The Welsh Education Minister must ensure that the four Regional Education Consortia are consistent in their approaches to monitoring the implementation of Welsh Government policies.
The responsibilities of the consortia are expanding at an almost daily rate.
Following questions put to the Minister recently, I am concerned that not enough monitoring work is being undertaken by the Welsh Government to ensure that the consortia are fully meeting their obligations.
Whilst I appreciate that decision-making should take place at as local level as possible, the ability to fully scrutinise the performance of the consortia is difficult given the lack of transparency.
I have found that there is an inconsistency in the way the consortia operate, with some decisions directly contradicting Welsh Government guidance.
Given that the individual local authorities are still responsible for school improvement under statute, local councillors are the elected, accountable individuals who receive consortia reports.
However, at a time when the education sector has such a vast number of initiatives and reviews in place it is imperative that direction and delivery are fully supported and that the Education Minister can be scrutinised on the consortias’ work.
Without effective scrutiny, that support might well not be made available and school standards could suffer as a result.
I will continue to pursue this matter with the Minister and my own regional consortia in North Wales