Agenda and minutes

Venue: COUNCIL CHAMBER

Items
No. Item

80.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor G Lewis and M Harris and A Rees (Co-optees).

81.

Declarations of Interest (including whipping declarations)

Members of this Committee are reminded of their personal responsibility to declare any personal and prejudicial interest in respect of matters contained in this agenda in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Act 2000, the Council’s Constitution and the Members Code of Conduct.  In addition, Members must declare any prohibited party whip which the Member has been given in relation to the meeting as per the Local Government (Wales) Measure 2011. 

 

Note:

 

a.    Members are reminded that they must identify the item number and subject matter that their interest relates to and signify the nature of the personal interest; and

 

b.    Where Members withdraw from a meeting as a consequence of the disclosure of a prejudicial interest they must notify the Chair when they leave.

 

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were made.

82.

Performance Report - Corporate Plan Priority Area 1 Raising standards of attainment pdf icon PDF 198 KB

See attached report

Minutes:

Ewan McWilliams took the Committee through the report in relation to the Corporate Plan Priority Area 1 (Raising Standards of Attainment) and highlighted the key points, as follows:

 

·         Background to where we were in 2013 with raising standards.

 

·         Where we want to be to improve attainment of children and young people in Merthyr Tydfil.

 

·         Continuation of existing initiatives and development of new initiatives. 

 

·         The Wellbeing Duty.

 

·         New Scrutiny Performance Report template.

 

Officers provided advice and background information in relation to the following questions from the Committee:

 

·         Clarification on the setting and achievement of targets identified in the report.

 

·         With the Leadership Programme coming to an end on the 31st July, is this programme being evaluated and, if successful, what do we intend to do next?

 

·         Clarification on the decline in the number of people applying to be Headteachers.

 

·         Clarification on whether the existing initiatives will be extended beyond the dates outlined.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

·         The judgements and evaluations are noted.

 

·         The new Scrutiny Performance Report template be implemented and used for future meetings.

 

·         A summary of budgets be included within future reports if required.

83.

Update on Attendance and Exclusions pdf icon PDF 215 KB

See attached report

Minutes:

Sarah Bowen took the Committee through the report which outlines the progress that has been made since the Estyn inspection visit in 2015, as follows:

 

·         The main areas of improvement.

 

·         Update on attendance figures for both primary and secondary schools.

 

·         The introduction of key strategies to address poor attendance and key issues.

 

·         Update on exclusion within primary and secondary schools. 

 

·         Summary of actions taken by the Local Authority.

 

·         The next steps planned to continue improvement. 

 

Officers provided advice and background information in relation to the following questions from the Committee:

 

·         In relation to an increase in exclusions from 83 in 2014/15 to 93 in 2015/16, has there been any data gathered from these figures and any reasons why?

 

·         Roll out of Positive Behaviour Support Training and Personal Incentive Training to Teachers across the borough. 

 

·         Clarification on the percentage of schools that have opted out of the SLA arrangement.

 

How is the Local Authority ensuring that these opted out schools are using their money effectively to improve attendance?

 

·         Are there any new approaches in mind to address Parental Engagement?

 

·         Clarification on the current position with regard to children being taken out of school during term time.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

·         The Committee notes the contents of the report.

 

·         Following a request by the Committee, a breakdown of all Schools’ attendance and exclusions data to be sent to the Scrutiny Manager for circulation. 

84.

Education of Looked After Children pdf icon PDF 170 KB

See attached report

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Teresa Winiarski advised the Committee that LACES currently sits within the Schools Department, and that this is a temporary situation due to the maternity leave of the substantive LACES Co-ordinator. 

 

Teresa Winiarski then took members through the report which summarises the attainment and provision of children who are looked after in Merthyr Tydfil, as follows: 

 

·         Strategic objectives for pupils who are looked after.

 

·         Responsibilities of the Local Authority and Looked After Children Education Services (LACES).

 

·         Multi agency working.

 

·         Strategy for Pupil Deprivation Grant for Looked After Children (PDGLAC) in Central South Consortium for 2016-17.

 

·         The number of pupils who are looked after by Merthyr Tydfil in primary schools, secondary schools and post 16 in and out of County Schools.

 

·         The key priorities that form the basis of the LACES Plan for 2014-16.

 

Officers provided advice and background information in relation to the following questions from the Committee:

 

·         Clarification on the attainment data provided for the 122 pupils who are looked after by Merthyr Tydfil.

 

·         In relation to children attending the out of county Schools, will we be able to get the necessary data from them on progress made by the children.

 

·         Are the Learning Support Assistants trained in emotional literacy     being used centrally.

 

·         Clarification on funding in relation one to one support for Looked After Children.

 

·         Clarification on why the data outlined on page 35 of the report varies so much year to year/group to group.

 

·         Teacher support for Looked After Children in very School. 

 

RESOLVED that:

 

The Committee notes the contents of the report and agrees the recommendations for future action as outlined in the Strategy for Pupil Deprivation Grant (PDGLAC).

85.

Scrutiny Referrals, Feedback and Follow up Actions

To receive any referrals from the other Scrutiny Committees and Audit Committee; an update from the Chair on their attendance at the Service Performance Challenge Meetings and to consider any follow up actions from the previous Meeting(s).

Minutes:

The Chair advised that there was no update on this item.

86.

Reflection and Evaluation of Meeting

To receive an update from the Chair

Minutes:

The Chair and the Committee reflected in detail on the issues that had been considered.

87.

Preparation of Forward Work Programme pdf icon PDF 171 KB

See attached report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair advised that suggested items have now been collated for the coming year’s Forward Work Programme.

 

The Committee agreed that the following items would also need to be considered for inclusion:

 

·         Invite the LAESCYP Monitoring Group to a future meeting.

 

·         Arrange School visits for the Committee when required.  

 

·         Attendance training.

 

·         Impact on SLA’s.

 

·         Expectations and attainment of Looked After Children.

 

·         Impact of Capita One, e.g. is it capturing the right data,  is it more effective?

 

·         Confirmation when GCSE Results are being included on the Forward Work Programme.

 

·         Industrial Relations with the Education Department.  

 

·         HR SLA’s to be included in the Forward Work Programme for September.

 

 

 

 

88.

Any other business deemed urgent by the Chair

Minutes:

The Chair advised that there was no business deemed urgent. 

 

a to z of services
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P q R S T U V W x Y z