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To receive apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence were received from County Councillors D Jones and K Laurie-Parry and Portfolio Holder for Schools Myfanwy Alexander
E Palmer (Head of Strategic Policy and Performance), A Clarke (Head of Learning), E Patterson (Scrutiny Officer)
Item 6 – Additional Learning Needs and Inclusion
I Bhatti (Senior Manager, ALN and Inclusion)
Item 7 – Funding Formula Review
I Budd (Director of Education), R Waggett (Finance Manager), S Fielding (External Consultant), J Spraggen (Finance Business Partner) and G Taylor (Chair of the Funding Formula Review Group)
Declarations of interest
To receive declarations of interest from Members.
No declarations of interest were received.
Declarations of Party Whips
To receive disclosures of prohibited party whips which a Member has been given in relation to the meeting in accordance with Section 78(3) of the Local Government Measure 2011.
(NB: Members are reminded that under Section 78 Members having been given a prohibited party whip cannot vote on a matter before the Committee.)
There were no declarations of party whips.
To receive a verbal update from the Chair of Learning, Skills and Economy Scrutiny Committee.
The Chair advised that the elections for the Parent Governor Representative had taken place. An equal number of votes had been cast for two candidates and he had drawn lots. The candidates had been written to but he was not in a position to announce the result until the candidates had received their letters. The Committee would be advised of the outcome of this election in due course.
To authorise the Chair to sign the minutes of the following meetings as a correct record:
· 13th August 2018
· 22nd August 2108
· 14th September 2018
· 1st October 2018
· 17th October 2018
The Chair was authorised to sign the minutes of the meetings held on the 13th August 2018, 22nd August 2018, 14th September 2018, 1st October 2018 and 17th October 2018.
To receive an update on the Additional Learning Needs and Inclusion Transformation Programme.
· Scrutiny briefing on ALN and Inclusion Transformation Programme
· Additional Learning Needs Update
· Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act Factsheet
· Additional Learning Needs and Inclusion Transformation Communications Plan
The Senior Manager – ALN introduced the update paper on the ALN Transformation Programme.
The ALN Transformation Programme has been put in place to address two issue. Firstly, to ensure that the Council can comply with the changes that the Welsh Government is making to ALN in Wales, and secondly to ensure that the structures in place in Powys are best able to support this changing landscape.
The following work streams are in response to legislative change:
· Post 16 provision } as provision now extends from 0 - 25
· Early years provision }
· Introduction of Individual Development Plans (to replace statements)
· Workforce Development (a local and national issue)
· Dispute Resolution (a new approach has seen a reduction in the number of cases taken to tribunal)
· Parental and Pupil Involvement
The following work streams relate to ALN provision in Powys:
· Specialist Centre provision
· Behavioural, Emotional and Social difficulties and Pupil Referral Unit provision
· Making it happen (cross cutting themes such as ICT, Welsh Language and referral processes)
Other issues are being identified across the work streams. For example, there should be a single front door, a single set of paperwork and far closer partnership working with social care and health. The Start Well Programme is also working to this agenda.
The Head of Learning noted that this was a large transformation programme which Welsh Government had introduced alongside a second major transformation programme of curriculum change. There are risks with the ALN transformation programme including with health where partnerships historically have not been strong and the health service have their own pressures.
Cllr P Roberts left the meeting 10.40am.
Cllr D Selby took the Chair for the remainder of the meeting.
How will the work of the ALN Transformation Programme be communicated to parents?
The Director explained there would be no one approach but that there would be a newsletter, a website where questions could be posted, a parent’s forum, where changes are proposed three drop-in meetings will be held the location of which will rotate around the county. The service welcome suggestions regarding communication and will try to accommodate such ideas.
The work stream for early years is welcomed but there have been problems in early years since the change of age of admission. There is a mixture of provision at this age with some private settings. How will the service work with this age group as this is where early intervention happens?
The Director advised that at present ALN provision for early years is not statutory. Education have involvement with nursery, pre-school and schools but when the Act becomes law in 2020 health will become an important partner with their knowledge of children from birth. A referral process has been developed to identify children with additional needs as early as possible and the service need to work closely ... view the full minutes text for item 14.
To receive a briefing on the Schools Funding Formula Review.
· Draft Cabinet Paper ‘Formula Review Post Consultation’ version 6
· Analysis of School Funding Formula Primary
· Analysis of School Funding Formula Secondary
· Appendix B – potential policy changes that will help to produce a more efficient and effective service
The Director of Education introduced the Funding Formula Review explaining it was one a number of major transformational work streams currently being undertaken by the education service including:
· School Improvement Strategy (including curriculum redesign)
· Additional Learning Needs and Inclusion
· School Organisation
Historically the school funding formula has not been regularly reviewed and is difficult to maintain, lacks transparency and is difficult to understand. Detailed work has been undertaken by experienced staff to produce a model that is equitable, predictable and transparent. It will be able to be used by Senior School Leaders and Governors to predict future funding. If the formula is considered unfair it will be able possible for change to be argued from a position of understanding.
The formula will also be used by local authority officers as a benchmarking tool. Governing Bodies are able to make funding decisions which are different from the formula but if Governing Bodies are choosing to fund significantly above the model for example on leadership costs an informed debate will be able to be undertaken.
The draft model is provided and the final model will be prepared for pre-Cabinet scrutiny on 4th January 2019. This will include transition arrangements as there will be some schools that gain and some that lose under the new arrangements.
Work on this review has been assisted by Susan Fielding, an experienced advisor and the Funding Review Group chaired by Graham Taylor. The service is grateful for all the work that colleagues have undertaken to produce the revised formula.
The Primary School Funding Formula proposes that PPA (Planning, preparation and assessment) is funded at Grade 7 rather than by teachers. At present schools are using teachers to cover PPA. Will this result in teacher redundancies?
The formula gives a minimum provision but Head teachers make final decisions as to how this is arranged. This is not an edict for operational decisions and is not about redundancies.
The Chair of the FRG advised that this was an area of disagreement and the FRG considered that PPA time should be funded at teacher level funding.
It was confirmed that at the meeting on 4th January any differences between the recommendations from the FRG and officer recommendations will be highlighted. It will also include details of a reconciliation between the funding formula and school resourcing.
5.3 of the report notes that the formula requires a delegated budget of £71.46million whereas the proposed delegated budget is £70.48million. How will this gap be bridged?
There are political choices which need to be taken about what the authority can afford for schools. The gap could be bridged in a number of ways for example by reducing the amount provided for capitation. There are alternative options which Cabinet would need to consider. ... view the full minutes text for item 15.
An additional meeting of the Learning Skills and Economy Scrutiny Committee has been arranged for 4th January 2019 to consider the Funding Formula Review.
The next scheduled meeting of the Committee is 18th January 2019 to consider the School Major Improvement Programme.
Further scrutiny dates for this Committee will be confirmed after the Council meeting on 24th January 2019.
The next meeting of the Learning, Skills and Economy Scrutiny Committee will take place on 4th January 2019 to consider final proposals on the Funding Formula Review.
The next meeting is scheduled for 18th January 2019.
Further scrutiny dates will be confirmed after the meeting of Full Council on 24th January 2019.