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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 12 May, 2014

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Children's Services

 

Local Authority Education Services for Children and Young People Inspection Report: Progress Report

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To provide information about progress to implement the Post Inspection Action Plan.

Recommendations

1.         That Members note the progress to date to implement the Post Inspection Action Plan attached at Appendix A.

2.         That the progress report is referred to the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) for consideration.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         In order that Members are aware of the progress that has been made to implement the post Inspection Action Plan (PIAP).

2.         In order that the Scrutiny Committee can consider the progress that has been made and where further progress is required.

Background

2.         The inspection of Local Authority Education Services for Children and Young People (LAESCYP) took place between 20 - 24 May 2013.  The report was published on 17 September.  The inspectors' overall judgement was 'adequate': capacity to improve was also judged to be 'adequate'.

3.         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.

4.         Cabinet approved the Post Inspection Action Plan (PIAP) at their meeting on 18 November 2013.  The PIAP provides a comprehensive action plan to address the recommendations of the inspectors and address the shortcomings they observed.  PIAP progress reports will be presented to CMT and Cabinet in May and November annually and to the Learning and Skills and Children and Young peoples' Partnerships.  On 23 December Estyn confirmed that the PIAP generally addresses well the recommendations and areas for improvement in the inspection report.

Relevant Issues and Options

5.         The PIAP has been amended to describe progress to date: in some places additional milestones have been added to assist the monitoring of progress.  Other minor changes reflect changes to staff in some posts.

6.         Appendix A describes the progress that is being made to implement the action plan: work is on schedule in relation to the implementation of the plan.  It is, however, too early to assess the impact of most of the actions: this will become an increasing priority in subsequent progress reports and managers have participated in training to support the rigorous and systematic monitoring and evaluation of outcomes.

7.         Estyn have indicated that they will monitor progress against the recommendations by way of three monitoring visits over a twelve month period between autumn 2014 and autumn 2015.  The first monitoring visit by two inspectors over two days in autumn 2014 will assess progress in response to recommendations 2 and 6.  The visit in spring 2015 will assess progress in relation to recommendations 3 and 4 and the final visit will review progress in relation to recommendations 1 and 5.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

8.         The resource implications are itemised in the PIAP.

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 wellbeing 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

11.      There are no crime and disorder implications.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

12.      There are no equal opportunity implications.

Corporate/Service Objectives

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

Policy Framework and Budget

14.      The recommendations of this report are within 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

Lynette Jones, Head of School Improvement and Inclusion

Paula Ham, Head of Strategy, Community Learning and Resources

 

Responsible Officer:

Jennifer Hill, Chief Learning and Skills Officer

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