The Local Government Education Services report - by education watchdog Estyn - recognises areas of improvement we have made since 2012 when we were placed in special measures.
There has been strong progress made with many of those previous recommendations including those related to safeguarding children and young people.
Estyn said: ‘The Authority has an appropriate range of policies and procedures to support the management of safeguarding duties within the department and across the local authority’s schools.
‘In particular, the policy and procedures around safe staff recruitment are clear, and provide a suitable structure to ensure this aspect is properly managed.’
Similarly strong progress has been made with school organisation proposals and developing Welsh language provision.
The Estyn report states: ‘There is a clear strategy for school re-organisation across the county. The work to develop Welsh-medium provision in recent years is particularly noteworthy and supports the authority’s strategic ambitions well.’
The report also outlines clearly the areas where we have not made good enough progress and challenges still remain.
Estyn has left us with clear recommendations. These include:
We identified within our self-evaluation that standards in schools remain too variable and Estyn agrees.
We also understand the judgements of Estyn that we cause significant concern and must improve at pace.
We will work with all schools to ensure that the required improvements are made.
We are currently developing a post-inspection action plan and revised strategies to ensure that all learners receive a good education and that all children are equipped with good literacy and numeracy skills.
Councillor Guy Woodham, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, commented: “While there is recognition by Estyn of the progress made since 2012, the pace of change across the local authority has been inconsistent and has not taken place fast enough.
“In going forward it is important that all those involved in education now focus on urgently raising performance outcomes and improving the quality of teaching across all our schools.
“Our ambition remains the same that every learner achieves more than they thought possible.”