People have aspirations and achieve their ambitions through education, training and lifelong learning Essex County Council Commissioning Strategy 2014-2018 Version: consultation draft
Strategy development 3 Process The development of the strategy has been based on a set of ‘Turning the Curve’ reports for each indicator group produced in January 2014. The process for development was agreed with the Lead Commissioner and has involved: detailed discussions with the Lead Commissioner and all associated Tier 4 Commissioners, early and ongoing engagement with Cllr Gooding, a number of workshops focused on specific indicators involving commissionersand operational teams. The content of the Strategy is fully reflective of the outputs of these engagements. Throughout the process there has been involvement of a variety of support functions from Strategy, Transformation and Performance including Commissioning Support, Insight and Analysis and the Transformation Support Unit. Performance and Business Intelligence, Information Services and Finance have also been directly engaged. The Strategy has been subject to a number of quality assurance processes based on the agreed quality expectations.
People have aspirations and achieve their ambitions through education, training and lifelong-learning 4 • Essex County Council is responsible for encouraging Essex residents to have high ambitions for what they want to achieve and for enabling them to achieve these ambitions. It does this through working with partners to influence the provision of, and supporting residents with access to, a range of opportunities linked to education and lifelong learning from birth and throughout the rest of their lives. These opportunities encompass: • high quality early years provision; • world class education in schools, further and higher education institutions; • a diversity of training focused on employability and skills; • the availability of other learning and development opportunities recreational and otherwise intended to enrich life generally. Why is this outcome important to Essex and Essex County Council? We want all children to achieve the best start in life that they can during their early years so that when they begin school they enjoy learning and have a strong foundation for high achievement throughout the rest of their lives. Good levels of educational attainment are important to us as they are an important driver of economic growth. People who have higher levels of attainment are also more likely to have longer, safer and healthier lives. We want to drive out inequality in attainment across Essex to ensure that we become amongst the best in the country overall. We also want to foster a culture of lifelong learning so that people of all ages have a thirst for learning in all its guises. In a constantly changing global economy it is important that Essex has a highly skilled and adaptable workforce which reflects the needs of the local economy and local communities. Residents will need, and want, to be able to continue to develop and add skills throughout their lives. We want to support residents to achieve their ambitions through a comprehensive range of world class provision which is delivered through a simplified, localised and cost effective education and skills system.
Summary 5 • This Commissioning Strategy is intended to shape our activities and behaviour over the next four years, making clear how we will use capacity within ECC, across partners and amongst current/new providers, to make progress towards the Outcome. • The big issues we face that this strategy seeks to address are: • School performance is not good enough • Beyond schools, quality of data is poor • Too few people have sufficient levels of literacy and numeracy • The number of NEETS have reduced but further work needs to continue • The strategy encapsulates actions that will seek to turn the curve in these areas. The headline actions being proposed to address the issues are: • A transformation of how services to and for schools are provided, this will include consideration of the role of Essex Education Services • The commissioning of a new data system to support ‘one vision’ of the child – a single record • A data focused approach to targeted interventions in education and lifelong learning • A whole Essex approach with partners to maximise the skills levels for literacy and numeracy • Work with schools and colleges to ensure early identification of young people at risk of disengagement and becoming NEET and to ensure robust transition plans are established • A review of how adult and community learning is provided in Essex • The Strategy recognises that any proposed actions must be aligned to available resources and that resources are likely to be reduced as the Council seeks to close the current budget gap for 2015/16 and 2016/17. There are clear examples within the strategy (in bold) where actions are expected to deliver services at reduced cost (for example Education Services to and for Schools) and also a clear indication (annotated by **) of which agreed indicators / actions are a higher priority than others. This prioritisation will be used to support future resource allocation. Further more detailed work in respect of this will follow in future iterations and also via the development of the corporate commissioning workplan which will identify the detail of how the Strategy will be delivered. The activities outlined will need to be reviewed on an annual basis to ensure they remain affordable as budgets change. • In terms of prioritisation of indicators the Council believes that indicators 1,2 and 4 (numbers of good and outstanding schools, children achieving at school and NEET) should be prioritised for action and resources over others. This is on the basis that turning the curve against these indicators has the largest potential to have a positive impact on the other indicators for this strategy and beyond and to improve residents’ life chances. These are also the indicators where we have the greatest direct role and responsibility and therefore greatest potential to enact change through our own agency; our ability to influence a turn in the curve against other indicators is less as our principal means of doing so is through influencing the actions of others. This prioritisation should not be taken to imply that the Council holds action against other indicators as less important or that action will not be taken against these; it is however likely to be different in nature.
