Meeting documents

Education and Learning Scrutiny Committee
Monday, 18th February, 2019 9.30 am

Date: Monday 18th February 2019 Time: 9.30 a.m. Place: Council Chamber, Civic Centre

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

PresentAndWithReport toReport of

COUNCILLOR HAYDN TROLLOPE (CHAIR)

Councillors: D. Bevan
J. Collins
M. Cook
P. Edwards
J. Hill
J. Holt
J. C. Morgan
J. P. Morgan
T. Smith

Co-Opted Member - A. Williams

Corporate Director � Education & Learning
Head of Education Transformation - Education
Inclusion Lead Officer � Education
Challenge Adviser Interim Service - EAS
Scrutiny Advisor
Headteacher � Ebbw Fawr Learning CommunityCHAIR & MEMBERS OF THE COUNCILDEMOCRATIC SERVICES OFFICER - DEMOCRATIC & CORPORATE SUPPORT
Item
No
Item/Resolution Status Action
PUBLIC
1. TUDALEN GLAWR AGENDA GYMRAEG/WELSH VERSION OF AGENDA COVERSHEET
Tudalen Glawr Agenda Gymraeg/Welsh Version of Agenda Coversheet (172K/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:

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P. Baldwin

G. A. Davies

M. Day,

L. Elias

L. Parsons

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Co-Opted Member: T. Baxter
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Noted
4. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST AND DISPENSATIONS

No declarations of interest or dispensations were reported.

Noted
5. EDUCATION & LEARNING SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
Minutes (295K/bytes)
Cofnodion (237K/bytes)

The Minutes of the Education & Learning Scrutiny Committee Meeting held on 17th January, 2019 were submitted, whereupon:-


The Committee AGREED that the minutes be accepted as a true record of proceedings.
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Agreed
6. ACTION SHEET
Action Sheet (42K/bytes)
Attachment 1 (33K/bytes)
Attachment 2 (68K/bytes)
Attachment 3 (2M/bytes)

The Action Sheet arising from the Education & Learning Scrutiny Committee held on 17th January, 2019 was submitted, whereupon:

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It was noted that the Action Sheet was for the 17th January, and not 18th January, 2019 as indicated on the Agenda.


Item 6 � Action Sheet � 26th November, 2019
Pupil Exclusions

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It was agreed that updates be provided to Committee following exclusion reports being received.

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Item 7 � Youth Service Performance Report 2017-2018
Green Meadows, Tredegar

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The Head of Education Transformation undertook to provide a Member with information on the reason the Detached Youth Team withdrew their service from this area.

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Item 10 � Progress Through the EAS Business Plan

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Following a number of questions in relation to Governing Bodies Training the EAS Officer undertook to provide percentages and answers at the next Scrutiny Committee Meeting.

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A Member asked if on-line training for Governors could be an option to assist in improving training and the EAS Officer responded that the issue with on-line training would be the time taken investing in this when there was the possibility of it becoming redundant due to the amount of national changes coming on line soon.

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The Committee AGREED, subject to the foregoing, that the Action Sheet arising from the Meeting held on 17th January, 2019 be noted.
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Agreed
7. EBBW FAWR LEARNING COMMUNITY � JOURNEY OUT OF SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENT
Report (138K/bytes)
Presentation (755K/bytes)

Consideration was given to the report of the Corporate Director of Education which was presented to provide Members with an overview of the journey of Ebbw Fawr Learning Community out of significant improvement following the Estyn Inspection in 2016.

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The Headteacher, Mr Huw Lloyd � Ebbw Fawr Learning Community provided a presentation to the Scrutiny Committee with the aid of slides.


Members congratulated the Headteacher on a very good presentation and were very pleased to see that transition arrangements had considerably improved as well as staff morale.

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In response to a Member�s question the Headteacher confirmed that there were 2 schools within Blaenau Gwent where ideas were being shared and these were Abertillery and Tredegar.

