Agenda and minutes

Venue: Remotely via Teams

Contact: Michelle Roberts, Scrutiny Officer 


No. Item


Disclosures of Personal and Prejudicial Interests.


Cllr Susan Jones gave a Personal Interest on the Agenda.


Prohibition of Whipped Votes and Declaration of Party Whips




Public Questions

Questions must be submitted in writing, no later than noon on the working day prior to the meeting.  Questions must relate to items on the agenda. 


There were no public questions received.


Education Other Than At School (EOTAS) Update pdf icon PDF 100 KB

Cllr Jen Raynor Cabinet Member Education Improvement, Learning and Skills and Amanda Taylor, Head of Pupil Referral Unit and Behaviour Support Unit

Additional documents:


The Cabinet Member for Education Improvement, Learning and Skills and the Headteacher of the Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) and Behaviour Support Unit (BSU) attended the Panel to update and discuss progress with Education Other Than At School Services (EOTAS).

·         The overhaul of Services has been far greater than a move to a new building. It has involved a thorough review in line with the Cabinet Recommendations and a full revision of policy, systems and operational practice at all levels to realise.  The overhaul included

·         Focus on early identification and appropriate intervention to support universal provision.  Review of Behaviour Policy for Swansea to provide a clear continuum of support to meet the range of needs in relation to pupils with Social, Emotional, Mental Health and Behaviour Difficulties (SEMHBD).  The development and enhancement of the existing Behaviour Support Team to provide earlier support to schools to improve school capacity in meeting the needs of pupils with SEMHBD and appointment of an Education Psychologist to lead on ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) initiative across all schools; specialist teacher for complex needs to support schools in meeting needs of pupils with complex needs incl. Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and a specialist teacher for behaviour to support schools in developing strategies to support pupils with SEMHBD

·         Devolved funding to secondary schools to support pupils to remain in schools. £700K devolved to secondary schools annually to reduce referrals at KS4 (Planned places at KS4 for pupils with Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties reduced from 75 to 60).  Current number on roll (including pending list post lock down) 40

·         Development of single build model to host all existing PRU Centres in Swansea along with the co-location of EOTAS prevention and intervention services and development of a clear leadership structure.  

­       Review of BST offer to schools to enhance universal provision

­       Review of Home Tuition Offer to pupils

­       Review of systems and structures that feed in to EOTAS referrals across the wider Education department

­       New identity for the PRU in Swansea –Maes Derw

­       Full staffing restructure across the service

­       New leadership in place

­       Transition of all services and pupils from previous PRU sites to Maes Derw with the exception of Y11 in Brondeg

­       Development of a therapeutic/well-being approach to supporting pupils alongside a more engaging curriculum offer

·         Greater emphasis on re-integration back into mainstream schools.

­       Review of ‘remit and purpose’ of the PRU to support schools, families and colleagues in Education and Child and Family Services to have clarity or the role of the PRU

­       Review of EOTAS Panel recommendations to ensure closer scrutiny of placements and clear review process

­       Review of Referral and Admission documentation to ensure that schools and families are clear regarding aim to re-integrate and support greater school ownership

­       New model of Halfway House –Ty Canol–to work with schools to provide a part time, short term intensive intervention to support pupils at risk of becoming EOTAS

­       Review of opportunities to support pupils post 16 to transition to FE or employment

·         A more cohesive approach to working with children and young people who needed, or were at risk of needing, EOTAS services.

­       A full review of the Well-being support provided to pupils admitted to the PRU, with greater synergy developed between the work of the CFS and the PRU.

­       Dedicated Well-being team developed within Maes Derw to work closely alongside CFS Early Help Hubs

­       Every child/young person allocated a key worker on admission to support both the child/young person and, where appropriate, the wider family.

­       Development of partnerships with other agencies such as CAMHS, policeetc.

