Agenda Item No. 4


The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning): 8th December 2014


Report of the Director of Learning and Skills


Estyn Monitoring Visit Letter


Purpose of the Report

1.         To inform Committee of the contents of letter received in respect of  the Estyn monitoring visit that took place during 13th to 15th October 2014.


1.         That the Scrutiny Committee considers the letter (attached at Appendix 1) received from the Estyn Assistant Director and forwards the report, the letter and any comments to Cabinet for consideration.

2.         That the Estyn monitoring visit letter dated December 2014 be noted.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To inform Members and Cabinet of the outcome of the recent monitoring visit by Estyn.

2.         Information contained therein be noted.


2.         The Local Authority Education Services' for Children and Young People inspection took place between 20th and 24th May 2013.  The inspection was based on the Common Inspection Framework and mirrored in many aspects the Framework used for school inspections.  The report was published on 17th September 2013 and the inspectors overall judgement was " adequate" with capacity to improve also judged as " adequate".

3.         The Vale of Glamorgan was one of the last Authorities to be inspected during that current inspection round.  A Post Inspection Action Plan (PIAP) was subsequently prepared to address the recommendations in the report which were also considered by this Committee.  Estyn also agreed to undertake Estyn monitoring as a follow up to the inspection over a twelve month period between autumn 2014 and autumn 2015. .  In May 2014 the Committee also received a progress report on the PIAP.

Relevant Issues and Options

4.         The first monitoring visit by Estyn took place on 13th to 15th October 2014 and the letter (attached at Appendix 1) records the outcomes of that visit.  The letter advises that the team held discussions with Elected Members, senior officers and staff from the Central South Consortium Joint Education Service, as well as a sample of Heateachers and Governors.  The team scrutinised documentation, including evidence from the progress made against recommendations (2) and (6) since the inspection, recommendation (2) being "to improve the rigour and the level of challenge provided to schools about their performance and quality of leadership" and recommendation (6) "strengthen arrangements for monitoring and evaluating the wellbeing of children and young people".

5.         The Estyn Inspector, Gerard Kerslake, has agreed to present the letter to the Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on 8th December and in due course will advise about the arrangements for the final monitoring visit.

6.         The last paragraph of the letter advises that the final visit will result in judgments being made on progress against all the recommendations from the inspection, including those covered in the first visit.  This will lead to a judgement about whether the Authority can be removed from Estyn monitoring or, if not, what further follow up work would be required.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

7.         No  implications as a direct result of this report.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

8.         The delivery of high quality education services to children and young people is vital for sustainable communities.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

9.         Inspectors of Local Education Authorities are carried out under Section 5 of the Education Act 1997.

Crime and Disorder Implications

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

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

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

Corporate/Service Objectives

12.      This report supports the Council's corporate objectives for education and learning.

Policy Framework and Budget

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

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

14.      Not applicable.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

15.      Lifelong Learning

Background Papers



Contact Officer

Jennifer Hill, Director of Learning and Skills


Officers Consulted

Sian Davies, Managing Director


Responsible Officer:

Jennifer Hill, Director of Learning and Skills