Huw Lewis, Minister for Education and Skills
As members are aware the public consultation on the Hill Report closed on 13th September and I have already indicated my desire to move forward quickly with a number of the options presented.
To remind members the Hill report has not made any recommendations but has proposed a range of possible delivery options for education services. Today I wish to update you on actions I am taking to make progress specifically around option 5.2 and 5.3 of the report linked to the work of our regional education consortia.
As I have previously indicated to Assembly Members in my oral statement of 1 October and my further written statement on the 7 October I am minded:
- for local authorities to retain their statutory responsibility for education;
- to put in place a national model for regional working;
In order to progress this work I have decided to appoint a small high level group made up of external experts. This group will act as a critical friend and expert sounding board as the detail of the national model is developed. They will help my officials & I to set the high level direction for the national model, and will also work to critique the detail of the model as it is developed. This task and finish group will report to me via my officials.
I am pleased to announce the membership of this group as:
- Robert Hill – author of the Review of Education Service in Wales
- Professor David Reynolds – who has an international reputation for his work on school effectiveness & school improvement
- Gareth Williams – currently a member of the Merthyr Tydfil Recovery Board and former Director of Children and Young Peoples Services in Leicestershire Council
- Joyce Redfearn – former Chief Executive of Wigan Council and Monmouthshire Council
I intend to supplement the work of this group by drawing on local authorities and consortia to pull together a larger and widely representative working group which will take forward the detailed work of developing the national model. This working group will pull in individuals from all levels of the current system including:
- The lead Chief Executives;
- The lead Directors of Education; and
- Key lead officers from the consortia regions
The need to make progress on the development of the national model is urgent. Work will commence immediately and will be completed as soon as practicable. I will of course continue to keep colleagues updated on these matters as progress is made.