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Central South Consortium Statement following Estyn Visit
Published on 20/10/2017
The Central South Consortium is today publishing the outcomes of Estyn’s recent revisit to the consortium.

The consortium was initially inspected in February 2016. At that time Estyn found that:

“…the consortium has developed into a reflective organisation that is committed to evaluating and improving its own practice and performance”.
 
However, Estyn also identified four areas for improvement: reduce the variability of performance across schools and local authorities; improve the accuracy of challenge adviser evaluations; strengthen procedures for monitoring and evaluating schools; and strengthen the consortium’s evaluation of its own progress against operational plans.
 
Following the Estyn monitoring visit in September this year to examine the consortium’s progress against these recommendations, Estyn found that the organisation has made strong progress against three of the four recommendations and satisfactory progress against the fourth.

Leadership and Categorisation

Estyn illustrates the work taking place by the Consortium to develop leadership and notes the improvements in categorisation:

“The rationale for school leadership development is clear and the consortium recognises and understands the importance that high quality leadership has in improving school performance. The consortium’s leadership development for headteachers is improving headteachers’ ability to lead their schools effectively and nearly all are actively engaged in school improvement groups. This, in part, has led to a majority of schools improving their categorisation.”

Sharing Practice
 
Estyn highlights the Consortium’s model for sharing effective practice and networking between schools:
 
“Recently, the consortium has reorganised the deployment of challenge advisers and has developed new approaches to cluster working. The new arrangements mean that schools and challenge advisers are better matched to meet the needs of the schools’ context. As a result, the consortium can more easily facilitate networking opportunities and promote the sharing of good practice between schools.”

Councillor Sarah Merry, Chair of the Central South Consortium Joint Committee and Cabinet Member for Education in Cardiff commented:

“We are delighted with the outcomes of the consortium’s Estyn monitoring visit.  The ambition of the consortium is to improve the educational outcomes for all pupils and the outcomes for vulnerable learners fastest.  We believe that the findings of today’s report clearly illustrate our progress towards this goal.  There is however, more to do and we will continue to work with on behalf of the five Local Authorities and with schools, staff, parents, learners and the wider community to ensure that the region’s pupils are able to achieve their full potential”.

Mike Glavin, Central South Consortium Managing Director commented:

“I pay tribute to the hard work and dedication shown by the consortium staff.  We have an extremely skilled and knowledgeable team, and it is through their commitment to Welsh education that we have been able to continually strive for improvement both as an organisation and for the learners in the region. 

We are delighted that Estyn has highlighted the work taking place in the region to improve leadership and the outcomes for categorisation.  Our vision since 2012 has been to create a self improving school system; where the region’s schools are able to take the lead in their own improvement.  It is good to see our vision becoming reality.

Finally, we would like to thank Estyn for their time and valuable feedback.  We are very much looking forward to continuing our work with the region’s schools and learners to continue to improve outcomes for all.”

For further information contact:

Siân Johnson, Communications Manager
Telephone: 01443 827548 
E-mail: sian.r.johnson@cscjes.org.uk
Website: www.cscjes.org.uk
Twitter: www.twitter.com/cscjes
Facebook: www.facebook.com/centralsouthconsortium
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