Matter which the Chairman has decided is urgent by the reason for the need to inform Cabinet when considering the same item at its meeting on 18th November

Agenda Item No.











The Cabinet Member for Children’s Services advised that the purpose of the report was to consult the Committee on school performance and the processes in place to further improve services.


The report outlined performance for the performance measures as detailed below:


·                the Core Subject Indicator; those pupils attaining a GCSE A* - C in the core subjects of English, Maths and Science:

·                Level 1 Threshold; proportion of pupils attaining 5 x GCSEs A* to G

·                Level 2 Threshold; proportion of pupils attaining 5 x GCSEs A* to C

·                Level 2+ Threshold; proportion of pupils attaining 5 x GCSEs A* to C including English and Maths

·                English GCSE Level 2; the proportion of pupils attaining English GCSE A* to C

·                Maths GCSE Level 2; the proportion of pupils attaining Maths GCSE A* to C

·                Science Level 2; the proportion of pupils attaining Science GCSE A* to C.


Appendix 1 to the report provided an overview of provisional results for Key Stage 4 whilst performance in Level 2 Maths, Science, Level 1, Level 2 CPS WPS had increased on 2012, performance in L2 English / Welsh, Level 2+ and the CSI had decreased.


Appendix 2 to the report compared the performance with Wales with performance in the Vale for L2+ had decreased by 0.8% points, the CSI by 5% and the Level 2 English / Welsh by 1.2% on 2012 results.


Appendix 3 provided the performance of individual schools in the Vale of Glamorgan (provisional data only) with it being noted that benchmarking data was also only provisional at this stage.


The information demonstrated some significant gains and reductions but also saw some decreases in certain areas.  Of particular concern the report noted the decrease in performance in Level 2 English and Maths (Barry Comprehensive and St. Richard Gwyn) along with the flat-lining of both subjects in Llantwit and St. Cyres. 


Appendix 4 provided high level GCSE comparative information with Wales for 2013 with Appendix 5a identifying the school level  A Level profile with most schools showing an increase in Level 3 with the exception of Barry Comprehensive.  Appendix 5b identified the high level A and AS level performance profile set against the all-Wales means with grade proportions for AS levels showing an increase across the board.


Schools’ System Leaders within the JES would monitor progress towards meeting performance targets on a termly basis and also deliver the authority’s statutory school improvement functions to all schools on behalf of the Council. The Committee would also receive further progress and performance reports throughout the year.


In referring to individual school progress meetings the Cabinet Member advised that, as agreed by the Committee, they would be returning to Llantwit Major when the results of the banding had been received and that arrangements were currently being made to visit St. Cyres.  He would also be bringing a further report to the Scrutiny Committee in the New Year to consider opportunities to visit other schools to discuss performance.


The Head of Service advised that targets and challenges would be undertaken by the Joint Education Service and again a further report would be presented to the Committee for consideration in due course.


Members sought clarification on why the decreases in performance had not been identified sooner with the Head of Service advising that early warning systems were being put in place which would provide information in relation to the results of mock exams and course work etc. This system would be rolled out throughout all schools in order for the Council to have the necessary information as soon as possible.  Some schools had also not been setting suitable targets with a commitment now being reached to setting a minimum target. 


One of the co-opted Members raised the issue that the Council should make more effort to congratulate schools when they had done well. The Chief Learning and Skills Officer advised that the Authority wished to celebrate success more and that the Department was currently responding to this request.  In particular mention was made of the recent letters that had been sent to Bro Morgannwg School and Holton Primary School regarding their recent success.


Reference was also made to the take up of free school meals with the Head of Strategic Planning and Performance advising that Headteachers actively supported applications for free school meals and over the previous year the Council had developed an approach to assist parents in making applications through the benefits system.  This proactive approach was proving extremely positive.


In considering the contents of the report Members stated that with regard to the accountability, responsibilities and Scrutiny of the Joint Education Service the Committee itself, needed to ascertain how the Consortium would help secure accelerated progress in under-performing schools as well as the reporting mechanisms that would be put in place to provide the Council with the necessary detail for its consideration on a regular basis. 


Following considerable discussion it was subsequently




(1)       T H A T the School Performance Report for the end of Key Stage 4 and 5 (Provisional Data Only) be noted.


(2)       T H A T the intention of the Cabinet Member to report to the Scrutiny Committee on the additional schools that would require individual progress meetings regarding performance be noted.


(3)       T H A T in order to address the concerns of the Scrutiny Committee as outlined above the Head of School Improvement and the Head of Service for the Link Advisors within the Joint Education Service be requested to attend the December meeting of the Scrutiny Committee.


(4)       T H A T Cabinet be informed of the recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee in view of the issues as outlined above.


Reasons for recommendations


(1)       In view of the contents contained in the report and the appendices.


(2)      To address performance issues.


(3)       To ensure that effective monitoring arrangements are in place to improve performance in schools in view of the Committee’s scrutinising and monitoring role.


(4)       To advise Cabinet.”





Attached as Appendix - Report to Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning): 11th November, 2013