Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Hanbury Road, Pontypool, NP4 6YB
Contact: Geraint Thomas
Senior Business Support Officer - Democratic Services
Welcome & apologies / Croeso ac ymddiheuriadau
1.1 Apologies were received from Councillors Glyn Caron, Kathy
Evans, Richard Overton, Rose Seabourne and Colette
Declarations of interest / Datganiadau o fudd
2.1 The CLO reminded Members that if they felt that they had an
interest to declare in any items, they should do so and record it
on the Declarations of Interest pro forma provided.
2.2 The Chair declared a personal interest in agenda item 6 as she
was a school governor at Croesyceiliog School.
Minutes 3/10/18 / Cofnodion 3/10/18 PDF 396 KB
3.1 The minutes of the meeting held on 3rd October 2018
were confirmed as an accurate record.
3.2 The CLO left the meeting.
Action sheet / Taflen Gweithredu PDF 103 KB
4.1 The Chair read out the following email from Cllr Rose Seabourne
regarding the Executive Member’s response to recommendation 3
from the previous meeting:
“The plan should be put together with the
knowledge of all stakeholders and should be presented to elected
members before acceptance by the PSB. Surely such contribution will
only strengthen the plan prior to agreement”.
4.2 The Chair explained that the response from the Executive Member
had stated that there was no scope at present to have wider
engagement around the plan with all stakeholders. The Committee
agreed to go back to the Executive Member to ask when wider
engagement would be likely.
4.3 The committee noted the action sheet.
Exclusions, Attendance & EOTAS (Education Other Than At Schools) / Gwaharddiadau, Presenoldeb ac EOTAS (Addysg ac Eithrio Mewn Ysgolion) PDF 463 KB
The Chair introduced the HoL, SEWO and
5.2 The HoL gave a brief introduction to the
‘Attendance’ section of the report, highlighting the
verified data regarding secondary school attendance showed an
increase from 93.7% to 94% during the previous three
- Torfaen had risen from 16th position in Wales to
9th position, as a result of the above improvement.
Torfaen was one of only two Local Education Authorities (LEAs) in
Wales to improve, with the majority of Wales seeing a downward
- Abersychan School and Cwmbran High School had risen from
attendance benchmark quartile 4 to 1 during the previous three
years, and other Torfaen schools were looking to visit them in
order to share good practice.
- Primary school attendance had seen a slight dip from 94.8% to
94.5% during the previous three years, so there was more work to do
in this area. The decrease had slowed down from 2% to 1% during the
previous two years.
- Following the launch of the ‘Strive for 95’ campaign
in January 2018, primary schools attendance did not improve as fast
as secondary schools. The strategy was reviewed during the summer
and a shift in performance was now being seen at primary school
level. Another review would take place in January 2019.
John Sheridan entered the meeting.
Members’ questions and comments, the HoL, SEWO and SALNM made the following main
HoL confirmed that a consistent
approach was seen across Torfaen schools regarding the
‘Strive for 95’ campaign, as all schools had the
strategy and access to the same resources, flowcharts and Education
Welfare Officers (EWOs). She reminded the Committee that the
LEA’s role was to support and guide schools.
HoL explained that a member of each
school’s Senior Leadership Team (SLT) was responsible for
attendance and their work around how they were attempting to
increase this should be included in headteachers’ reports to
HoL explained that pupils were being
encouraged to attend registration in order to get their mark prior
to attending medical appointments. They should then return promptly
to school after their appointments.
HoL confirmed that SLTs in schools
should ensure that all school policies are shared with supply
HoL confirmed that Torfaen schools used
electronic systems to monitor attendance; however a swipe card
system would have budgetary implications.
HoL stated that holidays were one of
the main causes for an increase in unauthorised absences and this
was a trend across Wales. She added that no Fixed Term Penalties
(FTPs) had been issued in Torfaen to deal with this issue and the
LEA and schools needed to get the message across to parents that
missing school was detrimental to their child’s
HoL acknowledged that some statistics
did not show correlation between attendance and achievement;
however she stated that this was down to the quality of teaching
and learning, and engaging with pupils. She confirmed that the LEA
view the full minutes text for item 5.
Schools Standards Monitoring Sub Committee - Update Report / Is-bwyllgor Monitro Safonau Ysgolion - Adroddiad Diweddaru PDF 336 KB
6.1 The Chair explained that the Sub Committee had not met recently
due to issues around the availability of school data. Further
information and clarification was expected from Welsh Government
regarding this issue and therefore it was hoped that the Sub
Committee would meet in early 2019.
6.2 Members noted the report.
Date of next meeting 6/2/19 / Dyddiad y cyfarfod nesaf 6/2/19
7.1 The date of the next meeting was noted. The Chair informed the
Committee that they would be considering the EAS Business Plan and
Educational Attainment (including achievement of vulnerable
7.2 The meeting ended at 3.00pm.