by the inclusion of £36k of S106 funding.

(Scrutiny - Economy and Environment)

(k)    Welsh Government's Vibrant and Viable Places (VVP) (Tackling Poverty) programme for the settlement of Barry

Authority to amend the Capital Programme for 2015/16 by increasing the Tackling Poverty Scheme by £10k to be funded by S106 funding.

(Scrutiny - Economy and Environment)

(l)    Amendment to the Housing Renewal Area Policy 2014 - Castleland Renewal Area (including Upper Holton Road) Barry

Authority to amend the Housing Renewal Policy to allow solid wall masonry stabilisation techniques to be considered eligible works in Facelift schemes.

(Scrutiny - Economy and Environment)

(m)    Bus Shelter, Court Road

Authority to amend the 2015/16 Capital Programme by inclusion of £22,252.50 for the works to provide a bus shelter on Court Road to be funded from S106 monies.

(Scrutiny - Economy and Environment)

(n)    Maximising the Employment Potential of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast

Authority to amend the 2015/16 Capital Programme by the inclusion of £98k to be funded by a grant from Big Lottery Fund.

(Scrutiny (Economy and Environment)

(o)    Innovation Quarter - Sharing of Capital Receipts for Pumphouse and Triangle Land Transactions with Welsh Government (as per JV agreement)

Authority to pay the Welsh Government their share of the capital receipts the Council has previously received in respect of the following land disposals:

-        Triangle Disposal to Whitbread
-        Pumphouse Disposal.

    Authority to increase the 2015/16 Capital Programme by £396,109.

Scrutiny (Economy and Environment)

(p)    Amendments to Capital Programme to pay marketing agent fees relating to disposal of Former Ysgol Maes Dyfan site

 Authority to pay the above fees in the sums of £8,323.77 plus VAT and to make consequential amendments to the Capital Programme.

(Scrutiny - Lifelong Learning)

Reason for decision

To note the use of the Managing Director’s Emergency Powers.

C2929        A4226 FIVE MILE LANE ROAD IMPROVEMENTS (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) -

Cabinet was informed of the work undertaken to date in support of the Welsh Government to take forward the A4226 Five Mile Lane Road Improvement scheme.

The A4226 (Five Mile Lane) connected Barry at the Weycock Cross roundabout to the Sycamore Cross junction on the A48, and comprised an essential part of the highway network that provided access to Barry as well as the St Athan and Cardiff Airport Enterprise Zone. Proposals to improve this stretch of road were contained in the Vale of Glamorgan Deposit Local Development Plan.

In essence the scheme sought to;

  • Provide access to the St Athan and Cardiff Airport Enterprise Zone in support of the Welsh Government’s policy for job creation and employment;
  • Provide for improved road infrastructure and network resilience to service traffic needs accessing or commuting through the area of Barry and the areas west of Barry comprising, but not limited to, Rhoose, St Athan, Llantwit Major as well as the St Athan-Cardiff Airport Enterprise Zone;

The Council had previously received a Principal Road Grant from the Welsh Government to advance the Five Mile Lane Highway Improvement Scheme, and to date this work had involved the signalisation of Sycamore Cross junction, as well as initial design and feasibility work together with various environmental assessments related to the development of a more comprehensive scheme. Significant additional funding was required to complete the development and implementation of the scheme. The Welsh Government announced their commitment to the scheme in July 2013.

Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) had been employed by the Welsh Government to develop the route design and a partnership approach with the Council was being utilised in taking the work forward.

Appendix A attached to the report contained the Outline Business Case for the scheme. Officers from the Welsh Government and the Council were utilising the Five Case Business Model as the basis for developing an Outline Business Case which provided the detail of why the scheme needed to be delivered.  The expectation of the Welsh Government was that the Council would procure the works contract and manage the delivery of the scheme. The Five Case Model set out the Strategic, Economic, Commercial, Financial and Management cases for the project and the relevant guidance was set out at:

http://wales.gov.uk/docs/caecd/publications/121001wiip5casemodel.pdf

At the meeting the Leader gave thanks to the Minister for Economy, Science and Transport for taking time to meet with the Council to resolve any issues, and he further gave thanks to Officers of the Council and the Welsh Government for their work in mitigating any issues and risks associated with the project. Thus ensuring the Council would receive a full grant for the scheme from Welsh Government.

