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“EXTREMELY good news” for Powys County Council’s education department has been highlighted by deputy leader Cllr Aled Davies.

At Powys County Council’s cabinet meeting on Tuesday, November 23, councillors agreed to changes in the Strategic Risk Register.

Two risks around the shortage of lorry and bus drivers and that social care providers could go bust have been added to the register.

While the education department’s risk around the response to Estyn’s critical report from September 2019, the Post Inspection Action Plan (PIAP) will be removed.

Finance portfolio holder Cllr Aled Davies who is also in charge of the Strategic Risk Register said: “I must draw your (attention) to one risk which is being de-escalated for the education service.

“It relates to the Post Inspection Action Plan (PIAP) and it’s down to the hardwork of the staff and the leadership that Cllr Phyl Davies has delivered for the education service.

“It’s extremely good news.”

A spokesman for Estyn confirmed that a follow up report to the inspection will be published on their website on Friday, November 26.

A cabinet meeting is set to take place on Friday afternoon which includes an “oral update” on education improvement.

In September 2019, Powys County Council was engulfed in crisis as education watchdog, Estyn published a report saying that the authority was “causing significant concern.”

Politically the report caused ructions including two resignations from the cabinet.

A meeting to discuss a vote of no confidence in the cabinet member for education at the time, Cllr Myfanwy Alexander, was shelved as she was moved to Adult Social Care and replaced by Cllr Phyl Davies.

Estyn’s report included five recommendations that the council needed to address in their PIAP.

These are:

Improve the standards in secondary schools, 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 the 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 financial management in schools and take appropriate action to address schools with significant deficit budget.

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