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Agenda Item No. 9

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning): 8th February 2016

 

Report of the Director of Learning and Skills

 

Central South Consortium Draft Business Plan 2016/17

 

Purpose of the Report

  1. To inform Members of the Business Plan of the Central South Consortium.

Recommendation

To consider the draft Business Plan for 2016/17.

Reason for the Recommendation

The work of the Central South Consortium plays a vital role in the delivery of the Council's statutory responsibilities in relation to schools. The Business Plan explains how school improvement services will be delivered on behalf of the Council in the forthcoming year.

Background

  1. The Joint Committee of the Central South Consortium considered a draft business plan for 2016/17 at its meeting on 9th December. The Business Plan is attached as Appendix A.
  2. The National Model of Regional Working stipulates the areas that the business plan must cover.
  3. The business plan sets out the Central South Wales Challenge vision, priorities of the consortium, operating model, budget and performance monitoring arrangements. Local authority-specific appendices are presently being developed.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. The business plan evaluates progress in 2015/16 and includes information about educational outcomes which have improved at every key stage on most outcome measures across the consortium and in individual authorities since 2012. It includes information about progress of the second year of the self-improving schools system, i.e. the Central South Wales challenge including:
  • The further development of the School Improvement Groups (SIGs) to engage all schools to identify and build joint practice development.
  • The work of pathfinders including 60 schools.
  • The rollout of a 'peer review' leadership model.
  • The embedding of the 'hubs' programme whereby schools provide quality assured and accredited programmes of support to other schools.
  1. Page 3 of the draft business play sets out five areas for development in 2016/17:
  • More explicit opportunities to build sustainable leadership capacity, operating at a system level with the appropriate incentives to develop the best head teachers and a system to spot and develop talent for future leadership at a system level.
  • Ways to develop systematic, deeper professional learning opportunities at all levels of the system as the norm for teachers across the region - with a tight focus on impact and disciplined routes of sharing learning across schools.
  • A need to drive harder forms of collaboration (including federations) to build capacity in the system in leadership and teaching and learning and increase efficiency in the use of services by schools.
  • Effective consistent challenge and intervention to drive change rapidly and robustly where it is most needed.
  • Significant work with governors and local elected Members to improve the wider understanding about the benefits of hard collaborative school systems.
  1. The focus on harder forms of collaboration (including federations) will be of particular interest to the Scrutiny Committee. Members will be aware that two federations have been previously developed in the Vale, that these models are much more widely operated in England and that there is evidence of their effectiveness. The Committee may wish to discuss in more detail at a later meeting the benefits and disadvantages of harder forms of collaboration including federations and the potential relevance to the Vale.
  2. Page 4 of the draft business plan describes a longer term vision.
  3. Pages 7-10 provide more information about the proposed objectives and actions. The targets on page 11 have not yet been confirmed.
  4. The business plan proposes a 5% cut to the Consortium revenue in line with the then anticipated cuts within the Local Government settlement. We have yet to receive information about the future levels of grant funding and so whilst there is an intention to seek to increase proportion of grant which is delegated, the business plan does not include further details on grant budgets.
  5. The Central South Consortium will be inspected by Estyn during a two week period from 29th February. The other three consortia will be inspected shortly afterwards with reports due to be published in the summer.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. The business plan will be delivered using funding provided by the Council at a reduced level compared with 2013/14, 2014/15 and 2015/16. The business plan provides more information.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. High performing schools make a significant contribution to economic prosperity and to vibrant and sustainable communities.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. A revised legal agreement has recently been put in place which reflects the revised governance arrangements that are operating in line with the National Model for Regional Working.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. There are no crime and disorder implications arising from this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. The business plan continues to prioritise support for Welsh language development and seeks to close the gap between the performance of pupils entitled to free school meals and their peers.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. Improving outcomes and well-being for all learners.

Policy Framework and Budget

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

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. Not applicable

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. Lifelong Learning.

Background Papers

National Model for Regional Working

Contact Officer

Jennifer Hill, Director of Learning and Skills

Officers Consulted

Mike Glavin, Head of School Improvement and Inclusion

Paula Ham, Head of Strategy, Community Learning and Resources

Responsible Officer:

Jennifer Hill

Director of Learning and Skills

 

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