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Venue: Hybrid Meeting - Council Chamber - Council Offices/Virtually via ZOOM
Contact: Mrs Mairwen Hughes
As noted above.
Declaration of Interest
To receive any declaration of interest by any Member of Officer regarding any item of business.
To submit, for confirmation, the minutes of the previous meeting held on 17 January, 2023.
The minutes of the previous meeting held on 17 January, 2023 were confirmed as correct.
To submit a report by the Director of Education, Skills and Young People.
Submitted – the GwE Annual Report for the Isle of Anglesey 2021/2022.
The Leader of the Council, in the absence of the Portfolio Member for Education and the Welsh Language, said that GwE’s Annual Report highlights the work undertaken in 2021/2022. She also noted that the report refers to the work programme and the support the schools received during the pandemic by the local authority and GwE to reduce the effect on pupils. The Leader wished thank the representatives from GwE for the support and guidance they give the schools on a daily basis.
The Portfolio Member for Children’s Services (Social Services) and Youth Services said that there is an overlap between the Education Portfolio and the Children’s Services Portfolio as regards to children in care and their educational needs. He noted that report discusses the awareness of trauma and with three primary schools identified as trauma informed schools. He further said that there has been a close working relationship with GwE for nearly 10 years and the report highlights not only the education elements but also the welfare issues sustained during the pandemic.
The Director of Education, Skills and Young People reported that the Local Authority works in a close and effective partnership with GwE. GwE is the regional education consortium for North Wales and works in partnership with Anglesey’s Learning Service in terms of improving schools, sharing good practice, knowledge and skills, increasing strengths and building capacity. The partnerships working has been highlighted within the Estyn inspection report on the Anglesey County Council’s Learning Service held in June 2022. He noted that during the inspection, Estyn noted two recommendations for the Local Authority to implement which was to strengthen processes for evaluating the effect of the Learning Service’s work and to develop and strengthen formal scrutiny arrangements. The Learning Service’s work (including GwE’s work) is regularly scrutinised by the Education Scrutiny Panel. However, to strengthen the scrutiny process, and to respond to Estyn’s recommendations, the Learning Service and its partners’ work is scrutinised annually through this Committee. He further reported that the education service is going through a period of substantial changes, with a new Curriculum and the new Additional Learning Needs legislation together with the financial issues, staff recruitment and post-covid response. As part of this reform, the accountability process is evolving, including reporting on and scrutinising education, which includes school performance and effectiveness. The Director of Education, Skills and Young People further referred to the new School Improvement Guidance published by Welsh Government which will be statutory from September 2024. The guidance will strengthen accountability systems, with schools being held directly accountable by their governing bodies and Estyn for the quality of provision and the progress of learners. In addition, the guidance clearly notes that each partner is part of the process, with clear accountability on the support services such as the Learning Service and GwE. Close collaboration will be required between Anglesey Local Authority and GwE to provide support based on the ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
To submit a report by the Scrutiny Manager.
Submitted – an update report on the progress of the Education Scrutiny Panel,
Councillor Gwilym O Jones, the Chair of the Education Scrutiny Panel said that this is the Panel’s second progress report and cover Q2 of the current administrative year. He noted that the membership of the Panel comprises of 2/3 of newly elected members since the May local government elections. It is therefore necessary for the Council to continue to create the conditions for all Members to fully take part in the Panel’s scrutiny work e.g. skills for effective scrutiny, questioning, understanding of the Education system, raise awareness of national education work streams and it is the intention to make full use of the forward work programme to ensure appropriate and timely inputs to support members of the Education Scrutiny Panel. Councillor Jones further said that 5 meetings of the Panel were held during the period of Q2 and the following matters were considered:-
· Estyn Inspection Report for Anglesey County Council
· Curriculum for Wales
· Shadowing GwE
· Role and Expectations of the Regulatory Framework – Political Leadership and Scrutiny
· Terms of Reference and Context for the Panel’s Work
· Schools’ Improvement Guidance – Framework for Evaluation, Improvement and Accountability (Welsh Government)
· Role of Elected Members, School Governors and the process for schools causing concern
· Anglesey’s Annual Report from GwE : 2021/2022
· Scrutiny Panel’s work programme for the period September 2022 – April 2023
The Director of Education, Skills and Young People reported that the Panel has been supportive of the work of the Education Service and the development of children and young people’s education is at the forefront of the work of the Panel.
In considering the Education Scrutiny Panel – Progress Report the Committee discussed the following:-
· To what extent is the Scrutiny Committee satisfied with the initial direction of the Panel’s work?
The Chair of the Education Scrutiny Panel said that the Panel has been guided and supported by the Education Officers’ and the Scrutiny Manager in their work. He noted that the Panel scrutinises the reports that are afforded to the Panel and further work will be undertaken in some areas within this academic year. He noted that representatives from Estyn and GwE have attended meetings to support the Panel’s work.
· What other areas does the Scrutiny Committee consider that the Education Scrutiny Panel needs to scrutinise?
The Chair of the Education Scrutiny Panel said that as 2/3 of the membership of the Panel are new, discussions have been undertaken to afford a development programme to allow for the upskilling of Members as regards to the work of the Panel. The Scrutiny Manager said that in collaboration with the 3 Chairs of the Scrutiny Panels, a bespoke development plan will be put in place which will be targeted within the Education Scrutiny Panel in the first instance. She noted that financial expertise has been commissioned to the Finance Scrutiny Committee so as to enable the Panel to be able to scrutinise the Councils financial budgets etc. It ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
To submit a report by the Scrutiny Manager.
The report of the Scrutiny Manager setting out the Partnership and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee’s indicative Forward Work Programme for 2023/23 was presented for consideration.
It was RESOLVED:-
· To agree the current version of the Forward Work Programme for 2022/2023.
· To note the progress thus far in implementing the Forward Work Programme.