Agenda Item No. 7


The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning): 9th September 2013


Report of the Chief Learning and Skills Officer


Summary of School Inspection Reports for the Summer Term 2013


Purpose of the Report

1.             To up-date Members on the results of school inspections under the new framework for the Summer Term 2013.


That Members note the inspectors judgements about the schools inspected during the summer term.

Reason for the Recommendation

To develop a shared understanding about the outcomes of school inspections, according to the new arrangements.


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

3.             The CIF introduces some significant changes:

·         Only three Key Questions instead of seven;

·         Two new overarching judgements;

·         More specific reference to the need to promote learner wellbeing in parallel with standards;

·         More specific reference for practitioners and school leaders to work with others to secure best practice and hence school improvement.

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

Relevant Issues and Options

5.             The following schools inspected during the Summer 2013 term were: St Cyres Comprehensive and Ysgol Iolo Morgannwg (Appendix 2).

6.             A summary of the investigation findings are appended to this report.

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 will be 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 will take 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 will be based on a 4-point scale:

·         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 Summer 2013 the overall judgements achieved by Vale of Glamorgan schools which were inspected were as follows:


                              Overall Judgement


Current Performance

Prospects for Improvement




St Cyres



Ysgol Iolo Morgannwg






16.        While the responsibility for producing the action Plan rests with the schools, the authority also has a number of key responsibilities.  These include:-

·         Agreeing the Post Inspection Action Plan;

·         Ensuring that any issues identified by Estyn relating to the Local Authority are addressed;

·         Ensuring that delivery of the action plan is monitored through advisor visits to schools;

·         Supporting schools to raise standards through identification and sharing of good practice.

17.        St Cyres School has been placed in a category requiring Estyn follow-up. This means that Estyn will return to the school after one year to ensure that sufficient progress has been made against recommendations outlined in the report and Post Inspection Action Plan.

18.        The Local Authority, through its regional school improvement service, will work in partnership with the school to secure the necessary improvements. 

19.        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.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

20.        Follow-up activity for schools placed in a category will be resourced through the School Improvement Service.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

21.        None.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

22.        End of Key Stage Assessment is a statutory obligation.

Crime and Disorder Implications

23.        There are no crime and disorder implications.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

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

Corporate/Service Objectives

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

26.        This report supports the objectives listed in the Service Plan for School Improvement 2011/2012.

Policy Framework and Budget

27.        The recommendations in this report are within the existing policy framework and budget.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

28.        Not applicable.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

29.        Lifelong Learning.

Background Papers

Estyn common inspection framework for schools


Contact Officer

Lynette Jones, Head of School Improvement and Inclusion


Officers Consulted

Meryl Plummer, Lead Officer for School Improvement


Responsible Officer:

Jennifer Hill, Chief Learning and Skills Officer