This was a matter for Executive decision

RESOLVED –

(1)    T H A T the Interim Business Case as set out in Appendix A as attached to the report be accepted as the basis for proceeding with the scheme and as the basis for the Welsh Government funding the scheme.

(2)    T H A T the current design and Junction Strategy set out in Appendix B as attached to the report be accepted as the basis for the submission of a planning application for the scheme and as supporting information to the land acquisition process.

(3)    T H A T a Compulsory Purchase Order be used to acquire the land required for the delivery of the scheme and a further report setting out the details of that Compulsory Purchase Order be forwarded to Council for consideration.

(4)    T H A T the Land Acquisition Policy be utilised in respect of this particular road project and as set out in Appendix C as attached to the report.

(5)    T H A T delegated authority be granted to the Head of Regeneration and Planning and the Director of Environment and Housing Services in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and the Cabinet Member for Visible and Leisure Services to agree the details and format of an exhibition of the scheme to be provided in an appropriate location as part of the consultation necessary for the planning application for the scheme.

(6)    T H A T the acceptance of the grant offer from Welsh Government attached at Appendix D to the report be approved.

(7)    T H A T delegated authority be granted to the Director of Environment and Housing Services in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and the Cabinet Member for Visible and Leisure Services, to commence the tender process in relation to the main works contract through the appropriate Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) process in advance of the determination of the planning application for the scheme.

(8)    T H A T the inclusion of any Welsh Government grant accepted in the Council's Capital Programme be agreed.

(9)    T H A T delegated authority be granted to the Head of Legal Services to agree and enter into the appropriate contracts in respect of consultancy services in support of the scheme and as may be agreed by the relevant Project Board.

(10)    T H A T Officers provide regular reports back to Cabinet on the progress of the scheme.

Reasons for decisions

(1)    To agree the principle of the scheme as set in the Interim Business Case.

(2)    To enable the submission of a planning application for the agreed design to date.

(3)    To enable a further report to be provided to the Council.

(4)    To enable land to be acquired via Compulsory Purchase Order in accordance with the Policy Note attached to this report.

(5)    To enable an appropriate exhibition of the preferred scheme to be provided alongside the standard consultation element of the relevant planning application and the required Compulsory Purchase Order for the acquisition of the land required for the scheme.

(6)    To ensure that the scheme was fully funded at an acceptable level of risk to the Council.

(7)    To enable the initial stage of tendering of the main works contract, in line with appropriate procedures, to commence in line with the current programme on the understanding that Cabinet would receive a further full report on the initial responses to the tendering exercise including a report providing a short list of preferred contractors for consideration once the scheme had received an approval of planning consent, once the Compulsory Purchase Order for the acquisition of land required for the scheme had been confirmed and once an appropriate level of grant funding was in place to finance the delivery of the scheme.

(8)    To enable inclusion of the scheme within the Capital Programme.

(9)    To facilitate the appointment of consultancy support.

(10)    To ensure appropriate reporting regarding progress on this scheme.

C2930        SCHOOL PERFORMANCE REPORT 2014-15: FOUNDATION PHASE AND KEY STAGES 2 TO 5 (CSS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – LIFELONG LEARNING) -

Cabinet was informed of pupil attainment and school performance outcomes.

Statutory end of Key Stage Teacher Assessment (TA) was administered at the end of the Foundation Phase, Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3, when pupils were aged 7, 11 and 14 years old respectively.

The National minimum expectations for pupils at the end of the Foundation Phase and Key Stages 2 and 3 were as follows: Outcome 5 at the end of the Foundation Phase, Level 4 at the end of Key Stage 2 and Level 5 at the end of Key Stage 3.

