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Written Statement - Update in respect of changes to the Anglesey Recovery Board

Huw Lewis, Minister for Education and Skills 

In various Statements from my predecessor, Members were advised of the action that is being taken to address the shortcomings identified during the inspection of education services for children and young people in Anglesey.  We said that we would keep Members informed of progress in respect of the Recovery Board we established to support the authority.  We have therefore provided regular updates as and when the membership of the board has changed.  

Today I am announcing further changes to the recovery board’s membership.

I am pleased to be able to inform Assembly Members that the authority has worked well with the Recovery Board and is making good progress in addressing the recommendations given to them during the Estyn inspection in 2012.  

The Recovery Board, chaired by Mel Ainscow, has provided advice, support and challenge to the authority while it developed and implemented its post inspection action plan.  A wide range of the activities within that plan have now been actioned and the result of this work is now beginning to embed and deliver positive outcomes.

My sincere thanks go to all of the members of the current recovery board who have helped to bring the authority to this stage.  Anglesey is in a better condition thanks to their participation in the recovery process.

Recognition is also due to the authority themselves who have been committed to addressing the weaknesses identified by Estyn.  The authority have worked co-operatively with my board and recognised the value that the board has brought to the process of recovery.

I have reflected on the progress that the authority has made and considered the issues that it still faces.  The authority does still have issues to overcome, but these are far more specific and across distinct elements of the education portfolio.  In recognition of this I propose to re-constitute the Board into a more streamlined body providing specific advice and challenge to the members and officers of Anglesey.

Moving forward the board will be comprised of 3 individuals, supported by a seconded specialist from within my department.  This specialist has experience of working with the previous Anglesey board and will act as an advisor and interim chair while the board is established.  The three full board members will be Eileen Barnes Vachell former London Challenge Adviser, Rob Sully of Carmarthenshire Council’s Education Department and existing board member Viv Thomas.

I will continue to keep colleagues updated as progress is made.