Issue - meetings
Education and Youth Portfolio Recovery Business Plan
To review the Recovery Business Plan for the
Education and Youth Portfolio.
(a) That the Education and Youth Portfolio Recovery Business Plan content be noted; and
(b) That the Committee is assured by the Education and Youth Portfolio Recovery Business Plan, and will refer any further and specific risk management work to the respective Overview and Scrutiny Committees as is necessary.
The Chief Officer (Education & Youth) presented the Recovery Business Plan for the Education and Youth portfolio. She referred to the recovery objectives as detailed in the report and advised that all schools had been fully operational since April 2021. She said the focus now was on preparation for the new academic year in schools from September and the delivery of central services throughout the portfolio going forward.
The Chief Officer reported that throughout the pandemic the Education & Youth Service had operated successfully and risks had been managed appropriately (as outlined in section 1.05 the report) and there were no major risks to report. She explained that the main mitigation was that schools had well established programmes of digital learning and platforms to maintain continuity of learning at home if required. The Chief Officer referred to the thematic review which was undertaken by Estyn of all local authorities on the response of their Educational Services to the pandemic, and said that following the Councils’ letter of endorsement earlier in the year a second letter was following which endorsed the effective approach taken to support schools and deliver services to young people and children across the County. She provided an update on work in progress and commented on the latest developments and key decisions around Covid-19.
In summary the Chief Officer reported that schools in Flintshire were well prepared for the start of the next academic year; risk assessments were robust; and a national framework would be in place from September to quickly escalate or de-escalate in response to the local position around the pandemic.
In response to a question from the Chairman on the 3 most significant potential risks to be addressed by schools at the start of the academic year, the Chief Officer advised that the first was managing the uncertainty of position during the next 6-7 weeks; the second was the impact of the pandemic on children and young people and their emotional health, well-being, and ability to engage with learning; and the third was the resilience of schools to manage the significant number of changes imposed. She explained that all three potential risks were included in the Corporate Risk Register.
Councillor David Healey raised concerns around the impact on schools in September due to a lack of social distancing by young people and children during the summer recess and the risk when visiting other areas whilst on holiday. The Chief Officer explained that a national framework was in place where the level of risks were offset by the ability to escalate or de-escalate specific mitigations. She said she had shared this assurance with headteachers and the national lead for Primary Headteachers Association and advised that a multi-service emergency response would be taken to any significant development concerning the pandemic and the impact on schools. She reiterated that headteachers would be fully supported at a corporate level and multi-service responsibility would be taken in response to the pandemic.
Councillor Hilary McGuill expressed concerns about how the need for parents ... view the full minutes text for item 16