Additionally, expectations for more able pupils at the end of each phase were as follows: Outcome 6 or above at the end of the Foundation Phase, Level 5 or above at the end of Key Stage 2 and Levels 6 and 7 at the end of Key Stage 3.

In relation to external examinations at Key Stages 4 and 5, the report outlined performance for the measures as follows:

  • The Core Subject Indicator (CSI); the proportion of pupils attaining a GCSE A* - C in the core subjects of English, Welsh, Maths and Science.
  • Level 2 Threshold; proportion of pupils attaining 5 x GCSEs A* to C.
  • Level 2+ Threshold; proportion of pupils attaining 5 x GCSEs A* to C including Maths, English or Welsh. This was the government's preferred measure of educational attainment.
  • English GCSE Level 2; the proportion of pupils attaining English GCSE A* to C.
  • Maths GCSE Level 2; the proportion of pupils attaining Maths GCSE A* to C.
  • Science GCSE Level 2; the proportion of pupils attaining Science GCSE A* to C.
  • A Level; the level 3 indicator measures the proportion of pupils attaining 2 or more A levels A - E.

For Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5, the report used provisional data and comparative benchmarking information only.

In general, the Vale of Glamorgan was advantaged in terms of socio-economic deprivation. The proportion of pupils entitled to receive Free School Meals (FSM) was used as a proxy indicator of socio-economic deprivation. In 2014 -15 the Vale ranked 5th lowest overall in Wales for the proportion of pupils entitled to receive free school meals (4th lowest at primary level and 5th lowest at secondary level). These findings indicated that the aggregated performance of Vale schools should be significantly higher than for Wales as a whole and should always rank in the five highest performing Local Authorities (LAs), as a minimum expectation.

When considering LA performance, the key indicators for consideration were as follows:

  • Local Authority (LA) performance compared with the all Wales means and the LA performance compared to the top five highest performing LAs in Wales;
  • LA performance trends over time, when compared with the all Wales means and prior performance;
  • The relative gap in performance between LA means and the all Wales means;
  • The spot rank position of the performance of the Local Authority when compared with LAs across Wales; the spot rank, preferentially, should be in first position or, as a minimum, within the top five highest performing LAs in Wales;
  • For each indicator in each phase, the proportion of schools performing in the high or highest benchmarking positions when compared with similar schools and ranked against LAs across Wales.

For benchmarking purposes a school could be located in the top two quarters, i.e. the high or highest benchmarking position in the group or in the lower to lowest two quarters. Relative performance of similar schools was then described as being either above or below the median i.e. either in the top 50%, or in the bottom 50%, of similar schools.

Estyn placed great emphasis on the need to ensure that at least 50% of schools across a LA, for each indicator within each phase, were located in the high or highest benchmarking positions, or above the median.

Welsh Government used this information to rank individual LAs according to the proportion of schools, in each LA, that were located above, or below the median. This was known as the LA School Benchmarking Rank comparative information. This latter information was not yet available for 2014/15.

The report detailed school performance progress at the following key stages;

  • Progress in the Foundation Phase
  • Progress in Key Stage 2
  • Progress in Key Stage 3
  • Progress at Key Stage 4
  • Progress at Key Stage 5

The report also outlined information on those Schools that were causing concern and were subject to the use of powers of intervention.

This was a matter for Executive decision

RESOLVED –

(1)    T H A T pupil attainment and school performance outcomes, based in the case of GCSE and A level examinations on provisional data, be noted.

 

(2)    T H A T it be noted that in accordance with the School Standards and Organisation Act (2013) formal warning notices had been issued to St Richard Gwyn and Bryn Hafren comprehensive schools and that the statutory intervention at Barry Comprehensive School had been extended to include the appointment of two additional governors.

(3)    T H A T the report be referred to Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) for consideration and that the Committee be invited to reconvene individual school progress meetings at Barry and Bryn Hafren Comprehensive Schools and to establish a meeting with St Richard Gwyn Comprehensive School.

