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Agenda Item No

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 27 April, 2015

Report of the Cabinet Member for Children's Services & Schools

Central South Consortium Business Plan 2015/16

Purpose of the Report

1. To inform Members of the Business Plan of the Central South Consortium.

Recommendations

1. To note the Business Plan for 2015/16.

 

2. That the Business Plan is referred to the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) for consideration.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1. The work of the Central South Consortium plays a vital role in the delivery of the Council's statutory responsibilities in relation to schools.  The Business Plan explains how school improvement services will be delivered on behalf of the Council in the forthcoming year.

 

2. The Scrutiny Committee will wish to be aware of the contents of the Business Plan to inform its scrutiny of the work of the Consortium.

Background

2. The Joint Committee of the Central South Consortium agreed a business plan for 2015/16 at its meeting on 26th March.  The Business Plan is attached as Appendix A.

 

3. The National Model of Regional Working stipulates the areas that the business plan must cover: the plan will be supported by a series of underpinning plans which will be submitted for consideration to Welsh Government.

 

4. The business plan sets out the Central South Wales Challenge vision, priorities of the consortium, operating model, budget and performance monitoring arrangements.  Local authority-specific appendices are presently being finalised.

Relevant Issues and Options

5. The business plan evaluates progress in 2014/15 and includes information about educational outcomes which have improved at every key stage on most outcome measures across the consortium and in individual authorities since 2012.  It includes information about progress of the first year of the Central South Wales challenge including:

  • The launch of the 3 School Improvement Groups (SIGs) to engage all schools to identify and build joint practice development.
  • The launch of two rounds of pathfinders including 60 schools.
  • The pilot of a 'peer review' leadership model.
  • The launch of the 'hubs' programme whereby schools provide quality assured and accredited programmes of support to other schools.

6. The business plan refers to specific evaluation programmes.  Estyn has recently carried out thematic survey of the work of the four consortia which is due to be published shortly which will provide further evaluation of work to date.

 

7. The business plan reiterates the targeted areas for improvement and incorporates updated targets for 2015/16 and 2016/17 for attainment and attendance (Appendix A).

 

8. Pages 22-25 of the business plan describe the main activities to be progressed in 2015/16 under the headings leadership and governance, teaching and learning and improving partnerships.  In line with the National Model for Regional Working there is a new regional role in 2015/16 in relation to specialist HR support for schools, to governor support and the 14-19 agenda.

 

9. In relation to leadership and governance, the business plan includes the development of high quality leadership and middle leadership programmes, the roll out of the peer review model which will be available to green and yellow schools through the challenge framework, the development of succession planning strategies, strengthened capacity for rapid and robust intervention when needed as well as work to improve the consistency and quality of HR services and to support governors.

 

10. In relation to teaching and learning, key activity relates to the development of the hubs programme, to work to provide support for 'closing the gap', leading a tighter approach to the moderation of teacher assessment, work to improve the recruitment of high quality teachers to the region, delivery of support for literacy and numeracy and development work to support the foundation phase, Welsh medium and second language provision and for digital technology.

 

11. In terms of improving partnerships, activity will continue to provide challenge and support to schools in inverse proportion to success, significantly reducing challenge advisor support to yellow and green schools whilst improving the brokerage of support to amber/red schools.  There will be work to improve the interface with local authority inclusion and school organisation services.  The plan also includes work to bring community, cultural, sporting, voluntary, employer and business resources together to support schools to engage vulnerable children and families.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

12. The business plan will be delivered using funding provided by the Council at the same level as in 2013/14 and 2014/15.  The business plan provides more information.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

13. High performing schools make a significant contribution to economic prosperity and to vibrant and sustainable communities.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

14. A revised legal agreement has recently been put in place which reflects the revised governance arrangements that are operating in line with the National Model for Regional Working.

Crime and Disorder Implications

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

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

16. The business plan continues to prioritise support for Welsh language development.

Corporate/Service Objectives

17. Improving outcomes and well-being for all learners.

Policy Framework and Budget

18. This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

19. Not applicable

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

20. Lifelong Learning.

Background Papers

National Model for Regional Working

Contact Officer

Jennifer Hill, Director of Learning and Skills

Officers Consulted

Mike Glavin, Head of School Improvement and Inclusion

Paula Ham, Head of Strategy, Community Learning and Resources

Responsible Officer:

Jennifer Hill

Director of Learning and Skills