Issue - meetings
Education Improvement & Modernisation Strategy
That the report be noted.
The Chief Officer (Education and Youth) introduced a report to update members on the draft Education Improvement and Modernisation Strategy and how it supports the Council Plan 2014-15 for “Modernised and High Performing Education”. He provided background information and advised that the priorities for planning across all phases of education in 2014-15 were as detailed in the report.
The Chairman invited members to consider the individual areas for improvement as detailed in the Education Improvement Modernisation Strategy.
Mr. David Hytch referred to the key targets and outcomes for the Authority in relation to the outcomes for Mathematics, English, and Welsh first language and queried the outcome for KS4 which appeared lower than the outcomes for KS2 and 3. In his response the Chief Officer referred to the Annual Performance Letter of the Welsh Audit Office which was presented to Cabinet on 17 June 2014. He advised that the letter confirmed that GCSE outcomes in Flintshire remained the highest in Wales and also that there was an improvement in performance of primary schools across Flintshire. The Welsh Audit Office acknowledged that despite relatively low levels of funding, education in Flintshire continued to progress.
During discussion members put forward the following questions, comments and observations on the Education Services Action Plans:
Plan 4: Improving the preparation of young people for the work place.
Councillor Paul Shotton requested more information about the financial support provided by the 14/19 Network Grant.
Plan 5: Continuing the implementation of 21st Century Schools programme
Councillor Marion Bateman referred to the risk that the real costs of the 21st Century Schools Programme may not be achievable within budget. The Chief Officer explained that full and final costings would be agreed with contractors prior to the Authority agreeing to sign-off and submit to the Welsh Government (WG). Within the final business case efficiencies would be identified which would not be a detriment to learners in Flintshire.
During discussion the Chief Officer took the opportunity to give a verbal update on the Statutory Notices issued in relation to the Croft Nursery, Queensferry Primary School and St. Ethelwold’s Primary School. He advised that a Ministerial decision had been received to support the closure of the Croft Nursery and the expansion of the age range for Queensferry Primary and St. Ethelwold’s Primary schools.
The Chief Officer reported that staff at the Croft Nursery would be moving to Queensferry Primary or St. Ethelwold’s Primary schools in the Autumn term to assist during the transition period. Parents and carers had been asked to express a second preference to attend either Queensferry Primary or St. Ethelwold’s Primary schools and all preferences had been accommodated. Members were informed that the Croft Nursery building would be utilised for the expansion of the Flying Start Programme. The Chief Officer advised that the remaining Statutory Notices should be resolved before the Summer recess.
Plan 6: Continuing to implement the School Modernisation Strategy including review of assets and Primary and Secondary School Organisation.
The Chairman requested ... view the full minutes text for item 7