Issue - meetings
School Improvement Strategy
(a) That the Education and Youth Improvement and Modernisation Strategy 2015-16 be noted; and
(b) That a report be submitted to a future meeting of the Committee to consider setting up a Task and Finish Group on school transportation.
The Chief Officer (Education and Youth) introduced a report to provide an update on the Education and Youth Improvement and Modernisation Strategy and how it supports the Council Improvement Plan 2015-16. He provided background information and referred to the key consideration concerning the development of regional working and the continued growth that is anticipated as the recommendations within the National Model for School Improvement Services are implemented.
The Chairman invited Members to raise questions.
Councillor Nancy Matthews sought an assurance that resources made available through the School Modernisation Strategy were focussed on teachers and teaching assistants rather than on administration and leadership costs. The Chief Officer provided this assurance.
Mr. David Hytch referred to the Education & Youth Improvement and Modernisation Strategy 2015-16 which was appended to the report and asked a number of questions around the key targets and outcomes for the Authority. He also raised questions in relation to young people and NEET and said he was pleased to note the small number of NEETS in Flintshire. He referred to the development and implementation of the regional Early Identification Tool Kit to identify learners at risk of disengagement and in terms of early identification asked how early that was meant to be and what tools were needed for primary and secondary schools. The Chief Officer responded to the questions and commented on the work undertaken in relation to NEETS in Wales and referred to implementation and monitoring of the TRAC plan in line with the Youth Engagement and Progression Framework and the Families First emerging project for NEET early identification/prevention.
Councillor Carolyn Thomas asked for an update on the development of the information technology programme in schools. In his response the Chief Officer referred to the need for learners to be skilled and confident in using information technology and also programmes in schools. He commented on the Service Level Agreement which had been agreed with the Heads Federation and the positioning of ICT technologists in schools in the next year to provide a local base and access to schools. He also referred to the sharing of skills and learning by school practitioners across the whole schools network.
In response to the further questions raised by Councillor Thomas concerning the repair and maintenance of school buildings, the Chief Officer commented that there was still a large backlog and that too many schools were not “fit” for 21 Century learning. Councillor Nancy Matthews asked for a definition of ‘fit for 21st Century education’. The Chief Officer agreed to provide the Committee with a description of a school building which would be fit for 21st century education.
Mrs. Rita Price raised a number of questions around the development and implementation of a plan for the next phase of Schools Modernisation, including continuing to implement the 21st Century school (Band A) programme. She commented on the need to develop all schools equitably and expressed concerns around the reference to evaluation of Post 16 provision in appendix 1, plan 4. The ... view the full minutes text for item 9