Agenda and minutes

Performance Scrutiny Committee - People - Tuesday, 26th September, 2023 10.00 am

Venue: Hybrid Meeting

Contact: Samantha Schanzer  Scrutiny Adviser

No. Item




Councillor P. Bright



Declarations of Interest





Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 108 KB


The Committee asked for supplementary information to be requested from Officers regarding the response given on the Youth Service, detailing how much time is spent working face to face versus admin work.

The minutes of meeting held on 25th July 2023 were accepted as a true and accurate record.


Estyn Inspections Outcomes Report 2022-23 pdf icon PDF 122 KB

Additional documents:


The Cabinet Member for Education and Early Years introduced the report. The Deputy Chief Education Officer gave an overview of the report.

·       The Committee noted the theme of the necessity for Welsh second language improvements across the reports’ recommendations and felt it was important for children to have a greater level of Welsh language. The Committee asked what thought had been given to the improvements required. The Chief Education Officer assured Committee that there was support for schools to address recommendations. They highlighted the 10-year Welsh in Education Strategic Plan which linked to improving Welsh second language in English medium schools and provided support packages for schools. They highlighted the opportunities for teachers to attend a range of courses to improve Welsh language skills. They noted that the Education Achievement Service (EAS) are able to attend schools and work with teachers to improve lesson plans and delivery. The Deputy Chief Education Officer highlighted that these had been the first inspections since Covid, and that the pandemic had affected Welsh language development. It was highlighted that most schools were taking part in Cymraeg Campus.

·       The Committee noted the improvement in Welsh Standards but asked whether Newport City Council could be doing more to ensure improvements. The Chief Education Officer assured Committee that they were confident about the opportunities for support for Welsh language skills. They noted the improvement of Welsh language skills was a national theme in similar areas. The Chief Education Officer assured Committee that they would be continuing to monitor engagement levels.

·       The Committee asked whether the recommendation regarding healthy eating had been recognised prior to the inspection and if so, what had been done to address it and were similar schools being looked at for best practice to support Pillgwenlly Primary. The Chief Education Officer assured Committee that a development plan had been created and signed off, with the school being monitored every half term. They informed Committee that there would be a visit to the school to review monitoring evaluation processes and give further support and advice. They assured Committee that they would be able to provide updates to show progress. The Committee stated that they would normally meet with schools to discuss development plans and priorities and ensure robust monitoring policies but were unable to do this currently with primary schools due to action short of strike. They assured Committee that EAS would visit and review the same evidence as the authority to see whether the same conclusions are drawn, and that EAS had visited the school and found no issue with the healthy eating angle. They assured Committee that now the school was in review, they were able to visit and monitor the school in order to demonstrate confidence to Estyn. They informed Committee that if there was concern about a school, the Chief Education Officer can legally intervene.

·       The Committee were pleased with the inspection outcomes and congratulated the Cabinet Member and Officers. The Committee asked whether it was easy to compare Newport’s outcomes  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Conclusions of Committee Reports

Following the completion of the Committee reports, the Committee will be asked to formalise its conclusions, recommendations and comments on previous items for actioning.


·       The Committee thanked Officers and schools for their continued hard work.

·       The Committee were content with the report.

·       The Committee highlighted the importance of progression and improvement within the Pillgwenlly Primary School after its inspection report.

·       The Committee highlighted the importance of the continued work to promote the use of Welsh second language in schools and asked for further information about what resources are available and used in schools to promote this.

·       The Committee asked for an information report on what outreach is done with pupils and families who are struggling with returning to school post-Covid, those who are struggling with attendance and NEETs.



Scrutiny Adviser Reports pdf icon PDF 140 KB

a)      Actions Arising (Appendix 1)

b)      Forward Work Programme Update (Appendix 2)

c)      Information Reports (Appendix 3)



Additional documents:


a)       Actions Arising (Appendix 1)

The Scrutiny Advisor presented the action sheet.

b)      Forward Work Programme Update (Appendix 2)

The Scrutiny Advisor informed Committee that there had been no changes to the FWP.

c)       Information Reports (Appendix 3)

The Scrutiny Advisor noted that there had been one information report this month regarding Child Exploitation. The Scrutiny Advisor stated that there had been no questions forwarded regarding this, and that the Chair had expressed thanks on behalf of the Committee to Officers and commended their work.



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