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SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (LIFELONG LEARNING)

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 17th July, 2014.

 

Present:  Councillor N.P. Hodges (Chairman); Councillor Ms. R. Birch (Vice-Chairman), Councillors Mrs. M.E.J. Birch, Mrs. C.L. Curtis, T.H. Jarvie, F.T. Johnson, A. Parker and R.A. Penrose.

 

Co-opted Members: Dr. C. Brown (Parent Governor – Secondary Sector) and Mr. L. Kellaway (Parent Governor – Primary Sector).

 

Non-voting Observers:  Mr. G. Beaudette (Primary Sector) and Ms. T. Young (Secondary Sector).

 

Also present: Councillors S.C. Egan, C.P.J. Elmore and N. Moore.

 

 

243     APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE –

 

These were received from Councillors Ms. K.E. Edmunds and E. Williams; Mr. P. Burke (Roman Catholic Church – Co-opted Member) and Mr. D. Treharne (Welsh Medium Education – Non-voting Observer).

 

 

244    MINUTES – 

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 23rd June, 2014 be approved as a correct record.

 

 

245     DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST – 

 

No declarations were received.

 

 

246     ANNOUNCEMENT –

 

The Chairman took the opportunity to congratulate Mrs. L. Jones, Head of School Improvement and Inclusion, for her appointment to a new position with Blaenau Gwent Council and on behalf of the Committee extended good wishes for the future.

 

 

247     PRESENTATION: ADULT COMMUNITY LEARNING (ACL) –

 

Ms. Nicola Campbell, WEA Cymru (Workers Educational Association Wales), provided a presentation to the Committee referring to the Estyn Adult Community Learning (ACL) inspections in Cardiff and the Vale which had reported on failings in learning outcomes, quality of provision and the standard of leadership and management. 

 

Ms. Campbell commenced by advising that all local authorities had had a 37.5% cut in their DfES ACL grant for 2014/15 with all colleges having a similar cut in their budgets.  There was also a very real prospect there would be further cuts for all providers in 2015/16 and that ACL as a non-priority area for DfES would be further targeted.  In order for the ACL to survive it was critical that partnerships demonstrated the following:

  • That they are fully engaged with priority learners
  • That they have the capacity to improve outcomes and quality
  • That they are cost effective
  • That they can deliver quantifiable outcomes that the Welsh Government recognises as being of high value.

The good features of the partnership were the improving trends of leaner success rates over three years, the partnership had moved from 'unsatisfactory' to 'adequate' and targets were in place to make further improvements over the next two years, an increase in the proportion of accredited provision from 47% to 64% and all providers have plans in place to achieve 80% accreditation by 2015.  However, the risks were that priority learner groups may require greater levels of support to maintain and improve success rates.  This had not been an area of strength across the partnership.  The success rates for 2013/14 and 2014/15 also required providers to raise standards by significant margins.

 

The following were also areas where improvement was required :-

 

Improve provision for developing literacy and numeracy skills --

 

The good features being -

  • All learners were encouraged to take the City and Guilds Essential Skills Wales (ESW) qualifications up to and including Level 2.  If learners were unable to complete the whole ESW qualification, they would complete Agored Cymru units at Level 1 or Level 2.
  • A wide range of Agored units had been selected to address particular curriculum areas e.g. whole numbers, rules of decimals, punctuation, writing skills.
  • The Agored units provided evidence of progress where learners were unable to achieve a full ESW qualification within one academic year.  Current data indicated that this approach was encouraging progression to higher levels of learning and improving success rates.

The risks however were the costs associated with mandatory implementation of the online basic skills initial assessment tool

 

Improve the quality of teaching

Good features

  • A Partnership CPD programme had been developed for 2013/14
  • A cross-partnership lesson observation activity was completed in November 2013 and observation judgements indicated a good standard of teaching
  • A Partnership tutor newsletter had been launched

Risks

  • Partnership CPD was funded from existing provider budgets.
  • CPD participation rates were generally low amongst part-time tutors.
  • Observation data indicated that some providers over-grade some sessions – consistency must be improved
  • Issues relating to professionalising the ACL workforce (e.g. substantive tutor posts, common contracts, standardised pay rates etc.) needed to be addressed if significant progress was to be made in raising standards.

