ERW Scrutiny Councillor Group – 29 September 2017

The Chairs and Vice Chairs of all six local authorities’ Education Scrutiny Committees came together in Brecon for their bi-annual Scrutiny Councillor Group on the 29 September 2017.  Detailed below are some of the conclusions from the Councillor Group that have been put into a letter to the Chair of the ERW Joint Committee.

Quota of Challenge Advisers

The Managing Director updated the Councillor Group on the issue highlighted in a previous letter with regards to what is being done by local authorities to reach their full quota of Challenge Advisers.  The Group heard that currently there are 45 full time equivalents in post of a target of 58 across the region.  This gap was not in ability of ERW to close but is a challenge for individual Local Authorities to address. They heard that the formula currently used as part of the ERW agreement and how we actually manage capacity and staff across the region, needs to the looked at.  Councillors welcomed the ERW Joint Committees decision to set up a Programme Board to review and monitor capacity.  The Group asked for an update on progress on how this is progressing at our next meeting.

Business Plan 2017-2020

The Managing Director provided a presentation on the latest Business Plan 2017-2020.  Councillors were pleased to hear about the new section built in that will measure impact/success.  The group asked to receive updates on this section, at all future meetings, as it will form a standing item on our future Agendas.

Performance Management

The Group heard that there is an ongoing programme of upskilling schools in performance management and in particular the upskilling of middle managers in schools so they are in a good position to deal with under performance.

The campaign to recruit teachers

The Group were pleased to hear that the outcomes of this campaign so far is proving positive with twice as many applicants for the National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) than there has been in previous years.


Mark Campion from Estyn attended the meeting to discuss the ERW Estyn Inspection and to update us on the new framework for schools, local authority and regional inspections.  In summary, Councillors heard that Estyn:

  • will be visiting ERW in November 17 for follow up (Welsh Government had asked Estyn to inspect the four Consortia and it has been agreed ahead of that each will be follow up on 1 year after inspection). There is no further work beyond this yet planned.
  • will be starting the cycle of Local Authority inspection pilots over the coming months starting with 2 Local Authorities initially. In the new cycle each LA will be inspected on a five year cycle, so ERW will be involved each year as part of an individual LA inspection.
  • there is now a cycle of individual school inspections in place, under the new inspection framework, following last year’s pilot.
  • post 16 and 6th form will have more prominence in inspections moving forward as there had not been much focus on this aspect previously.


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