H Lloyd: Peer inspections have been conducted, and feedback is requested. G. Jones and G. Owen visited Ysgol Godre’r Berwyn as peer inspectors.
GJ: No conflict with his role; expected to shadow but given an area to collect evidence. Week described as busy and hard work; process was open and transparent. Headteacher sees findings simultaneously.
G. Owen: Enjoyable experience; impressed with focus on evidence. Emphasized fairness of the approach, focusing on positives. Working with SLT was excellent; brought about an element of normality/openness.
R. Owen: Main message: “Don’t hide anything as it will be found.” Inspection was a professional dialogue and a benchmark of progress since opening. ESTYN report validated findings in the SDP.
B. Emyr: Enjoyed the experience; found it honest and open.
T. Edwards: Positive experience, but ESTYN did not understand the context of Garth Olwg. Issues with the physical nature of the school; expectations were very high.
L. Davies: Felt there was a lack of knowledge of 3-18 education and the concept of a through phase approach.
G. Jones: ESTYN has made progress; inspectors were back and forth between phases in his school.
R. Owen: Idris Davies’ preparation was rigorous; immediate resolution of issues during the inspection. Urged addressing issues quickly and being brave.
H. Lloyd: EFLC has an upcoming inspection under the new framework and will provide feedback in the next meeting. Two schools left in the current cycle.
S. Hopkins: Asked about the timeframe for inspections after the establishment of an all-age school. H. Lloyd mentioned it is supposed to be 8 months but is usually considerably longer.
H Lloyd: Many schools in the Forum have received £4000 from the Welsh Government for research. J. Luker has created a report form to ensure findings conform to the professional requirements of research. H. Lloyd went through the form. The report form will be sent out again by CH and needs to be completed by the end of term or the beginning of January. These will be returned to Kevin Palmer, and the Minister for Education is very interested in the outcomes. CH will send out J. Luker’s email address to members so that they can ask any questions about the form. Only one school needs to fill in the form if the research has been done in a group of schools on the same theme. More money will be made available on completion of this research.
J. Luker: Conversations with WG indicate that research is becoming increasingly high profile. Schools/organisations can/should initiate projects themselves, or WG will set the parameters.
H. Lloyd: WG is keen for the forum to continue as it is seen as a frank and open place for discussion.
J. Luker: Interest in the role and significance of challenge advisors is growing, and this is a simmering area of research.
T. Edwards: Has no challenge advisor, and there has been a very long pilot of 5 schools.
J. Luker: Results of new Erasmus research on AASs in Spain have been published, and he will summarize and forward it to the Forum. Research is often not done by AAS heads, and this needs to be remedied so that their voices can be heard in the public domain.
H. Lloyd: Thanked the SLT at Idris Davies for their hospitality and the very interesting presentations.