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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 18 November, 2013

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Children's Services

 

Estyn Inspection of Local Authority Education Services for Children and Young People: draft Post Inspection Action Plan

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To invite Members to approve the Post Inspection Action Plan (PIAP) and the give the Chief Learning and Skills Officer delegated authority to amend and submit the PIAP.

Recommendations

1.         That Members approve the draft Post Inspection Action Plan and delegate responsibility for making further changes to the plan and for submitting it to Estyn to the Chief Learning and Skills Officer in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Children's Services.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To ensure that the PIAP is fully considered.

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 report was published on 17 September, referred by Cabinet elsewhere on this agenda, 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 draft PIAP is being considered by a range of stakeholder groups and will be considered by the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) at their meeting on 11th November.  Comments from these meetings will be taken into account when finalising the PIAP.

Relevant Issues and Options

7.         The draft PIAP (attached as Appendix 1) provides a comprehensive action plan to address the recommendations of the inspectors and address the shortcomings they observed.  The report seeks to raise aspiration by establishing a group of comparator authorities in Wales and England.  Monitoring arrangements are also included in the draft PIAP.

8.         Scrutiny [Lifelong Learning] Committee, at its meeting on 11th November, considered the draft PIAP.  The committee noted the role in monitoring performance and the increasing role of individual school progress meetings.  Scrutiny [Lifelong Learning] Committee accepted the report.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

9.         The PIAP identifies a requirement for additional resources to increase capacity to establish and implement robust arrangements for quality assurance and evaluation of services and initiatives through a one-year appointment or secondment.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

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

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

11.      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 arrangements 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

12.      There are no crime and disorder implications.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

13.      There are no equal opportunity implications.

Corporate/Service Objectives

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

Policy Framework and Budget

15.      The recommendations in this report are within existing policy frameworks and budgets.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

16.      Not applicable.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

17.      Lifelong Learning.

Background Papers

None.

 

Contact Officer

Jennifer Hill, Chief Learning and Skills Officer

 

Officers Consulted

Lynette Jones, Head of School Improvement and Inclusion

Paula Ham, Head of Strategic Planning & Performance

 

Responsible Officer:

Jennifer Hill, Chief Learning and Skills Officer

 

 

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