Agenda Item No. 8


The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning): 13th October 2014


Report of the Director of Learning and Skills


Quarter 1 Learning and Skills Performance Report 2014-15


Purpose of the Report

1.         To present the performance results for Quarter 1, 1st April-30th June, 2014-15.


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, the Outcome Agreement 2013-16 and the Improvement Plan Part 1 2014-15.

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 2014 in order to identify service areas for improvement.


2.         The Service Plans are designed to focus on the achievement of key objectives within each directorate which in turn contribute towards the achievement of identified outcomes in the Corporate Plan 2013-17, the Outcome Agreement 2013-16 and the Improvement Plan Part 1 2014-15. 

3.         Quarterly performance reports have been developed to reflect these Service Plans and designed to ensure that the council reports performance in the context of progress against its objectives.

4.         The 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, the Outcome Agreement 2013-16 and the Improvement Plan Part 1 2014-15 for which the directorate has lead responsibility. Examples of exceptional performance during the quarter are highlighted as are any 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 on track to achieve the objectives contributing to its service outcomes, with 69% of actions currently either completed or on track during the quarter. Of the 40 Corporate Plan actions within the Service Plan, 31 are either completed or on track, only 1action has slipped and a further 8 are not due to start until later on in the year. Of the 21 actions relating to the Improvement Objectives, 52% (11) were either completed or on track for completion. Of the remaining actions 38% (8) were not due to start until later in the year, 5% (1) action slipped and a further 5% (1) did not start but was due to have. 100% (8) of Outcome Agreement actions were either completed or on track.

6.         Of the 57 performance indicators, 1 met or exceeded target, 10 are within 10% of target and 4 have missed target by more than 10%. No results were obtainable for the 36 indicators, which will be reported in later quarters. For two indicators that relate to exclusions (EDU009a and EDU009b) there was no data available, since there were no exclusions reported during the quarter. There was also no RAG status applicable for 4 indicators, since no target had been set.

7.         In terms of exceptional performance, the mobile library service has run a trial across 6 residential areas. The service has successfully secured a grant with identified match funding to refurbish Llantwit Major Library. The building plans have been finalised with work scheduled to start in September 2014. The service has been promoting the digital inclusion agenda through extending the literacy activities that are available via libraries, such as one to one IT sessions delivered by Library staff, the promotion of e-books, eAudio books and ezines.

8.         In relation to slippage, the implementation of the Library Review (LS/A136) will be considered by Cabinet before any decisions can be made. If approved the implementation timescale would extend beyond 2015. Action LS/A056 (IO7) (CP/LS5) regarding working with Sussex University to improve the attainment of pupils on free school meals has also slipped. Some progress has been made through conversations and data sharing. Action, LS/A141 to develop proposals for the Penarth cluster of schools has also not been started. The service will be recruiting to the vacant School Organisation Manager post, so that this action can be progressed. 

9.         A detailed report of the directorate’s overall performance is provided at Appendix 1.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

10.      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

11.      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)

12.      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

13.      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)

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

Corporate/Service Objectives

15.      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

16.      This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

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

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

18.      Lifelong Learning

Background Papers

Quarter 1 Performance Report, Cabinet, 22nd September 2014

Contact Officer

Julia Esseen, Corporate Performance Co-ordinator


Officers Consulted

Corporate Management Team.

Huw Isaac, Head of Performance and Development.

Julia Archampong, Performance Manager.


Responsible Officer:

Jennifer Hill,

Director of Learning and Skills