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Agenda Item No. 9

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning): 8th December 2014

 

Report of the Director of Learning and Skills

 

Quarter 2 Learning & Skills Performance Report 2014-15

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To present the performance results for Quarter 2, 1st July-30th September, 2014-15.

Recommendations

1.         That Committee note service performance results and remedial actions to be taken to address service underperformance.

2.         That Committee note progress to date in achieving key outcomes as outlined in the Corporate Plan 2013-17, the Outcome Agreement 2013-16 and the Improvement Plan Part 1 2014-15.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To ensure the Council is effectively assessing its performance in line with the requirement to secure continuous improvement outlined in the Local Government Measure (Wales) 2009.

2.         To consider the Quarter 2 Learning and Skills performance results as at 30th September 2014 in order to identify service areas for improvement.

Background

2.         The Service Plans are designed to focus on the achievement of key objectives within each directorate which in turn contribute towards the achievement of identified outcomes in the Corporate Plan 2013-17, the Outcome Agreement 2013-16 and the Improvement Plan Part 1 2014-15. 

3.         Quarterly performance reports have been developed to reflect these Service Plans and designed to ensure that the Council reports performance in the context of progress against its objectives. 

4.         The performance report is structured as follows:

·         An overview provides a snapshot of the directorate's progress towards achieving the objectives contributing towards its service outcomes. It highlights progress towards key actions in the Corporate Plan 2013-17, the Outcome Agreement 2013-16 and the Improvement Plan Part 1 2014-15 for which the directorate has lead responsibility. Examples of exceptional performance during the quarter are highlighted as are any key areas of slippage and the planned remedial action to bring these back on track.

·         A brief evaluation is provided of each service outcome outlining overall progress (including actions and performance measures) towards achievement.

·         Detailed progress is reported for each service objective looking at all actions broken down into completed, on track, slipped and not started actions.

·         Progress is provided for all performance indicators using the traffic light system (red, amber and green).  A 'red' status relates to measures that have missed target by more than 10%; 'amber' relates to performance within 10% of target and 'green' to performance that is on or has exceeded target. All areas of underperformance identified include a reason for the poor performance and proposed remedial actions.

Relevant Issues and Options

5.         Overall, Learning and Skills is on track to achieve the objectives contributing to its service outcomes, with 96% (95) of actions currently either completed or on track to be completed. Off 99 actions within the Service Plan, 3 have slipped and 1 was scheduled for later in the year.

6.         Of the 40 Corporate Plan actions within the Service Plan, 39 (97%) are either completed or on track, and 1 has slipped. Of 21 actions relating to Improvement Objectives, 20 (95%) are either completed or on track for completion, 1 has slipped,

7.         All 8 Outcome Agreement actions for the service are either completed or on track to be completed.  There are 13 measures relating to the Outcome Agreement of which 4 are reported quarterly. Of these 2 have met or exceeded target and 1 has missed target by more than 10%.  A RAG status was not applicable to 1 indicator.

8.         Of 57 performance indicators, 14 have met or exceeded target, 4 are within 10% of target, 8 have missed target by more than 10% and a RAG status was not applicable for 1 indicator.  No results were available for 30 PIs which will be reported later during the year.

9.         The indicators that have missed target relate to:

·         LS/M029 - Number of hits on the library website. We had over a week of IT downtime across libraries during Q2 and calculate that this will have lost us 1000+ logins to the website, plus additional 2 weeks without IT access at Llantwit Major. Interest in libraries during the consultation period should drive more people to visit the website and we will capitalise on this by giving prominence to our most attractive offers.

·         LS/M022a and LS/M022b - The percentage of pupils in (a) primary and (b) secondary schools who have school meals. A performance of 37.45% was achieved against a target of 45% for primary and 27.34% against a target of 38.00% for secondary. For both indicators, the quarter takes into account the one day strike in July, school trips, residential trips, parents taking children out of school for family holidays and staggered intake of new pupils into Reception.

