Torfaen to hand over control education in wake of damning report

Torfaen to hand over control education in wake of damning report

DAMNING ESTYN REPORT: Torfaen is set to hand over control of some education responsibilities to the Education Achievement Service. Picture posed by models

RECOMMENDING CHANGE: Torfaen council chief executive Alison Ward

REDUNDANCY PLAN: Torfaen chief education officer Mark Provis

First published in News
Last updated
South Wales Argus: Photograph of the Author by

TORFAEN is to hand over control of its education department in the wake of its damning Estyn report.

The move will be proposed by council chief executive Alison Ward at a meeting of full council on June 25, a decision which will also see Mark Provis' current role of chief education officer made redundant and he will be taking leave until a decision is made at the end of the month.

Torfaen’s education department was placed into special measures at the end of March after failing to make enough progress on recommendations made by the schools’ inspectorate Estyn.

In an e-mail to councillors, seen by us, Ms Ward said: "I will be recommending that the council should consider transferring its statutory duty for school improvement to the Education Achievement Service (EAS).

"This will result in a fundamental change in the role of chief education officer (CEO) and will mean that there is no need for the post to continue in its current form; I will therefore also be recommending to council that the post be made redundant."

Torfaen has been a lead authority in the EAS, which was set up is a partnerships between the five Gwent authorities - Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Newport, Monmouthshire and Torfaen - last summer with the aim of sharing expertise and resources to raise standards.

Ms Ward's e-mail continued: "Mark Provis, the current Chief Education Officer, supports this change as the logical next step in the authority's commitment to securing greater capacity to support school improvement at a regional level.

"It is also his view that the planning for the future delivery of the wider Education Services in Torfaen is best undertaken by those who will be engaged long term with these services.

"He has every confidence in his colleagues' capacity to respond effectively to this challenge and in the schools' commitment to working in partnership with them."

Ms Ward said senior education officer, Dermot McChrystal would lead the education senior management team in the interim and herself and Brian Mawby, cabinet member responsible for education will "keep close oversight of the work of the education service and provide any support and guidance that is required."

Cllr Mawby and Ms Ward will bring an initial report on the proposals to overview and scrutiny committee on June 18, when members views will be sought.

The EAS was created last summer but officially got to work in September and has been boosted by £1 million of Welsh Government money.

Comments (7)

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11:22am Wed 5 Jun 13

KarmaSuitsYa says...

Good grief, what awful photo's of those two.

Alison Ward looks like she's kicking puppies, and Mark Provis looks like he's the puppy being kicked.
Good grief, what awful photo's of those two. Alison Ward looks like she's kicking puppies, and Mark Provis looks like he's the puppy being kicked. KarmaSuitsYa
  • Score: 0

12:06pm Wed 5 Jun 13

On the inside says...

22 Welsh Authorities is a disaster. They are simply too small to run services. Bring back Gwent.
22 Welsh Authorities is a disaster. They are simply too small to run services. Bring back Gwent. On the inside
  • Score: 0

1:05pm Wed 5 Jun 13

let em swing says...

Appalling state of affairs and our children are suffering, people in charge promoted above their abilities in the first place.
Appalling state of affairs and our children are suffering, people in charge promoted above their abilities in the first place. let em swing
  • Score: 0

5:49pm Wed 5 Jun 13

lyndon666 says...

In most other walks of life anybody who had failed at their job as spectacularly as Mark Provis quite evidently has would be unceremoniously sacked, instead of leaving with a handshake and a generous redundancy cheque as is likely to be the case here.

One rule for ordinary teachers and school staff, quite another for the bosses.
In most other walks of life anybody who had failed at their job as spectacularly as Mark Provis quite evidently has would be unceremoniously sacked, instead of leaving with a handshake and a generous redundancy cheque as is likely to be the case here. One rule for ordinary teachers and school staff, quite another for the bosses. lyndon666
  • Score: 1

7:58pm Wed 5 Jun 13

grayham norton says...

Ms Ward said senior education officer, Dermot McChrystal would lead the education senior management team in the interim and herself !
And what a joke this is!! at the meeting the council should ask for her to leave making a decision like this the man is a joke!
Ms Ward said senior education officer, Dermot McChrystal would lead the education senior management team in the interim and herself ! And what a joke this is!! at the meeting the council should ask for her to leave making a decision like this the man is a joke! grayham norton
  • Score: 0

11:36pm Wed 5 Jun 13

Alessi says...

Torfaen Borough Council is just a disaster.
Education is in a mess and to be run by EAS
Leisure Services to become a Charitable Non Profit Organisation.
Housing run by Bron Afon.
Direct labour work being sub-contracted to agency staff more and more.
Roads left to disintergrate.
The Parks department just about non existent.
Large numbers of staff being made redundant or encouraged to take early retirement every year.
Cuts being made everywhere
Do we really need a Chief Executive who earns £100k plus any more?
What we do need is someone to take the Council forward and to remove all of the dead wood without it costing a arm and a leg in redundancy pay severance pay, notice and gold plated pensions.
When are the residents of Torfaen going to see progress being made within the Borough. The whole Council needs a really big shake up to stop the inevitable slide down the slippery slope.
Come on Ms Ward sort out the problems now, before its too late.
Sorry - it is too late the Council is already in one almighty mess, just in case you have not noticed.
Torfaen Borough Council is just a disaster. Education is in a mess and to be run by EAS Leisure Services to become a Charitable Non Profit Organisation. Housing run by Bron Afon. Direct labour work being sub-contracted to agency staff more and more. Roads left to disintergrate. The Parks department just about non existent. Large numbers of staff being made redundant or encouraged to take early retirement every year. Cuts being made everywhere Do we really need a Chief Executive who earns £100k plus any more? What we do need is someone to take the Council forward and to remove all of the dead wood without it costing a arm and a leg in redundancy pay severance pay, notice and gold plated pensions. When are the residents of Torfaen going to see progress being made within the Borough. The whole Council needs a really big shake up to stop the inevitable slide down the slippery slope. Come on Ms Ward sort out the problems now, before its too late. Sorry - it is too late the Council is already in one almighty mess, just in case you have not noticed. Alessi
  • Score: 1

9:55pm Fri 7 Jun 13

fedupjon says...

Torfaen Council is struggling like many other small authorities in wales and it is not due the inefficiencies of its staff.
On the inside got it right by saying we have too many authorities which is bleeding councils of the appropriate funding.
None of the education services in the greater Gwent have enough staff to provide the leadership and development of the service for schools and pupils.
The one person who is not criticised in all of this mess is Leighton Andrews, the Minister for education. What a waste of space he is. Extremely well paid but lacking any bottle to making meaningful decisions on key education matters.
Torfaen Council is struggling like many other small authorities in wales and it is not due the inefficiencies of its staff. On the inside got it right by saying we have too many authorities which is bleeding councils of the appropriate funding. None of the education services in the greater Gwent have enough staff to provide the leadership and development of the service for schools and pupils. The one person who is not criticised in all of this mess is Leighton Andrews, the Minister for education. What a waste of space he is. Extremely well paid but lacking any bottle to making meaningful decisions on key education matters. fedupjon
  • Score: 0

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