Agenda Item No 6


The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning): 8th September, 2014


Report of the Director of Learning and Skills


Learning and Skills End of Year Performance Report 2013/14 and Target Setting 2014/15


Purpose of the Report

1.         To present end of year performance results for the period 1st April 2013 to 31st March 2014 and proposed service targets for 2014/15.


1.         That Committee note service performance results and remedial actions to be taken to address service underperformance. (Paragraphs 5-17 with full details in Appendix 1.)

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. (Paragraphs 6-7 with full details in Appendix 1.)

3.         That Committee consider proposed service targets for 2014/15. (Paragraphs 18-20 with full details in    Appendix 2.)

4.         That Committee refer any recommendations to Cabinet for approval.

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 (Wales) Measure 2009.

2.         To enable the Council to demonstrate achievement of its objectives and identify service areas for improvement work.

3.         To ensure challenging targets are set against the Council's measures for improvement, reflecting our commitment to continuously improve services whilst mindful of significant financial and service demand pressures over the coming year.

4.         Cabinet have final decision making powers.


2.         Service Plans for 2013/14 focus on the achievement of key objectives within each directorate which in turn contribute towards the achievement of Corporate Plan and Improvement Plan outcomes.

3.         Quarterly performance reports reflect 2013/14 Service Plans and are designed to ensure the Council reports performance in the context of progress against its objectives. 

4.         End of year (quarter 4) service performance reports are cumulative and comprise performance information covering the period 1st April 2013 to 31st March 2014 (Appendix 1). The 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. Examples of exceptional performance during the year are highlighted as are key areas of slippage and the planned remedial action.
  • 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 has met or exceeded target.  All areas of underperformance identified include a reason for the poor performance and proposed remedial actions.

Relevant Issues and Options

5.         The department has completed 79% of service plan actions at end of year, with a further 7% on track for a later completion date. Details are available under each objective. There are a total of 114 actions in the plan; 90 are completed, 8 are on track, 13 have slipped and 3 have not been started.

6.         The department has completed 74% of the actions against the Corporate Plan that were included in the 2013/14 service plan and a further 12% of actions are on track for a later completion date. Of the 51 actions within the service plan, 38 are completed, 6 are on track, 6 have slipped and 1 has not been started.

7.         100% (all 12) of our Improvement Objective actions are completed.

8.         There are no Outcome Agreement actions in the 2013/14 plan, as the Outcome Agreement was not agreed until 1 April 2014.

9.         Of the 75 performance indicators in the plan, 34 (46%) did not have targets set for 2013/14. 23 (32%) met or exceeded target at end of year, 7 (10%) were within 10% of target and 1 (1%) missed target by more than 10%. Data was unavailable for 8 (11%) indicators.

10.      Rapid progress has been made to increase Key Stage 3 performance, particularly in relation to the Core Subject Indicator. Improvement 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.

11.      100% of final statements of Special Educational Need are now being issued within the national target period of 26 weeks. This has been a major area of improvement and will see our end of year performance improving from 20th (47.8% in 2012/13) to joint top in Wales.

12.      It has been agreed that joint scrutiny arrangements are no longer going to be implemented for the Joint Education Service [LS02/A010 (CP/LS8)].

13.      Action to increase access to Adult and Community Learning (ACL) programmes for learners from under-represented groups will be completed by the end of the academic year [LS04/A041 (CP/LS17)]. The new curriculum planning tool will inform the new 2014/15 ACL programme. Stakeholders from under-represented groups have been approached for their views on courses that would benefit/engage their clientele.

14.      A review of basic skills and ESOL provision is on-going [LS04/A045 (CP/LS9)]. Provision is funded by a franchise arrangement with Cardiff and the Vale College who determine the required output. Any cut to this funding will reduce our ability to deliver this tranche of learning. Basic skills delivery is being reviewed on a Cardiff and the Vale wide basis, hence the change in timescales.

15.      The consortium pupil tracker to monitor individual progress has not yet been developed [LS07/A065 (CP/LS10)] [LS08/A075 (CP/LS5)]. Liaison with consortium colleagues will continue in order to ascertain the viability of further developing this tracker system.

16.      The Learning and Skills Partnership discontinued the Essential Skills Subgroup in January 2014 to avoid duplication with the work of the Cardiff and Vale Adult and Community Learning Partnership (CLP). The PIAP action to develop a strategy to improve the development of ACL learners’ essential / basic skills is being taken forward by Cardiff &Vale CLP [LS08/A073 (CP/LS15)]. The Essential Skills task and finish group are collating information about current practice across the partnership to inform the strategy.

17.      The feasibility study into Barry co-educational secondary schooling is being undertaken by a specialist consultant who will report in the summer. The expansion of Welsh medium education is progressing on target. Approximately 140 comments were received in relation to the Llanilltud Fawr/Eagleswell Primary school amalgamation, predominantly concerned with Highways and planning issues, the consultation report will be presented to Cabinet on the 28 April requesting approval to publish a statutory notice to amalgamate the two schools [LS12/A108 (CP/LS2)].

Proposed Service Performance Indicators and Targets 2014/15

18.      A review of performance indicators has taken place to ensure that the Council collects indicators which effectively monitor service plan objectives and outcomes. New indicators and deletions have been proposed to enable services to better demonstrate achievement of service objectives and outcomes.  Appendix 2 outlines proposed service targets for 2014/15 by service plan area.

19.      Some targets are set in accordance with previously agreed targets in statutory council documents such as the Improvement Plan and the Outcome Agreement. Where relevant, this is indicated in the comment box. Please note that these targets have already been agreed in consultation with members and Welsh Government and cannot now be amended.

20.      The target setting report also includes end of year performance data. In a small number of instances, this may differ from the end of year data in Appendix 1. This is because reports for Appendix 1 are produced through the Ffynnon system, and therefore had to be finalised before the end of the contract at the end of May. Therefore, where data has been updated or verified since this date, this has been updated in Appendix 2, but not in Appendix 1.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

21.      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

22.      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)

23.      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

24.      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)

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

Corporate/Service Objectives

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

Policy Framework and Budget

27.      This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

28.      The information contained within the report is based on quarterly returns provided by service directorates. Quarterly performance reports are reported to Cabinet and relevant Scrutiny Committees.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

29.      Lifelong Learning

Background Paper

End of Year Performance Report, Cabinet, 30 June 2014


Contact Officer

Julia Archampong, Performance Manager.


Officers Consulted

Corporate Management Team

Huw Isaac, Head of Performance and Development


Responsible Officer:

Jennifer Hill, Director of Learning and Skills