A CONFERENCE will be held later this month where everyone involved in education will be invited to help come up with a new vision for Powys schools.

This is part of the work to improve Powys County Council’s (PCC) education service following a scathing report by inspectors, Estyn.

Estyn will return to Powys at the end of November expecting PCC education chiefs to have a plan for them to look at.

The inspection took place in July and was published on September 10.

Interim head of education Lynnette Lovell said: “As part of the process Estyn have identified serious concerns about the service and five recommendations to address.

“In terms of where we are, we are putting together our post inspection action plan (PIAP).”

Ms Lovell added that this document will be part of “rigorous scrutiny” by the Assurance and Improvement Board.

Ms Lovell continued: “Estyn are coming back at the end of November to look at the action plan, and decide whether it’s robust and rigorous for us to do what we need to do, to move the service forward.

“It means hard work and transformation because we cannot be where we are now, we have to improve.”

Ms Lovell added: “We are looking to engage with the full complement of headteachers and school governors at a conference day we are holding in the next two weeks (October 24).”

Newly installed education portfolio holder, Cllr Phyl Davies (Conservative – Blaen Hafren), said: “I want to commend all the work of our teachers and support staff who are at the front-line and do an incredible job.

“72 per-cent of our schools are performing well with the highest green and yellow categorisation which is up from 61 per cent in the previous year.”

“We are fully accepting of the Estyn report an its findings – this is not a reflection of the work our schools are doing, but highlight where we are as an authority.

“We have already taking steps to remedy our position and embark on a journey of improvement with some very exciting challenges ahead of us.”

Cllr Davies added that he had already met secondary and special school headteachers and has a meeting set for Monday, October 14.

“We have a school conference where all our school community can be present to be part of developing a vision for education,” added Cllr Davies.

Former education portfolio holder Cllr Myfanwy Alexander was due to face a vote of no confidence at an extraordinary meeting of the full council on September 25.

But following a cabinet reshuffle which saw Cllr Alexander moved to adult service and Cllr Davies moved from highways assets and recycling to education, the meeting was cancelled.

The Estyn recommendations are:

Improve standards in secondary schools, and especially the performance of

more able learners

Improve the evaluation, planning and co-ordination of provision for learners with special educational needs and other pupils who may require extra support

Improve the consistency and impact of senior leaders in improving the quality of education services and continue to strengthen the rigour, scrutiny and challenge about performance of the authority’s services

Ensure that the organisation of provision for non-maintained, post 16, Welsh medium education and secondary education meets the needs of the children and young people of Powys

Continue to improve the quality of financial management in schools and take appropriate action to address schools with significant deficit budgets