Agenda, decisions and minutes

Virutal Meeting, Partnership and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday, 14th April, 2021 1.00 pm

Council meetings are now live-streamed on our YouTube channel.

You are also able to see a list of our upcoming live-stream meetings.

All meetings are also uploaded after the event onto our webcasting site.

Venue: Virtual Meeting (at present members of the public are unable to attend)

Contact: Mrs Mairwen Hughes 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

Minutes:

None received.

2.

Declaration of Interest

To receive any declaration of interest by any Member or Officer in respect of any item of business.

Minutes:

No declaration of interest received.

3.

Additional Learning Needs and Inclusion Partnership pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To submit a report by the Director of Education, Skills and Young People.

Minutes:

Submitted – an update report by the Director of Education, Skills and Young People on the progress of the Additional Learning Needs and Inclusion Partnership’s work.

 

The Senior Manager Additional Learning Needs and Inclusion (Gwynedd & Anglesey) reported that the integrated Additional Learning Needs and Inclusion Service has been operational since September 2017.  In terms of Legislative context, the new Additional Learning Needs Act and Welsh Tribunal Legislation (2018) will come into force gradually from September 2021.  The final Code has been ratified in the Senedd on March 23, 2021.

 

The report is in 3 Parts:-

 

Part 1 – External Appraisal of the Service

 

During January/February 2021, Mrs Caroline Rees an External Inspector for Estyn was commissioned to undertake a review of the Anglesey and Gwynedd Additional Learning Needs (ALN) and Inclusion Strategy.  The review took place over a four week period.  As part of the review, Mrs Rees met with a number of team members and stakeholders from schools and the local authority.  A comprehensive report outlining actions was provided.  A summary of the report was included within the report to the Committee together with important areas for further development of the Service.

 

Part 2 – Support during the COVID period (March 2020)

 

The lockdown periods since March 2020 have created significant challenges for children and young people, and for the whole of the education workforce.  The ALN & I Service has reviewed the delivery model in a very short period to respond to this over the past year.  The statutory duty to provide service in accordance with the SEN Act (2002) has continued, and the transition work for the new Legislation has also continued.  There has also been consist collaboration between the ALN Service, Children’s Services and Health Agencies to gain coherence with this work. 

 

During the Autumn Term, Estyn undertook a Thematic Inspection of the Welsh Authorities’ response to the pandemic in the context of Vulnerable Learners.  The ALN&I Service received praise for the areas of delivery with the report submitted to the local authority. 

 

Part 3 – Summarising

 

The Service’s progress in the context of individual Team Improvement Plans over the past year, the External Appraisal Report, and Estyn’s Thematic Inspection, with the following highlighted themselves as key strengths and priorities/areas of development:-

 

Strengths –

 

·           An electronic Individual Development Plant system has been developed, and is now in use by all schools, following a successful piloting period.  The system significantly facilitates the work of schools and the service;

·           Nurturing Schools Project continues to be implemented and demonstrates positive outcomes within primary and secondary education;

·           View 2 of the Strategic Review, which relates to Legislative Transformation, is making good progress and continues to ensure that Anglesey is ready for the new ALN legislation in September 2020;

·           The Service’s Training Strategy has been set and training delivered.  This is now an integral part of the role of each team;

·           Use of TOMs (Therapy Outcome Measures) is further extended to enable wider reporting of children’s progress, as demonstrating the progress  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

Schools Progress Review Panel Progress Report pdf icon PDF 367 KB

To submit a report by the Scrutiny Officer.

Minutes:

Submitted – a progress report by the Scrutiny Officer on the Schools Progress Review Panel.

 

The Chair said that the report refers to the last 4 meetings of the Schools Progress Review Panel and covers the period November 2020 to March 2021.  He noted that monitoring of individual school standards is well established and continues to develop.  Following discussion in October 2019 regarding the programme for monitoring standards in individual schools, there was strong evidence of action on the decision in terms of further developing scrutiny.  However, the work has currently been affected by the result of the pandemic and the Panel intends to revisit these visits when conditions permit.  The Panel will therefore need to adapt the way it works and scrutinise the performance of individual schools, and there is scope for the Panel to undertake this work virtually in the future. 

 

The Chair referred that the Panel has considered the following matters:-

 

·           The Council’s Response to Covid-19 (Part 3) : Support for Vulnerable Children and Holyhead Project;

·           Welfare Provision;

·           GwE Progress Report 2020/21 : Supporting Schools during the Covid-19 pandemic;

·           The Welsh language;

·           Special Schools;

·           Next Steps;

·           Estyn: support of local authorities and regional consortia for schools and PRUs to respond to Covid-19;

·           The Journeys of two Secondary Schools on the Island;

·           Update on the developments of the Gwynedd and Anglesey Additional Learning Needs and Inclusion Partnership;

·           Digital support for schools and general developments regarding the Welsh language.

 

The Committee considered the report and made the following main points:-

 

·           Questions were raised as how the Panel can develop so that the voice of the child/pupils can be heard.  The Director of Education, Skills and Young People responded that the Education Service is encouraging pupils to express their view as part of the school activities and education.  He noted that School Council afford pupils the opportunity to raise issue of concerns and enables for ideas/vision the children may have to improve the work focus of the schools;

·           Questions were raised whether the actions taken by the Panel is robust enough and whether the rate of the work undertaken is appropriate and if matters need to be escalated to the Scrutiny Committee.  The Chair responded that the Education Officers attend the Panel together with representatives from GwE.  He further expressed that the association with GwE is advantageous to the Panel so as to enable issues are addressed and share information.  The Director of Education, Skills and Young People said that discussions within the Panel are able to discuss issues that may in the future be a problem with educational spectrum; representation of the Panel is able to challenge the Officers from the Education Service and GwE.  He noted that an invitation has also been afforded to Estyn to attend any meetings of the Panel. 

·           Questions were raised whether the Panel has evidence that it is adding value to Education service.  The Director of Education, Skills and Young People responded that significant preparatory work is undertaken for the Panel and minutes  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Forward Work Programme pdf icon PDF 734 KB

To submit a report by the Scrutiny Officer.

Minutes:

Submitted – a report by the Scrutiny Officer.

 

Councillor T Ll Hughes MBE requested that an invitation be extended to the Chief Executive of the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board to attend this Scrutiny Committee. 

 

It was RESOLVED :

 

·           to note the Work Programme from June 2021 – November 2021.

·        that an invitation be extended to the Chief Executive of the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board to attend a future meeting of this Scrutiny Committee.