Reasons for decisions

(1)    To note the attainment of pupils and the performance of schools in 2014/15.

(2)    To note that the full powers available to the authority were being used to improve schools that were underperforming and in accordance with the School Standards and Organisation Act (2013).

(3)    In order that the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) could review educational outcomes for Vale schools and, in relation to the named schools, to review the progress that the schools are making.

C2931        PROPOSAL TO TRANSFORM SECONDARY EDUCATION IN BARRY (CSS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – LIFELONG LEARNING) –

Cabinet was advised of the outcome of the recent consultation exercise undertaken to transform secondary education in Barry.

Secondary school education in Barry was presently provided by four schools:

  • Barry Comprehensive for boys aged 11-16 years, with a partially mixed 6th form.
  • Bryn Hafren Comprehensive for girls aged 11-16 years, with a partially mixed 6th form.
  • St Richard Gwyn Roman Catholic Comprehensive for boys and girls aged 11-16 years.
  • Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Morgannwg for boys and girls aged 3-18 years taught in the Welsh language. Ysgol Gymraeg Nant Talwg amalgamated with Ysgol Gyfun Bro Morgannwg on 01 September 2015.

A consultation to establish the extent of local support for the principle of co-education was undertaken in 2013. Cabinet considered the response to that consultation at its meeting on 16 December, 2013 (Cabinet Minute C2124) and resolved to establish a Project Board to begin a programme of work to develop detailed proposals for a change to co-educational secondary schooling in Barry. The Project Board developed a proposal, that also included the expansion of Welsh medium secondary education. This was presented to Cabinet for consideration on 23 February, 2015.

As a consequence, and following due consideration, Cabinet resolved that  consultation would take place from 11 May, 2015 for a period of 8 weeks to assess the level of support for the proposals to transform secondary education. The consultation exercise followed the requirements of the School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Act 2013 and School Organisation Code 2013.

Meetings were held with staff and governors at each of the 3 secondary schools and the primary schools included in the proposal, and drop in sessions were held on 2, 3 and 10 June 2015.

Also, appropriate consultation had taken place with prescribed consultees, young people of the four schools (Barry Comprehensive, Bryn Hafren, Ysgol Gyfun Bro Morgannwg and Ysgol Gymraeg Nant Talwg) affected by the proposal and with children attending the feeder primary schools linked to the English and Welsh medium secondary schools in Barry.

The consultation asked consultees to respond to four questions:

i. Do you support the proposal to create a new mixed comprehensive community school through the amalgamation of Barry and Bryn Hafren comprehensive schools from September 2017?
ii. Do you support the proposal to expand Ysgol Gyfun Bro Morgannwg to meet the increased demand for places?
iii. Do you support the proposal, subject to funding, to relocate Ysgol Gyfun Bro Morgannwg and Ysgol Gymraeg Nant Talwg to the current site of Bryn Hafren comprehensive school and the new mixed-sex comprehensive school to the current site of Barry comprehensive school, Ysgol Gyfun Bro Morgannwg and Ysgol Gymraeg Nant Talwg?
iv. Would your response to questions 1 and/or 2 change if funding was not available to create the two school campuses as described under question 3?

Of the 596 individual responses to question 1, 429 (72%) were opposed and 167 (28%) were in favour. Of the 590 individual responses to question 2, 299 (50.7%) were in support and 291 (49.3%) were opposed. Of the 595 individual responses to question 3, 488 (82%) were opposed and 107 (18%) were in favour. Of the 583 individual responses to question 4, 503 (86.3%) said their view would not change and 80 (13.7%) said that their view would change.

