Agenda and draft minutes

Learning Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 29th September, 2022 10.00 am

Contact: Lisa Evans 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

Minutes:

Councillor Rhodri Davies, Endaf Edwards and Mark Strong apologised for their inability to attend the meeting.

 

In the absence of the Chair, Councillor Endaf Edwards the meeting was chaired by the vice-chair, Councillor Chris James.

 

2.

Disclosures of personal interest (including whipping declarations) Members are reminded of their personal responsibility to declare any personal and prejudicial interest in respect of matters contained in this agenda in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Act 2000, the Council’s Constitution and the Members Code of Conduct. In addition, Members must declare any prohibited party whip which the Member has been given in relation to the meeting as per the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011

Minutes:

Cathryn Charnell White declared a personal interest in item 3 on the agenda.

 

3.

Regional Skills Partnership Overview Report 2021 - 2022 pdf icon PDF 433 KB

Minutes:

Consideration in detail was given to the Regional Skills Partnership Overview Report 2021 – 2022.  The report had been presented in order to provide Members of the Committee with an overview and update on progress of the Mid Wales Regional Skills Partnership.

 

Following questions from the floor, it was AGREED to note the report for information.

 

 

4.

2022 GCSE and A Level results pdf icon PDF 378 KB

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the 2022 GCSE and A Level results that were presented to the Committee for transparency.  It was reported as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, external examinations were not held in their traditional form in schools during 2020 or 2021.

It was decided that external examinations would be held during the Summer of 2022, and some modifications were introduced such as reducing the content in some subjects.

 

It was decided by Qualifications Wales that results at a national level would reflect a roughly midway point between the summer 2019 and summer 2021 results. To that end, it was not possible to compare the results of 2022 with previous years. The provisional percentages for Ceredigion (official data will be available in early October) were presented.

 

It was AGREED to note the report for information and to congratulate the pupils, teachers and staff on these excellent results following the pandemic.

 

 

5.

Welsh Government School Improvement Guidance pdf icon PDF 236 KB

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the Welsh Government School Improvement Guidance. The report had been presented to the Committee in order to share information regarding a key document on School Improvement which would have implications on how the School improvement Service was implemented in Ceredigion.

 

It was reported that following a national consultation which came to an end on 15 March 2021, a Guidance Document was published called Welsh Government School Improvement Framework, and this has now been active since September 2022. The document would be statutory from September 2024. The aim of the document was to

; · Strengthen the effectiveness of self-evaluation and improve planning within schools.

 · Cease with the use of the national school categorisation system and replace with a similar support system without publishing school categories

· Strengthen and provide clarity regarding the split between evaluation activities / improving the accountability of the system

· Earmark the roles and responsibilities of the various bodies clearly in a self - improvement system

 

The guidance sets out what schools and others in the education system ‘must’ and ‘should’ do under the framework for evaluation, improvement and accountability. References to what schools and others ‘must’ do are underpinned by a statutory obligation. Those actions which the guidance states that schools and others ‘should’ do is best practice in accordance with the guidance. By issuing school improvement guidance on a non-statutory basis now, we want schools, local authorities, regional consortia, Estyn and diocesan authorities to implement and test the approaches to school improvement and accountability it sets out. They would then evaluate their impact. Following this we plan to update the guidance, building on learning in 2022 to 2023 and 2023 to 2024, and issue it as statutory guidance to come into force in September 2024.

 

A list of the principle messages were then outlined to Members.

 

It was AGREED to note the report for information.

 

6.

Estyn Inspections, Summer Term 2022 pdf icon PDF 29 KB

Minutes:

It was AGREED to note the information presented and that the reports were very positive. Congratulations were extended to all schools on their achievements.

 

It was reported that the press had emphasised on one recommendation in the Penglais School report; and not the report as a whole which was positive, with Estyn requesting two case studies of excellent practice from the schools.

 

7.

To consider the draft Forward Work Programme pdf icon PDF 262 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was AGREED to note the draft Forward Work Programme as presented subject to the following:-

  • That the Equity Workstream visit HCT
  • Relationship and Sexuality Education Draft Policy presented to the December meeting
  • That an update on the review of post 16 education be presented to the February meeting
  • Workstream consider the feedback from schools on the various aspects of their improvement journey following inspections
  • A report on Autism and the need to reduce the time required by the Health Board to asses children and the provision for autism within the county
  • An update on the grants available to schools be presented to the December meeting prior to the budget setting in February
  • The need to clarify that the Asset Panel continue to ringfence monies from the sale of old school buildings to the education budget.

 

8.

To confirm minutes of the previous meeting and to consider any matters arising from those Minutes pdf icon PDF 237 KB

Minutes:

It was AGREED to confirm as a true record the Minutes of the previous meeting of the committee.