THE work to respond to a highly critical report of Powys County Council’s (PCC) education service is already underway claim the authority’s leadership.

PCC says it will accept and use the highly critical Estyn report to improve the service.

Responding to the report which raises “significant concerns,” Council Leader, Cllr Rosemarie Harris (Independent – Llangynidr) said: “We accept the findings of the inspection.

“We have already started to implement improvements to address the recommendations set out in the findings.

“The report will form the basis of an action plan that is being developed to address areas of weakness and improve our education service.

“A great deal of work is already underway.

“We have a new leadership team in place who are already developing an action plan to address issues highlighted in the findings.”

Cllr Harris added that  the inspection had highlighted strengths but acknowledge that the council had failed to reach the standards it aspires to.

Education and Welsh language portfolio holder, Cllr Myfanwy Alexander (Independent – Banwy) added: “We need to work more effectively with all our schools, our governing bodies and communities to sustain and improve performance.

“We already have a number of very successful schools delivering excellent standards but know we have to do more to ensure that all our youngsters have the same opportunities throughout the county.”

Cllr Alexander went on to say that turning things around and achieving excellence while budgets are under “severe pressure” will be difficult.

Chief executive Dr Caroline Turner added: “We have a good team in place to deliver the improvements that are necessary.

“We will be working with schools, and drawing on the resources of ERW (Education through Regional Working) to ensure that we are able to quickly address the findings of Estyn’s report.

ERW is the education consortium of  of six local authorities delivering school improvement services.

The local authorities include Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Neath Port Talbot, Pembrokeshire, Powys and Swansea.