Agenda Item No

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 17 June 2013

Report of the Cabinet Member for Adult Services

Estyn Inspection Report: Adult Community Learning Partnership

Purpose of the Report

1. To update Members on the outcome of the Estyn Inspection of the Vale of Glamorgan Adult Community Learning Partnership.


1. That Members note the outcome of the inspection and the arrangements in place to prepare a Post Inspection Action Plan.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1. To ensure Members are aware of the work that is in hand and being planned to respond to the recommendations made by Estyn for the further development of adult community learning in the Vale of Glamorgan.


2. The Vale of Glamorgan Adult Community Learning Partnership was inspected by Estyn in February 2013: the report was published in May.

3. The purposes of inspections are to:

 Provide accountability to the users of the services and other stakeholders through public reporting on providers;

 Promote improvement in education ad training; and

 Inform the development of national policy by Welsh Governments.

4. The structure of the inspection report is based on two overall summary judgements, three key questions and ten quality indicators and takes the following form:


 Overall judgement on current performance

 Overall judgement on prospects for improvement

Main findings

Key Question 1 : How good are outcomes?



Key Question 2: How good is provision?

 Learning experiences


 Care, support and guidance

 Learning environment

Key Question 3: How good are leadership and management?

 Leadership Improving quality

 Partnership working

 Resource management

5. The two overall summary judgements and the judgements for the three key questions and the ten quality indicators are based on a 4-point scale:

 Excellent - Many strengths, including significant examples of sector-leading practice

 Good - Many strengths and no important areas requiring significant improvement

 Adequate - strengths outweigh areas for improvement

 Unsatisfactory - Important areas for improvement outweigh strengths

Relevant Issues and Options

6. The Vale of Glamorgan Community Learning Partnership comprises the four main providers of adult and community learning in the Vale of Glamorgan: The Vale of Glamorgan Council, Cardiff and Vale College, the Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan Welsh for Adults Centre and the Workers' Education Association (WEA).

7. The overall judgements for the Vale of Glamorgan Adult Community Learning Partnership were:

Current Performance: Unsatisfactory

Prospects for Improvement: Unsatisfactory

8. The report includes the following six recommendations:

 R1: Improve success rates and accreditation for all learners;

 R2: Improve the provision for developing learners' literacy and numeracy skills, particularly to ensure that Adult Basic Education [ABE] learners have access to higher level courses;

 R3: Improve the quality of teaching across the partnership;

 R4: Improve the strategic leadership, management and co-ordination of adult community-based learning in the Vale of Glamorgan to make sure that provision is better aligned to local and national priorities and set targets that challenge performance;

 R5: Analyse data robustly and improve quality processes to monitor and evaluate performance effectively to bring about improvements for learners;

 R6: Review and revise the curriculum to ensure that all learners have equal access to appropriate learning opportunities.

9. Inspectors will visit the partnership in 12 to 18 months time to carry out a full re-inspection of provision.

10. Council Officers are currently working with officers from our partner organisations to prepare a post-inspection action plan to address the inspectors' findings. This document will be submitted to Estyn by 25 July.

11. Early work suggests that there may be benefits in establishing a wider adult community learning partnership covering Cardiff as well as the Vale of Glamorgan and the Post Inspection Action Plan is likely to suggest that this option is considered in more detail.   Any proposal would be the subject of a separate report which would consider the advantages and disadvantages as well as the opportunities and risks of a joint partnership.

12. Cabinet has recently considered a report about fees for Adult Community Learning [ACL] courses in response to recommendation 6. A revised format for the marketing materials for the 2013/14 programme of courses is being prepared as a further response to this recommendation.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

13. Follow-up activity will be resourced through current budgets.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

14. There are no sustainability and climate change implications arising from this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

15. There are no legal implications arising from this report.

Crime and Disorder Implications

16. There are no crime and disorder implications arising from this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

17. Recommendation 6 requires the partnership to review and revise the curriculum to ensure all learners have equal access to appropriate learning opportunities.

Corporate/Service Objectives

18. This report supports the Council's corporate objectives for Educational and Lifelong Learning and the priorities identified in Education 2015.

Policy Framework and Budget

19. This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

20. Not applicable.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

21. Lifelong Learning.

Background Papers

Estyn Common Inspection Framework

Contact Officer

Jennifer Hill, Chief Learning and Skills Officer

Officers Consulted

Heather Todd-Bennett, Area Development Officer - Adult and Community Learning

Sally Perini, Area Development Officer - Adult and Community Learning

Debbie Lewis, Adult Education Development Officer - Adult and Community Learning

Coralie Morgan, Co-ordinator Literacy and Numeracy - Adult and Community Learning

Responsible Officer:

Jennifer Hill, Chief Learning and Skills Office