EDUCATION has been added to the remit of the Improvement and Assurance Board.

Council leader, Cllr Rosemarie Harris (Independent – Llangynidr), revealed the move at the Powys County Council cabinet meeting held on Tuesday, October 8.

Cllr Harris explained: “The board has an independent chair, Jack Straw, who was appointed by (the) Welsh Government.

“It was set up at the time of the inspection into Children’s Services (October 2017) and we added Adult Services to the work of the board and from next month we will be adding some items of education that require improvement, not the whole education service.

“The last report showed much of what we do is good but it was found that a couple of areas were found in need of improvement and will be added.”

Published on September 10, the Estyn report into the Education Service led to a political crisis at county hall.

Estyn had said that they had serious concerns about the department.

This led to a calls for a vote of no confidence in education portfolio holder, Cllr Myfanwy Alexander (Independent – Banwy).

An extraordinary full council was supposed to take place on September 25 to discuss the problems.

But late on September 24, the meeting was cancelled as Cllr Alexander had been moved to the Adult Services portfolio and Cllr Phyl Davies (Conservative – Blaen Hafren) had take over at education.

This followed the resignations of Cllr Martin Weale (Independent – Llanbadarn Fawr) portfolio holder for planning and the economy. and adult services portfolio holder Cllr Stephen Hayes (Independent – Montgomery).

They had wanted to see Cllr Alexander removed.

Since then Cllr Harris has brought Cllrs Graham Breeze (Welshpool – Llanerchyddol) and Heulwen Hulme (Independent – Rhiwcynon) into the cabinet.

Cllr Harris has also realigned portfolios to correspond to staff directorates.

In October 2017, the Care and Social Services inspectorate Wales (CSSIW), now known as the Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW), produced a damning inspection report into Children’s Services

The report revealed missed opportunities to safeguard children, poor risk assessment and serious performance issues with front line services.

In recent weeks inspectors have been back at the department to assess the situation a year on.

Following the report £6 million was pumped into the department to turn things around.

Another £6 million has been added to that.

And a contingency is part of this year’s budget if the service needs another bail out.