Read Estyn LEA Inspection text version

Cabinet

Part 1

October 2008

Item No. 6

Subject

Purpose Author Ward

Estyn Inspection of Newport Local Education Authority

To report the Estyn inspection of Newport Local Education Authority held in January 2008 Dr Brett Pugh, Chief Education Officer All

Summary Newport Local Education Authority (LEA) was inspected by Estyn in January 2008. The

LEA has maintained or improved on performance reported in previous inspections. This is evidenced by the achievement of the following judgements: · Strategic management is good with outstanding features and improvement prospects are good, with significant improvements already in place. Support for school improvement is good with outstanding features and · improvement prospects are good, with significant improvements already in place. Promoting social inclusion and well-being ­ good features outweigh shortcomings · and improvement prospects are good, with no major barriers. Additional learning needs ­ good features outweigh shortcomings and · improvement prospects are good, with no major barriers. Access and school organisation ­ good features and no important shortcomings, · with some good prospects for improvement but barriers in important areas. · Support services - good features and no important shortcomings, improvement prospects are good with no major barriers. Estyn has accepted the LEA's post-inspection action plan on first submission and stated that it is pleasing to see that appropriate action is underway or planned in relation to the recommendations of the report.

Proposal

To note the report and recognise the achievements of the Education Service on the outcome of the Estyn report and successful acceptance of the post-inspection action plan.

Contact Dr Brett Pugh, Chief Education Officer Action by Dr Brett Pugh, Chief Education Officer, Terry Mackie, Head of Education Services Timetable

(Improvement & Inclusion), and James Harris, Head of Education Services (Resources & Planning). Immediate

Background

Newport Local Education Authority (LEA) was inspected by Estyn in January 2008. The LEA has maintained or improved on performance reported in previous inspections. This is evidenced by the achievement of the following grades:

The local authority's performance in discharging its responsibilities is rated on a four-point scale as follows: Grade 1 good with outstanding features Grade 2 good features and no important shortcomings Grade 3 good features outweigh shortcomings Grade 4 shortcomings in important areas The prospects of improvement are rated on a four-point scale as follows: Grade 1 improvement prospects are good, with significant improvements already in place Grade 2 improvement prospects are good, with no major barriers Grade 3 some good prospects, but barriers in important areas Grade 4 many important barriers to improvement

The inspection report highlights a number of good and outstanding features: · · · · · · · · Overall, inspection findings in Newport schools are the best in Wales. The overall quality of strategic planning is good. The plans are clearly written, providing concise, unambiguous objectives and targets that guide service planning and provide a framework within which elected members, officers, schools and the authority's partners may be held to account. Budgets used to run services are well managed. Senior officers within the education service and at a corporate level provide high quality leadership and direction. Senior officers and elected members have a clear understanding, supported by an effective performance management system, of how well the education service performs and a good knowledge of which aspects need to be improved. Partnership working is developing well. The quality of leadership, at all levels, for school improvement is outstanding. The authority provides a wide range of very effective challenge and support to schools. As a result, the authority's drive to raise standards at key stage 3 has been successful whilst achievement at key stages 1 and 2 continues to be outstanding. The quality of education continues to be high in most of Newport's schools. The advisory teams in support of the core subjects are outstanding and recognised as such by the schools. Work to ensure the consistency of teacher assessment in the core subjects at key stages 1-3 is outstanding. Support is outstanding for non-maintained nurseries. The curriculum is enriched by a variety of outstanding activities. These include the music service, which trains some 9,000 pupils in instrumental music and maintains 15 bands, which have a national reputation in music competitions. The authority has worked effectively, over the past two years, to improve the way it negotiates with parents in reaching agreement about the most appropriate provision for their children. There is a good service for pupils who have Autistic Spectrum Disorder. The authority has effective arrangements for the management of admissions.

· · · · · · ·

· · ·

The home-to-school transport service is of generally good standard. The corporate asset management planning process is well established. All support services have good features. Overall, schools report that they are satisfied with the support services they receive from the authority.

The report makes four recommendations to secure improvements: R1 · · · R2 work with schools to agree a clear strategy to improve achievement at key stage 4 including: improving the behaviour of learners and reducing exclusions; increasing attendance; and providing a wider curriculum for learners; better manage the expectations that schools have of the school improvement, inclusion and additional learning needs (ALN) services by refining the criteria for school support and intervention through: making clear the entitlement of schools to authority resources for school improvement; targeting authority resources in inverse proportion to the success of a school; ensuring sustained support for schools with serious weaknesses; and making better use of data about looked after children, pupils with additional learning needs and ethnic minority pupils in order to target resources and interventions;

· · · ·

R3 improve further the provision for specific groups of learners by: · · increasing the capacity of mainstream primary schools to identify and provide for pupils' additional learning needs at an early stage; and improving the procedures, at an early stage, for identifying and responding to the needs of learners who are at risk of exclusion; and

R4 produce up-to-date information and data that will inform a long term strategy to: · · · plan school places effectively; make school buildings fit for purpose; and meet the demand for primary and secondary Welsh-medium education.

Estyn has accepted the LEA's post-inspection action plan on first submission and stated that it is pleasing to see that appropriate action is underway or planned in relation to the recommendations of the report.

Options Considered/Available

1 2 To note the report. To note the report and recognise the achievements of the Education Service on the outcome of the Estyn report and successful acceptance of the post-inspection action plan.

Preferred choice and reasons

Option 2 ­ The work of the Education Service in achieving a successful inspection and subsequent approval of the post-inspection plan is to be commended. This inspection report places the Education Service in an excellent position to deliver the agenda set out in the new Children and Young People's Plan 2008-11.