 

Improve the strategic leadership, management and co-ordination of ACL -

Good features

  • New Partnership structure had been established.  Remit of groups addresses relevant actions and reporting lines were stipulated in terms of reference
  • Partnership co-ordinator in post
  • Appointment of ACL Manager in Vale had injected expertise, pace and direction that placed the service in a strong strategic position within the Partnership
  • New joint Strategy Group established. Strategic Plan (2014-16) drafted.
  • Budget information shared between providers

 

Risks

  • Changes in staffing due to restructuring had slowed progress in some areas
  • It had been difficult to identify people with the appropriate skills and experience to join and/or lead some Partnership groups
  • It took time to establish a Partnership 'mind-set’
  • There were currently no plans in place for the long term management or resourcing of the Partnership

 

Improve data and quality systems -

Good features

  • The Partnership Self  Assessment Report and Quality Development Plan (QDP) were submitted to DfES on 31st January 2014
  • Data sharing protocols between providers had been agreed
  • Post Inspection Action Plan (PIAP) / QDP actions were being monitored by DfES who reported (19th February 2014) that they were satisfied with progress
  • Availability and interrogation of Partnership data

 

Risks

  • There were few ACL staff within the Partnership who had recent Estyn experience or training.  Consequently understanding about current 'best practice’ in the sector was limited.

 

Review and revise the curriculum -

Good features

  • Significant work had been undertaken by the local authorities to review existing provision and venues
  • Providers had worked together to plan the 2014/15 curriculum focusing on the needs of priority learners.  This was a significant step forward
  • Ongoing discussions between the two local authorities to identify a sustainable, full cost recovery model to fund non-priority / recreational provision was currently sector leading practice

 

Risks  -

  • The impact of these measures was unlikely to be seen until 2014/15
  • A fully collaborative curriculum planning process would take time to embed
  • A sustainable model for recreational provision would take time to establish and would require support to maintain an infrastructure until fee income was established and stabilised.

The Self-Assessment Report for 2012/13  had concluded that current performance for the service was adequate and the prospects for improvement adequate.  With regard to the current unverified position for June 2014 current performance was referred to as adequate with prospects for improvement good.

 

A further Estyn monitoring visit would identify the extent to which the inspection recommendations had been addressed whether in full, partially or not at all.

 

A Member of the Panel raised a query about the potential impact on ESOL provision of changes to the level of immigration with the reply from Ms Campbell that demand was expected to continue to exceed the supply of provision.

 

Having considered the presentation the Committee subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T Ms. Campbell be thanked for her informative presentation, the current position be noted and that a further progress update report be presented in 12 months.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

To allow for scrutiny of the service and provide Committee with a progress update.

 

 

248     REVENUE AND CAPITAL MONITORING FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL TO 31ST MAY 2014 (DLS) –

 

The Principal Accountant referred to the Revenue Budget and projected outturn for 2014/15 as detailed below: 

 

Lifelong Learning  

Revenue Budget

 

Probable Outturn

Variance

(+ ) Favourable

(-) Adverse

 

£000

£000

£000

Schools

78,605

78,605

0

School Improvement & Inclusion

4,274

4,274

0

Service Strategy & Regulation

241

241

0

Strategic & Resources

10,249

10,249

0

Total Education and Schools

93,369

93,369

0

Libraries

2,589

2,589

0

Youth Service

1,084

1,084

0

Adult Community Education

204

204

0

Catering

1,743

1,743

0

TOTAL

98,989

98,989

0

 

A graph and table setting out the variance between the profiled budget and actual expenditure to date was also attached at Appendix 1 to the report.  It was noted that overall the Education Budget was projected to balance as at the end of March 2015, with any savings identified between now and the end of the year being made available to be redirected into the School Investment Strategy or other reserves.

 

The Learning and Skills Directorate was also projecting to transfer £145k to reserves as part of the Voluntary Early Retirement and Redundancy scheme.  This income was in respect of reimbursements from schools relating to redundancies and retirements made in previous years and would be used to assist schools with timing payments for future retirements and redundancies. 

 

Appendix 2 to the report detailed the financial progress on the Capital Programme as at 31st May 2014.  It was noted that Appendix 2 did not however include requests for unspent committed expenditure to be slipped from 2013/14 into 2014/15, a request for this would be included in the Closing Down report to be presented to a future meeting of Cabinet. 

