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

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 3A, Guildhall, Swansea. View directions

Contact: Michelle Roberts, Scrutiny Officer 

No. Item


Appoint Convener for the 2019/2020


Cllr Lyndon Jones was elected as Convener

Cllr Cyril Anderson agreed to act as informal Vice Convener



Disclosure of Personal and Prejudicial Interests.


Cllr Cyril Anderson declared personal interest in item 8.



Prohibition of Whipped Votes and Declaration of Party Whips




Notes and Conveners Letters pdf icon PDF 161 KB

Additional documents:


Letter and notes confirmed



Current Issues in Education - Overview Presentation


Cabinet Member for Education Improvement and Skills, Nick Williams Director of Education and Helen Morgan Rees, Head of Service Education attended the meeting and outlined the key issues affecting education over the coming year. The following was noted:


The Panel heard that there at 10 key areas that will be priorities for education particularly, over the coming year. It was highlighted that we also need to be mindful of the demographic changes and how that also impacts on school performance:


1.    Additional Learning Needs (ALN) Reform

2.    Curriculum for Wales (including for example: changes to qualifications, greater emphasis on wellbeing, welsh language digital competence, developing initial teacher training.  Panel also ensuring balance for teaching that includes a local flavour.

3.    Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), including increasing mental health issues as barriers to learning, behaviour in schools.

4.    Elective Home Education

5.    National Programme to develop schools leaders

6.    Embedding professional standards for teaching and learning

7.    Changing accountability systems, including categorisation and inspection systems likely to change, what will they look like in the future

8.    National professional learning offer coming in Autumn 2019

9.    Changes to pupil assessment, this will be parallel to introduction of new curriculum, expect assessment to change, what will this look like in the future and possible new measures

10. Schools becoming learning organisations, schools developing a strong vision for teaching and learning, inviting others in to see practice and going out and collaborating with others.

Councillor agreed that these should be reflected throughout their work programme and questioning over the coming year.



Review of the year past and plan for the year ahead pdf icon PDF 85 KB

Additional documents:


The Panel reviewed their year past, including what when went well and what could be improved, this included:

·         Scrutiny of individual schools went well.  Visiting some schools was of benefit to the panel, be able to see the work happening on the ground speaking to Headteacher, staff, governors and pupils.

·         It has been of benefit to the education department and topics discussed have helped develop those areas including in particular in relation to Education Other Than at School and the Small Schools Review.

·         Education said they find the challenging questions from scrutiny about performance useful, especially the searching questions that have been asked around vulnerable learners.

·         Good for keeping abreast of changes and challenges in relation to education matters.

·         Must be conscious not to overload schools so co-ordinating with others around visits important

·         More context around some subjects would be helpful.

The Panel then discussed their Work Programme for the coming year, they would like to include the following issues, being mindful that things may change so this will to be flexible to additions and some change.


1.    Some issues the panel identified but did not get chance to look at last year 

  • Alternative Learning Needs
  • Post 16 Performance
  • School Transport


2.    Items suggested by Education Department

  • Elective Home Education
  • Healthy Schools Initiative
  • National Mission and Developing a Transformational Curriculum.  This session could consider how schools are responding to the draft new curriculum for Wales and the related 4 enabling objectives
  • Not in Education Employment or Training (NEETs) prevention - school visit to see the approach at school level. Pentrehafod School has been suggested.


3.    Items identified for ongoing monitoring

  • EOTAS improvements including new building progress
  • Progress with the 21st Century Schools Programme


4.    Annual items

  • Schools Scrutiny (choose from school categorisation information)
    1. 1 Red school/s: Penclawdd Primary School
    2. 2 x Practice based visits: Wellbeing of Pupils - Dylan Thomas Community Secondary School.  NEETs prevention - Pentrehafod School
  • Data and commentary on school categorisation and data on school performance
  • ERW progress with Business Plan
  • Performance of Education Improvement Service
  • Looked after Children’s Educational Performance
  • Free School Meal Pupil Performance and use of Pupil Deprivation Grant
  • Scrutiny of annual budget as it relates to education matters (Feb 20)

·         ERW Regional Scrutiny Councillor Group - updates



For Information Item pdf icon PDF 64 KB


Individual school inspection outcomes were noted.



The meeting ended at 5.30 pm


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