Issue - meetings

Outcome of Estyn Inspection

Meeting: 26/09/2019 - Education and Youth Overview & Scrutiny Committee (Item 20)

20 Estyn Inspection of Flintshire's Education Services pdf icon PDF 189 KB

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(a)          That the Estyn report on education services in Flintshire and its findings be acknowledged; and


(b)          That the Committee deplores Estyn’s failure to highlight the lack of funding that blights education in Flintshire.


The Chief Officer (Education and Youth) introduced a report on the outcome of the recent Estyn Inspection of the Flintshire County Council Education Services.  She advised that the Education and Youth Portfolio was very pleased with the positive outcome of the Inspection, the positive nature of the Estyn report, and the significant areas of strength acknowledged by the Estyn team in the provision for learners in Flintshire.  The Inspection report also confirmed the strong leadership of education services across the Council.


The Chief Officer advised that where Estyn had felt improvements were necessary they were reflected in the recommendations in the Inspection report for the Council to address.  She explained they had already been identified as priorities through the Portfolio’s own self-evaluation processes and included as actions in the Portfolio Business Plan (called a  Post Inspection Action Plan).  Progress on the recommendations would be reported regularly to Cabinet and to the Education & Youth Overview and Scrutiny Committee.  She advised that a report on the Estyn Post Inspection Action Plan would be presented to the next meeting of the Committee on 7 November.


                      The Chief Officer expressed thanks to her team for their hard work and for the support of all involved during the Inspection process.  She said the Inspection Team had been fair but rigorous and reiterated that the Education & Youth Portfolio were very pleased with the outcome.  


Councillor Ian Roberts also expressed his thanks to the Chief Officer and her team, Headteachers, and all involved for their hard work and the positive outcome which reflected the quality of service provided for learners and young people in Flintshire.


                      The Chair expressed congratulations on behalf of the Committee to the Chief Officer and her team for their achievement and also the case study from Flintshire being used on the Estyn website to show effective practices in the early learning development.   


                      In response to comments from Councillor Geoff Collett around life-skills of pupils, the Chief Officer advised that a new curriculum model would be introduced which would give schools greater flexibility particularly at a later level to ensure that the curriculum was broad and meet the needs of individual learners, moving away from naming and shaming schools that did not meet the gold standard.  The Senior Manager for School Improvementemphasised that Health and Well-being would be equally weighted alongside academic achievements in the new curriculum.


                      The Chairman commented on the issues previously raised by the Committee around GCSE outcomes in English Language in the summer of 2018 and the anomalies in setting the grade boundaries.  In response, the Senior Manager for School Improvement advised that changes of grade boundaries had been discussed at the recent Headteacher Federation but the issues experienced last year were not an emerging theme this year.  There had been an assurance from the WJEC that standards were the same across all examination boards and this matter was being closely monitored. 


Mr David Hytch commented on the issue of performance management and the lack of funding for schools  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20