Huw Lewis, Minister for Education and Skills
As I have previously indicated to Assembly Members I intend to put in place a national model for regional school improvement services which ensures that individual local authorities stop providing school improvement services. Instead local authorities will provide those services through a consortia established and run by them. This will ensure that expertise and resources are pooled and best practice disseminated. This will also ensure that school improvement services are delivered in a consistent way across Wales and avoid some of the duplication that is currently taking place.
Local government have given a commitment to adopt the national model with implementation progressively achieved from 1 April 2014. This is along with a ‘protection’ on the current level of spend to support regional school services. I have a commitment from them that if they fail to deliver then there will be a top-slice of the RSG from 2015.
As I previously informed members, in order to progress this work I appointed a small high level group of external experts. This group has acted as a critical friend and sounding board as the detail of the national model has been developed. The work of this group was supplemented by drawing on expertise in local authorities and their consortia to pull together a larger representative working group which took forward the detailed work of developing the National Model.
I am pleased to inform members that this work has now been completed and I have accepted the new National Model. The WLGA and council leaders have also accepted the principles and structures outlined in the model and have given me their collective commitment to the model.
The National Model covers the following elements in five key sections:
- Section 1: the mission, values and principles of effective school improvement
- Section 2 : the scope of regional consortia
- Section 3: delivery of respective regional consortia and local authority functions
- Section 4: governance and accountability
- Section 5: the organisation and operation of consortia
Further work will be undertaken over the coming months to ensure that the National Model will be operational from 1 April 2014. I expect consortia to work closely with the profession and unions in taking this forward
A copy of the National Model will be available on the Welsh Government web-site shortly and can be accessed online.