 

Members were however advised that Emergency Powers had been used to approve the inclusion of a further £41k of S106 monies into the Capital Programme for a classroom extension at Llanfair School. Appreciating that the report related to current expenditure and that it was early in the current financial year, the Scrutiny Committee

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the position with regard to the 2014/15 revenue and capital monitoring be noted.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

In view of the contents contained within the report.

 

 

249     CLOSURE OF ACCOUNTS 2013/14 (DLS) –

 

The report informed the Scrutiny Committee of the provisional financial position of the Directorate for the 2013/14 financial year.  Included in the report was a table as set out below which compared the amended estimate and the actual expenditure for the Directorate:

 

Service

Amended Revenue Estimate

Total Provisional Actual

Variance Favourable  () Adverse

 

       £’000

          £’000

             £’000

Education and Schools

94,959

94,959

0

Libraries

2,729

2,727

2

Lifelong Learning

203

205

(2)

Youth Services

1,112

1,109

3

Catering

1,780

1,777

3

 

 

 

 

Total

100,783

100,777

6

 

The main reasons for the variances were set out in paragraphs 10 to 19 of the report with it being noted that there was a favourable variance of £60k on School Improvement and Inclusion, a favourable variance for Strategy and Resources of £79k, a favourable variance for Libraries of £2k, a favourable variance for the Youth Service of £3k and a favourable variance in respect of Catering of £3k.  Adverse variances were recorded for Service Strategy and Regulation of £139k, Lifelong Learning £2k, with it being noted that Education and Schools had a nil variance.

 

The overall outturn for the Directorate of Learning and Skills in relation to Capital was a variance of £858k as detailed in Appendix 2 to the report with the major variances referred to as outlined below:

 

Penarth Learning Community - Expenditure brought forward of £1.713m.  This major school redevelopment was under construction and was proceeding well on site. For the first time in 2013/14, large capital creditors had been included in the accounts.  An invoice for the scheme of £2m had been received and paid in April 2014 but had been included in the 2013/14 accounts, thus showing an additional expenditure increase against budget.  There was no overall effect on the scheme funding as it had been requested that the 2014/15 budget was reduced and was brought forward into 2013/14 to cover this position.

 

Capital Loans for Schools - Favourable variance of £255k.  This was a new initiative which had been agreed by Cabinet on 29th July 2013.  It allowed schools to receive a loan to undertake capital works and make repayments over a number of years thereby delivering projects in a shorter timescale than if they would have had to accumulate balances prior to work commencing.  There was only one scheme identified in 2013/14 which was at Gladstone School with a value of £45k.  A higher uptake had been received against the £300k funding in 2014/15.

 

Demolition of St. Cyres - Favourable variance of £131k.  A large double demountable unit had been procured at Gwenfo Primary, with the work having been completed at a lower cost than the original budget.

 

A Member raised concern regarding the cost of the demolition of St. Cyres in that he queried whether the original estimate had been correct and whether the Authority should be more vigilant in procuring accurate estimates.  The Head of Service advised that there had been a considerable amount of asbestos at the school which had been considered in the original estimate but that it had meant that it would have been more difficult to accurately assess. However, she could confirm that quotes had been received from a number of demolition companies.

 

Appendix 4 to the report outlined the Capital slippage that had been requested under the Managing Directors emergency powers. 

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the report and the financial measures taken and proposed be noted.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

In light of the contents contained therein.

 

 

250     THE STRATEGIC APPOINTMENT OF LOCAL EDUCATION AUTHORITY SCHOOL GOVERNORS IN THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN SCHOOLS (REF) –

 

The report had been referred by Cabinet at its meeting on 16th June as part of the consultation process in order to provide opportunity for scrutiny by Members of the Committee. 

 

The Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, in presenting the report, advised that approval had been sought to consult with the Vale of Glamorgan school governors on the implementation of a more strategic approach to the appointment of Local Authority (LA) governors in Vale schools.  The Council currently appointed approximately 182 LA school governors and the recruitment and appointment process for LA governors was set out in the Council’s Policy on the Appointment of LA Governors which was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.