·         LS/M024a and LS/M024b - The percentage take up of free school meals in (a) primary and (b) secondary schools. A performance of 70.32% was achieved against a target of 79% for primary and 55.58% against a target of 64% for secondary. For both indicators,  the quarter takes into account the one day strike in July, school trips, residential trips, parents taking children out of school for family holidays and staggered intake of new pupils into Reception. Some families apply for FSM but do not send their children in for the meal as this benefit accesses other benefits they feel more valid. There is still stigma surrounding school meals despite the continued information to parents advising of the process.

·         EDU010b  - The percentage of school days lost due to fixed-term exclusions during the academic year, in secondary schools. A performance of 0.11% was reported against a target of 0.05%. Action is being taken to reduce this figure.

·         LS/M015b - The percentage of unauthorised absence in secondary schools. A performance of 1% was achieved against a target of 0.90%. No comment provided.

·         LS/M007- Percentage of the youth population aged 11-25 years in the Vale of Glamorgan who make contact with the Youth Service during the year. A performance of 24.26% was reported against a target of 27%. No comment provided.

·         OA2 - The number of year 12/13 pupils known not to be in education, training or work-based learning (NEET). This figure is at its highest during Q2 as this is when young people are most likely to drop out of provision following enrolment in education, training or work-based learning at the start of the academic year. 212 year 12/13 pupils were known to be NEET against a quarterly target of 110.

10.      In terms of notable performance, two major capital projects were successfully completed during this quarter including, the Penarth Learning Community (LS/A082 (CP/LS1)] providing high quality new accommodation for St. Cyres Comprehensive School and for the new Ysgol Y Deri (replacing Ashgrove, Ysgol Erwir Delyn and Ysgol Maes Dyfan special schools) and the new build 210 place building for the Welsh-medium primary school for Ysgol Nant Talwg, Barry [LS/A081 (CP/LS1)]. Both projects were delivered on-time and on-budget.

11.      School attendance figures for both primary and secondary schools show a marked improvement compared with previous years reflecting the high priority given to attendance including the roll-out of the regional Callio strategy.  Attendance has improved across Wales but nevertheless secondary attendance in the Vale is now fourth in Wales: comparative data for primary schools is not yet available.

12.      Slippage was reported in a number of actions:

·         Whilst work continues to improve the quality of leadership and management in schools overall, [LS/A125 (PIAP 1.6)] progress has marginally slipped due to inspections outcomes in two schools both highlighting a challenge in leadership. Both are receiving additional support via the LA support plan and via the CSC JES to address the issues raised.

·         Work to develop proposals for the Penarth cluster of schools will resume following appointment of the School Organisation Manager, who is due to take up post on 10th November (LA/A141).

·         Further work is required with the CSC to develop and introduce the consortium 'Pupil Tracking’ model into secondary schools to enable more frequent monitoring of the progress of FSM pupils, early diagnosis of underachievement and effective use of PDG. [LS/A075 (CP/LS5) IO7]

13.      A detailed report of the directorate’s overall performance is provided at Appendix 1.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

14.      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 certain funding opportunities at risk.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

15.      Underperformance issues relating to sustainability will be given due consideration both corporately and within the relevant service areas.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

16.      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

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

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

18.      Underperformance issues relating to equalities will be given due consideration both corporately and within the relevant service areas.

Corporate/Service Objectives

19.      The Corporate Plan 2013-17 outlines community leadership as a priority for the Council. Improving how the Council evidences and reports achievements of its outcomes and objectives contributes towards effective community leadership.

Policy Framework and Budget

20.      This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

21.      The information contained within the report is based on quarterly returns provided by service directorates to the Performance and Development Team. An overall Council report on performance has been considered by Cabinet.  Quarterly performance reports are reported to relevant Scrutiny Committees.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

22.      Lifelong Learning

Background Papers

Quarter 2 Performance Report

Contact Officer

Julia Esseen, Corporate Performance Co-ordinator

 

Officers Consulted

Corporate Management Team

Huw Isaac, Head of Performance and Development

Julia Archampong, Performance Manager

 

Responsible Officer:

Jennifer Hill, Director of Learning and Skills

 

 

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