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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning): 18th February 2013

 

Report of the Chief Learning and Skills Officer

 

Summary of School Inspection Reports for the Autumn Term 2012

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To update Members on the results of school inspections, for the Autumn Term 2012

Recommendation

1.             That Members consider the report, refer the same, together with any comments, to Cabinet in order that Cabinet can consider the nature of any follow up activity required.

Reason for the Recommendation

1.             To develop a shared understanding about the outcomes of school inspections, according to the new arrangements and recognise the good work of schools.

Background

2.             In September 2010 the new Estyn School Inspection Common Inspection Framework (CIF) was introduced across all schools in Wales.

3.             The new CIF introduces some significant changes:

·         only three Key Questions instead of seven;

·         two new overarching judgements;

·         more specific reference to the need to promote learner wellbeing in parallel with standards;

·         more specific reference for practitioners and school leaders to work with others to secure best practice and hence school improvement.

Relevant Issues and Options

4.             The purposes of inspection are to:

·         provide accountability to the users of services and other stakeholders through public reporting on providers;

·         promote improvement in education and training; and

·         inform the development of national policy by Welsh Assembly Government.

·         School inspections are governed by the Education Act 2005 and related regulations. Inspections must be conducted by teams of inspectors, led by a HMI, additional inspector or registered inspector, and must result in a written report.

5.             During all core inspections, the inspection team will consider whether the school needs any follow-up activity.

6.             The reporting inspector is responsible for producing a final inspection report that is clear to a lay audience and helpful to the school. In most cases, the main body of the report will be no longer than five pages.

7.             The structure of the inspection report is based on two overall summary judgements, three key questions and ten quality indicators.

8.             The two overall summary judgements and the judgements for the three key questions and the ten quality indicators will be based on a 4-point scale:

·         Excellent – Many strengths, including significant examples of sector-leading practice

·         Good – Many strengths and no important areas requiring significant improvement

·         Adequate – Strengths outweigh areas for improvement

·         Unsatisfactory – Important areas for improvement outweigh strengths

9.             The Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) at Amelia Farm was inspected during the Autumn term 2012. A summary of the inspection findings are appended to this report. (See Appendix 1).

10.        The overall judgements achieved by the PRU were:

School

 

Pupil Referral Unit (PRU)

                     

                           Overall Judgement

 

Current Performance

Prospects for Improvement

 

GOOD

ADEQUATE

 

 

11.        The inspection team determined that the PRU will require Estyn follow-up and there is an expectation that the local Authority works closely with the school to help devise and deliver its improvement plan to within a timescale of normally one year.

12.        Discussions are already underway regarding the toilet concerns; the Council will need to ensure that appropriate toilet provision is established in the immediate future, so that pupil provision is kept apart from public provision and that this needs to be in place well before the Estyn re visit in the Autumn term 2013.

13.        After which time Estyn will request to visit the PRU, with an officer from the local Authority, to judge whether or not it has made satisfactory progress and addressed the recommendations to a satisfactory level.

14.        Interim progress reports, devised by the local Authority, will be required by Estyn.

15.        Whilst the responsibility for producing the Action Plan rests with PRU, the Authority also has a number of key responsibilities.  These include:-

·         approval of the action plan, ensuring that the plan is comprehensive;

·         ensuring that any issues identified by Estyn relating to the Local Authority are addressed;

·         ensuring that delivery of the action plan is monitored through advisor visits to schools; and

·         supporting schools to raise standards through identification and sharing of good practice.

16.        In all instances the Directorate of Learning and Skills will work with Board of Management to ensure an effective and robust action plan is developed to build upon areas of strengths and to address any identified shortcomings.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

17.        Follow-up activity for settings placed in a category will be resourced through the Consortium Joint Education Service.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

18.        None.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

19.        None.

Crime and Disorder Implications

20.        None.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

21.        Welsh medium schools undergo school inspections by Estyn according to the same Common Inspection Framework, but through the medium of Welsh.

Corporate/Service Objectives

22.        This report supports the Council's corporate objectives for Education and Lifelong Learning and the priorities identified in Education 2015.

23.        This report supports the objectives listed in the Service Plan for School Improvement 2012/13.

Policy Framework and Budget

24.        The recommendations in this report are within the existing policy framework and budget.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

25.        Not applicable.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

26.        Lifelong Learning

Background Papers

Estyn Inspection Guidance Reports September 2010

Contact Officer

Lynette Jones, Head of School Improvement

Officers Consulted

David Davies, Lead Officer for Inclusion

Responsible Officer:

Jennifer Hill, Chief Learning and Skills Officer

 

 

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