Agenda item

Improving Education Outcomes Task and Finish Group Final Report


The Assistant Director Education and Resources introduced the report which provided the Committee with an opportunity to review the outcomes from the Task and Finish Group.  The Committee were asked to review and endorse the recommendations made by the Task and Finish Group.


Observations and questions were raised and discussed including:


·         Members commented that the Task and Finish Group had helped Members to gain a better understanding around the task of educational improvement and felt that improvement in education and the monitoring process would need to be more aligned.

·         Members commented that this model of Task and Finish Group should be replicated across other scrutiny committees.

·         Members thanked the Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and University for arranging an open day for education which would be open to all councillors.

·         The Committee endorsed the recommendations made and requested that they be monitored going forward.

·         The Chair requested that Members of the Committee continue to work closely outside of meetings with the School Improvement team and the Assistant Director Education and Resources  as an informal working party to continue to improve and develop their understanding of the challenges that the school improvement team face.




The Committee endorsed the following recommendations made by the Task and Finish Group and recommended that they be implemented by the Assistant Director Education and Resources and that implementation be monitored by the Committee.


Recommendation 1

·         An ‘All Party Policy’ meeting on education outcomes is held ensuring that members understand the role and duties of the local authority and the difference between maintained schools and academies (Autumn Term)

·         Ofsted reports on individual schools are distributed to ward members when published with the opportunity to ask questions of officers where appropriate (ongoing). 

·         Ensure that the school improvement strategy and other key documents (e.g. school organisation plan) are shared with all members and that they have the opportunity to discuss and question them (following agreement at the Scrutiny Committee)


Recommendation 2

·         Agreement is being sought with the School Improvement Board that the governor representative for the board is the independent co-opted member of the scrutiny committee (Al Kingsley - who is a governor).  This will help a key link to be formed between the Board and the Scrutiny Committee (July)

·         The terms of reference for the School Improvement Board include a requirement for a termly report to the Director of Children’s Services with an annual report to the Scrutiny Committee. (ongoing) 


Recommendation 3

·         Through reviewing the data available to the authority, the link between ethnicity and achievement will become a standard data set for the committee.  In addition, a greater focus on the outcomes for pupils eligible for the pupil premium grant will be considered in the future.  These will be included in future reports to the committee (November and March annually) 


Recommendation 4

·         Data on the latest position on Ofsted outcomes in Peterborough schools will continue to form part of the regular data set including the proportion of schools judged good or better at their latest inspection. (standard reporting cycle) 

·         The proposed working party (see later note) will consider in further detail outcomes from the Ofsted inspections of schools in Peterborough. (September onwards)   


Recommendation 5

·         The school organisation plan covers sufficient information and is part of the annual cycle of reports to the Scrutiny Committee.  Where appropriate, the working party may wish to receive updates on the school place planning situation including proposed building schemes.  (annual cycle)


Recommendation 6

·         When data is produced for future committees it will be appropriate to do this at ward level to help members to understand how schools in their area are performing.  This will not be easy to undertake at Secondary level but at a primary level this could be undertaken.  Data on socio-economic, demographic, attendance and educational needs would also help members understand their ward profiles compared to wider Peterborough. (November and March) 

·         It is proposed that the working party review on a rotation basis the support services provided by the local authority either through visit or report.  Examples include attendance, SEN services, finance, school place planning.  (September onwards)


Recommendation 7

·         It is proposed that a paper to be brought in this municipal year to the Scrutiny Committee outlining the council’s statutory responsibility for Education (including legislation), its role and approach to academies. 


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