Self-Evaluation of Local Government Education Services
Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet will be asked to note the new Estyn framework for the inspection of education services and also to review and approve the Self-Evaluation Report of Education Services in Flintshire when it meets later this month.
Flintshire County Council undertakes an annual self-evaluation of its education services for its children and young people, the prime purpose of which is to ensure the best possible outcomes for children and young people.
The local authority knows its schools well and provides them with robust and appropriate challenge, support and intervention. There are clear strategies, policies and processes that are well understood and give a clear shape and direction to the service. The authority undertakes a wide range of self-evaluation activities analysing data and first-hand evidence well to make accurate evaluations of the quality and impact of services. The arrangements also identify clearly the areas for improvement and help ensure that progress against strategic and other plans is reviewed effectively and timely interventions made.
Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Youth, Councillor Ian Roberts, said:
“Self-evaluation is a process which involves all stakeholders rather than just senior managers and Flintshire’s self-evaluation is continuous and is embedded in the work of the Local Authority. For any inspection by Estyn, the starting point will always be the self-evaluation report and so it is a critical document.
“The self-evaluation is a positive reflection on education in the County. Flintshire County Council has developed a very good approach to managing its budget which enables it to maintain focus on the delivery of priorities. Relationships with schools are good. Regular head teacher meetings and the partnership groups in the consultative structure form an effective mechanism for raising issues and agreeing actions to tackle them.”
The Self Evaluation Report clearly identifies strengths as well as areas identified for improvement but does not shy away from the risks faced by the Council, particularly in relation to reducing funding for local government services and the uncertainty over grant funding which underpins a considerable proportion of educational delivery.
Maintaining the delivery of high quality education services with reducing resources is the most significant challenge facing the Council at the current time and is highly dependent on the skill and resilience of its leaders within the Council, within the Education and Youth Portfolio and within its schools and settings.
From September 2017 Estyn introduced a new framework for the inspection of local government education services. All local authorities in Wales will be inspected over the following 5 years with 1 LA per region per annual cycle.
Local authorities will receive eight weeks’ notice of inspection. Estyn will also gather additional information from other bodies e.g. Welsh Audit Office (WAO) and the Care Standards Inspectorate (CSI) prior to inspection.