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Following a question relating to how deficits would affect moving forward the Headteacher explained that the fall in pupil numbers resulted in deficits and it was hoped that within 3 to 4 years this would be resolved.

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The Chair wished to thank the Headteacher for his honest, comprehensive presentation.

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The Committee AGREED to recommend, subject to the foregoing, that Option 2 be endorsed, namely to accept the information in the report and presentation.
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Agreed
8. BLAENAU GWENT EDUCATION SERVICES SELF�EVALUATION REPORT
Report (143K/bytes)
Appendix 1 (420K/bytes)
Appendix 2 (370K/bytes)
Appendix 3 (3M/bytes)

Consideration was given to the report of the Corporate Director of Education, which was presented to provide Members with the opportunity to contribute to, and scrutinise the draft Self-Evaluation Report for the Council�s Education Services.

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The Corporate Director of Education spoke to the report and highlighted salient point contained therein:

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� Purpose of the Report
� Scope and Background
� Blaenau Gwent LGES Self-Evaluation Wheel
� Education Directorate Summary Self Evaluation Report
� Self-Evaluation Report for Local Government Education Services

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A Member felt that continual emphasis was being put on what was needed at Abertillery Learning Community but he requested to know what had already been done in relation to progression over the past quarter. The Corporate Director stated that since the opening of Abertillery Learning Community a new Headteacher had been appointed who was currently working to restructure the leadership team and appoint both middle leaders and teachers into key roles to improve outcomes and wellbeing of pupils. The Intervention Panel continues to meet to evaluate the progress the school is making through the post Inspection Action Plan. Progress will be brought back to this committee via the Improving Schools Report.

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In response to Members� concerns the Officer confirmed that the pupils of this school were most certainly benefitting from the recent appointment of the Interim Principal.

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A question was raised as to whether there had been any benefit for Flying Start children; and what was being done to reduce the numbers of those being home educated. The Corporate Director responded that there had been a positive impact regarding Flying Start with evidence that pupils were coping very well when entering primary stage. The Inclusion Lead Officer responded that in relation to those being home educated, work was being undertaken with Estyn and the Welsh Government to look at reducing the numbers as well as engaging with the parents to understand the reasons they had elected to home educate and hopefully look at a way of attracting them back into the school environment. The Member asked of those who had returned back into school were they at the same educational level as other pupils and the Officer confirmed that this varied between each child.

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A Member referred to the Estyn judgements of moving from adequate to good and asked if it was felt that progression was being made. The Corporate Director responded that in terms of the Estyn Inspection moving forward, there would only be one judgement given to an LA for LGES. Recommendations would be made to secure ongoing improvement. However, in Blaenau Gwent the school categorisation profile had certainly improved overall over the last 3 years.

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The Corporate Director informed Members that the Headteacher of Abertillery Learning Community would very much welcome a visit to the School by Members. The Members expressed an interest in visiting the School and the Officer undertook to make the necessary arrangements.

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A Member sought clarification on what the outcomes were for those children during the 2 year transition period. The Corporate Director responded that in respect of Ebbw Fawr Learning Community the processes and systems were now in place with a restructured leadership and performance improving. She continued that Abertillery Learning Community was still in the process of developing its systems and processes. The Member wished to know what happened to the pupils during the transition and the Challenge Adviser � EAS confirmed that data had not yet been received from Careers Wales on the first year�s transition as yet.

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A Member was concerned that issues originally experienced at Ebbw Fawr had now been repeated in Abertillery and he questioned whether the Authority was receiving value for money. The Corporate Director explained that unfortunately the very first Principal left her post after only 8 weeks which was certainly not predicted. This meant that the changes that were necessary in the very first year had not progressed as quickly as expected.

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In response to a question regarding the self-evaluation report being in line with the Corporate Plan and what the Authority were doing, the Corporate Director confirmed that it was totally aligned to areas of improvement.

