Agenda Item No. 4
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
AUDIT COMMITTEE: 28TH APRIL 2014
REFERENCE FROM SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (LIFELONG LEARNING): 20TH JANUARY, 2014
"777 REGULATORY REPORTS - IMPROVEMENT TRACKING (MD) -
Members were provided with the opportunity to view a summary of recommendations and proposals set out in regulatory reports and to track implementation of improvements to address those recommendations / proposals. The Operational Manager (Corporate Policy and Communications) who presented the report advised Members in relation to the areas within the committee’s remit being the Estyn Inspection of the Education Service during September 2013, the Estyn Inspection of the Adult and Community Learning held during February 2013 and the review of the Governance Arrangements of the Joint Education Service.
The Committee was asked to note that the Audit Committee would also receive regular reports which would update on the implementation of any recommendations/ proposals.
On noting the Corporate Improvement Single Action Plan, the Chairman made reference to the fact that as the Joint Education Scrutiny had not been established the local authority Scrutiny Committee had itself developed its own Member-led programme to scrutinise school performance.
A Member of the Committee noticed that there were no timescales detailed within the Action Plan and in response the Chief Learning and Skills Officer stated that the actions raised were from more detailed Action Plans and that the Corporate Improvement Action Plan did not detail as much information as those shown at the lower level. Furthermore, the Operational Manager for Corporate Policy and Communications added that the timescales were quite long as these were high end proposals but that dates would be included for the six monthly update.
In response to the query as to when formal warning letters to underperforming schools would be sent the Chief Learning and Skills Officer explained that the formal warning letters had already been sent out and that progress regarding the schools ability to meet set targets had been assessed. The individual school performance panels were shortly to be arranged and feedback would be presented to the Scrutiny Committee in due course. Further to this, a Committee Member asked whether Members could be advised of the dates of such meetings in order that they could be made aware when they were taking place.
The Committee Member in referring to the publication of the report following the Williams Commission queried as to what impact these proposals would have on the timescales and would there be a complete re-start of the process around regulatory tracking. The Chief Learning and Skills Officer responded by stating that closer inspection of the proposals within the Williams Commission report would have to take place as developments unfolded.
The Chairman in conclusion advised that the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) would continue to monitor and evaluate the progress of school performance and make recommendations to Cabinet as appropriate.
(1) T H A T the work that had been achieved in order to address the recommendations / proposals as contained within the report be noted.
(2) T H A T the Audit Committee be advised of the Scrutiny Committee’s intention to continue to robustly monitor and evaluate school performance particularly in the absence of a Joint Scrutiny Committee of the Joint Education Service.
Reason for recommendations
(1&2) In order to achieve continuous improvement of Council services."
Attached as Appendix – Report to Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning): 20th January, 2014