Agenda and minutes

Subject Overview and Scrutiny Committee 1 - Thursday, 16th September, 2021 09:30

Venue: remotely - via Microsoft Teams

Contact: Democratic Services 


No. Item


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 T Beedle declared a personal interest in item 4 as the Chair of Bridgend Governors Association.


Cllr JP Blundell declared a personal interest in item 4 as a Community Governor at Cefn Glas Infants School.


Cllr J Gebbie declared a personal interest in item 4 as a LA Governor at Mynydd Cynffig Primary School and Pîl Primary School.


Cllr Cheryl Green declared a personal interest in item 4 as a LA Governor at Bryntirion Comprehensive School and Trelales Primary School.


Lyndsey Morris, Registered Representative, Secondary School Sector declared a personal interest in item 4 as a Parent Governor at Maesteg School.


Cllr Tim Thomas declared a personal interest in item 4 as a LA Governor at Brynmenyn Primary School and Coleg Cymunedol Y Dderwen.


Approval of Minutes pdf icon PDF 196 KB

To receive for approval the minutes of the meeting of 14/06/2021


RESOLVED:                      That the Minutes of a meeting of Subject Overview and Scrutiny Committee 1 held on 14 June 2021 be approved as a true and accurate record.


How Central South Consortium Supports Bridgend Schools pdf icon PDF 163 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

Susan Roberts - Group Manager School Improvement


Clara Seery - Managing Director - Central South Consortium

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

Andy Rothwell - Principal Improvement Partner - Central South Consortium


Hannah Castle - Headteacher, Cynffig Comprehensive School, Vice-Chair of BASH and Chair of Schools Budget Forum)

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

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

Helen Ridout - Headteacher of Ysgol Bryn Castell

Additional documents:


The Managing Director, Central South Consortium (CSC) thanked the committee for the invitation to come and talk about the work they had been doing across Bridgend. Outlining some of the report, she explained that they have been working in the context of a global pandemic and it had been an incredibly difficult year for everybody, particularly Headteachers. There had been significant changes in the areas of accountability and, categorisation continued to be suspended which, had given them the freedom to work differently with schools.  The aim was to empower schools to improve outcomes for all learners, by working in partnership with the local authority to provide bespoke support to all the schools within Bridgend. They would continue to support and challenge school leaders so that they could demonstrate progress against the school improvement priorities, however, this would be done in the context of a global pandemic and the uncertainty that it brought. There was significant focus on wellbeing and ensuring that the staff in schools were equipped to be able to manage the challenges that they faced. Their improvement partners would be brokering quality, assuring the support that was going into schools to make sure that it was effective and fit for purpose. Following the presentation of the report, Members of the Committee asked the following.


A Member described the report as very positive but had concerns about the challenges of recruiting Welsh speaking teachers.


The Managing Director, CSC advised that it was a high concern, and they had a regional group that worked together across the five local authorities to discuss those issues. Recruitment was a challenge, with the number of people going into teacher training, then adding the Welsh-medium layer in and it became even more of a challenge. Retention was also a significant issue, but it was something being raised with Welsh Government (WG) at every opportunity. There was a training programme for teachers within the Welsh-medium sector, all of the training was offered through the medium of Welsh and English, however at the moment it was about finding those teachers and getting them into the system. CSC were in discussions with initial teacher training institutions and how they could work at that level, but it was not a quick fix, but definitely on the radar.


The Cabinet Member for Education and Regeneration explained one of the things that was important to him was the need for training and resources which was subject based. He had spent the last significant years in his professional life, as an initial teacher trainer and he appreciated the difficulties with getting postgraduates interested in delivering their subject through the medium of Welsh. it was important to talk to teacher training establishments to make sure that there were incentives to teaching their subject through the medium of Welsh. As a Consortium and as an Education Authority and a group of schools, they needed to think about and encourage students to come and do their teaching practice using some Welsh. This was not  ...  view the full minutes text for item 37.


Forward Work Programme Update pdf icon PDF 316 KB

Additional documents:


There were no further items identified for consideration on the Forward Work Programme having regard to the selection criteria in paragraph 4.3, and this could be revisited at the next meeting.


There were no requests to include specific information in the item for the next meeting.


RESOLVED:          That the Committee approved the Forward Work Programme in Appendix A, noted that the Forward Work Programme and any updates from the Committee would be reported to the next meeting of COSC and noted the Recommendation Monitoring Action Sheet in Appendix B.


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.