 

It was noted that all LA governor vacancies were advertised on the Council’s website in accordance with the Council’s policy.  This included those whose terms of office came to an end as well as any vacancies due to resignations.  The term of office for LA governors was four years and after this time the Governor Support Unit (GSU) wrote to the governor to inform them that their term of office was due to cease with an invitation extended to them to reapply if they wished to continue.  The report highlighted where improvements could be made to the current recruitment system of LA governors under the following headings:

  • Advertising of current vacancies - At present vacancies were advertised on the Council's website but were not always given high priority. It was proposed that the vacancies were given a higher profile and that opportunities were explored with local and regional employers to draw these vacancies to the attention of their staff living in the Vale of Glamorgan.
  • Potential for panel pre-selection briefing session - In the current arrangements, no briefing was provided to the selection panel, although the Head of Governor Support attended the panel meeting to advise where necessary. Such a briefing could provide the panel with information about forthcoming challenges to school leadership and also help determine the nature of additional expertise that governing bodies would need to call upon in future years, particularly in schools facing challenges. 
  • Potential for expertise and skill-set mapping – Information, as aforementioned, could play an important part in determining the specific expertise required of a governing body.  This could provide helpful guidance to the panel and would be supportive of a more strategic approach to the appointment of LA governors.
  • Vale School Governors’ Association (VSGA) – A VSGA member currently sat on the panel but in a non-voting observer capacity. This role could be developed further to inform the work of the panel by sharing intelligence about the challenges and opportunities provided through involvement in the strategic leadership of schools, such as that reflected in the membership of the VSGA.
  • Potential for Continual Professional Development (CPD) – for school leadership for governors – Additionally, LA governors could be brought together at the start and end of each academic year to develop a shared understanding about successes and challenges facing our schools.

The report also recommended that consultation with Vale school governors via the VSGA should take place in the following areas:

  • The Chief Officer and / or the Head of School Improvement and Inclusion to attend meetings of the selection panel for LA appointed school governors
  • The Chief Officer / Head of School Improvement to provide a school / LA briefing to the selection panel in advance of any selection taking place to outline the nature of schools' needs and challenges, where LA governor vacancies exist
  • High profile advertising and targeted recruitment should be in place to widen the pool of potential governors
  • The GSU to compile an 'expertise and experience register' of existing LA school governors
  • The GSU to compile a 'register of need' for LA governor expertise as expressed by schools / Chairs of governors
  • A selection panel utilising a 'map and gap' approach based on skills / expertise and school needs, when selecting LA school governors should be established
  • The GSU to keep up to date an LA governors attendance register
  • The GSU to work with the Head of Service / Lead Officer for School Improvement and the JES to devise leadership development opportunities for LA governors
  • The LA governor selection panel to adopt a more strategic and prioritised approach to LA governor selection and one which was more sharply focused on the needs and challenges of the individual school
  • A review and redeployment of existing LA governors to new schools should be carried out to, determine LA governors by needs of the school
  • Proposals should be considered by Cabinet after consultation had taken place and a new strategy be adopted as soon as possible.

The Scrutiny Committee had itself also requested to discuss the issue of Governor Training at a future meeting and the issue had also been raised following recent School Progress Performance Panel meetings.  A Member of the Committee referred to the fact that the report only appeared to address the role of LA governors.  The Cabinet Member however, advised that parent governors and Foundation governors were not appointed by the Council although he did acknowledge that minority appointed governors could possibly be considered in the same way as LA Governors by discussing the issues with respective Town and Community Councils.

 

The Cabinet Member further stated that he had considered in detail the process for the appointment of LA governors as historically appointments had been made on the basis that an elected Member was appointed as an LA Governor. It had become more and more apparent in relation to school performance issues that governors should be appointed for their particular expertise and skills and to also be provided with opportunities to develop their skills.  The new strategic approach that was to be adopted would allow for appointments to be made based on experience and skills and on a local skills mix for example encouraging local business people to apply  for Governor positions.

 

The application form also needed to be more stringent in order to identify a person’s commitment for the position and the reason why they were applying for the post.  Although the Cabinet Member was fully aware that the positions were voluntary, the ever increasing responsibilities being placed on governors would require further support and training which he considered needed to be addressed.  A number of Members were concerned about the current number of vacancies that existed and that by strengthening the application process, they felt this could mean that people may not wish to apply.  The Cabinet Member, in accepting the comments, stated that nevertheless he still considered the Council needed to actively seek more experienced and skilled governors.

