Agenda Item No. 9


The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Learning and Culture Scrutiny Committee: 19th June 2017


Report of the Director of Learning and Skills


Summary of School Inspection Reports for Spring Term 2017


Purpose of the Report

  1. To update Members on the outcomes of school inspections for the spring term 2017.
  2. To update Members on the outcomes of recent Estyn monitoring activities.


  1. That Members note the inspection judgements about the schools inspected during the spring term.
  2. That Members note the judgements made by Estyn in its monitoring activities 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.

Reason for the Recommendations

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


  1. In September 2010 the Estyn School Inspection Common Inspection Framework (CIF) was introduced across all schools in Wales.
  2. An overview of the CIF is outlined in Appendix 1.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. St Nicholas Church in Wales Primary and Llantwit Major School were inspected during the spring term 2017.
  2. A summary of the inspection findings for each of the named schools is appended to this report (Appendix 2).
  3. The purpose of inspections is 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.
  1. 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.
  1. During all core inspections, the inspection team will consider whether the school needs any follow-up activity.
  2. 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.
  1. 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.
  2. 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:


  • 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.
  1. 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.
  1. There are three types of follow-up category:
  • Estyn monitoring
  • Significant improvement
  • Special measures.
  1. All follow-up work involves activity by Estyn inspectors. The activity involves increasing levels of intervention in proportion to need.
  2. During the summer term the overall judgements achieved by Vale of Glamorgan schools which were inspected were as follows:

Current Performance

Prospects for Improvement

St Nicholas CiW Primary



Llantwit Major School



  1. As a result of the inspections no follow-up activity was identified.
  2. Local Authority monitoring was removed as a follow-up category by Estyn from September 2016. However, at the end of the spring term 2017, the Vale of Glamorgan had 2 schools in Local Authority monitoring as a result of inspections prior to the summer 2016. These are Rhws Primary, and Ysgol Pen-y-Garth.
  3. 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.
  4. While the responsibility for producing an 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 improvement plan is monitored through Challenge Advisor visits to schools;
  • Supporting schools to raise standards through identification and sharing of good practice.
  1. 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 strength and to address identified shortcomings.
  2. Approximately a year after, 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;
  • Makes a recommendation regarding whether or not the school / setting should be removed from Local Authority monitoring.
  1. 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.
  1. St Andrew's Major Primary School was removed from Local Authority monitoring in January 2017.
  2. The Vale currently has one school (Ysgol Dewi Sant) in Estyn monitoring.
  3. Schools identified as requiring Estyn monitoring have their progress reviewed by Estyn inspectors. The monitoring activity may include consideration of the Local Authority report and scrutiny of the school's self-evaluation report. However, schools may be visited by Estyn inspectors to ascertain whether or not sufficient progress has been made.
  4. At the end of the autumn term, the Local Authority had one school requiring significant improvement (Bryn Hafren Comprehensive).
  5. If a school is identified as requiring significant improvement, Estyn will inform the Welsh Government that the school has been placed in a statutory category.
  6. The school and the Local Authority are required to produce action plans which must be sent to Estyn for approval.
  7. A re-visit by Estyn inspectors takes place approximately a year after publication of the inspection report. It focuses on the progress the school has made towards addressing the recommendations highlighted in the report.
  8. If the team judges that the school has made enough progress in relation to the recommendations, the school would be removed from the list of schools requiring significant improvement.  If progress is insufficient, the team would identify the school as requiring special measures.
  9. There are no schools identified as requiring special measures.
  10. Where Estyn recognises excellent practice, schools are identified as having sector-leading practice and invited to write best practice case studies to share with other schools. No excellent practice was identified for the period January 2017 - April 2017.
  11. Appendix 3 provides an overall summary of Estyn activity for the period January 2017 - April 2017.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. Follow-up activity for schools placed in a category will be resourced by the Central South Consortium.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. None.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. There are no legal implications arising from this report

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

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, Lead Officer for School Improvement / Senior Challenge Advisor

Officers Consulted


Responsible Officer:

Paula Ham, Director of Learning and Skills