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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning): 22nd June 2015

 

Report of the Director of Learning and Skills

 

Summary of School Inspection Reports for spring term 2015

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To update members on the outcomes of school inspections for the spring term 2015.

2.         To update members on the outcomes of recent Estyn monitoring visits.

Recommendations

1.         That members note the inspection judgements about the school inspected during the spring term.

2.         That members note the judgements made by Estyn in its monitoring visits regarding the progress of schools in addressing inspection recommendations.

3.         That members note the judgements made by Estyn with regard to schools in local authority monitoring.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1, 2 & 3 In order that members are aware of Estyn judgements about local schools.

Background

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

4.         An overview of the CIF is outlined in Appendix 1.

Relevant Issues and Options

5.         Wick and District Playgroup, Cylch Meithrin Y Bontfaen, Romilly Primary, Evenlode Primary and St Joseph's Primary Schools were inspected during the spring term 2015.

6.         A summary of the inspection findings for each of the named school/playgroup is appended to this report (Appendix 2).

7.         The purposes of inspections are to:

  • Provide accountability to the users of the services and other stakeholders through public reporting on providers;
  • Promote improvement in education and training; and
  • Inform the development of national policy by Welsh Government.

8.         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.  Section 28 of the Education Act 2005, says that inspectors must report on:

  • The educational standards achieved by the school;
  • The quality of education provided by the school;
  • How far education meets the needs of the range of pupils at the school;
  • The quality of leadership in and management of the school, including whether the financial resources are managed efficiently;
  • The spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils at the school; and
  • The contribution of the school to the wellbeing of pupils.

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

10.      When conducting school inspections, the main forms of evidence considered are:

  • Briefings from local authorities;
  • Documentary evidence, including data on pupils' performance and progress;
  • Observation of teaching or training sessions and other activities;
  • Samples of pupils' work;
  • The views of pupils and stakeholders; and
  • Discussion with staff, leaders and managers, governors and others.

11.      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 is no longer than five pages.

12.      The structure of the inspection report is based on two overall summary judgements, three key questions and ten quality indicators and takes the following form:

13.      Summary

  • Overall judgement on the school's current performance
  • Overall judgement on the school's prospect for improvement

Main findings

 

Key Question 1: How good are outcomes?

  • Standards
  • Wellbeing

Key Question 2: How good is provision?

  • Learning experiences
  • Teaching
  • Care, support and guidance

Key Question 3: How good are leadership and management?

  • Leadership
  • Improving quality
  • Partnership working
  • Resource management

14.      The two overall summary judgements and the judgements for the three key questions and the ten quality indicators can be one of four options:

  • 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

15.      During the spring term the overall judgements achieved by Vale of Glamorgan schools which were inspected were as follows:

 

Current Performance

Prospects for Improvement

Romilly Primary

Good

Excellent

Evenlode Primary

Good

Excellent

St Joseph's Primary

Good

Good

Cylch Meithrin Y Bontfaen

Good

Good

Wick and District Playgroup

Good

Good

 

16.      As a result of these inspections follow-up activity has been identified: Romilly Primary - local authority monitoring.

17.      While the responsibility for producing the action plan rests with the school, the authority also has a number of key responsibilities.  These include:-

  • Ensuring that any issues identified by Estyn relating to the Local Authority are addressed;
  • Ensuring that delivery of the action plan is monitored through challenge advisor visits to schools;
  • Supporting schools to raise standards through identification and sharing of good practice.

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

19.      Estyn recognises its unique position to show case some of the excellent practice identified across all of the education and training sector it inspects.  One way it does this is by asking schools in which it has identified excellence to write case studies, outlining how excellence has been achieved in identified areas.  Following recent inspections, Vale schools have produced the following case studies;

School

Case Study

Evenlode Primary

Partnership working - writing projects involving Stanwell and local business

Romilly Primary

Embedding Pupil Voice - Child friendly school improvement plan

Cross School Working - Peer observation and learning triads Nurture provision linked to family learning

St Joseph's Primary

The Learning Environment

                                               

20.      During spring term 15, Estyn monitored the following Vale schools:

  • Eagleswell Primary

21.      During monitoring visits, Estyn judge the extent of the progress made by the school in addressing the recommendations of the inspection report.  The review activity considers the Local Authority report and scrutiny of the school's post inspection action plan and self-evaluation report.  During the visit it is the school's responsibility to supply evidence that demonstrates progress against recommendations.

22.      Progress can be judged to be;

  • Limited - Does not meet the recommendation
  • Satisfactory - Address the recommendation in many respects
  • Strong - Address the recommendation in most respects
  • Very good - Address the recommendation in all respects

23.      Having reviewed the progress made by the school in addressing each of the recommendations, Estyn could;

  • Remove the school from all follow up activity
  • Leave the school in Estyn monitoring
  • Place the school in a category; requiring significant improvement or special measures

24.      The outcomes of the Estyn monitoring visits completed in the January-May term are:

School name

Overall judgement

Outcome

Eagleswell Primary

Strong progress against 4 recommendations and reasonable progress against 2

Removed from follow-up activity

 

25.      The detail of the progress each school made against each of the recommendations made is provided in appendix 3.

26.      The Vale currently has 3 schools in Estyn monitoring.  These are Llanfair Primary, Barry Comprehensive and Bryn Hafren Comprehensive.

27.      Schools placed in local authority monitoring as a result of an Estyn inspection are required to demonstrate progress in addressing the recommendations of the inspection report.  Challenge Advisors oversee the work of the schools monitor the delivery of an agreed action plan and report progress termly.

28.      The local authority is required to submit a progress report to Estyn that;

  • Summarises the progress made against each of the recommendations
  • Makes a judgement regarding the extent of the progress made in addressing each of the recommendations.  The judgement can be limited, satisfactory, strong or very good (please refer to paragraph 21 for definitions).
  • Makes a recommendation regarding whether or not the school/setting should be removed from local authority monitoring.

29.      Having received the report from the local authority Estyn can;

  • Remove the school from all follow up activity
  • Leave the school in local authority monitoring
  • Place the school in Estyn monitoring

30.      The outcomes of local authority reports on schools in local authority monitoring are;

School

Outcome

Llancarfan Primary

Removed from all follow-up activity

Pendoylan Primary

Removed from all follow-up activity

Sully Primary

Removed from all follow-up activity

 

31.      The detail of the progress each school made against each of the recommendations made is provided in appendix 4.

32.      The Vale of Glamorgan currently has 2 schools in local authority monitoring.  These are Romilly Primary and Y Bont Faen Primary.

33.      See appendix 5 which provides an overall summary of Estyn activity for the period September 2014 - May 2015.

 

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

34.      Follow-up activity for schools placed in a category will be resourced through the School Improvement Service and Central South Consortium.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

35.      None.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

36.      There are no legal implications..

Crime and Disorder Implications

37.      There are no crime and disorder implications.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

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

Corporate/Service Objectives

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

40.      This report supports the objectives listed in the Service Plan for School Improvement 2012/2013.

Policy Framework and Budget

41.      The recommendations of this report are within existing policy framework and budget.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

42.      Not applicable

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

43.      Lifelong Learning or Corporate Resources

Background Papers

Estyn common inspection framework for schools

 

Contact Officer

Mike Glavin, Head of School Improvement and Inclusion

 

Officers Consulted

Paul Wolstenholme, Senior Challenge Advisor, Central South Consortium

Meryl Plummer, Lead Officer for School Improvement

 

Responsible Officer:

Jennifer Hill, Director of Learning and Skills