THE NEW GwE CHALLENGE AND SUPPORT PROGRAMME
- Meeting of Performance Scrutiny Committee, Thursday, 28 September 2017 9.30 am (Item 6.)
- View the declarations of interest for item 6.
To consider a joint report by the Principal Education Manager and GwE’s Secondary Lead (copy attached) which provides information and seeks observations on the revised structure and working practices to support school improvement across North Wales, including Denbighshire’s schools.
10.15am – 10.45am
The Lead Member for Education introduced the report (previously circulated) which provided members with information on the new GwE challenge and support model for Denbighshire’s schools - including the revised structure for the organisation and details of its working practices to support school improvement across the North Wales region. Members were advised by the Head of Education and Children’s Services that GwE had recently undergone a significant period of change and that officers within Denbighshire were now more confident that the ‘new’ GwE structure would support school improvement across all education sectors in the county.
GwE’s new Managing Director advised that the national formula for school improvement services had given greater emphasis towards the provision of more support to the primary sector. From Denbighshire’s perspective this focus had adversely impacted on the secondary sector’s performance in the county. Committee members were informed by GwE’s Primary and Secondary Lead Officers for Denbighshire that they had been appointed to their respective roles to support schools with the development and delivery of their School Improvement Plans, part of that role included quality assuring those plans to ensure that they would secure improvement and deliver improved outcomes for all pupils. Both of GwE’s Lead Officers would meet with the Council’s lead education officers on a fortnightly basis to ensure that sustainable improvements were being realised in all schools across the county. GwE officers explained that the new model would entail Level 2 and Level 3 detailed Business Plans from September 2017. These Plans would focus on GwE’s six key priorities of:
· curriculum and assessment
· teaching; and
all of which were detailed in the report. The Level 2 Plans would focus on local authority standards, curriculum and assessment, leadership, well-being and teaching, whilst the higher Level 3 Plans would focus on more specialist areas of the curriculum, GwE’s business and governance etc., and comparing performance and outcomes across the region’s six local education authority areas.
In response to members’ questions GwE and Education Service officers advised that:
· the well-being of every pupil across all school sectors was an integral part of the service provided by both GwE and the local authority, as healthy, resilient and responsible pupils were more likely to realise their full potential;
· the merger of both Education and Children’s Services in Denbighshire under the same Head of Services was regarded as being advantageous and conducive to delivering the well-being agenda; and
· Estyn was due to re-inspect GwE in mid-October 2017
The Chief Executive of Denbighshire County Council informed the Committee that there would always be problems or matters of concern relating to pupils’ education. It was both GwE and the local education authority’s responsibility to identify and understand the ‘problems’ and put measures in place to address and solve them. He advised members that he had confidence in this new model and that it would achieve the desired outcomes. The Committee:
(i) subject to the above observations on the revised structure and working practices to support school improvement in Denbighshire’s schools, to endorse the model; and
(ii) to confirm that it had read, understood and taken account of the Well-being Impact Assessment as part of its consideration of the above.