Agenda Item No 6

The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Learning and Culture Scrutiny Committee: 14th November, 2016


Report of the Interim Director of Learning and Skills


Individual Schools Performance Progress Panel


Purpose of the Report

  1. To provide the Committee with an update of the progress at Barry Comprehensive School following the GCSE results in August 2016 and the Estyn monitoring visit in September 2016.


  1. That an update report be presented to the Scrutiny Committee in the Autumn following the GCSE results in August 2017.
  2. That the school progress panel meetings at Barry Comprehensive School now cease following improvement.
  3. That this report be referred to Cabinet for consideration.

Reasons for the Recommendations

  1. To enable the Scrutiny Committee to monitor progress made by the school.
  2. To assure members that the Directorate of Learning and Skills, in conjunction with the Central South Consortium and School Challenge Cymru, is monitoring the performance of individual schools and providing targeted and timely support where necessary.
  3. To enable Cabinet to consider progress made at Barry Comprehensive School.


  1. The school was inspected by Estyn in March 2013. The school's performance was judged to be good and its capacity to improve was also judged to be good. Progress in implementation of the recommendations was to be monitored by the Local Authority (LA).
  2. Following a fall in standards, the school was placed in support category D of the regional classification system and a warning notice was issued by the Director of Learning and Skills in November 2013.
  3. In June 2014, the LA recommended that the school should not be removed from LA monitoring. In September 2014 Estyn concurred with the LA report and the school was placed in Estyn monitoring. The school was formally identified as a Challenge Cymru School. A new Chair of Governors was appointed.
  4. In October 2014, the Director of Learning and Skills used powers of intervention. The school was directed to work with another school.
  5. In July 2015, in a monitoring visit, Estyn judged the school's progress in addressing the recommendations to be limited in four and satisfactory in two and the school was placed on the list of schools requiring significant improvement.
  6. The LA, in conjunction with the school's leaders, produced a Statement of Action which takes into account the post inspection action plan prepared by the Senior Leadership Team and Governing Body. This document considers each recommendation and sets out the LA / Central South Consortium (CSC) and Schools Challenge Cymru (SCC) support that would be made available to the school.
  7. In September 2015, despite significant improvement in a number of areas, further interventions were taken by the Director of Learning and Skills, as improvement in some areas, e.g. mathematics, was not at the required rate, whilst performance in other areas, such as L2+ eFSM was unacceptably low. Two additional Governors were appointed by the LA.
  8. As an SCC school, Barry Comprehensive has the support of the Welsh Government through an assigned Schools Challenge Cymru Advisor (SCCA) and through access to significant financial support. As part of the SCC initiative, the school has an ongoing SCC development plan. The plan has been incorporated within the school's improvement plan along with the post inspection action plan and outlines the range of support available to the school from the LA, SCC and CSC in terms of enhanced services, additional staffing and revenue funding.
  9. Progress made in the implementation of the plan and the impact of actions taken is evaluated at the monthly Accelerated Improvement Board (AIB) meetings. These monthly meetings are attended by the Director of Learning and Skills. Governors receive evaluative progress reports.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. In 2016, performance in most indicators in both Key Stages 3 and 4 increased for the third consecutive year.
  2. In Key Stage 3, the performance of boys is above the average performance of boys in similar schools in all Key Stage 3 indicators.
  3. In Key Stage 4, performance in the level 2 threshold (5 GCSE's A* - C including English and mathematics) rose 12 percentage points in 2016 following an increase of 13 percentage points in 2015. Performance in this indicator has doubled since 2013.
  4. Improvements in attendance in 2015 and 2016 place the school in the top 25% of similar schools.
  5. Estyn re-visited the school in September 2016. Estyn judged the school's progress in addressing the recommendations to be satisfactory in one, strong in four and very good in one. Overall, Estyn judged the school to have made sufficient progress in relation to the recommendations following the core inspection in March 2013. As a result, the school has been removed from the list of schools requiring significant improvement (Appendix 1).
  6. Estyn have recommended that in order to maintain and improve on the recognised progress, the school should continue to address the recommendations where further progress is required.
  7. The SCCA will continue to monitor the school's progress and the AIB will continue to meet for the remainder of the financial year.
  8. While the national categorisation has not yet been published, the school has provisionally been placed in a yellow support category. This provides a level of confidence that the school is in a strong enough position to take forward its improvement activity.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. None arising from this report.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. None arising from this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. None arising from this report.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. None arising from this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. The progress of learners and in particular those most vulnerable to underachievement including pupils who are entitled to free school meals is included in school assessment.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. This report supports the Council's Wellbeing Outcome 3: An Aspirational and Culturally Vibrant Vale, Corporate Objective 5 'Raising overall standards of achievement'.
  2. This report supports the objectives listed in the Service Plan for School Improvement and Inclusion 2016/2020.

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. Learning and Culture.

Background Papers


Contact Officer

Morwen Hudson, Senior Challenge Advisor and Lead Officer for School Improvement

Officers Consulted


Responsible Officer:

Paula Ham, Interim Director of Learning and Skills