Agenda and minutes

Subject Overview and Scrutiny Committee 1 - Monday, 15th March, 2021 14:30

Venue: remotely via Microsoft Teams

Contact: Democratic Services 


No. Item


Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence from Members.





Councillors: SE Baldwin; M Jones;  B Sedgebeer;

L Morris, Registered Representative – Secondary School Sector.


Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of personal and prejudicial interest (if any) from Members/Officers in accordance with the provisions of the Members Code of Conduct adopted by Council from 1 September 2008 (including whipping declarations)





Cllr JPD Blundell declared a personal interest in item 4 because he was a

Community Governor at Cefn Glas Infants School.


Cllr TH Beedle declared a personal interest in item 4 because he was Chair of Bridgend Governors Association.


Rev. Canon E Evans, Registered Representative, Church in Wales, declared a personal interest in agenda item 4 because he was a Community Governor of Bryntirion Comprehensive School.


Cllr RJ Collins declared a personal interest in item 4 because he was a Community Governor of St Mary’s and St Patrick’s Roman Catholic School.


Cllr SK Dendy declared a personal interest in item 4 because she was Community Governor at Blaengarw Primary School.


Cllr AJ Williams declared a personal interest in item 4 because she had 2 children at Secondary Schools and 1 at Primary school within the County Borough who were all undertaking blended learning.



Approval of Minutes pdf icon PDF 107 KB

To receive for approval the minutes of the meeting of 07/12/20





RESOLVED:                      That the Minutes of a meeting of Subject Overview and Scrutiny Committee 1 dated 7 December 2020 be approved as a true and accurate record.



Blended Learning in Bridgend Schools since March 2020 pdf icon PDF 99 KB



Lindsay Harvey - Corporate Director – Education and Family Support

Cllr Charles Smith - Cabinet Member for Education and Regeneration

Nicola Echanis - Head of Education and Family Support

Michelle Hatcher - Group Manager Inclusion and School Improvement

Sue Roberts - Group Manager School Improvement

Howard Lazarus - Support and Digital Office Manager


Clara Seery - Managing Director - Central South Consortium

Andrew Williams - Assistant Director for Partnerships and Improvement - Central South Consortium

Natalie Gould - Assistant Director for Curriculum - Central South Consortium

Andy Rothwell - Principal Improvement Partner - Central South Consortium


Francis Clegg - Headteacher, Archbishop McGrath Catholic High School and Representative of Bridgend Association of Headteachers

Ryan Davies - Headteacher, Brynteg School and Representative of Bridgend Association of Headteachers

Kath John - Headteacher, Brackla Primary School and Chair of Primary Federation

Jeremy Phillips - Headteacher, Litchard Primary School and Vice-Chair of Primary Federation

Neil Pryce - Headteacher, Pil Primary School and Chair of the Bridgend Schools ICT Strategy Group

Bridgend Youth Council and Pupil Representatives




The Principal Improvement Partner - Central South Consortium (CSC), Assistant Director for Curriculum – CSC, Group Manager School Improvement – Bridgend County Borough Council (BCBC) and Support and Digital Office Manager - BCBC gave a PowerPoint presentation with an overview of  the report on Blended Learning in Bridgend Schools since March 2020.


The Chairperson thanked Officers for the presentation. Members asked the following questions:


A Member thanked all frontline staff and provided feedback from parents and carers in his constituency, which in the majority of cases, teachers had been incredibly supportive, in addition to great feedback about the use of Hwb and Google Classroom. The number one theme from the feedback they had received was that there appeared to be a degree of inconsistency with what some schools providing live virtual teaching and others offering worksheets or pre-recorded videos, whereas the parents had a preference for live lessons. He felt this was especially true for those that were less able with some parents stating that in some cases this could be quite isolating and demoralising. He asked Officers for their comments and how the approach could be altered to take this into account. He also asked how the approach in Bridgend differed to other areas of Wales.


The Group Manager (School Support) stated she was pleased to hear that there had been positive feedback and explained that there had been mixed views about live streaming. Teachers had also been learning, sometimes with their own children at home whilst presenting lessons, which was a challenge. There was continual learning, and there had been changes during the past year as practice was refined, so she was certainly aware of the inconsistency, which was a target area for improvement. Many teachers had been rapidly upskilled to deliver lessons in this way and this was a whole new area for many of them.


The Principal Improvement Partner, CSC, said he had listened to multiple schools across the region talking about their approach to blended learning, and it was so contextualised. There wasn’t necessarily a Bridgend comparison to other local authorities. What one school was doing was often very different to another because it was so localised and this had been the guidance put to schools, about meeting the needs of learners, which was the key thing.


The Assistant Director for Curriculum, CSC explained that there wasn’t any data at present but WG had commissioned research, which she hoped would be available soon. The roadmap was based on making decisions at every level for schools and at a moment in time, which was what the continuity of learning document was about. It was important to make clear the expectations and priorities of WG and for schools to then make decisions based on their learner needs. If feedback from parents was this is preferred, then picking, how and why, could enable that to happen. Schools that had more consistent approaches, may have changed or developed over time because of things that had changed in the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.


Urgent Items

To consider any item(s) of business in respect of which notice has been given in

accordance with Part 4 (paragraph 4) of the Council Procedure Rules and which the person presiding at the meeting is of the opinion should by reason of special circumstances be transacted at the meeting as a matter of urgency.