Posted: Sun 25th Jun 2023

Estyn response agreed by councillors following report /
This article is old - Published: Sunday, Jun 25th, 2023

THE “initial stab” at responding to three recommendations given by education inspectorate, Estyn to help Blaenau Gwent’s education department continue to improve has been signed off by councillors.
At a “special” meeting of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council’s Cabinet on Wednesday, May 3, councillors were told how the education department is going to address the recommendations.
The inspection by Estyn took place last autumn and they published the report in February.
Overall Estyn has said that Blaenau Gwent’s education service had made “good improvement” since it was last inspected 10 years ago.
Cabinet member for education, Cllr Sue Edmunds explained that other areas mentioned in the body of the report also need improvement.
Cllr Edmunds said: “These will be addressed alongside the three recommendations.”
“The local authority will be required to provide evidence to the inspectorate that show that improvements are being made as part of the standard link visits that take place every term.”
Cllr Edmunds added that the first of these meetings had already happened on March 16.
Council leader, Cllr Steve Thomas said: “Clearly this is our initial stab and in a sense we are scoping out how we are looking to resolve the recommendations.
“I’m glad we are looking now at the value of the data we’re going to use to carry this process out.”
Cllr Thomas added that it was “easy to jump in” and use all sorts of data and that it was important “to sift through” and use the right data to measure progress against the recommendation,
Cabinet member for regeneration Cllr John Morgan asked how “impact” was being measured.
Head of school improvement and inclusion, Luisa Munro-Morris explained that a data from a “number of key indicators” was being provided from schools to the education department on reading, wellbeing as well as exclusion and attendance data.
And for the first time since the emergence of Covid-19 some key datal which covers Years 10 and 11 (15 and 16 year olds) will be published nationally.
Dr Munro-Morris said: “We’ll be able to compare where we are with other local authorities and we would not have been able to do that last year, so it’s good timing for us.”
The councillors unanimously approved the report.
The recommendations from Estyn are: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Improve the corporate leadership of education services.
Improve the quality of self-evaluation, strategic planning, and performance
Accelerate improvements in provision for secondary age pupils in schools
causing concern. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

By BBC LDRS ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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