Agenda and minutes

Learning Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 30th March, 2023 10.00 am

Venue: Hybrid - Neuadd Cyngor Ceredigion, Penmorfa, Aberaeron / remotely via video conference

Contact: Lisa Evans 

No. Item






The Chairman stated that this was the last meeting for Mrs Meinir Ebbsworth as she was leaving her post as the Corporate Lead Officer Schools. All Members and the Cabinet Member thanked her for her work and commitment in improving education in the County since her appointed six years ago especially during the pandemic, and wished her well for the future. In response, she also thanked Councillors, Staff and teachers for their work, commitment and support as the Corporate Lead Officer Schools.



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




Welsh in Education Strategic Plan 2022-32 - Action Plan pdf icon PDF 112 KB

Additional documents:


Consideration was given to the Welsh in Education Strategic Plan 2022-32 - Action Plan. In accordance with section 84 of the School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Act 2013 every Local Authority in Wales was expected to submit a Welsh in Education Strategic Plan (WESP) to the Welsh Government. The plan drawn up complies with the Welsh Government Welsh in Education Strategic Plans regulations 2019; the Welsh in Education Strategic Plan was adopted by Ceredigion Council Cabinet on 22nd February 2022. The plan was approved by the Welsh Government on 20 July 2022.


It was strategically planned for the following areas to develop and strengthen

the Welsh language:

Outcome 1: More nursery children/three year olds educated through the medium of Welsh

Outcome 2: More reception class children/five year olds educated through the medium of Welsh

            Outcome 3: More children continue to improve their Welsh language skills when transferring from one stage of their statutory education to another

Outcome 4: More learners study for assessed qualifications in Welsh (as a

subject) and subjects through the medium of Welsh

Outcome 5: More opportunities for learners to use Welsh in different contexts in school

Outcome 6: An increase in the provision of Welsh-medium education for    pupils with additional learning needs (ALN) (in accordance with the duties

imposed by the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales)   Act 2018)

Outcome 7: An increase in the number of teaching staff able to teach Welsh (as a subject) and teach through the medium of Welsh


Following its approval under section 85(7) of the School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Act 2013 local authorities must take all reasonable steps to implement their WESP and prepare an action plan which would be monitored annually in the form of a review report. The Action Plan sets out the Local Authority’s position in 2022 in these areas and explains the aim in 5 years and how this is achieved. Additionally, the aims for the end of the Plan’s life in a decade were set out. The Action Plan presented specifies a 5-year overview of the procedures, and there was a more detailed operational plan for the first two years noting the responsibilities of specific staff to fulfil the necessary actions.


The draft action plan was submitted to the Government on 23 December 2022. Confirmation was received on 28 February 2023 stating that the actions and timetable are clear and appropriate. The comments received have been incorporated into the action plan presented. The Welsh Government considers the action plan to be a live, flexible document that would need to be amended along the way according to local needs and developments. The action plan would be monitored every term by the Welsh in Education Strategic Plan Forum and sub-committees as necessary.


One of the steps set out in the Action Plan was to start the consultation process for changing the language medium in the Foundation Phase of five schools in the county. In order to ensure consistency in the admission age  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


Sustainable infrastructure principles for education pdf icon PDF 86 KB

Additional documents:


In November 2018, the Welsh Government updated its statutory code in terms of school organisation and introduced a presumption against closure clause for rural schools.  The definition of a rural school has been determined by the Welsh Government using the rural and urban categories of the Office for National Statistics, and as a result, 28 schools in Ceredigion have been defined as rural schools.


Following the Cabinet's decision on 15 September 2021, the School Review Policy was abolished and the handbook was adopted to match the Welsh Government's School Organisation Code. A workshop was held to present the handbook.With the Education Development Document up to 2020 having come to an end, it is timely to present a document that outlines the principles of the service for the future.

Currently, the statutory code requires Local Authorities to follow a series of more detailed procedures and requirements when drawing up a proposal to close a visible school, when consulting on that proposal, and when deciding whether the proposal to close a rural school should be implemented.


Before deciding whether to proceed with a consultation, a proposal paper must be prepared and submitted to the Learning Communities Work Stream.  Following the meeting of the Scrutiny Work Stream, the proposal paper is submitted to the Cabinet to consider whether to:


a)Approve the proposal and proceed to conduct a statutory consultation

b)Reject the proposal

c)Offer an alternative option


The proposal paper would then be presented to the Learning Communities Scrutiny Committee before holding a Statutory Consultation.


Any decision will be based on the Principles in Appendix A together with the requirements of the School Organisation Code (


Following questions from the floor, it was AGREED to


(i)recommend that the Cabinet approve the Sustainable infrastructure Principles Document for education; and

(ii)confirm the membership of the cross-party work stream which would discuss any proposal papers brought forward in accordance with the School Organisation Handbook



Update in relation to Elective Home Education pdf icon PDF 102 KB


The Chairman welcomed to the meeting Ms Catrin Petche, Team Leader

           Education Inclusion Service who provided Members with a power point

           presentation on Elective Home Education. The following information was


·       Legal Background

·       Number of pupils who were Elective Home Educated

·       Illustration of Ceredigion

·       Home visits completed in the last 12 months

·       Number of pupils who have become home educated

·       Number of children who had returned to school

·       Duties

·       School Attendance Orders

·       Safeguarding

·       Working with Parents


 Following questions from the floor, it was AGREED to note:-

 (i) the current numbers of home educated children in Ceredigion; and

 (ii) how Schools Services were reviewing the provision of home educated children



Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) Policy pdf icon PDF 118 KB

Additional documents:


The Chairman welcomed to the meeting Mrs Laurie Hughes, Wellbeing Advisory

Teacher to provide information on the recent changes to Sex Education and the

introduction of RSE in Curriculum for Wales(CfW). This was to ensure that as a

Local Authority (LA) they had suitable RSE policy that could be adopted and

adapted by schools to support them in embedding the new curriculum and

provide support, information, consistency and clarity. She presented the following

information in her power point presentation:-

  • Background
  • What is RESE?
  • Policy Content
  • Current Situation
  • Support to Schools


  It was AGREED:-


(i)to adopt the contents of the Ceredigion RSE policy; and

(ii) that any comments proposed by the Welsh Government were included as amendments to the RSE




Ceredigion Youth Council Meeting Minutes (03.02.23) pdf icon PDF 124 KB

Additional documents:


It was AGREED to note the minutes as presented.




Update from the Learning Communities Overview and Scrutiny Workstreams pdf icon PDF 99 KB


It was AGREED to note the work of the workstreams as presented.


To confirm minutes of the previous meeting and to consider any matters arising from those Minutes pdf icon PDF 65 KB


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



To consider the draft Forward Work Programme pdf icon PDF 90 KB

Additional documents:


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

(i) that the report on the post 16 education in the County and the Mid Wales Business plan and memorandum of understanding would be presented at the June meeting; and

(ii) that Estyn reports on recent inspections would be presented at the July meeting