Of the 696 young people's individual responses to the proposal to create a new mixed sex community comprehensive school 422 (60.6%) were opposed, 173 (24.9%) were in favour and 101 (14.5%) did not know. Of the 685 young people's individual responses to the proposal to host the new mixed English medium comprehensive school on the current site of Barry Comprehensive School, Ysgol Gyfun Bro Morgannwg and Ysgol Gymraeg Nant Talwg, 477 (69.9%) were opposed, 101 (14.7%) were in favour and 107 (15.6%) did not know. Of the 180 young people's individual responses to the proposal to expand Ysgol Gyfun Bro Morgannwg, 54 (30%) were opposed, 86 (47.8%) were in favour and 40 (22.2%) did not know. Of the 186 young people's individual responses to the proposal to relocate Ysgol Gyfun Bro Morgannwg and Ysgol Gymraeg Nant Talwg to the current site of Bryn Hafren Comprehensive School, 110 (59.1%) were opposed, 46 (27.7%) were in favour and 30 (16.1%) did not know.

Key concerns relating to the proposal centered on:

  • the size of the proposed English-medium school and its effect on standards of education;
  • lack of information about the transition period 2017-2020 for the English-medium school;
  • the location of the expanded Welsh-medium secondary school;
  • uncertainty of securing funding from Welsh Government;
  • concern that there could be less breadth of subjects on offer at Key Stage 3, GCSE and A level at the proposed English-medium school.

For those in favour of the proposal the key themes were:

  • the need for mixed sex secondary education in Barry;
  • mixed sex education would support the social development of young people;
  • the need for expansion of Ysgol Gyfun Bro Morgannwg

A summary of all key themes, issues and comments raised by respondents and the Council's response was provided in the consultation report attached at Appendix B to the report.

In light of the opposition to key aspects of the Council's proposals, it appeared that it would not be possible to secure wide support to implement the current proposals. The response to the consultation indicated that although the majority of respondents were not in favour of the proposal to establish a single sex English medium school through the amalgamation of Barry and Bryn Hafren Comprehensive Schools, a significant proportion of these stated that they supported co-education and expressed a preference for option 3, being the provision of two separate English medium schools on separate sites and the expansion of Ysgol Bro Morgannwg on its current site.

In the earlier feasibility work which informed the published proposal, option 3 was not the preferred option for the following reasons:

  • it was considered that should the new mixed sex schools be based on the current Barry and Bryn Hafren Comprehensive School sites, one school could be perceived as being better than the other due to different levels of prosperity and deprivation in the immediate area;
  • it would not address surplus places which were high at both schools and represented a drain on resources;
  • Bro Morgannwg would be expanded on its current site which was considered to be limited in its capacity to accommodate a school of the required size and would be a costly option when compared to relocating the school to an alternative site. Within the consultation proposal, that site was highlighted as being the Bryn Hafren site.

Given the responses to the consultation, it was recommended that further work would be undertaken to consider whether there was merit in developing a revised proposal based on the principles of option 3. This would allow a re-evaluation of the potential disadvantages outlined above. This work would be undertaken by a new Barry Secondary Schools Transformation Group which would include the head teachers and chairs of governors of the three secondary schools, two head teacher representatives from feeder primary schools, representation from Further and Higher Education, the Cabinet Member for Children's Services and Schools, the Managing Director and Officers of the Learning and Skills Directorate.

The consultation document attached at Appendix A to the report included information about the current condition of the three secondary school buildings. It was highly relevant that the condition of the Barry Comprehensive School building was categorised as 'poor' and the work required to address issues was more extensive than that required to the other secondary school buildings included in the proposals.

At the meeting the Cabinet Member for Children and Schools Services thanked all those who responded to the consultation and commented that it was positive to receive such high levels of engagement. He further commented that from the start of the consultation process he and the Cabinet had made it clear that if there was no support for the proposals they would not be progressed.

In relation to the responses received he confirmed that a new programme board would be set up as outlined in paragraph 27 of the report and that further consultation would take place on any new proposals that were approved by Cabinet.

He concluded that the Council was committed to investing significant sums of money into education in Barry in the short term, and further highlighted that a capital fund would be set up for Barry Comprehensive School for improvements.

The Leader agreed with his Cabinet colleague in that the Cabinet wanted to consider the results of the consultations and was happy to go back to the drawing board to consider all future options.

