Agenda Item No. 9


The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning): 14th October 2013


Report of the Chief Learning and Skills Officer


Quarter 1 Learning and Skills Performance Report 2013/14


Purpose of the Report

1.             To present performance results for quarter 1, 1st April - 30th June, 2013-14.


1.             That Committee note service performance results and remedial actions to be taken to address service underperformance.

2.             That Committee note progress to date in achieving key outcomes as outlined in the Corporate Plan 2013-17 and the Improvement Plan Part 1 2013/14.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             To ensure the Council is effectively assessing its performance in line with the requirement to secure continuous improvement outlined in the Local Government Measure (Wales) 2009.

2.             To consider the quarter 1 Learning and Skills performance results as at 30th June 2013 in order to identify service areas for improvement work.

3.             To meet the Auditor General, Wales' improvement proposal to ensure that:

·         intentions are expressed in a way which allows progress to be measured; and that

·         reporting arrangements consistently provide Members with an evaluation of performance in the context of the objectives the Council is aiming to achieve.

4.             To enable the Council to demonstrate achievement of its objectives and identified outcomes.


2.             Service plans for 2013/14 have been revised in accordance with the proposal for improvement and are now designed to focus on the achievement of key objectives within each Directorate which will in turn contribute towards the achievement of identified outcomes.  Service plans reflect the revised Corporate Plan 2013-17.

3.             Quarterly performance reports have been revised to reflect the new service plans and are designed to ensure the Council reports performance in the context of progress against its objectives.  A new framework has been developed in Ffynnon to record performance information against objectives.

4.             The revised performance report is structured as follows:

·         An overview provides a snapshot of the Directorate's progress towards achieving the objectives contributing towards its service outcomes. It highlights progress towards key actions in the Corporate Plan 2013-17 and the Improvement Plan Part 1 2013/14 for which the Directorate has lead responsibility. This section will also include Outcome Agreements once they are agreed with Welsh Government.  Examples of exceptional performance during the quarter are highlighted as are key areas of slippage and the planned remedial action to bring these back on track.

·         A brief evaluation is provided of each service outcome outlining overall progress (including actions and performance measures) towards achievement.

·         Detailed progress is reported for each service objective looking at all actions broken down into completed, on track, slipped and not started actions. Progress is provided for all performance indicators using the traffic light system (red, amber and green).  A 'red' status relates to measures that have missed target by more than 10%; 'amber' relates to performance within 10% of target and 'green' to performance that is on or has exceeded target.  All areas of underperformance identified include a reason for the poor performance and proposed remedial actions.

Relevant Issues and Options

5.             Overall, Learning and Skills is well on track to achieve the objectives contributing to its service outcomes, with 94% of actions currently either completed or on track. Of the 50 corporate plan actions within the service plan, 48 are either on completed or on track, 1 has not been started and 1 has not been updated. Of 11 actions relating to improvement objectives, 100% were either completed or on track for completion.

6.             Of 27 performance indicators, 20 are new indicators so do not have a target set, 3 are within 10% of target, 3 have missed target by more than 10% and 1 has not been updated.

7.             In terms of exceptional performance, rapid progress has been made to increase Key Stage 3 performance, particularly in relation to the Core Subject Indicator. Progress has been made with all 6 measures of Key Stage 3 performance and the rate of improvement on all six measures is above that of Wales. We are now in the top 4 performing authorities in Wales at Key Stage 3 which provides a good basis for further improvement.

8.             Teacher Assessments in the foundation phase and at key stage 2 also showed improvements and a detailed analysis of all Teacher Assessments and exam results will be reported to Members shortly.

9.             In relation to slippage, the service reported that they had presented Cardiff University with a proposed programme of Welsh adult education courses for approval; however, only a limited number were approved [LS04/A042 (CP/LS13) (CP/LS9)].  A Welsh Medium course has now been added to the programme and informal learning opportunities are still available through projects, subject to funding.

10.        The refurbishment of the library in Llantwit Major is subject to the availability of a Cymal grant, which we are due to apply for in February [LS09/A083].  This action is not due to be completed until April 2015.

11.        A detailed report of the Directorate’s overall performance is provided at Appendix 1.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

12.        There are no additional budgetary implications arising from this report although underperformance in some areas may have a negative impact on external assessments of the Council and could put certain funding opportunities at risk.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

13.        Underperformance issues relating to sustainability will be given due consideration both corporately and within the relevant service areas.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

14.        The Local Government Act 1999, the Wales Programme for Improvement and the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009 require that the Council secure continuous improvement across the full range of local services for which it is responsible.

Crime and Disorder Implications

15.        Underperformance issues relating to crime and disorder will be given due consideration both corporately and within the relevant service areas.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

16.        Underperformance issues relating to equalities will be given due consideration both corporately and within the relevant service areas.

Corporate/Service Objectives

17.        The Corporate Plan 2013-17 outlines community leadership as a priority for the council. Improving how the Council evidences and reports achievements of its outcomes and objectives contributes towards effective community leadership.

Policy Framework and Budget

18.        This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

19.        The information contained within the report is based on quarterly returns provided by service directorates on Ffynnon.  An overall Council report on performance has been considered by Cabinet.  Quarterly performance reports are reported to relevant Scrutiny Committees.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

20.        Lifelong Learning

Background Papers

21.        Quarter 1 Performance Report, Cabinet, 23 September 2013

Contact Officer

Julia Archampong, Performance Manager.


Officers Consulted

Corporate Management Team

Huw Isaac, Head of Performance and Development

Beverly Noon, Operational Manager – Corporate Policy and Communications


Responsible Officer:

Jennifer Hill, Chief Learning and Skills Officer