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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 21 October 2013

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Children's Services

 

Estyn Report on the quality of local authority education services for children and young people

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To advise the Cabinet about the process and timetable to prepare the Post Inspection Action Plan [PIAP].

Recommendations

1.         To note the publication on 17 September of the Estyn report on the quality of local authority education services for children and young people [LAESCYP].

2.         To note the planned process and timetable for the preparation of the Post Inspection Action Plan [PIAP].

3.         That the report be referred to Scrutiny [Lifelong Learning] for information.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         That Members are able to consider the recent Estyn report.

2.         That Members are able to comment on the process and timetable for the preparation of the PIAP and are aware that the draft PIAP will be available for inclusion on the agenda of the committee's next meeting.

3.         To apprise the Scrutiny [Lifelong Learning] Committee of the Estyn Inspection report and action plan.

Background

2.         The LAESCYP inspection took place between 20-24 May.  The inspectors considered a wide range of evidence including data, documents and interviews.  The Chair of this committee was interviewed as part of the inspection process.

3.         The inspection was based on the Common Inspection Framework mirroring in many respects the framework used for school inspections.

4.         The attached report (Appendix 1) was published on 17 September and circulated to all councillors at that time.  The inspectors overall judgement was 'adequate': capacity to improve was also judged to be 'adequate'.

5.         The report included the following six recommendations:

·           R1         Raise standards in schools, particularly in key stage 2 and key stage 3.

·           R2         Improve the rigour and the level of challenge provided to schools about their           performance and quality of leadership

·           R3         Use the full powers available to the authority to improve schools that are                  underperforming.

·           R4         Make sure that planning for improvement is thorough and consistent                        throughout all services.

·           R5         Ensure that robust systems are in place for evaluating the outcomes of                     initiatives and that they demonstrate good value-for-money.

·           R6         Strengthen arrangements for monitoring and evaluating the wellbeing of                 children and young people.

6.         The Vale of Glamorgan was one of the last authorities to be inspected during the current inspection round.  Of the twenty one inspections that have been carried out the overall judgements are understood to be as follows:

Excellent                                  0 authorities

Good                                         5 authorities

Adequate                                 10 authorities

Requires improvement          1 authority

Unsatisfactory                         5 authorities

 

Relevant Issues and Options

7.         A PIAP is currently being prepared to address the recommendations in the report.  The attached timetable (Appendix 2) provides information about the groups that will be involved in its preparation and the planned timescale.  This committee will be invited to consider the draft PIAP at the next meeting.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

8.         The PIAP will include an analysis of the resource implications of addressing the recommendations.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

9.         The delivery of high quality education services to children and young people is vital for sustainable communities.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

10.      The Legal basis for the inspection of Local Authority education services for children and young people (LAESCYP):

·           Inspections of local education authorities are carried out under Section 38 of the Education Act 1997 which provides that Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education and Training in Wales (HMC1) ‘may’, and, if requested to do so by the Secretary of State, shall arrange for any local authority to be inspected’.  Such an inspection ‘shall consist of a review of the way in which the authority are performing any function which relates to the provision of education for (a) persons of compulsory school age (whether at school or otherwise) or (b) for persons of any age above or below that age who are registered as pupils at schools maintained by the authority.                                             

 

·           Other aspect of local authority provision  are subject to inspection under a range of legislation, including the functions conferred on them under sections 25 and 26 of the Learning and Skills Act 2000 relating to education, training or youth support services.

·           The Children Act 2004 introduces a duty on local authorities and their partners to co-operate to improve the wellbeing of children.  The Inspectorate is given the powers to review the local authority’s functions relating to S. 51 of the Children Act in relation to co-operating to improve well being and producing children and young people’s plans where these functions relate to education, training, or Youth Support Services. LAESCYP inspections look at how the local authority are implementing those aspects of the Children and Young Persons Plan relating to education and training for which the local authority is responsible.

·           The inspection of local authority education services for children and young people will cover statutory functions of the local authority including the youth service.  It will also include the inspection of the partnership arrangements for youth support services.  These partnership arrangement are set out in the Learning & Skills Act 2000.

·           The Local Government (Wales) Measure (2009) reinforces the duty on local authorities to secure continuous improvement and account for it.  The Measure requires authorities to report achievement against its improvement objectives and compare performance with other authorities.

Crime and Disorder Implications

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

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

12.      There are no equal opportunity implications arising from this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

13.      This report supports the Council's corporate objectives for education and lifelong learning.

Policy Framework and Budget

14.      The recommendations in this report are within the existing policy framework and budget.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

15.      Not applicable.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

16.      Lifelong Learning.

Background Papers

None.

 

Contact Officer

Jennifer Hill

Chief Learning and Skills Officer

 

Officers Consulted

Sian Davies, Managing Director

Lynette Jones, Head of School Improvement and Inclusion

Paula Ham, Head of Strategic Planning and Performance

 

Responsible Officer:

Jennifer Hill

Chief Learning and Skills Officer

 

 

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