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The Committee AGREED to recommend, subject to the foregoing, that Option 2 be endorsed, namely to offer feedback/contributions for discussion and possible inclusion in the final report.
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Agreed
9. EAS BUSINESS PLAN AND LOCAL AUTHORITY ANNEX 2019-2020 (DRAFT FOR CONSULTATION)
Report (380K/bytes)
Appendix A (2M/bytes)
Appendix B (807K/bytes)

Consideration was given to the report of the Corporate Director of Education, which was presented to provide Members with the Draft EAS Business Plan and the Local Authority Annex 2019 � 2020, as part of the Regional Consultation Process.

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

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� Purpose of the Report
� Scope and Background
� Options for Consideration
� Statutory Responsibilities
�� Corporate Improvement Plan
�� Blaenau Gwent Well-Being Plan
� Implications Against Each Option
� Supporting Evidence

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A Member asked if a process was in place to ensure that those schools that had improved and been identified as Green Category, remained Green. The EAS Challenge Adviser explained that in previous years there had been a peer to peer group that worked together to ensure the schools maintained their status; however this current year, Challenge Advisers as well as a Link Adviser were involved to provide additional support.

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A question was asked as to what the EAS were doing in relation to the improvement of secondary schools and whether it was felt there was room for alternative curriculum. The Officer responded that there had been a significant change in Challenge Adviser Personnel and work was being done with experienced colleagues from the primary sector to challenge leadership within the secondary schools. He continued that in relation to the curriculum the main focus was on English, Welsh, Maths and Science. The Corporate Director confirmed that the EAS provided support and the professional learning offer was extensive.

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A Member felt that there was a greater need for extra Challenge Advisers with Secondary School background and asked that if a school was seen to be failing would additional temporary advisers be called in. The EAS Challenge Adviser said that it was important to ensure that the right person was put into the right school and there were occasions when there needed to be a change of personnel. He continued that in relation to additional advisers, this would be arranged if a review of a school was needed and they would then be required to provide any additional support. The Member also felt that best practice during the transition period was working well but asked if anything was being done to pass this best practice on to those students transitioning from Secondary School to College. The Corporate Director responded that there was a partnership and timetable in place in preparation for transitions as well as opportunities available for student requirements.

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Members requested that work on transitioning be included in the recommendation and the Committee therefore:

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AGREED to recommend that additional work be undertaken on the transition of students moving between Secondary School and College to be included in the EAS Business Plan and Local Authority Annex 2019 � 2020 (Draft for Consultation).

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The Committee FURTHER AGREED to recommend, subject to the foregoing, that the report be accepted and Option 2 be endorsed, namely:

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� For Members to consider the plan and offer further comment for consideration by the EAS; this can be done via a written response back to the EAS.
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Agreed
10. FORWARD WORK PROGRAMME � SPECIAL MEETING ON 13TH MARCH, 2019 AND ORDINARY MEETING ON 1ST APRIL, 2019
Report (81K/bytes)
Appendix 1 (50K/bytes)
Appendix 2 (42K/bytes)

Consideration was given to the report of the Chair of Education & Learning Scrutiny Committee, which was presented to provide Members with the Forward Work Programme for the Special Meeting on 13th March, 2019 and the Ordinary Meeting on 1st April, 2019 for discussion.

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The Committee AGREED, subject to the foregoing, that the Forward Work Programme for the Special Education & Learning Scrutiny Committee Meeting on 13th March, 2019 and the Ordinary Meeting on 1st April, 2019 be accepted, namely:

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13th March, 2019

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� School Admissions Policy for Nursery and Statutory Education � Statutory deadline for the policy to be agreed and published by 15th April each year

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� Proposal to Create a Welsh Medium Primary in the Tredegar / Sirhowy Valley Consultation Document

� School Categorisation

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1st April, 2019

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� 21st Century Schools Programme Band A

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� The Practical Implementation of the Vision of Education by the Commissioned EAS

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� Summary of School Inspection Outcomes, Autumn, 2018

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� Draft Directorate Business Plan

Agreed