Agenda item

Self-Evaluation Report Education Services 2021-22


That the Committee note the outcome of the Education Portfolio’s annual self-evaluation report on the quality of education services for the period 2021-2022.


            In presenting the report the Chief Officer (Education & Youth) provided an overview of the April 2021 to March 2022 Self Evaluation.   She stated that with the suspension of Estyn inspections, the portfolio’s previous two evaluation reports had not followed the Local Government Education Services (LGES) Inspection framework.  The portfolio had now reverted to that structure as Inspections had resumed, the Authority’s last inspection took place in 2019, and Estyn were proposing to complete this cycle by the summer of 2024.  Information was provided on the focus of self-evaluation which identified strengths, areas to improve and how these improvements were made.   The Estyn area framework together with the four recommendations made were included in the report and the portfolio continued to make progress against these recommendations despite the challenges of the pandemic.  The recommendations were also embedded in the priorities of the Council Plan and the portfolio’s business plan. 


            In response to a question from Councillor Dave Mackie on data information, the Chief Officer clarified that because of the decision made by the Welsh Government (WG) it was not possible to provide data on individual schools.  She referred to section 1.01 of the report which reflected the current situation in schools and said all secondary schools had support plans in place to focus on the priorities that each school had identified.  At 1.03 of the report information was provided on attendance and exclusions, which had been discussed at the last meeting.  



            In response to further comments around data, the Chief Officer explained that the working environment had changed, and she was unable to provide tables of data on examination results and the models for pupil assessment had changed making it difficult to compare data.  She felt a workshop for Members would be beneficial to enable more information to be provided.  The Local Quality Board had these in-depth discussions and at the next meeting the school performance monitoring processes would be discussed, and members would be able to join these discussions with the only external validation being the current Estyn inspection reports.   This evaluation was a summary of the portfolio’s performance over that year


            Councillor Andrew Parkhurst referred to section 1.05 of the report which stated the role was to rigorously challenge schools and provide targeted support and said maybe it would be clearer for the Committee if an explanation was provided on how that was undertaken.  In response, the Chief Officer said that this would tie in with a report from the School Performance Monitoring Group which would provide information on the escalation process.  At those meetings the current situation of every school was discussed in detail with emerging issues or concerns highlighted and a plan put in place from either the Authority or GwE to support that school. 


            The Senior Manager for School Improvement confirmed that there was a clear support process and escalation process in place in schools.  A report was brought to Committee last year on how this was being looked at regionally and those processes had been in place through the School Performance Monitoring Group for several years.   She outlined how the 360 support plans and support for governance, finance or HR processes were provided to schools.  She reported on her fortnightly meetings with the GwE Core Lead for Primary and Secondary as well as other meetings with colleagues from the Authority and GwE.  This provided an overview of themes for individual schools or several schools to be established to enable specific professional development to be provided. 


            The recommendation, as outlined within the report, was moved by Councillor Bill Crease and seconded by Councillor Andrew Parkhurst.




That the Committee note the outcome of the Education Portfolio’s annual self-evaluation report on the quality of education services for the period 2021-2022.

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