TOMORROW (Wednesday, October 30) the Learning and Skills scrutiny committee, will get be able to study what is being done to improve the education service.

This is the response to the damning Estyn inspection report published on September 10 which needs to be submitted to the education watchdog by the end of November.

The lead inspector from the inspection team which visited Powys County Council (PCC) in July, Tony Bate, will also be at the meeting.

According to the briefing notes there could be an opportunity for Mr Bate to “contribute to the meeting to help clarify matters relating to the inspection and report if needed.”

The briefing says: “The meeting will also receive the draft Post Inspection Action Plan (PIAP)

“This document is in the process of production for submission to Estyn.

“This is an opportunity for scrutiny to consider the PIAP  before it is submitted to Estyn.

“To examine the proposed action, explore with the portfolio holder (Cllr Phyl Davies) and service, (note) any areas that are of concern.

“And make observations on the extent to which are of the view that the PIAP meets the recommendations made within the inspection report.”

On Thursday, October 24, PCC held a schools conference to discuss the issues facing schools in Powys as part of the recovery process.

Portfolio holder for education, Cllr Phyl Davies (Conservative – Blaen Hafren), said following the conference: “I’d like to thank all those who attended our conference.

“There was healthy debate and discussion during conference the but it was clear that everyone felt that change is needed to give our learners the education and skills the best start in life.”

In the report Estyn said that there were many areas of the authority’s work causing “significant concern”.

But it does point out that there had been some improvements since previous critical reports in 2007 and 2011.

The concerns are for school organisation, financial management, school governance and lack of action regarding schools spaces.

As well as the provision for pupils with special educational needs who may require extra support.

Estyn said that these issues affect school leadership, staffing structures, curriculum planning and staff morale and have given the authority five recommendations to help improve.

The 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.