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THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL

 

CABINET: 13TH JULY, 2015

 

REFERENCE FROM SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (LIFELONG LEARNING): 22ND JUNE, 2015

 

TARGET SETTING 2015-16 (DLD) –

 

The Committee was presented with the proposed targets for improvement for 2015-16 for Learning and Skills performance indicators reported by Learning and Skills Directorate.  The report also highlight the proposed deletions and additions to the Learning and Skills performance indicator dataset for 2015-16.

 

At CMT on 25th March 2015, a new approach to target setting was endorsed. This approach focused on adopting a more challenging approach to how the Council set targets by ensuring that there was an assessment of how the Council had performed.  This involved evaluating how the Council had performed against target and making best use of external benchmarking data (where available) whilst balancing this against how much of a priority the indicator was to the Council and whether there was capacity to improve performance. All proposed targets for 2015-16 must had an accompanying rationale that clearly explained the reasons for setting the targets at that level. The Council's approach to target setting was set out in the target setting template outlined at Appendix 1.

 

Outlined in Appendix 2 was a full suite of performance indicators that will continue to be collected and reported on during 2015-16. Against each indicator a target had been set and a rationale had been provided to explain why the target had been set at that level. Where possible any internal/external factors that had driven this decision to set the target at that level had also been provided.

 

For the National Statutory Indicators (NSIs) and Public Accountability Measures (PAMs) Welsh benchmarking data was currently only available for the 2013/14 period by way of comparison.  Therefore targets in relation to NSIs and PAMs should be based on performance in relation to top quartile results (in Wales) or the Welsh average during 2013/14.  Where this had not been possible, a robust rationale should be provided in Appendix 2 to explain why performance had been set lower than the rest of Wales.

 

For 2015/16, five Improvement Objectives had been identified by the Council and of these four of them had performance indicators attached to them (these Improvement Objective indicators were identified in Appendix 2 by an IO reference as part of the indicator description).  Although, initial targets had been set in relation to Improvement Objectives, end of year performance was not available at the time. This target setting exercise had enabled Directors to review their Improvement Objective targets and revise them where appropriate to reflect end of year performance. Where this was the case, this had been reflected in the rationale section of Appendix 2, where relevant to the Improvement Objective indicators.

 

In relation to the Outcome Agreement indicators, these targets had already been pre-agreed with the Welsh Government until 2016 (these Outcome Agreement indicators were identified in Appendix 2 by an OA reference as part of the indicator description).  Although in principle these targets had been pre-set with Welsh Government, in instances where the Council’s end of year performance exceeded our target for 2014/15, Directors had the opportunity to set more internally challenging targets (that were separate to the target agreed with Welsh Government) in order to continue to drive the upward trend in performance.  Where this was the case, this had been reflected in the rationale section of Appendix 2, where relevant to the Outcome Agreement indicators.

 

For the remaining local level indicators, targets should had been set based on the overriding principle to secure continuous improvement (i.e. targets should be set to improve on previous year's performance for 2014-15). However, where it had been identified that budgetary pressures and or service delivery pressures were likely to impact on the Council’s ability to continue to improve performance, this should be clearly stated in the rationale section of Appendix 2, relevant to the indicator.

 

This review process also presents an opportunity to identify whether our existing performance indicators are still appropriate and relevant for reflecting our priorities for service delivery. As part of both service planning and this process, Directorates were asked to identify which indicators they wished to retain, replace delete or add. This is only applicable to locally derived performance indicators and not ones that are set nationally or in agreement with the Welsh Government. These exemptions (for deletion/replacement) apply to four types of indicator that include NSIs, PAMs, Improvement Objectives (that have been set for 2015-16 only) and Outcome Agreement Indicators (that have been agreed with Welsh Government until 2016).

 

During 2014-15, the Council reported on a total of 413 indicators.  Following a review of our performance for 2014-15, 357 indicators are being proposed to be collected and reported on during 2015-16. 342 of these indicators are existing measures that will be carried forward from last year.

 

Any proposed deletion and addition of new indicators for 2015-16, is detailed in Appendix 3.  For any new measures, generally no targets have been set, as 2015-16 provides service areas with an opportunity to establish a performance baseline. In instances where it is possible to set a target for a new measure this has been done and indicated within the Appendix.

 

By way of summary, across the suite of Council performance indicators proposed for 2015-16:

  • 49.8% (142) of indicators have targets that have been set to improve on the previous year's performance result (2014-15 performance)
  • 29.3% (84) of indicators have targets that have been set to remain the same when compared with the previous year; and
  • 21.3% (61) of indicators have performance targets that have been set lower compared with last year's results.

For Learning and Skills this can be further broken as follows:

  • There are a total of 112 indicators and for 65 of these it was possible to set a target and direction of travel.
  • 64.61% (42) of targets have been set to improve on the previous year's performance, 23.07% (15) have been set to remain the same whilst 12.30% (8) have been set lower when compared with the 2014-15 result.
  • A total of 4 indicators have had a target set to maintain best possible performance.
  • For 11 indicators, targets have been set in line with or to improve on the top quartile performance for 2013-14 and 1 indicator has been set in line with the Welsh average for 2013-14.
  • For 13 Outcome Agreement indicators our performance during 2014-15 exceeded the target set for 2015-16. Although this target has been pre-set with the Welsh Government, the service intends to work towards more internally challenging targets to reflect this improved performance.
  • 3 Improvement Objective indicator's performance exceeded target. Therefore, it is proposed that the targets be revised to set a more challenging target for performance during 2015-16.
  • 20 indicators have been proposed for deletion and 1 indicator (LSM/021d) has been identified as new.

Having considered the report, the Committee

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

(1)    T H A T the Committee endorse the proposed Learning and Skills targets as outlined in Appendix 2 and for this to be referred to Cabinet for consideration.

 

(2)    T H A T the Committee endorse the proposed deletions and additions to the Learning and Skills performance indicator dataset for 2015-16 as outlined in Appendix 3.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)    To inform Cabinet and to ensure that the Council consistently sets challenging yet realistic performance improvement targets for its priorities in the line with requirements under the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009.

 

(2)    That the Council reports a relevant set of performance indicators against which it can demonstrate achievement of its priorities.”

Attached as Appendix – Report to Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning): 22nd June, 2015

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