Meeting documents

Education and Learning Scrutiny Committee
Friday, 21st July, 2017 10.00 am

Date: Friday 21st July 2017 Time: 10.00 a.m. Place: Executive Room, Civic Centre, Ebbw Vale

Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

PresentAndWithReport toReport of
COUNCILLOR HAYDN TROLLOPE (CHAIR)
Item
No
Item/Resolution Status Action
PUBLIC
1. TUDALEN GLAWR AGENDA/WELSH VERSION OF AGENDA COVERSHEET
Tudalen Glawr Agenda Gymraeg/Welsh Agenda Coversheet (174K/bytes)
Noted
2. SIMULTANEOUS TRANSLATION

It was noted that no requests had been received for the simultaneous translation service.

Noted
3. APOLOGIES

Apologies for absence were received from:

Councillors: M. Day, P. Edwards, J. Holt

T. Baxter - Co-opted Member

Noted
4. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST AND DISPENSATIONS

There were no declarations of interest or dispensations reported.

Noted
5. EDUCATION AND LEARNING SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
Minutes (180K/bytes)

Consideration was given to the Minutes of the Education, & Learning Scrutiny Committee held on 15th June, 2017 whereupon:

Page 9 - Free School Meals

The Corporate Director stated that accuracy of the FSM data was being checked.

Page 9 - Language Skills

The Corporate Director stated that she would be concerned if results reached 100% when 30% of Blaenau Gwent pupils have Additional Learning Needs.

RESOLVED, subject to the foregoing, that the Minutes be accepted as a true record of proceedings.

Agreed
6. ACTION SHEET
Action Sheet (45K/bytes)

The action sheet arising from the Education & Learning Scrutiny Committee Meeting held on 15th June, 2017 was submitted whereupon:-

A question was raised regarding why the full report on Pupil Attendance and Exclusions would not be presented until December, 2017. The Corporate Director explained that this was due to the need to collate comparative information which is not Nationally available currently but undertook to provide the information of the number of excluded pupils for Blaenau Gwent prior to the comparative report in December.

Reference was made to the waiting times for accessing CAMHS and the Principal Educational Psychologist informed members that she sat on the Regional Group along with Health Colleagues who were currently looking at how to reduce the waiting list. She advised that there was also a panel that met on a 2 weekly basis where these issues were discussed.

Concern was raised by a Member in relation to the number of children from out of County that were moving into the Borough and the lack of information shared. The Inclusion Lead Officer concurred that this was a concern and explained that information from England was much easier to access but work was needed to obtain the appropriate information from Welsh authorities.

RESOLVED, subject to the foregoing, that the Action Sheet be noted and the information contained therein be acknowledged.

Agreed
7. PROPOSED SCRUTINY COMMITTEE FORWARD WORK PROGRAMME 2017-18
Report (77K/bytes)
Appendix (674K/bytes)

Consideration was given to the report of the Corporate Performance Manager which was presented to seek Members approval.

The Chair advised that items could be added to the Forward Work Programme by Members if requested.

The Chair expressed that there would possibly be a need for special meetings owing to the length of some of the Agendas.

A discussion was held on additional items to be included in the Forward Work Programme:

Forward Work Programme:-

- Numeracy/Literacy Assessment Report
- Elective Home Education Overview Report

Briefing Sessions:

- Learning Zone - Learner outcomes (to include overview of PISA)
- School finance - How a School's budget is made up
- The Journey - coming out of Special Measures

The Corporate Director informed Members that there would be a new Local Government Educational Framework devised by Estyn which would initially be a pilot for the autumn and spring term.

RESOLVED, subject to the foregoing, that the report be accepted and the Forward Work Programme for 2017/18 be agreed.

Agreed
8. PROVISIONAL END OF FOUNDATION PHASE, KEY STAGE 2 AND KEY STAGE 3 OUTCOMES
Report (376K/bytes)

Consideration was given to the report of the Principal Challenge Adviser (interim) EAS which was presented to provide a summary of 2016/17 provisional performance outcomes.

The Principal Challenge Adviser spoke to the report and highlighted key points therein:

- Background and Context
„ Expected Levels
- Performance Evidence
- Options for consideration

Assessors

Following a question on teacher assessments it was noted that assessors were also assessed and that cluster schools meet in order to moderate each other's work.

A Member felt that random assessments should be carried out and the Corporate Director explained that there were two processes, the internal process is standardisation and carried out once a year or end of each term. Teachers examine pupils work and in house portfolios, and their judgement is calibrated, if any judgments are seen to be more generous this is identified through the process, as the accuracy of teacher assessment is important and must be used in a diagnostic way to determine the next step of the child's learning and needs.

An officer informed Members that a standardisation and moderating of less able pupils' performance is being developed by the Department. The Chair requested a report be presented to Committee when appropriate and the Principal Educational Psychologist undertook to provide the report.

It was noted that a new Additional Learning Needs (ALN) Bill would be forthcoming.

Expected Outcome

Reference was made to improving learners in English. The Corporate Director explained that investment had previously been made to improve Maths and the focus was now needed for English. She mentioned the changes taking place in English Literature and Language in KS4 and explained that this year only results of English Language would be taken into account. She stressed that due to the changes in all papers this year it was anticipated that there would possibly be a level of instability in results. Owing to the changes the Local Authority will be unable to compare results with previous years and trend data will not be meaningfully available until 2019.

The Corporate Director informed Members that the Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Education had announced that she intended consulting on ceasing publication of teacher assessments from 2018 onwards, should this be the case the present data will be the last routinely published for schools and local authorities and will not be replicated in the all Wales data and not included on the My School Website. However, Key Stage 4 will continue to be published. Teacher assessments will still be collected to inform policy and research.

In response to a question regarding consultation dates, the Corporate Director responded that the letter from the Cabinet Secretary for Education stated that the consultation would take place during the Autumn Term and that all stakeholders would be consultees.

RESOLVED, to recommend subject to the foregoing, that the report be accepted and Option 2 be endorsed namely:

- To challenge the information contained within the report and identify where potential proposals for improvement could be made.

Agreed
9. AGENDA ITEMS FOR THE NEXT MEETING OF THE EDUCATION AND LEARNING SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
Agenda Items (47K/bytes)

Consideration was given to the items of the next Meeting of the Education & Learning Scrutiny Committee to be held on Friday, 22nd September, 2017.

A Member requested that Headteacher representation on the Scrutiny Committee be considered and it was felt that due to the forthcoming changes this would be a move in the right direction. It was agreed to refer this request to the Head of Policy & Performance to bring back to the next meeting.

The Principal Challenge Adviser (Interim) EAS informed the Committee that from September, 2017 he would no longer be in the role of Principal Challenge Adviser as he would be moving onto a new position and that Sarah Davies would be taking over as Principal Challenge Advisor. Sincere congratulations were extended along with many thanks for the professional support he had given to the Committee.

RESOLVED, subject to the foregoing, that the items for the meeting of the Education & Learning Scrutiny Committee be agreed.

Agreed