Recommendation

That Cabinet refer the LEA Inspection Report to Scrutiny.

Sustainability and Environmental Issues

There are no direct sustainability or environmental impacts. However the better the achievement and attainment of pupils in Newport, the more likelihood there is of the community understanding these issues and their importance over time.

Equalities Impact

The success in raising standards including those of literacy and numeracy impacts on pupil self esteem and community safety.

Crime Prevention Impact

The achievement of individual pupils is a major contribution to reducing crime and disorder, as shown by the following: In research undertaken for the Youth Justice Board, it was discovered that 30% of those young offenders (aged between 15 and 18) had a reading level of no more than 7 years and 25% had similar numeracy levels. Just over half of those in YOIs have literacy and numeracy levels below those of the average 11 year old. The adult prison population is in even greater difficulty with the Chief Inspector of Prisons indicating that 70% of all prisoners experience literacy and numeracy difficulties.

Comments of Monitoring Officer

There are no legal implications. The Estyn Report recognises the significant progress that the Council has made, as Local Education Authority, in fulfilling its statutory education functions and meeting key strategic objectives.

Comments of Chief Financial Officer

I have been assured that there are no new financial consequences arising from this report and the agreed Action Plan.

Comments of Head of Human Resources and Policy

There are no Human Resources implications contained in this report. However, the recognition given by Estyn to the leadership of the Education Service and the skills, hard work and achievements of all the Council's employees within the service is to be welcomed.

Other Relevant Consultation Comments of Cabinet Member Young People Services

The progress and achievement of the Newport Education Service identified and recognised by the Estyn inspection is most welcome. Areas for improvement have been identified and they will need to be addressed. However, these should not detract from an inspection report that places Newport Education Service as one of the very best education authorities in Wales

Background Papers

Estyn report on Newport Local Education Authority: http://www.newport.gov.uk/stellent/groups/public/documents/report/cont264348.pdf Newport LEA Post Inspection Action Plan: http://www.newport.gov.uk/stellent/groups/public/documents/plans_and_strategies/cont285700.pdf

Estyn Inspection of Newport LEA 14th-25th January, 2008

Judgements

Judgements are made in two respects: 1. How good is the local authority's performance? (Key Questions 1 and 2.) 2. Will the local authority's performance improve? (Key Questions 3 and 4.)

Judgement 1

Grade 1: good with outstanding features. Grade 2: good features and no important shortcomings. Grade 3: good features outweigh shortcomings. Grade 4: shortcomings in important areas.

Judgement 2

Grade 1: improvement prospects are good with significant improvements already in place. Grade 2: improvement prospects are good with no major barriers. Grade 3: some good prospects but barriers in important areas. Grade 4: many important barriers to improvement.

Newport City Council LEA Inspection Grade Profile:

How good is the Council's performance? Strategic management (Key Questions 1, 3 and 4.) Support for school improvement (Key Question 2.1) Promoting social inclusion and wellbeing (Key Question 2.2) Additional Learning Needs (Key Question 2.3) Access and school organisation (Key Question 2.4) 2 Support services (Key Question 2.5) 2 2 3 1 1 3 3 Will the Council's performance improve? 1 1 2 2

Good and Outstanding Features

Overall, inspection findings in Newport schools are the best in Wales. The overall quality of strategic planning is good. The plans are clearly written, providing concise, unambiguous objectives and targets that guide service planning and provide a framework within which elected members, officers, schools and the authority's partners may be held to account. Budgets used to run services are well managed. Senior officers within the education service and at a corporate level provide high quality

Good and Outstanding Features

Senior officers and elected members have a clear understanding, supported by an effective performance management system, of how well the education service performs and a good knowledge of which aspects need to be improved. Partnership working is developing well. The quality of leadership, at all levels, for school improvement is outstanding.

Good and Outstanding Features

The authority provides a wide range of very effective challenge and support to schools. As a result, the authority's drive to raise standards at key stage 3 has been successful whilst achievement at key stages 1 and 2 continues to be outstanding. The quality of education continues to be high in most of Newport's schools. The advisory teams in support of the core subjects are outstanding and recognised as such by the schools.

Good and Outstanding Features

Work to ensure the consistency of teacher assessment in the core subjects at key stages 1-3 is outstanding. Support is outstanding for non-maintained nurseries. The curriculum is enriched by a variety of outstanding activities. These include the music service, which trains some 9,000 pupils in instrumental music and maintains 15 bands, which have a national reputation in music competitions. The authority has worked effectively, over the past two years, to improve the way it negotiates with parents in reaching agreement about the most appropriate

Good and Outstanding Features

There is a good service for pupils who have Autistic Spectrum Disorder. The authority has effective arrangements for the management of admissions. The home-to-school transport service is of generally good standard. The corporate asset management planning process is well established. All support services have good features. Overall, schools report that they are satisfied with the support services they receive from the authority.

Recommendations to Secure Improvements

R1 Work with schools to agree a clear strategy to improve achievement at key stage 4. R2 Better manage the expectations that schools have of the school improvement, inclusion and ALN services by refining the criteria for school support and intervention.

Recommendations to Secure Improvements

R3 R4 Improve further the provision for specific groups of learners. Produce up-to-date information and data that will inform a long term strategy.

Estyn has accepted the LEA's postinspection action plan on first submission and stated that it is pleasing to see that appropriate action is underway or planned in relation to the recommendations of the report.

Information

Estyn LEA Inspection

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