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Agenda Item No. 9

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning): 9th December, 2013

 

Report of the Chief Learning and Skills Officer

 

End of Year Performance Report 2012/13: National Strategic Indicators and Public Accountability Measures

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To present the council's performance results against statutory national performance indicators (National Strategic Indicators and Public Accountability Measures) relevant to the scrutiny committee for the financial year ended 31 March 2013 (academic year 2011/12).

Recommendation

That the committee note performance results and identify areas for improvement work.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             To report on service performance in line with statutory requirements and the council's Performance Management Framework and monitoring arrangements.

2.             To consider the end of year performance results to identify service areas for improvement work.

3.             To ensure the continuous improvement of council services.

Background

2.             Under the Local Government Act 1999, the Wales Programme for Improvement and the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009 the council is required to secure continuous improvement across the full range of local services for which it is responsible and to collect a range of performance data which is submitted to the Welsh Government and the Local Government data Unit. Collecting national performance indicators is an essential requirement in achieving improvements.

3.             There are two types of national performance indicator included in this report. National Strategic Indicators (NSIs) are statutory and are collected and published annually by Welsh Government. Public Accountability Measures (PAMs) are a small set of "outcome focussed" indicators that are also statutory and are collected and published annually by the Local Government Data Unit. There is some overlap between the two datasets.

4.             This report only includes the indicators related to the scrutiny committee. Each year, the Local Government Data Unit publishes outturns for the entire national performance indicator set, along with a headline assessment of Welsh local authority performance.  This report is available online: http://www.dataunitwales.gov.uk/SharedFiles/Download.aspx?pageid=79&mid=459&fileid=927

5.             A report including all National Statutory Indicators and Public Accountability Measures was considered by CMT on 28 August 2013. As a result, staff in the Improvement and Development team are now working with services to develop an action plan to address areas of underperformance.

6.             Data is sub-divided into:

·         Top quartile  (quartile 1) –the top 25% of performance

·         Mid quartiles (quartiles 2 and 3) – the middle 50% of performance

·         Bottom quartile (quartile 4) – the bottom 25% of performance.

Relevant Issues and Options

7.             A detailed summary of the performance against indicators relevant to the scrutiny committee for the financial year ended 31 March 2013 (academic year 2011/12) is provided in Appendix 1 (pp. 1-2). 

8.             Key notes on performance:

A total of 14 indicators were relevant to the scrutiny committee in the following areas: Education (11), Children’s Services (Education Related) (2), Libraries (1).

·         7 indicators were in the top quartile.

·         4 indicators were in the middle quartiles.

·         3 indicators were in the bottom quartile.

·         1 indicator maintained the highest possible performance achieved the previous year (0%).

·         9 indicators have improved in real terms on last year’s performance.

·         3 indicators have deteriorated in real terms on last year’s performance.

·         No comparison to last year’s performance was possible for 1 indicator because it was introduced for the 2012/13 financial year.

·         9 indicators performed better than the Welsh average

·         5 indicators performed worse than the Welsh average

·         Of the Education indicators, 5 were in the top quartile, 4 in the middle quartiles and 2 in the bottom quartile. 7 performed better than the Welsh average, and 4 performed worse.

·         Of the Children’s Services (Education Related) indicators, 1 was in the top quartile performing better than the Welsh average and 1 was in the bottom quartile performing worse than the Welsh average.

·         The 1 Libraries indicator was in the top quartile and performed better than the Welsh average.

9.             Pages 3-4 of Appendix 1 provide details of the indicators which have changed quartile position from the previous year.

10.        Page 5 of Appendix 1 compares performance in the Vale with the other nine authorities in the South East Wales region.

11.        CMT received a report on 20 November 2013 providing information about each performance indicator not in the top quartile and any improvement work being undertaken. The following bullet points give the background to each indicator not in the top quartile and encompass: whether indicators are seen as a useful representation of performance, whether we can be confident that indicators are being reported in line with the definitions across Wales, where improvements have already been made and where further improvements could be made.

·         EDU016a Percentage of pupil attendance in primary schools    

·         Performance for 2012/13 (2011/12 academic year) was in the second quartile. Attendance in primary schools improved by 0.8% to 94.5% in 2011-12 and was ranked =6th highest in Wales LAs.  FSM benchmarking comparisons placed the Vale 2nd for primary school attendance. Analysis of absence distribution within primary schools in 2011-12 indicated that a higher proportion of pupils had high levels of attendance (94%+) and a lower proportion had low levels of attendance (<90%) compared with the all-Wales means.  Unauthorised absence reduced to 1.1% in 2012 but is above the Welsh average (0.7%).  A significant proportion of unauthorised absences (0.4%) were attributable to family holidays being taken in term time. Vale primary schools do not award attendance marks for holidays taken in term time as a strategy to deter absence which may not be a common approach nationally.