 

Another Member raised a concern that there was currently no mechanism in place for LA governors to report back to the Council and that in his view this should be part of the process.  The Chairman agreed that it was important that any LA representative reported back to the Council any issues that they found in order that these could be addressed as early on in the process as possible.

 

The Cabinet Member recognised and agreed that there were areas that could be improved upon but stated that this strategy was a start in the process. 

 

The Chairman in referring to the responsibility of being a governor and the importance of understanding performance data, stated that there was an urgent need to address training for Governors and concurred with the Cabinet Member that the Council needed to actively seek people with different skills and abilities across a range of experience and that LA representatives needed to be empowered to be an early warning system for the Local Authority. 

 

Following considerable discussion and responses to questions raised, it was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the proposal for consultation and implementation in the future on a more strategic approach for the appointment of Local Authority Governors be  endorsed.

 

(2)       T H A T the comments of the Scrutiny Committee be referred to Cabinet for consideration as part of the consultation process.

 

(3)       T H A T following the consultation a further report be presented to the Scrutiny Committee in due course.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       That Vale of Glamorgan Governing Bodies were well supported with specific expertise and experience.

 

(2)       To apprise Cabinet

 

(3)       For consideration by the Committee following the consultation process.

 

 

251     SCHOOL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS (SEN) FUNDING FOR MAINSTREAM SCHOOLS (REF) –

 

The report had been referred by Cabinet on 16th June 2014 in order for the Committee to consider a monitoring, evaluation and review update in one year’s time.  The Cabinet Member for Children’s Services presented the report which advised on the changes to the way in which funding to support pupils with Special Educational Needs (SEN) was allocated to schools.  Funding to support pupils presenting with SEN in primary schools had previously been held centrally within the Directorate of Learning and Skills, which amounted to approximately £700,000.  The allocation to schools to support individual pupils was made via a SEN Panel to which schools made evidentially based representations for additional resources and support for individual pupils.  The SEN Panel had been advised the Lead Officer for Inclusion and supported by Headteachers and administrative staff.  Following extensive consultation with schools the centrally held budget previously used for funding individual pupil support in primary schools was delegated to primary schools from 1st April 2014.  Schools had become the direct employers of the Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) working with their pupils.

 

The previous SEN Panel had been replaced by the Additional Needs Fund (ANF) Panel which was responsible for considering applications made by schools and determining appropriate levels of support.  The Panel was organised by Headteachers, supported by the Principal Educational Psychologist, and had responsibility for managing the ANF Budget and supported decision making.  The terms of reference for the ANF Panel was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.

 

The role of the Panel was to discuss and moderate potential submissions for ANF.  The Panel would therefore need to consider whether a particular case warranted additional resources and that all criteria had been met. As there was clear SEN Guidance Criteria to inform this decision making, the process should be an objective one.

 

The first ANF Panel had taken place on 1st May 2014 and the functioning of the ANF Panel would be closely monitored throughout the first year according to the Monitoring, Evaluation and Review (MER) process that was attached at Appendix 2 to the report.

 

In noting that the Scrutiny Committee would receive a further report in due course, it was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the arrangements made to delegate responsibility for and funding to support pupils with Special Educational Needs to the schools they attend, be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T an update review report be presented to the Scrutiny Committee in 12 months.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To make Members aware of recent changes.

 

(2)       To enable Members to scrutinise arrangements to support SEN pupils in primary schools.

 

 

252     YOUTH ENGAGEMENT AND PROGRESSION (NEET) (DLS) –

 

The Scrutiny Committee had previously recommended that update reports in respect of NEETs (Not in Education, Employment or Training) be presented on a regular basis.  The Lead Officer for Youth and Community Learning advised that the purpose of the report was to apprise Members of the progress being made by the Council to implement the Welsh Government Youth Engagement and Progression Framework Strategy (YEPF) and the current levels of NEET young people.  The YEPF Framework was introduced by Welsh Government in October 2013 and set out specific milestones for Local Authorities to achieve:

  • Establish an Engagement and Progression Co-ordinator role
  • Map all existing provision available to young people, schools and youth support services
  • Deliver a YEPF Implementation Plan to Welsh Government
  • Develop an Early Identification Tool based on established vulnerability indicators.