·         Maes Derw PRU – a new build, bespoke PRU facility sharing the same site as Cockett House, it facilitates the disposal of Brondeg and land at Gors Primary currently hosting the Step-Ahead. Approved FPR7 value £9.642m.  Opened to the first pupils February 2021. Project delivered within the approved budget. Transition has been phased to enable each cohort to settle. The KS4 pupils at Brondeg have not moved to avoid disrupting their final GCSE year.

The Panel was hugely encouraged by Maes Derw new build and with all the work undertaken to review and put systems and processes in place that will improve the outcomes of some of Swansea’s most vulnerable cohorts of pupils. The Panel will write to the Cabinet Member for Education Improvement, Learning and Skills giving their thoughts following the discussion.



Update - 21st Century Schools Programme pdf icon PDF 101 KB

Cllr Jen Raynor Cabinet Member Education Improvement, Learning and Skills and Helen Morgan Rees, Director of Education

Additional documents:


The Cabinet Member for Education, Learning and Skills, Head of Capital Team, Education Planning and Resources and Head of Planning and Resources attended the meeting update and discuss progress with the 21st Century Schools Programme in Swansea.

·         The programme was reviewed at the meeting highlighting the longer term, this was complemented by other capital investment and annual structural maintenance programme.  The Band A is £51.5m and has improve 9 schools.  The Band B is a much larger £149.497m spent on schools, there was a seamless transition from A to B and it is hoped that will be the case when Band C is introduced (although that is unknown at the moment).

·         The Panel were reminded of the Capital Intervention rate (percentage covered by Welsh Government) of 65% mainstream schools, 75% ALN (special schools / PRUs), Mutual Investment Model School builds (MIM) 81% and Voluntary Aided Schools 85%.  Councillors heard about the different streams and about the complex nature of the MIM.

·         Panel were told the Band B programme is almost 3x the size of Band A and is being delivered with less capacity and in spite of impact of Covid: the total spend has been delivered or committed of £54.8m (including WM & RICS).  That a detailed business case development has been made for a further £52.5m.  This represents 73% of the total programme (excluding the aided sector).

·         The number of schools (out of a total of 94) that have / will have benefited from capital maintenance 1/4/2012 to 31/3/2019 (Band A period) is Capital Maintenance work on 89+ and schools with a total spend of £22.754m.  And 1/4/2019 to 31/3/2022 (Band B period) is Capital Maintenance work on 63+ schools with a total spend of £14.374m.

·         It has included the new builds Gorseinon Primary, Maes Derw PRU, YGG Tan-y-lan, YGG Tirdeunaw.  Extensions and other works at YGG Gyfun Gwyr and Bishopston Comprehensive.

·         Remaining Band B works include: Business case development in progress for YGG Bryntawe, Gowerton School, Special Schools and options being scoped for the remainder of the programme.

·         The programmes risks and issues include: Capacity and resilience within the council, capacity and resilience outside the Authority, possible funding risks, especially in relation to WG capital, developer contributions and timing uncertainty.

·         Work to reduce infant class sizes includes funding envelope now  £1,919m: Penyrheol Primary School –Internal remodelling to create two classroom bases, Hendrefoilan Primary School –Additional single classroom extension, Seaview Primary School  –remodelling and single class extension and YGG Bryniago -Single classroom extension, on site completion due October 2021

·         Welsh Medium -YGG Y Login Fach extension to provide two additional classrooms and YGG Bryn y Môr removal of existing double demountable and replacement with a four classroom block.

·         Local Development Plan identified sites include: Penllergaer, Garden Village and Cefngyfelach.

The Panel thanked the officers for their hard work in moving the programme forward efficiently and in keeping the programme to time wherever possible through the difficult Covid period. The views of the Panel will be included in a letter to the Cabinet Member for Education Improvement, Learning and Skills.


Review of the Education Scrutiny Work Programme 2020/2021 pdf icon PDF 203 KB


The Panel accepted the review of the Education Scrutiny Work Programme 2020/2021.

Letter to Cabinet Member pdf icon PDF 293 KB