·         EDU016b Percentage of pupil attendance in secondary schools

·         Performance for 2012/13 (2011/12 academic year) was in the second quartile. Attendance in secondary schools improved by 1.4% to 92.7% in 2011-12, this was the highest percentage increase in Wales.  This level is above the Welsh average and was the 7th highest in Wales LAs.  Analysis of absence distribution within secondary schools in 2011-12 indicated that a similar proportion of pupils had high levels of attendance (94%+) and low levels of attendance (<90%) compared to the all-Wales means. Unauthorised absences fell to 1% in 2011-12 and ranked the Vale 9th against the other LAs.  This is a significant improvement and is below the Welsh mean of 1.4%.

·         EDU004A The percentage of pupils assessed at the end of Key Stage 3, in schools maintained by the local authority, achieving the Core Subject Indicator, as determined by Teacher Assessment

·         Performance for 2012/13 (2011/12 academic year) was in the third quartile. The NSI performance is based on the performance achieved in the 11/12 academic year. As a result of this underperformance, we made significant steps to improve during the 12/13 academic year. As a result our performance for the 12/13 academic year is 83%. This is a 14% increase in our performance and places us in the top quartile for 12/13, ranked 4th in Wales. Further improvement work is planned as part of our improvement plan 2013/14.

·         EDU006ii The percentage of pupils assessed, in schools maintained by the local authority, receiving a Teacher Assessment in Welsh (first language) at the end of Key Stage 3

·         Performance for 2012/13 (2011/12 academic year) was in the third quartile. 8.4% of pupils received a teacher assessment in Welsh at the end of key stage 4 in 2012/13 (academic year 2011/12). This placed us in the third quartile, in 16th place for Wales. This is not something we are contemplating taking action to improve considerably; we would expect our figures to be considerably lower in this area than, for example, the authorities in North Wales. We will continue to expand Welsh provision according to need. Our performance is roughly equivalent to the South East Wales average.

·         EDU015a The percentage of final statements of special education need issued within 26 weeks, including exceptions

·         Performance for 2012/13 (2011/12 academic year) was in the bottom quartile. The figure for 2012/13 is 48%. The implementation of the action plan has resulted in significant improvements in this measure. The current figure for 2013/14 is 100%.

·         EDU015b The percentage of final statements of special education need issued within 26 weeks, excluding exceptions

·         Performance for 2012/13 (2011/12 academic year) was in the bottom quartile. The figure for 2012/13 is 95.7%. The implementation of the action plan has resulted in maintaining this high level of performance. The current figure for 2013/14 is 100%.

12.        Appendix 2 details the improvement actions that are currently being undertaken with the aim of improving our performance by the end of the current financial year.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

13.        There are no additional budgetary implications arising from this report although underperformance in some areas may have a negative impact on external assessments of the council and could put some funding opportunities at risk.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

14.        There are no national equalities performance measures.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

15.        The Local Government Act 1999, the Wales Programme for Improvement and the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009 require that the council secure continuous improvement across the full range of local services for which it is responsible.

Crime and Disorder Implications

16.        Underperformance issues relating to crime and disorder should be given due consideration both corporately and within the relevant service areas.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

17.        There are no national equalities performance measures.

Corporate/Service Objectives

18.        Monitoring of performance demonstrates a clear contribution to the corporate priorities outlined below and also underpins the improvement work and outcomes of all seven corporate priorities:

·         To manage the council’s workforce, money, information an assets efficiently, effectively and securely.

·         To work with partners to promote and ensure a coordinated approach to delivering the shared vision for the future of the Vale.

Policy Framework and Budget

19.        This is a matter for executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

20.        The data contained within the report is based on internally audited returns provided by Heads of Service and verified by the Wales Audit Office/Grant Thornton and the Local Government Data Unit.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

21.        Lifelong Learning.

Background Papers

Local Government Data Unit Wales, Local Government Performance 2012-13, http://www.dataunitwales.gov.uk/SharedFiles/Download.aspx?pageid=79&mid=459&fileid=927

 

Contact Officer

Chloe Clarke, Corporate Performance Co-ordinator

Officers Consulted

Corporate Management Team

Julia Archampong, Performance Manager

Beverly Noon, Operational Manager – Corporate Policy and Communications

Huw Isaac, Head of Performance and Development

Responsible Officer:

Jennifer Hill,

Chief Officer for Learning and Skills

 

 

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