Agenda Item No. 12


The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning): 22nd September 2014


Report of the Director of Learning and Skills  


Central South Consortium Review and Challenge: Summer 2014


Purpose of the Report

1.         To inform the Scrutiny Committee about the first Review and Challenge meeting.


To note the feedback report and action points.

Reason for the Recommendation

To inform Members of the key points arising from the meeting including those relating to governance and scrutiny.



2.         The National Model for Regional Working replaced the previous round of stocktakes with challenge and review events.  The initial intelligence gathering process includes drawing together the performance data, Welsh Government and Estyn intelligence on each region.  These findings then inform a discussion with all four Managing Directors building on the region's self-knowledge and the expertise available regionally.  This then leads to a challenge and review event with each consortium, the scope and regularity of which will vary according to need and risk but as a minimum will be twice a year.

3.         Furthermore, once a year the Minister for Education and Skills will chair a challenge and review session for each consortium to review progress on school improvement in each region.  The annual report of the consortium's Managing Direction will form part of this process.  The consortium will be represented by the chair of the executive board, the managing director and the joint committee.

4.         Priorities and action agreed as a result of these challenge and review sessions will be actioned by consortia and local authorities as appropriate and be reflected in the business plan for the next 12 months.

5.         The first round of review and challenge meetings took place in June with the Central South Consortium meeting on 24 June.  The key discussion points, actions and feedback from the meetings are summarised in the attached Feedback report and action points (Appendix A).

Relevant Issues and Options

6.         The report comments that 'The need for robust and effective scrutiny arrangements was made clear, and, whilst there was assurance given that there are appropriate processes in place within each region, it is important to ensure that these are consistently applied and that these include systems of challenge and feedback to consortia'.   'Each consortium will also provide evidence of the formal mechanisms to respond to issues raised through LA scrutiny committees'.

7.         The report refers to the development of local authority specific annexes to the business plan.  Future challenge and review meetings will consider regional outcomes against the targets in the business plan.  The Vale of Glamorgan annexe is attached as Appendix B: it will provide a basis for the Scrutiny Committee to review progress against targets.

8.         Page 7 of the report refers to the major programme of work to ensure secondary schools are well prepared for the introduction of the new GCSEs, particularly for English/Welsh and mathematics and the development of skills similar to those required by PISA.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

9.         There are no resource implications arising from this report.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

10.      There are no sustainability and climate change implications arising from this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

11.      There are no legal implications arising from this report.

Crime and Disorder Implications

12.      There are no crime and disorder implications arising from this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

13.      There are no equal opportunities implications arising from this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

14.      The delivery of an effective regional school improvement service contributes to education outcomes.

Policy Framework and Budget

15.      The recommendations of this report are within existing policy framework and budget.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

16.      Not applicable. 

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

17.      Lifelong Learning.

Background Papers



Contact Officer

Jennifer Hill, Director of Learning and Skills


Officers Consulted


Responsible Officer:

Jennifer Hill, Director of Learning and Skills