The Lead Officer for Youth and Community Learning had taken responsibility for the role of Engagement and Progression Co-ordinator and the post was assisted by an Engagement and Progression Officer who is responsible for using the Early Identification Model to broker provision between schools and providers and to ensure interventions are appropriate for young people who are at risk of becoming NEET.  An Early Identification tool has also been developed using Welsh Government Guidance and the expertise of the Learning and Skills data team.  The tool had been compared to that of neighbouring local authorities, Rhondda Cynon Taf and Swansea.  Data on students was supplied by all secondary schools to the data team and this data was then incorporated into a range of indicators or categories of vulnerability, these being:

  • Attendance
  • Attainment at Key Stage 2 and 3
  • Educated other than at school
  • Special Educational Needs
  • Looked After Children
  • Free school meals
  • Unauthorised absence
  • Exclusions and Welsh Government reading and numeracy scores.

Each category was given a positive and negative weighting.  These were illustrated at Appendix 1 to the report.  The available data was then contextualised into individual schools and students in each year group.  The data indicated that in each year group there were a number of students who would have a high negative rating i.e. a high probability of becoming NEET.  From this initial starting point the department was able to work with school colleagues and use the school's local intelligence to build a more accurate NEET risk profile.  The appropriate based on the needs of the learner and their engagement into learning.

 

Training awareness sessions for potential Lead Workers had also been arranged.  A YEPF Lead Worker Steering Group had been set up and the Lead Officer had  been liaising with Welsh Government on the development of a lead worker toolkit and training to be available from late summer 2014.  The Lead Officer had also worked closely with partners Careers Wales, the School Improvement and Inclusion Service, Headteachers, Social Services, Families First, Communities First and Cardiff and Vale College to embed the YEPF into daily practice.  The YEPF Implementation Action Plan attached at Appendix 2 to the report had also been submitted to Welsh Government and had been approved.  Members were informed that at a recent monitoring visit by Welsh Government for Education and Skills officials, several of the initiatives described in the report had been verbally accepted as examples of good practice. 

 

The Lead Officer then referred to the 2013 national picture for NEET which was an improving one.  The annual NEET figure for Wales and each Local Authority was derived from the Careers Wales destination survey which was compiled in November to December of each calendar year.  The survey was a snapshot of Year 11 leavers at that particular time.

 

The Vale of Glamorgan service areal had engaged in several initiatives over the last 12 months which were noteworthy and listed as follows:

  • Welsh Government Youth Support Revenue grant had been used to support youth work in five secondary schools
  • Youth Workers had been engaged in the motivation and engagement of young people by improving attitudes and behaviour
  • Pre vocation courses for year 10 students have been established with Cardiff and Vale College (CAVC) using 14-19 funding in which young people have been participating in taster courses in motor mechanics, construction, hospitality and cabin crew support
  • Flexible start dates to fast forward courses at CAVC has increased the number of young NEET people entering courses
  • The Job Centre Plus partnership with Careers Wales, Vibe Experience and the Youth Service has provided mobile NEET clinics to young people in the rural Vale
  • Young people were invited to surgeries where careers advisors, Job Centre Plus staff and CAVC staff attended to give Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) about opportunities available to them
  • The Work Programme has contributed to progressing NEET young people into employment.  Since April 2013 the programme has received 32 NEET referrals, of which 29 had been job starts.  Since 2011 the programme has seen 160 NEET young people referred and 60 of these have entered employment.

The Council was also working in partnership with local training providers to establish a Princes Trust Volunteer Programme in September 2014 and to offer young people taster vocational courses via a scheme called Spring Board in partnership with Cardiff and Vale College, Adult Community Learning and Careers Wales.

 

The Council was using the YEPF to ensure its youth support services were targeted at those most at risk of becoming NEET.  Partnership working on many fronts was essential to avoid duplication of effort.

 

The Council was making use of external grants from Welsh Government to fund the majority of its interventions and provision and doing all that it could to attract training providers to the area and to link with prospective employers and apprenticeship schemes.

 

The Council was also reviewing best practice in other Local Authorities and the EPC was exploring European Structural Fund (ESF) Competiveness area funding.  The Council was working with four other Local Authorities on a regional application.

 

The Lead Officer stated that it was essential that the data was collected and analysed in order to identify the needs of each student and the support that could be provided.  He could also confirm that the day before the meeting Job Centre Plus had approved a grant for use for the mobile service which would further assist young people.  The Princes Trust had also provided considerable support to young people and had worked with Careers Wales on a number of aspects.  Appendix 4 to the report identified the number of young people who were identified as at risk and provided details of youths involved at various stages in the programme. 

