Issue - meetings
Estyn Thematic Review Update
Meeting: 21/09/2021 - Cabinet (Item 41)
As detailed in the recommendations.
Councillor Roberts introduced the report and explained that during the autumn term of 2020, Welsh Government (WG) asked Estyn to undertake a thematic review of the work undertaken by the education departments of each council in Wales to support their learning communities in schools and pupil referral units during the period from March to October 2020. Estyn made five key recommendations for the WG and councils to address.
Flintshire’s first review letter was very positive and was included as part of the documentation relating to the Education Portfolio’s annual self-evaluation process. During the summer term of 2021, Estyn conducted follow up reviews to consider the progress being made against their initial recommendations in the national thematic review. That review had culminated in a second letter to the Chief Executive which provided a high degree of assurance that the Portfolio had continued to work effectively through its own resources, and through its support for schools in partnership with GwE, to ensure quality educational provision for learners, particularly those who were considered to be the most vulnerable.
The feedback from Estyn did not need an official response from the Council as the work undertaken was a thematic review, not an inspection under the normal regulatory frameworks.
The Senior Manager, School Improvement, commented on the positive letter which provided a high degree of assurance that the Portfolio had continued to work effectively in providing support for schools and vulnerable learners, to ensure quality educational provision was delivered through the second stage of the pandemic. She also commented on the work undertaken to improve digital provision in schools which was welcomed.
(a) That the effective work of the Education Portfolio, in conjunction with the regional school improvement service GwE, in ensuring Flintshire learners continued to receive effective educational provision through the Covid-19 pandemic, be acknowledged;
(b) That the positive progress made against each of the five Estyn recommendations in the national thematic review by the Education Portfolio and schools be noted; and
(c) That the assurance letter be considered by the Education, Youth and Culture Overview and Scrutiny Committee.