Agenda Item No. 9











Cabinet was informed of the outcome of the recent Estyn monitoring visit.


The Vale of Glamorgan Adult Community Learning Partnership was inspected by Estyn in February 2013: and their report was published in May.


The overall judgements were:

·         Current performance: Unsatisfactory

·         Prospects for Improvement: Unsatisfactory


The report included the following six recommendations:

·         R1: Improve success rates and accreditation for all learners;

·         R2: Improve the provision for developing learners' literacy and numeracy skills, particularly to ensure that Adult Basic Education [ABE] learners have access to higher level courses;

·         R3: Improve the quality of teaching across the partnership;

·         R4: Improve the strategic leadership, management and co-ordination of adult community-based learning in the Vale of Glamorgan to make sure that provision is better aligned to local and national priorities and set targets that challenge performance;

·         R5: Analyse data robustly and improve quality processes to monitor and evaluate performance effectively to bring about improvements for learners;

·         R6: Review and revise the curriculum to ensure that all learners have equal access to appropriate learning opportunities.


Early work following the inspection suggested that there might be benefits in establishing a wider adult community learning partnership covering Cardiff as well as the Vale of Glamorgan.  Cardiff Council had received a similar Estyn report.  Following discussions with a range of potential partners the development of this wider partnership was included in the Post Inspection Action Plan alongside other actions to address the six recommendations.


The Cardiff and Vale Adult Community Learning Partnership comprising Cardiff and Vale College, Cardiff Council, Workers’ Educational Association (WEA), Welsh for Adults and the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) had developed effectively since the inspection.  The Strategy Board was chaired by WEA and the partnership employed a coordinator who had focussed on the implementation of the Post Inspection Action Plan.  Regular reports of progress had been made to the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning).


Cabinet had received reports about the restructuring of the service and two reports about fees for learners.  The agreement of the recommendations in those reports supported the implementation of the Post Inspection Action Plan and contributed to the changes required to accommodate a 37% reduction in Welsh Government grant for the service.


Estyn visited the Cardiff and Vale Adult Community Learning Partnership in January 2015 to review progress in relation to the six recommendations in their inspection report.  The full report of the monitoring visit, published on 31 March, 2015 was attached at Appendix A to the report. The inspectors made the following judgements:



Very good progress


Strong progress


Strong progress


Very good progress


Very good progress


Strong progress


The inspectors concluded that the partnership was judged to have made sufficient progress in relation to the recommendations from the previous inspections.  As a result Estyn had removed the partnership from any further follow-up activity.  Estyn would continue to monitor progress through routine link visits to the partnership.


At the meeting the Cabinet Member for Adult Services thanked all those staff who played a part in turning around the Adult Community Learning Department following the unsatisfactory Estyn inspection report in February 2013. He further commented that this was a great success story for the Council.


This was a matter for Executive decision




(1)          T H A T the outcome of the Estyn monitoring visit, and the subsequent result that the Cardiff and Vale Adult Community Learning Partnership had been removed from any further follow up activity, be noted.


(2)          T H A T the report be referred to Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) for information.


(3)          T H A T thanks be given to all staff who played a part in turning around the Adult Community Learning Department following the unsatisfactory Estyn inspection report in February 2013.


Reasons for decisions


(1)             To note the progress that had been made since the inspection in 2013.


(2)          To ensure that Members of the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) could continue to scrutinise progress to fully implement all the recommendations.


(3)          To recognise the hard work of all staff from the Adult Community Learning Department.



Attached as Appendix – Report to Cabinet – 27 APRIL 2015