Agenda Item No.











Committee were provided with an update on the progress meeting at Llantwit Major Comprehensive School undertaken by a panel of three Members of the Scrutiny Committee.


The Scrutiny Committee had previously considered a series of reports describing the attainment of pupils attending schools in the Vale.  The reports had described the success of many pupils in many schools, highlighted further progress that was needed and provided information about the programmes for support and challenge that had been put in place.


In addition, the Council had also adopted an approach which would seek to increase the accountability of schools for pupil attainment.  Estyn reports and follow up progress reports were regularly reported to the Scrutiny Committee together with school by school performance data for secondary schools.  In order to build on this approach and to ensure that work to tackle weak performance was supported and that schools were challenged to make accelerated progress, the Scrutiny Committee had agreed to establish the Scrutiny Panels at its meeting on 18th February, 2013.


The Panel Members comprised of three members of the Committee and the Chairman of Governors and the Headteacher were invited to attend together with a third member and the Cabinet Member for Children’s Services. 


To this end, an invitation was extended to the Headteacher of Llantwit Major, the Chairman of Governors and the Cabinet Member in accordance with the agreed process.  The purpose of the meeting being to establish that there were up to date and authoritative plans in place to address any concerns, to ensure that the school had arrangements in place to monitor the impact of the plans and amend them as appropriate and to establish what progress had been made and what further progress was required.


The meeting took place on 23rd April, 2013.  The Headteacher had been afforded the opportunity to provide a presentation to the Panel which advised on the improvements that had been made to date, including the school’s capacity to further improve over the forthcoming years.


With regard to the School Improvement Plan for 2011/12, the key themes that were noted were as follows:


·               more efficient interrogation of data and tracking of pupil performance (by all staff)

·               appointment of Assistant Headteacher (Curriculum and Data) and Data Manager

·               the strategic leadership of the school was becoming increasingly focused and challenging.


Following the 2012 results for English, the school had committed to short term and long term actions. 


The short term actions that had been addressed were reported as:


·               controlled assessments being re-drafted

·               re-sit oral opportunities provided

·               module results reviewed on 7th March and those below probable identified

·               Easter revision for pupils who had underachieved in exams targeting skills

·               after school revision by all departments

·               literature targeted for those still not achieving

·               introduction of the Education London Programme

·               LINKS departmental support.


Following a full presentation of pupil data etc., the long term actions of the school were identified as follows:


·               to embed the short term actions

·               maintain robust data and tracking

·               define strategy and structure (e.g. line manager and data manager position)

·               undertake departmental reviews

·               curriculum development and time allocation.


In order to monitor progress the school had established a data base which produced a number of spreadsheets which would be regularly monitored and analysed.  The school had also received support from Education London and purchased support from the LINKS team which had assisted targeted groups.


Since the initiatives had been introduced, the Panel Members noted that the school was currently anticipating 58% of students achieving 5 A* - C GCSE grades in English and Maths. 


The Panel Members considered the information that had been presented in private and had concluded that the school appeared to have robust arrangements for the improvements in place and a clear commitment from staff and Governors.  Robust data systems had been established and significant analysis undertaken.  Members considered the effectiveness of the plans would be further clarified by the forthcoming examinations.


The Panel also recommended to revisit the school in October 2013 to review the school results with a further meeting to be scheduled in December 2013 to discuss banding, in required.  This was welcomed by the Headteacher as was the challenge for improvement. 




(1)       T H A T the Scrutiny Panel findings as detailed in the report be accepted.


(2)       T H A T a further report be presented to the Scrutiny Committee following the revisit to the School in October 2013.


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


Reasons for recommendations


(1)       To apprise Committee of the findings of the Scrutiny Panel.


(2)       To monitor and follow up the recommendations of the Scrutiny Panel.


(3)       For Cabinet consideration."




Attached as Appendix - Report to Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning): 24th June, 2013