However, the Leader did remind the Cabinet that the option put forward for a single school was agreed by the Head teachers of both schools at the time as outlined in previous reports. He and the Cabinet Member for Regeneration alluded to the success of Stanwell, a school of over 2000 pupils and the best performing in the Vale, this was also part of the reasons and consideration for the original plan.

This was a matter for Executive decision

RESOLVED –

(1)    T H A T the findings of the consultation exercise on the proposals to transform secondary education in Barry be noted.

(2)    T H A T it be agreed not to publish a statutory public notice but instead refer the proposal back to a new Barry Secondary School Transformation Board as set out in paragraph 27 of the report, to include the Director of Learning and Skills, with the aim of considering further proposals, having particular regard to principles contained within option 3, as outlined in the consultation document, for further consideration by Cabinet at a later date.

(3)    T H A T in regard of resolution 2 above, delegated authority be granted to the Director of Learning and Skills in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Children's Services and Schools to establish a new Barry Secondary School Transformation Board.

(4)    T H A T the development of a programme of work for Barry Comprehensive School be authorised to enable improvements to be made to the learning environment in the short term and that a further report on the proposed programme and estimated funding requirements be presented to Cabinet for further consideration in due course.

(5)    T H A T the report be referred to the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) for information.

Reasons for decisions

(1)    To ensure that the responses of the prescribed consultees were taken into account as part of the decision making process.

(2)    To not move to the stage of publication of a statutory notice as the proposal for transforming secondary education needs to be reconsidered in light of the responses from prescribed consultees as outlined in the consultation report attached at appendix A to the report and to consider a further proposal.

(3)    To allow the consideration of further proposals in line with resolution 2 above.

(4)    To address high priority building condition issues and to support implementation of the school's Post Inspection Action Plan.

(5)    To ensure the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) was aware of the outcome of consultation and of the intention to develop alternative proposals.

C2932        GRANTING OF LEASE AT CADOXTON PRIMARY SCHOOL, BARRY TO CADOG’S CORNER DEVELOPMENT GROUP (CSS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) -

Cabinet was requested to approve the granting of a lease to Cadog's Corner Development Group to develop and manage a community café in a building located at the edge of the Cadoxton Primary School site, Barry.

In May 2014 the Learning and Skills Directorate was approached by Cadoxton Primary School regarding a proposal by the Cadog's Corner Development Group to develop a café within an existing under-used building on the edge of the school site for use by the local community as shown on the plan attached at Appendix A to the report. The headteacher and governing body of the school supported the proposal.

The Cadog's Corner Development Group was a registered charity whose main objective was to advance the education and training of young people in the Cadoxton area of Barry. The group was aiming to achieve these objectives through the creation of a community café to include IT and internet access and to provide training opportunities through the provision of workspace and facilities. The group had developed a business case that demonstrated the sustainability of the proposed development and had been awarded a £500,000 capital grant from the Welsh Government.

The proposed design for the community café received planning consent on 19 March, 2015 (Planning Application reference 2015/00082/FUL).

This was a matter for Executive decision

RESOLVED –

(1)    T H A T the Head of Legal Services be authorised to undertake the required statutory notification regarding the proposal to enclose the existing public open space to be enclosed within the school grounds of Cadoxton Primary School and that the outcome of the consultation be reported to and determined by the Director of Learning and Skills in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Children's Services and Schools.

(2)    T H A T subject to resolution 1 above, the Section 151 Officer, in consultation with the Director of Learning and Skills and the Leader of the Council, be authorised to agree terms and conditions for the lease with Cadog's Corner Development Group.

(3)    T H A T subject to resolutions 1 and 2 above, the Head of Legal Services be authorised to enter into all necessary documentation or agreements in order to complete and execute the lease.

Reasons for decisions

(1)    To comply with the legal requirements of Section 123 (2A) of the Local Government Act 1972.

(2)    To allow the Cadog's Corner Development Group to occupy and develop the site and benefit from a grant to enhance the facilities and meet the charity's objectives.

(3)    To order to complete the lease.

Share on facebook Like us on Facebook