Agenda Item No. 6
The Vale of Glamorgan Council
Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning): 18th April 2016
Report of the Director of Learning and Skills
Service Plans 2016-20: School Improvement and Inclusion and Strategy, Community Learning and Resources
Purpose of the Report
- To present the Learning & Skills Service Plans (2016-20) for consideration by the Committee.
- That Members consider and endorse the School Improvement and the Inclusion and Strategy, Community Learning and Resources Service Plans for 2016-20.
- That Members views on the Service Plans are forwarded to Cabinet for their consideration.
Reasons for the Recommendations
- To confirm the Service Plans as the primary document against which performance for the two service areas within Learning & Skills will be measured.
- To allow Cabinet to consider the views of the Committee, ensuring that approved Service Plans appropriately reflect improvement priorities.
- Service Plans are the primary planning document of the Council and a key building block in its performance management framework. Consequently an annually review of planning arrangements is undertaken to ensure that the Council's plans continue to meet statutory requirements and to continuously improve the approach to performance planning and monitoring.
- In response to proposals for improvement in the Council's most recent Annual Improvement Report by the Wales Audit Office, the Council has reviewed its Performance Management Framework to enable better demonstration of the contribution made at all levels of the organisation to priority outcomes.
- In line with the new Corporate Plan and performance management arrangements the service planning process for 2016/17 has been revised as follows:
- Self-assessment activities required under the Local Government (Wales) Measure for the previous year have been incorporated into the Council's Annual Self-Assessment report that was approved by Cabinet on 8th February 2016.
- The Self-Assessment report to Cabinet was been referred to all Scrutiny Committees in March, with committees being requested to confirm that they are content that the information contained in the report is an accurate reflection of performance in the previous year and that the actions for improvement identified are relevant to be carried forward to Service Plans for 2016/2017.
- In previous years, the self-assessment formed part of the Service Plan. This year, the self-assessment (looking back or review element) has been reported separately to all Scrutiny Committees in order to inform our Improvement Objectives, the 2016/17 Service Plans as well as the annual work programme of Scrutiny Committees.
- 15 Service Plans are being created at Head of Service level reflecting the new senior management restructure. By doing so and by reporting the self-assessments separately, Service Plans have become more concise, focused and forward looking documents.
- Service Plans will reflect the new Corporate Plan well-being outcomes, objectives and actions relevant to each service.
- Service Plans will be presented to Scrutiny Committees during April and May 2016 by Directors and Heads of Service following approval of the Corporate Plan 2016-20 by Council during March 2016.
- The current approach to the monitoring and reporting on Service Plans will be replaced with quarterly reports against each of the Corporate Plan well-being objectives linked to the four well-being outcomes. This will enable Members to focus on scrutinising progress towards achieving the Council's well-being outcomes. Services will continue to report performance data quarterly to the Council's Performance Team. The Performance Team will then use this information to produce the more focused well-being Outcome Reports.
Relevant Issues and Options
- Service Plans for 2016-20 specifically identify how each Head of Service will contribute towards achievement of Corporate Plan well-being outcomes by asking two questions:
- "Which well-being objectives does the service contribute to and what actions will we be taking this year to achieve these?"
- "How will we manage our resources to achieve these actions and support our service?"
- Informed by the self-assessment, the Service Plans also comprise a brief overview of the issues facing the service against each of the corporate health perspectives (Risk, Customer Focus, Resources- workforce, finance, assets, ICT). The plans also include an action plan for how resources will be used to support the delivery of well-being outcome actions as well as managing risks, collaboration and engagement activities.
- The Council is currently consulting widely on proposed Improvement Objectives for 2016/17 and these will be reflected within relevant Service Plans once approved by Council in April 2016. The proposed Improvement Objectives and associated actions for 2016/17 reflect the four well-being outcomes in the Corporate Plan, ensuring that the Council is focusing on the areas in need of the most improvement.
- Appendices 1 and 2 contain the Service Plans for School Improvement and Inclusion and Strategy, Community Learning and Resources. Key areas of note within the Service Plan are:
- Section 1 - Introduction: Sets the context for the Service Plan and provides an overview of the service area, the purpose of the plan, and the key service considerations which have informed development of the plan.
- Section 2 - Our Priorities for 2016-20: Outlines the specific actions that the service will be taking during 2016/17 to contribute towards the corporate well-being objectives and outcomes. It also identifies the key enabling actions the service will be taking to support its achievement of the well-being outcomes for example through reshaping of its services.
- Section 3 - How we work and our Resources: Describes how the service will use its resources to deliver its priorities in the Service Plan and outlines key workforce development priorities, significant ICT projects, required budget savings and areas of focus in relation to assets, procurement and major capital projects. This section also identifies how the service will engage with stakeholders and work in partnership/ collaborate to achieve its priorities and incorporates a service risk evaluation.
- Appendices A and B attached to each Plan contain the Service Improvement Action Plan for 2016/17. This identifies planned service actions, intended outcomes and key milestones, relevant performance measures to demonstrate progress, responsible officer, timescales for completion and the anticipated resources requirements of planned actions.
- The revised Service Plan format, which takes on board comments and feedback received by the Policy and Performance Team (PPT) in the past, is intended to be easier to complete and facilitate clearer links with team plans. It is recognised, however, that the format will continue to evolve over the next couple of years as the new performance management arrangements are bedded in.
- The Learning and Skills Directorate will now develop Team Plans to underpin the Service Plan.
Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)
- Budget levels have been taken into consideration when drafting the Service Plans. The Service Plans set out the specific savings and workforce development issues the Service areas will manage in the next year.
Sustainability and Climate Change Implications
- Sustainability and climate change implications have been taken into consideration when drafting the Service Plans.
- The Corporate Plan emphasises the Council's commitment to promoting sustainable development and duties under the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act. The many different aspects of sustainability (environment, economy, culture and social) are covered within the Corporate Plan as well as how the Council will maximise its contribution to the well-being goals for Wales. The Service Plans reflect this approach, demonstrating the way in which the Service areas will work congruently with the "sustainable development principle" as introduced by the Act.
Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)
- The Council has a duty to improve under the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009.
Crime and Disorder Implications
- Crime and disorder implications have been taken into consideration within relevant Service Plans.
Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)
- Equalities issues have been taken into consideration when drafting the Service Plans.
- The Corporate Plan demonstrates the Council's commitment to improving social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being and promoting sustainable development in line with the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015. Improving how the Council evidences and reports achievement of its well-being outcomes contributes towards promoting well-being. Service Plans are a key building block in the Council's performance management framework and identify how each service will contribute towards achieving key aims and objectives as set out in the Corporate Plan 2016-20.
- The specific corporate well-being objectives each service contributes to are contained within the relevant plans.
Policy Framework and Budget
- This is a matter for Executive decision
Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)
- Plans have been written collaboratively with Heads of Service. Directors are responsible for ensuring that Service Plans are approved by the relevant Cabinet Member.
Relevant Scrutiny Committee
- Lifelong Learning
Julia Archampong, Corporate Performance Manager
Operational Manager Performance & Policy
Head of Performance & Development
Director of Learning & Skills
Jennifer Hill, Director of Learning and Skills