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Website URL : http://www.swansea.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=619

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 5, Guildhall, Swansea. View directions

Contact: Scrutiny - 01792 637256 

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies received from: S J Gallagher, D W Helliwell.


Disclosure of Personal and Prejudicial Interests.




Conveners letters and associated responses from Cabinet pdf icon PDF 47 KB

a)    Conveners Letter 6 April 2017

b)    Conveners Letter and Cabinet Member Response 16 March 2017

Additional documents:


Funding for Ethnic Minority and Achievement Service was raised by Cllr Lyndon Jones who had concerns that funding for the service was agreed year on year and often funding decisions were made late in the financial year which can cause problems in continuity of service provision.  An email question will be send to the Chief Education Officer and the reply will be circulated.


Presentation on the Pupil Voice in Swansea pdf icon PDF 102 KB

Katie Spendiff (Children Rights Co-ordinator and Beth Thomas (Participation and Children’s Rights Worker Schools)


Additional documents:


The Panel received a presentation on Pupil Voice in Swansea, from the Children Rights Co-ordinators.  It covered the following points:


·         Aims of the pupil voice

·         Frequency of meetings, attendance and contact and reach

·         Expectation of schools

·         Partners

·         Activities/ topics covered and format of sessions

·         Analysis of sessions and outcomes and actions

·         Pupil Referral Units and Special Schools

·         Plans for next year


Councillors asked questions and discussed the key issues, raising the following points:


·         Why pupils younger than 10 at primary school age were not included.  The panel heard that this would be desirable but currently the capacity was only there to run the current numbers of forums but would like to extend it further.  Year 6 representatives from primaries school are there to represent the full school.

·         The Panel were interested to hear that there were 6 pupil voice forums per year.  These were held in Secondary Schools and take place outside school hours.  The panel asked to be informed of the dates of the activities and will look to send representation from Scrutiny. KS agreed to circulate relevant dates and activities.

·         Use of Social Media to promote forums to schools and pupils.  Twitter, Facebook are used but most effective is the use of HWB and established contacts within schools both pupils and teaching staff.

·         UNICEF contract comes to an end at the end of October.  All bar 4 schools are participating which is 95% of schools.

·         Agreed that it is very important to feedback to pupils and schools who participate especially to let them know the difference that has been made.  HWB good mechanism for this.

·         Panel asked if all School Governors had access to HWB whether all schools are enabling this for their governors.  This question will be sent to the Chief Education Officer and members informed of the reply by email.

·         The Panel asked how we are we ensuring that Schools are getting a wide variety of pupils involved in the process and the opportunity to be involved in being a representative is open to all pupils whatever their circumstances.  It is up to each school to put two pupils forward.  The panel were interested to find out how they are chosen and plan to look into this a little further.

·         The Convener asked how can scrutiny can help?  In the role of governors in schools to ask questions and encourage participation in children rights activities and the pupil voice forum, to look at how schools participate in activities and how they choose representative for the forum.


Actions arising from this session:

·         How might we be able to engage young people more in the work of the panel and more widely in scrutiny? (Panel to consider)

·         Find out more about the capacity and future resourcing of the Children Rights Team now that the contract with UNICEF finishes in Oct.  Will this affect resourcing and what are the plans moving forward? (Question to be sent to Chief Education Officer)

·         Looking at how schools participate in children’s rights activities and the Pupil Voice Forum including how representative are chosen.

·         Panel asked if all School Governors had access to HWB whether all schools are enabling this for their governors.  This question will be sent to the Chief Education Officer and members informed of the reply by email.




The Role of the Schools Scrutiny Performance Panel pdf icon PDF 149 KB

·         Terms of Reference and Ways of Working

·         Work Programme 2017/18

·         Developing key questions for school sessions


The Panel reviewed the Report on the role of the Schools Scrutiny Performance Panel and agreed:


·         The work programme for the rest of the municipal year

·         To develop questioning strategies prior to key scrutiny sessions

·         The set of key questions for Schools Scrutiny Sessions

·         To develop effective ways of working through pre meetings, when required.  To have short post/sum up at end of each meeting to agree actions and what they would like to say to the Cabinet member about the session.


The Panel noted the terms of reference and the scrutiny convenor role contained in the Appendices.


For Information Item pdf icon PDF 6 MB

a)    Recent Estyn Inspections published for individual Schools

b)    Other useful reading/background information relating to education matters

      i.        Back to School: Ways for scrutiny to influence local education and support school leaders to improve results (Centre for Public Scrutiny)

     ii.        The Right Way: A Children’s Rights Approach for Education in Wales (Children’s Commissioner for Wales)

Additional documents:


The panel noted the school related background information:


·         Recently published Estyn Inspections summary (this will be on each agenda)

·         Other useful information (relevant useful background reading will be included on agendas or emailed to panel)




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