Agenda and minutes


No. Item

The Chair welcomed Councillors Howard Barrett and Michelle Jones to their first meeting of the Learning Scrutiny Committee and congratulated Councillor Sherelle Jago to her first meeting as Vice Chair.


Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence received from Councillors David Chaplin and Brent Carter and Claire Brown, Rosemary Lazell, Kath Phelan, Michelle Symonds, Karl Jones and Kaitlin Sutton (Co-optees).


Declarations of Interest (including whipping declarations)

Members 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 and Finance Act 1992 relating to Council Tax, the Local Government Act 2000, the Council’s Constitution and the Members Code of Conduct




(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




No declarations of interest were made.


Schools as Learning Organisations - meeting the challenge of the change agenda pdf icon PDF 133 KB

To consider report of the Chief Officer Education.

Presentation sent under separate cover.


The Chair welcomed Louise Muteham from the Central South Consortium to the meeting.


Sue Walker gave members an overview of the changes that are currently facing schools within Merthyr Tydfil and the support that will be given to Schools by the Central South Consortium (CSC) to implement these changes and develop themselves as learning organisations.


In relation to the presentation that Louise Muteham will be taking members through, Sue Walker advised that they were unable to access the link within the presentation and that this will be sent separately to members, i.e.   Penydre High School website to view how the School has engaged.


Sue Walker advised the Committee that Mark Morgan from Penydre High School won the Inspirational Welsh Language Teacher of the Year in the professional teaching awards and, on behalf of the Authority, wanted to congratulate Mr Morgan on this achievement.  


Louise Muteham then took members through the development of Schools as Learning Organisations and the presentation covered the following areas:


·         Education professionals actively engaged in collaborative professional learning responding to national, regional and local needs.


·         The development of all schools in the region as learning organisations.


·         How to prioritise?


·         What support is available from CSC?


·         What do Schools need and how CSC support this?


·         Central South Wales Challenge.


·         Clusters to be utilised for clear, specific work streams that are best served by a local approach.


·         Pathfinders to be rebranded as School to School Partnerships.


·         Current Peer Enquiry to develop into a pilot for Peer Review.


·         Partnership delivery of co-constructed programmes.


·         Professional learning alliance and foundation phase hubs.


·         Curriculum Lead Practitioners.


·         Overview of Clusters.


Louise Muteham and Sue Walker provided advice and background information in relation to the following questions from the Committee:


·         Has this been piloted anywhere and what is the impact?


·         What are the Schools’ expectations on engagement  -  how to balance school improvement and professional learning with teaching and learning in the classroom?


·         Evaluation reports on the London Challenge  -  can these be accessed by this Committee?


·         Pressures on Headteachers and support given to Schools in progressing the new agenda?


·         What evidence is available on progress?


·         School to School Partnership  -  who is on the Resources Board?


·         The importance of raising standards which will link directly to the Wellbeing Objective Best Start to Life.




·         The contents be noted by the Committee.


Councillor Clive Jones left the meeting at 4.40 pm 




Work Programme 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 362 KB

To consider the attached report

Additional documents:


The Chair advised that there was an error on the work programme report at 2.1.    It should read that members consider the questions at 3.7 in planning for the next meeting and not 3.2 as stated in the report. 


In relation to the work programme attached to the report, the Chair referred to the following issues:


·         Performance Report  -  Foundation Phase, KS2 and KS3

scheduled for the 2nd September 2019 Learning and LGES Scrutiny Committee.


·         Report on the performance at Key Stage 4 (to include the capped 9 measure) and attendance

scheduled for the 6th January 2020 Learning and LGES Scrutiny Committee. 


Sue Walker advised Members about changes in accountability measures in relation to Welsh Government’s advice that ranking comparisons against other Local Authorities can no longer be published at foundation stage, key stage 2, key stage 3 or key stage 4. 


Discussion also ensued in relation to:


·         The continued support and updates from the Central South Consortium.


·         Authorities receiving Welsh averages. 


·         Confirmation of workshop to be held with the Central South Consortium.


·         Inclusion of the issuing of FPN’s across the Authority under the education and exclusion item on the work programme.


·         How updates on the ALN Bill will be given to Committee members.


·         Clarification on whether the Welsh in Education Strategic Plans will be included in the work programme. 




·         Committee agrees the current work programme.


Scrutiny Referrals, Feedback and Follow up Actions


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


Reflection and Evaluation of Meeting

To receive an update from the Chair


The Chair and the Committee reflected in detail on the items discussed in the meeting, in particular:


·         Schools issuing Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN’s).

·         Budget on the ALN to support Authorities to deliver the Bill. 


Any other business deemed urgent by the Chair


The Chair advised that this will be Ann-Marie Cafferty’s last meeting, as she will be starting her new role at Bridgend Council in the next few weeks.   


On behalf of the Committee, the Chair thanked Ann-Marie for all her help and support to the members and wished her all the very best in her new post.  


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