Agenda item

Education Strategy - Cardiff 2030

To enable Members to undertake the pre-decision scrutiny of the Education strategy prior its consideration by Cabinet



Members were  advised that this item enabled the Committee to review and assess the Education 10 year strategy for Cardiff – Cardiff 2030.  The Committee had, at previous meetings, helped influence the development of the Strategy.


The Chairperson welcomed Councillor Sarah Merry (Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills), Nick Batchelar (Director of Education and Lifelong Learning) and Mike Tate (Assistant Director of Education Lifelong Learning) to the meeting.


Councillor Merry was invited to make a statement in which she indicated that every child faces a different set of challenges, some are behind before they start school.  That has to be recognised and it is therefore important to actually wrap the structure and services around the child.  Our aim is that our city has a very high standard of education for every child. 


Nick Batchelar (Director, Education and Lifelong Learning) took Members through the draft cabinet report outlining that much of what it is needed over the next ten years will be to consolidate and extend the progress that has been made since Cardiff 2020 was launched.  Education will look very different in 2030, it sets out a deep and systematic change. The point of plan is to shape the priorities which should be manifesting themselves in the Capital Ambition Delivery Plan.   It is about sharing responsibilities and holding each other to account.  It is also necessary to recognise the role of parents as primary educators.


This is set out in the 2 themes and 5 goals:




  1. A shared responsibility for education and learning across the City; and
  2. Meaningful participation of children and young people.




  1. A learning entitlement;
  2. Learner’s health and wellbeing;
  3. Realising the Curriculum for Wales 2022 in Cardiff;
  4. A world class education workforce; and
  5. High quality learning environments.


The Chairperson invited questions from Members:



Members discussed the lack of reference to bullying strategies in the report and were advised that whilst it was not specifically listed, it was inherent in the various references to child safety and wellbeing, and that the positive image of what a childhood should be runs through the whole report.



Members referred to school not working for every child and that there is an ethnicity attainment gap in Cardiff.  It is accepted that outcomes are still not high enough and that to many children and young people fail to do well enough because they do not feel included in the system.  There has still not been enough progress in having a more diverse workforce.  



Members expressed concern that the importance of the role of parents/adults play in their education is not suitably recognised within the goals.  Whilst the first goal references high quality lifelong learning it does appear to stop at 19 and there is no further reference to their learning.  The Director advised that the values are clearly set on within the documents provided but that there is not meant to be detailed implementation information in every area.  There are strong links with further education, it is important to prepare learners to go on further.



Members noted the importance of making sure that schools were at the heart of the local communities and that a Community Focussed School approach will be developed.  The Director advised that conversations are taking place and that this document can help shape those conversations.  Members would also like to see that the approach is not just about the sports facilities that can be accessed but about providing other facilities that can be access which would help parents, for example English or computer classes.



Members made reference to all schools being rights respecting schools and queried how that would operate.  The Cabinet Member advised there should be emphasis on the pupil voice, it is more than just asking how they want to recycle plastic it is about engagement and shaping the rules within the school itself.  It is about them recognising that it is not just about them but about the person or pupil sat next to them. 



Members discussed success measures and the fact that they seem a little vague but noted that this is a document for the next 10 years and that there would be other documents with specific targets.



Members discussed the significant gap in outcomes between those on high and low incomes.  It was noted that it exists in cities across England, Wales and Scotland.  It is a perpetual aspiration which is hugely challenging.



Members noted the launch date for this document is the 19 November at City Hall.  Members were invited to attend.



Members referred to Eastern High School being an example of a school with good facilities used by the Community, investment in that school has taken place.  What is the vision and ambition for schools with estate issues which need further investment.  The Cabinet Member advised that there is a real challenge in terms of schools allowing access.  It is easier for the larger secondary school but more difficult for primary schools.  It is important that we look at ways to help and support schools.  In relation to schools where investment is required, it would not be wise to underestimate the challenge faced in relation to those schools. 



AGREED – That the Chairperson writes to the Cabinet Member on behalf of the Committee expressing their comments and observations discussed during the Way Forward.


Supporting documents: