Venue: Council Chamber - County Hall. View directions
Contact: Elizabeth Patterson
To receive apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence were received from County Councillor Roderick.
County Councillor P Davies (Portfolio Holder for Education)
L Lovell (Interim Head of Education), E Towns (Senior Challenge Advisor), I Bhatti (Senior Manager, Additional Learning Needs and Inclusion) and E Patterson (Scrutiny Officer).
The Chair welcomed the new Portfolio Holder who had taken over the role since 24th September 2019.
Declarations of interest
To receive declarations of interest from Members.
No declarations of interest were received.
Declarations of Party Whip
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.)
No declarations of Party Whips were received.
To receive the minutes of the meetings held on 8th July 2019 and 19th July 2019.
The Chair was authorised to sign the minutes of the meetings held on the 7th July 2019 and the 19th July 2019.
To receive a briefing on the Provisional Learner Outcomes, Attendance and Exclusions 2019.
The Senior Challenge Advisor presented the briefing on Provisional Learner Outcomes.
There have been changes in the performance measures for schools which are being used in Wales. For the second year there is no comparative data available across Wales for the Foundation Phase (FP), Key Stage 2 (KS2) and Key Stage 3 (KS3). At Key Stage 4 (KS4) the measure is changing away from Level 2 Inclusive (5 GCSEs including maths and English or Welsh) to the Capped 9 scores.
Welsh Government have written out to all schools and local authorities explaining the intention of the changes which is to move emphasis away from a few narrow indicators to a wider range of indicators that capture the progress of all learners and the ambition for the new curriculum. In the interim subtle changes are being made year on year (for example the inclusion of English literature in the Capped 9 score). Welsh Government are clear that the focus should be on the progress of individual learners at each stage of their education.
The local authority is changing the way that data is collected and expect schools to engage with these changes.
Estyn in their recent inspection noted ‘Overall, many pupils in Powys schools make sound progress. However, in many secondary schools, pupils do not sustain the good progress they achieve in early years settings and primary schools.’ This was based on 2017/18 data as the information for 2018/19 was not available at the time of inspection.
The Senior Challenge Advisor confirmed the following definitions:
Many = 70 – 90%
Most = 90 – 97%
Nearly all = 97-100%
This section reports on the progress of pupils from their baseline of when they entered school (for this cohort into a nursery class within the school). Pleasing progress has been made for most pupils with particular progress noted for Language, Literacy and Communication (Welsh) up from 37.1% achieving their expected outcome on entry to school (Outcome 2), to 87% achieving their expected outcome in Year 2 (Outcome 5). However, this cohort would include a number of children for whom Welsh is not their first language and these years are an opportunity for these pupils to make rapid progress.
The Portfolio Holder welcomed this progress but drew to the attention of scrutiny the need to follow the progress of pupils as they move up through the school system.
The Senior Challenge Advisor noted that there has been a small decrease in the FP indicator which is because the standards needed to meet this have got more difficult.
There has been a decrease in the total numbers on roll of 94 pupils from 1,355 in 2017/18 to 1,261 in 2018/19 but a larger proportional drop in the numbers being assessed through the medium of Welsh (a decrease of 50 pupils from 299 in 2017/18 to 249 in 2018/19). The smaller cohort of pupils studying through the medium of Welsh means that the performance of each child has a larger impact on the ... view the full minutes text for item 43.
To receive an update from the Powys representatives on the ERW Councillors Scrutiny Group.
The Vice-Chair presented a summary of the last ERW Scrutiny Chairs session. She confirmed that Neath Port Talbot were continuing to work with ERW through their notice to withdraw period and had not made a final decision on their future participation.
The Interim Head of Schools noted that whilst ERW had gone through a challenging period the authority had continued to work well with ERW.
To receive a verbal update from the Chair of the Learning and Skills Scrutiny Committee.
The Chair advised that he had intended to meet with the Senior Manager ALN and Inclusion to discuss the ALN Transformation work programme but that this had been postponed.
30th October 2019 am Estyn Inspection Report and Post Inspection Action Plan
18th November 2019 pm Schools Service Budget
22nd November 2019 am Schools budgets - TBC
16th December 2019 pm Post 16 Review (pre-Cabinet Scrutiny)
Scrutiny briefing dates:
8th November 2019
Scrutiny Working Group dates:
Early Years 8th November 2019
WESP 25th November 2019
Additional dates to be confirmed as required.
The work programme as outlined in the agenda was noted.