Agenda and minutes
Lifelong Learning Scrutiny Committee
Thursday, 18th January, 2018 3.30 pm
Venue: Meeting Room 1, Guildhall
Contact: Tracy Davies Scrutiny Facilitator
Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors T Alan Edwards and Carrie Harper and co-opted members Brent Evans and Alison Fisher.
Declarations of personal interests, if any
Members are reminded of their responsibility, under Paragraph 11 of the Members’ Code of Conduct, to declare the existence and nature of any personal interest in respect of any of the business to be transacted at this meeting
Members were reminded of their responsibility, under Paragraph 11 of the Members’ Code of Conduct, to declare any interests in relation to any of the business to be transacted at this meeting. The following declarations were made:
Agenda Item 4 – Councillor Robert Walsh – Personal and Prejudicial – Governor at Llay CP School. The Councillor remained in the meeting and claimed an exemption under Article 12(2) of the Members’ Code of Conduct taking part in the discussion and voting thereon.
To sign as a correct record the Minutes of the Meeting held on 21 December 2017 (Copy to follow)
AGREED – That the Minutes of the Meeting held on 21 December 2017 be signed as a correct record.
To consider the report of the Lead Member for People - Education
The Lead Member for People – Education submitted a report (HEd/01/18s) to consider the Education Department and the regional school improvement service’s (GwE) business planning in relation to standards in schools.
The Chair welcomed to the meeting Rhys Hughes and Alwyn Jones (GwE), Melanie Ferron-Evans (Wrexham Association of Secondary Headteachers), Amanda Williams and Jan Rowlands (Primary Headteachers Federation) and Jane Borthwick and Pam McLean (GwE Primary sector and Secondary sector link officers).
Referring to the Level 3 Business Plan for Education Effectiveness the Head of Education drew Members’ attention to the priorities for 2017-18 and reported that the framework for improvement planning had recently been realigned to the corporate and GwE business planning cycle.
Members considered the report and asked questions of the Lead Member, representatives and officers present. The following issues were debated by the Committee:
· Capacity for secondary sector support to effect rapid improvement in Wrexham. The Assistant Director, GwE stated that he was confident that the recent remodelling of the service made provision for additional and more consistent support to the secondary sector but stated that improvements, particularly in larger secondary schools, would take time.
· The importance of effective data training for school governors to enable them to better challenge school targets. It was reported that GwE had allocated a strategic lead to ensure consistency in governor training across the region. Members also noted that a revised training package had been developed to assist governors in feeding in to the cycle of Head Teacher performance management. Head Teacher performance management data was now collated to enable the LA to identify common training needs.
· The role of the Accelerated Improvement Board (AIB) in the improvement programme in the key areas of teaching and learning was outlined by the Head of Education.
· It was reported that risk evaluation was always considered as a result of factors such as reshaping and changes to grant funding levels.
· The importance of the quality of consistent effective teaching in developing learners. The Lead Member echoed this sentiment commenting that Estyn’s annual report 15/16 had identified this as the most important factor in how well learners developed and learned.
· GwE’s professional development offer to schools enabled all staff involved in teaching to access effective training and support to develop and progress. A new professional learning passport was being introduced.
· The importance of future development and the recruitment of future leaders. It was reported that there had been a recent upturn in the level of leadership candidates.
· Benchmark of success. The Head of Education referred to the variations in performance at secondary schools in Wrexham and commented that the local authority aspiration for Wrexham performance was to fall within the range of 7/8th and 11/12th based on cohort performance when compared to All Wales rankings. The Assistant Director, GwE referred to the objectives set out in the GwE business plans which set out clear, challenging objectives.
· Consideration given to process of future evaluation and monitoring ... view the full minutes text for item 33.
To consider the report of the Head of Finance
The Head of Finance submitted a report (HF/04/18) to consider the appointment of Co-opted members to the Lifelong Learning Scrutiny Committee.
Members considered appointments in respect of the statutory parent governors, voting co-opted members and the non-voting co-opted member, together with Welsh Government guidance regarding co-option as outlined in the report. The Scrutiny Facilitator reported that no nominations had been received in respect of the parent governor co-opted member representing the Primary sector, but that Alison Fisher had been nominated to represent the Secondary sector. In debate concern was expressed that the non-statutory co-opted member did not have voting rights and it was requested that the Scrutiny Facilitator report back to the next meeting in respect of the legislative requirements governing voting rights for non-statutory co-opted members on Scrutiny Committees.
(i) To recommend to Council that, in accordance with legislation, two Parent Governor representatives (one from primary and one from the secondary sector) be appointed to the Lifelong Learning Scrutiny Committee, with an entitlement to speak and vote on education issues
only, until the end of February 2020, as follows:
Primary school representative - no nominations received.
Secondary school representative – Mrs Alison Fisher.
(ii) To recommend to Council that Mr Brent Evans be re-appointed as a co-opted member of the Lifelong Learning Scrutiny Committee with an entitlement to speak but not vote on education issues, until the end of February 2019.
(iii) That the Scrutiny Facilitator provide a verbal update to the next meeting on the legislative requirements regarding voting rights for non-statutory co-opted members on Scrutiny Committees.
To consider the report of the Head Finance
The Head of Finance submitted a report (HF/09/18s) to assist the Committee in considering and agreeing its work programme.
AGREED – That the work programme as outlined in report HF/09/18s be agreed.