10 Education Directorate – Recovery and Renewal Plan PDF 525 KB
To consider the report of the Corporate
Consideration was given to the report of the Corporate Director of Education, the Head of School Improvement and Inclusion, and the Service Manager – Education Transformation and Business Change, which was presented to provide Members with an opportunity to scrutinise the Education Directorate’s identified priorities for recovery and renewal, as part of the response to the COVID-19 situation.
The Head of School Improvement and Inclusion spoke to the report and highlighted the main points contained therein.
The Chair raised concerns regarding a recent request for all IT equipment issued to learners during COVID, was now being recalled and the affect this may have on vulnerable learners. The Service Manager Education Transformation and Business Change said IT equipment was not being formally recalled, but a review of equipment was being undertaken and schools had been asked to review their digitally disadvantaged learner data, to ensure that the Council could look to support upgrades with the existing equipment and ensure it was functioning correctly. Schools had been asked to continue to monitor, and where there was obvious pupil need the schools would not be expected to return any IT equipment until such time as a replacement device could be provided.
A Member felt that this was a big programme of recovery and raised several concerns including:-
• the number free school meal pupils;
• mental health of pupils;
• delays with the CAMS programme; and
• literacy and numeracy programmes with some parents unable to help their children with IT programmes.
He felt strongly that children must be given the best opportunities possible. The Head of School Improvement and Inclusion said that the Recovery and Renewal Plan was an evolving document, working closely with schools through a Strategic Group with Headteachers in order to keep abreast of any changes within their pupil population. Julia Carmichael had recently been appointed to the post of Service Manager for Inclusion and would focus on well-being which was reflected in the recovery and renewal plan. With regard to literacy and numeracy, grant funding from Welsh Government had focused on supporting those young people with identified gaps in their literacy and numeracy skills. The Directorate was supporting schools, along with the EAS, to enable them to develop literacy and numeracy skills of all young people and advised that some schools had ran parent classes to help parents if there was a return to the blended learning situation.
The Member reiterated his concerns, as the last set of figures were from 2019, and certain schools had numeracy levels of 33%, and for Members there was no new information available to consider, as there had not been any testing or Estyn inspections due to the pandemic and hoped that these pupils were not falling behind.
A Member referred to paragraph 2.4 of the report - Education Staff Training - Staff training needs aligned to operations are not all currently adapted to be delivered online e.g. first aid – and enquired when first aid would be taught in schools. The ... view the full minutes text for item 10