Agenda and minutes

Education Skills and Culture Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 14th October, 2021 2.00 pm

Venue: Remotely via Teams

Contact: Charlotte Davies 01639 763745 Email: 

No. Item


Declaration of Interest


The following Member made a declaration of interest at the commencement of the meeting:


Cllr R Phillips                        Re: Welsh Medium Grant - Outline Plan - as she is a Governor at Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Trebannnws but has dispensation to speak and vote.


Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 174 KB


The minutes of the previous meeting held on the 2nd September 2021 were approved.


Curriculum Reform Update pdf icon PDF 253 KB


- The committee experienced technical difficulties at this point in the meeting. The meeting was therefore deferred until 2.30pm to rectify these issues. -


- At 2.30pm the meeting was reconvened. –


Members received information on the rollout of the Curriculum for Wales and the support Neath Port Talbot schools receiving.


Members of the Committee thanked the support that staff and teachers have provided resulting in good Estyn results, along with the implementation of a new curriculum.


Members queried the meaning of a ‘non-maintained nursery setting’ as detailed on page 8 of the circulated report. Officers confirmed that a non-maintained nursery setting would be nursery’s that are privately run, for example flying start. The chair highlighted that she would discuss this query outside of the meeting.


Discussions took place around the meaning of Metacognition. It was explained that metacognition means that the language of purposes is the language of learning. Therefore, the pupils would need to learn how to solve problems and be creative to enable them to be ambitious and capable.


The Cabinet Members highlighted that there had been a recent update in relation to potential changes to the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) qualification structure. It was noted that officers would bring a report to a future meeting outlining these changes on the assessments of GCSE’s


Following scrutiny, the report was noted.




Pre-Decision Scrutiny

     i.        To select appropriate items from the Cabinet Board agenda for pre-decision scrutiny (Cabinet Boards reports enclosed for Scrutiny Members)


Quarter 1 2021/22 Quarterly Performance Report


Members were provided with the quarter 1 performance management data, complaints and compliments for the period 1st April 2021 to 30th June 2022 for the Education, Leisure and Lifelong Learning Directorate.


Members paid congratulations to officers on the rapid re-opening of services and the work during the pandemic and post pandemic.


Members queried whether the figures for ‘CP/002 - full day care childcare places’ were the number of places available rather than number of places being utilised. Officers confirmed that they would get an accurate response outside of the meeting and circulate it with the members


Members queried whether the large take up from 16-24 year olds detailed within ‘CP/117 – communities for work’ were related to the kickstart scheme. Officers highlighted that they were not aware that the take up were predominantly kick start places, however, officers confirmed they would check with DWP figures and provide a response to members outside of the meeting.


Following scrutiny, the report was noted.


Welsh Medium Grant - Outline Plan


Members were updated on the sought agreement to put forward an expression of interest application to Welsh Government for Increasing Welsh Medium Provision Capital Grant funding (2022 – 2026), as detailed within the circulated report.


Members asked for and update on Ysgol Gymraeg pontardawe. Officers explained that they were in the process of appointing new contractors. In relation to timescales, the interior work should be completed by December 2021 and the exterior to be completed by December. Enabling pupils to back in the classrooms by Christmas.


Discussions took place around the additional costings following Covid-19 and the difficulties in purchasing supplies and recruiting contractors due to supply and demand. Officers explained that Welsh Government were aware of these pressures and would provide support if required.


The Coed Darcy development was discussed and it was highlighted that it was currently undergoing the planning process.


Discussion took place around the previous unsuccessful bid for Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Rhosafan. Members were advised around the reasoning of why the bid was unsuccessful, however, members noted that infant class size grant for a 4 classroom renovation was accepted first. Therefore this has been incorporated into future planning.


The Chair commended the officers on the work detailed within the report on behalf of the committee.


Following Scrutiny, the Committee was supportive of the proposal to be considered by the Cabinet Board


Youth Service Update


Members were provided with an update on the Local Authority Youth Service.


Discussions took place around the different services that the Youth Service provide. The officer explained that the team were always open to any queries from members or public. It was noted that there was also a Facebook page and a newsletter that was circulated regularly detailing all information. Members requested a copy of the newsletter to be circulated to the Committee.


The difficulties around recruitment of staff was discussed. It was noted that full time posts were appointable however, part time posts were more difficult to recruit.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Forward Work Programme 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 217 KB


The Forward Work Programme was noted.