 

Members of the Committee welcomed the report and the action plan and took the opportunity to congratulate officers on the very positive progress that was being made.  The Action Plan not only identified what the Local Authority was currently doing but the challenges it faced and how these were going to be taken forward. 

 

It was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the progress made to date by the Council on the implementation of the Youth Engagement and Progression Framework be accepted.

 

(2)       T H A T the Scrutiny Committee receives a further progress update report in six months.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       In considering the progress to date.

 

(2)       In order to monitor progress on a regular basis.

 

 

253     LEARNING AND SKILLS END OF YEAR PERFORMANCE REPORT 2013/14 AND TARGET SETTING 2014/15 / SUMMARY OF SCHOOL INSPECTION REPORTS FOR THE SPRING TERM 2014 / MID-YEAR SCHOOL ATTENDANCE REPORT (DLS) –

 

Due to the fact that the meeting had been scheduled in the knowledge that a meeting of Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) was taking place at 6.00 p.m., it was agreed that the above three agenda items be deferred.

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the three agenda items identified in the above minute heading be deferred to a meeting of the Committee in September 2014.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

In recognition of the fact that a meeting of the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) was to take place at 6.00 p.m. that same evening.

 

 

254     SCRUTINY DECISION TRACKING OF RECOMMENDATIONS AND WORK PROGRAMME SCHEDULE 2014/15 (DR) –

 

Members were informed of progress in relation to recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee and requested to confirm its work programme schedule for 2014/15. 

 

Appendices A and B attached to the report set out the recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee with Members being requested to review progress against each recommendation, to assess whether further action may be required, ensure that required action is undertaken and to confirm which recommendations may be agreed as completed. 

 

With regard to the work programme schedule which was attached at Appendix C to the report, the Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer informed Members that the schedule was a proposed list of items for consideration that may be subject to change depending upon prevailing circumstances.

 

It was also the intention in the future to report the work programme schedule on a quarterly basis to the Scrutiny Committee at the same time as the decision tracking report of Committee recommendations was being reported.  The work programme itself detailed reports that had been requested by the Scrutiny Committee together with items that required regular monitoring and scrutiny.  Other reports would be added to the schedule as and when necessity arose.  The schedule would also detail any requests for consideration that had been received from Elected Members of the Council as well as consideration given by officers of the likely dates they can be reported to the relevant Committee.  The schedule would also be uploaded to the Council’s website in order that Elected Members and Members of the public could be made aware of forthcoming Committee business.

 

It being noted from the schedule and the recommendation earlier on in the meeting to defer three agenda items that the meeting on 8th September 2014 was likely to contain a substantial amount of business, the Chairman advised  Members that it was his intention to hold an Extraordinary meeting of the Committee on 22nd September 2014 at 6.00pm in order to manage agendas.  All Members and officers would subsequently be e-mailed with confirmation of the date, time and venue for this Extraordinary meeting by the Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer.

 

It was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the following recommendations be deemed as completed:

 

17 February 2014

Min. No. 853 – Individual Schools Progress Meetings (CLSO) – Recommended

(2)   That further reports, if appropriate, following the progress updates of the System Leader and Head of School Improvement and Inclusion be presented to the Scrutiny Committee.

(3)   That further reports be presented to Scrutiny Committee following the Panel’s revisit to the school in Autumn 2014.

 

 

 

(2)   Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

 

 

(3)   Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

17 March 2014

Min. No. 964 – Summary of School Inspection Reports for the Autumn Term 2013 (CLSO) – Recommended

(3)   That the inspection report be forwarded to Cabinet for consideration.

 

 

 

Cabinet, on 28th April 2014, noted the contents of the report and resolved that the Cabinet Member for Children’s Services formally write to Cowbridge Comprehensive School to congratulate the School on receiving a good outcome from their inspection (Min. No. C2287 refers)

Completed

Min. No. 967 – Individual Schools’ Progress Meetings (CLSO) – Recommended

(3)   That a follow up visit to the school takes place later in the year by the Panel, if appropriate, following the GCSE results in August 2014.

(4)   That the report be referred to Cabinet for consideration and or approval.

