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Agenda Item No

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 27 April, 2015

Report of the Cabinet Member for Adult Services

Estyn Monitoring Visit: Adult Community Learning

Purpose of the Report

1. To update Members on the outcome of the recent Estyn monitoring visit.

Recommendations

1. That Members note the outcome of the Estyn monitoring visit and that the Cardiff and Vale Adult Community Learning Partnership has been removed from any further follow up activity.

 

2. That the report be referred to Lifelong Learning Scrutiny Committee for information.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1. To ensure that Members are aware of the progress that has been made since the inspection in 2013.

 

2. In order that the Scrutiny Committee can continue to scrutinise progress to fully implement all the recommendations.

Background

2. The Vale of Glamorgan Adult Community Learning Partnership was inspected by Estyn in February 2013: the report was published in May.

 

3. The overall judgements were:

  • Current performance: Unsatisfactory
  • Prospects for Improvement: Unsatisfactory

4. The report included the following six recommendations:

  • R1: Improve success rates and accreditation for all learners;
  • R2: Improve the provision for developing learners' literacy and numeracy skills, particularly to ensure that Adult Basic Education [ABE] learners have access to higher level courses;
  • R3: Improve the quality of teaching across the partnership;
  • R4: Improve the strategic leadership, management and co-ordination of adult community-based learning in the Vale of Glamorgan to make sure that provision is better aligned to local and national priorities and set targets that challenge performance;
  • R5: Analyse data robustly and improve quality processes to monitor and evaluate performance effectively to bring about improvements for learners;
  • R6: Review and revise the curriculum to ensure that all learners have equal access to appropriate learning opportunities.

Relevant Issues and Options

5. Early work following the inspection suggested that there might be benefits in establishing a wider adult community learning partnership covering Cardiff as well as the Vale of Glamorgan.  Cardiff Council had received a similar Estyn report.  Following discussions with a range of potential partners the development of this wider partnership was included in the Post Inspection Action Plan alongside other actions to address the six recommendations.

 

6. The Cardiff and Vale Adult Community Learning Partnership comprising Cardiff and Vale College, Cardiff Council, WEA, Welsh for Adults and YMCA has developed effectively since the inspection.  The Strategy Board is chaired by WEA and the partnership employs a coordinator who has focussed on the implementation of the Post Inspection Action Plan.  Regular reports of progress have been made to the Lifelong Learning Scrutiny Committee.

 

7. Cabinet has received reports about the restructuring of the service and two reports about fees for learners.  The agreement of the recommendations in those reports supported the implementation of the Post Inspection Action Plan and contributed to the changes required to accommodate a 37% reduction in Welsh Government grant for the service.

 

8. Estyn visited the Cardiff and Vale Adult Community Learning Partnership in January 2015 to review progress in relation to the six recommendations in their inspection report.  The report of the monitoring visit, published on 31 March, is attached as Appendix A.

 

9. The inspectors made the following judgements:

 

R1 Improve success rates and accreditation for all learners Very good progress
R2 Improve the provision for developing learners' literacy and numeracy skills, particularly to ensure that Adult Basic Education [ABE] learners have access to higher level courses

Strong progress

R3 Improve the quality of teaching across the partnership Strong progress
R4 Improve the strategic leadership, management and co-ordination of adult community-based learning in the Vale of Glamorgan to make sure that provision is better aligned to local and national priorities and set targets that challenge performance Very good progress
R5 Analyse data robustly and improve quality processes to monitor and evaluate performance effectively to bring about improvements for learners Very good progress
R6 Review and revise the curriculum to ensure that all learners have equal access to appropriate learning opportunities Strong progress


10. The inspectors concluded that the partnership is judged to have made sufficient progress in relation to the recommendations from the previous inspections.  As a result Estyn has removed the partnership from any further follow-up activity.  Estyn will continue to monitor progress through routine link visits to the partnership.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

11. There are no resource implications arising from this report.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

12. There are no sustainability and climate change implications arising from this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

13. There are no legal implications arising from this report.

Crime and Disorder Implications

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

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

15. Recommendation 6 required the partnership to review and revise the curriculum to ensure all learners have equal access to appropriate learning opportunities.

Corporate/Service Objectives

16. This report supports the Council's corporate objectives for Education and Lifelong Learning.

Policy Framework and Budget

17. This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

18. Not applicable.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

19. Lifelong Learning.

Background Papers

Estyn Common Inspection Framework

Contact Officer

Jennifer Hill, Director of Learning and Skills

Officers Consulted

Paula Ham, Head of Strategy, Community Learning and Resources

Andy Borsden, Lead Officer for Youth and Community Learning

Phil Southard, Adult Community Learning Manager

Responsible Officer:

Jennifer Hill, Director of Learning and Skills