Huw Lewis, Minister for Education and Skills
Further to my Written Statement of 14 July, in which I published funding allocations associated with the first year of Schools Challenge Cymru, I am now in a position to update this information by publishing details of expenditure for the programme. The table, which follows, provides details of both revenue and capital spend from the announced £20m investment to support the first year of activity.
As I set out in my previous statement, whilst I made up to £20m available for Schools Challenge Cymru, the funding identified to support its delivery totalled £16.35m. Managing spend against this budget in-year has resulted in net savings of 1.6% against the allocated envelope of funding. This amount reflects the levels of support identified by Pathways to Success Schools and their Advisers during year one of the programme, to begin securing them on their journeys of improvement, and to start building capacity for improvement more widely in the system.
The funding allocated to support the individual improvement journeys of each of the Pathways to Success schools varies, and rightly so, as the programme was designed to respond to unique circumstances by providing tailored packages of support to help each school respond to their challenges. Resources, therefore, were allocated where they would make greatest impact. I remain confident that much has been delivered and much has been achieved, with each school having established the foundations on which to build sustainable improvement for the longer term.
Beyond the 40 schools, Schools Challenge Cymru has supported the consortia to continue collaborating and building capacity for improvement. This investment is designed to ensure that Schools Challenge Cymru has a positive impact on the wider education system, leading to an emphasis on school-led self improvement. In addition, the programme has delivered a range of in-kind support for schools and the regions, including: expertise – via the Schools Challenge Advisers and Champions Group; the celebration, evaluation and sharing of good practice; and projects and activities designed to foster collaboration and partnership working.