THIS month Powys County Council eduction service is finalising it’s Post Inspection Action Plan (PIAP) as it looks to bounce-back from the damning Estyn Inspection report.

As they start their “journey to excellence” the Learning and Skills scrutiny committee will keep a close eye on the plan.

Committee chair, Cllr Peter Roberts (Liberal Democrat – Llandrindod South), said that the five recommendations from Estyn had been split up between councillors and school governors on the committee.

They will keep an eye on the developments in these areas over the coming months.

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

Cllr David Jones (Independent – Guilsfield) said: “It’s a pretty all encompassing recommendation and reading the Estyn report it tells everyone in scrutiny what they felt was going on but were not getting to the bottom of.

“We owe Estyn a debt of gratitude, they codified what was wrong and what needs to be put right.”

Cllr Jones said that the response from PCC for recommendation was not strong enough and that “more work”  and “analysis” needed to be done on it.

“It does not go to the heart of these criticisms,” he said.

Cllr Jones asked: “What is going to change as a result of the report?”

Chief executive, Dr Caroline Turner, replied: “When we were preparing for the  inspection I was constantly challenging, are we clear, can we substantiate this? Was it as good as the officers were saying?

“At that stage I did not have enough knowledge to challenge in detail as I had not been here long enough.

“What’s clear to me is was that the officials within the organisation did not know themselves.

“The findings, not just in the report itself, but during the inspection week were a shock to some individuals.

“What was coming out, we are doing many good things, but we’re not consistent enough and we need the data. How do we know we’re doing this well?

“Where is the evaluation?

“It was a constant theme.

“We didn’t know.”

Education consultant, Geraint Rees, said: “We need to make sure that the workforce knows what good looks like and they are able to self-evaluate against that properly.

“So that we know what is weak and what needs dealing with and they know what the mechanisms are.”

PCC had run a number of programs in leadership, management and workforce development.

Mr Rees added: “The education service seems to have excluded themselves from those opportunities.

“All of this needs to be worked through to create a workforce development programme.”

PCC’s response to recommendation three is:

  • Establish clear approaches to communication and stakeholder engagement to strengthen relationships in our schools.
  • Implement an effective workforce development strategy that supports service wide improvement and individual professional development.
  • Develop and establish effective scrutiny and governance so that decision making is made from a well-informed position and effective challenge is facilitated.
  • Embed a service wide culture that is underpinned by the PCC staff values: positive, professional progressive, open and collaborative.