 

  

(3)   To be scheduled when appropriate.  Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

 

(4)  Cabinet, on 28th April 2014, noted the report and resolved that the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) be formally thanked for their continued hard work on the Individual Schools Progress meeting panels. (Min. No. C2286 refers)

Completed

07 April 2014

Min. No. 1023 – Corporate Safeguarding (CLSO) – Recommended that the work undertaken to date be noted and that six monthly update reports be presented to the Committee.

 

Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

Min. No. 1025 – Individual Schools Progress Meetings (CLSO) – Recommended

(2)   That a follow up visit to the school take place later in the year by the Panel Members, as appropriate, following the GCSE results in August 2014.

(3)   That the report be referred to Cabinet for its approval and consideration.

  

 

(2)  Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

 

 

(3)   Cabinet, on 16th June 2014, noted the report and thanked the Scrutiny Committee for their ongoing work with the school progress meetings.

(Min. No. C2333 refers)

Completed

19 May 2014

Min. No. 15 – Eagleswell Primary School Inspection Report (REF) – Recommended that an individual progress meeting be arranged with the school to consist of three Panel Members namely, Councillors N.P. Hodges, Ms. R. Birch and Co-opted Member Mr. L. Kellaway.

 

 

At its meeting on 23rd June 2014 Councillor Ms. R. Birch was replaced with Councillor Mrs. M.E.J. Birch.

Progress meeting with Eagleswell arranged for 15th July 2014.

Completed

23 June 2014

Min. No. 106 – Central South Consortium Business Plan (REF) – Recommended

(2)   That Cabinet be advised that the Scrutiny Committee would continue to challenge and hold the Consortium to account on a regular basis.

 Cabinet, on 14th July 2014, noted the report and resolved

(2)   That Cabinet would continue to monitor the work of the Central South Consortium and regular reports on its operation be presented to future Cabinet meetings from Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) and also from the Central South Consortium.

(3)   That the Central South Consortium Business Plan be approved by Cabinet. 

(Min. No. C2386 refers)

Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

Min. No. 107 – Local Authority Education Services For Children And Young People Inspection Report: Progress Report (REF) – Recommended

(2)   That further updates be presented in due course.

 

 

  

 

Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

Min. No. 108 – Revised School Attendance Policy (CMCS) – Recommended

(1)   That Cabinet be advised to implement in full the revised policy attached to the report for September 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(2)   That an impact evaluation report be presented to the Scrutiny Committee in six months following its implementation.

  

 

(1)   Cabinet, on 14th July 2014, resolved

[1]   That the contents of the report be noted and the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) be thanked for confirming their support for the Revised School Attendance Policy, which would now be approved and implemented.

[2]   That an Impact Evaluation Report be presented to a future Cabinet meeting along with any comments from Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) at the appropriate time.

(Min. No. C2388 refers)

Completed

 

(2)  Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

Min. No. 109 – Individual Schools Progress Meetings (CLSO) – Recommended

(3)   That the report be referred to Cabinet for consideration and / or approval.

 

  

Cabinet, on 14th July 2014, resolved that the contents of the report and continuing work of the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) be noted and that Cabinet welcomes the feedback from their work to improve standards throughout the Vale of Glamorgan as well as the individual schools outlined within the report.

(Min No. C2387 refers)

Completed

Min. No. 110 – Review of Individual Schools Progress Meetings (CLSO) – Recommended

(2)   That the Action Plan be monitored and reviewed by the Scrutiny Committee in 12 months’ time.

(4)   That all reports of School Progress Panel meetings continue to be referred to this Scrutiny Committee for consideration.

(5)   That the report be referred to Cabinet for consideration, advising of the lessons learnt to date.

 

 

(2)   Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

 

(4)   Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

 

(5)   Cabinet, on 14th July 2014, resolved

[1]   That the contents of the report and the Action Plan appended to the report be noted.

[2]   That the section of the report indicating the lessons learnt to date be noted.

[3]   That Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning and Officers be thanked for their work in dealing with those Schools listed within the report.

(Min. No. C2389 refers)

Completed

 

(2)       T H A T the work programme schedule, including the deferred items that had been identified earlier in the meeting, be accepted and published on the Council’s website.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       Having considered the views of Members at the Committee meeting.

 

(2)       In order to advise Members of the Council and members of the public of proposed items for consideration at future meetings of Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) for 2014/15. 

 

 

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