Links to other outcomes (1/3) 6 This Strategy recognises that there are important links between it and the other corporate commissioning strategies, in particular those for Children in Essex get the best start in life, People in Essex enjoy good health and wellbeing and Sustainable economic growth for Essex communities and businesses. There are dependencies both to and from the actions identified in this strategy and in others; there are also some duplicated actions and actions sitting within this strategy which will also contribute to the achievement of other outcomes and vice versa. This Strategy should therefore be read in conjunction with those created for the other outcomes. The key links are described below. . There are important dependencies between activity to improve performance in schools and the need to ensure that children entering Essex schools do so with a good level of development and are ready to achieve. Schools need to ensure that children enter primary schools with an accurate baseline assessment and that early support has been obtained for children identified as in need within early years settings. There is a need to further develop the engagement of primary school heads with early years settings, and of early years settings in the education partnerships and federations which develop in their areas. Early years settings and services also have an important role to play in working with parents to improve aspiration and in providing them with access to / facilitating their access to training and support, including through the provision of childcare. Participation in high quality education, the attainment of basic and higher level skills, the development of high aspirations and of a love of learning have an important role to play in promoting good health and wellbeing for our residents. This is due to the impact of these things on residents in their own right and also because of their impact on enabling them to obtain well paid, fulfilling and sustainable employment. Engagement in learning can have a particular transformative role in respect of the well-being of identified target groups, such as those with mental health disorders and physical ill health. Schools and other education institutions have particular responsibilities in promoting healthy eating, engagement in physical activity and safe sexual activity in young people. There is additionally clear evidence that engaging in volunteering activity has the potential to improve both mental and physical wellbeing of volunteers and as many of those who volunteer do so in sports and sports related activities this volunteering further promotes the wellbeing of those engaged in the activities themselves.
Links to other outcomes (2/3) 7 Schools and other education institutions have an important role to play in respect of safeguarding children and young people both by contributing to the early identification of problems and seeking / providing appropriate early help solutions for these and through the engagement of schools with other agencies when there are more serious concerns – appropriately identifying and reporting issues and participating in child protection core groups etc.. The important role of schools in identifying and monitoring domestic violence in households has been increasingly recognised in national and local serious case reviews. Education institutions also have a role to play in educating young people in respect of risk taking behaviours and reducing instances of this and also about safe and respectful relationships. The levels of working age adults in employment will have an impact on levels of crime and the perception of residents of their safety within communities. . The achievement of children within our education system and the work we can do with adults to improve skills levels has a key impact on the ability of our economy to prosper as a result of the availability of a skilled and work-ready workforce. It is vital that we foster the development of links between businesses and educational institutions at all level s to ensure that provision meets the needs of business and enables them to fill skills gaps. Education has a key role in encouraging residents to achieve sustainable and better paid jobs and in facilitating them into these. Businesses need to be involved in developing new education provision both at the further / higher end and in terms of academy sponsorship. The link between this indicator and that related to economic growth is of principal importance and activity across the two should be read in this context. An important shared theme across them is the promotion of high aspiration. This strategy is essentially about ensuring that Essex residents have high aspirations and ambitions about what they want to achieve in life and that these aspirations and ambitions are developed on the basis of an informed consideration of potential options. The development of this through the actions related to the education strategy will underpin the successful achievement of indicators related to economic growth. Specific stand alone activity related to aspiration is also required under economic growth strategy – for example that linked to encouraging residents to have the ambition to start their own businesses and encouraging those already with businesses to further grow them. It is also important that the economic growth strategy delivers the jobs and diversity of employment opportunities for residents with ambitions to be in employment, and particularly in high skilled employment, to move into. Aspiration and ambition across either strategy cannot be raised by Essex County Council operating in isolation and will involve us influencing the actions of a range of other stakeholders and partners so that they share in this and aligning their own strategic intentions and allocation of resources with ours. Further consideration is required about how this activity can best be coordinated and used to maximum effect.
Links to other outcomes (3/3) 8 The engagement of learners and volunteers with the environment has a number of potential benefits particularly when targeted towards key target groups. There are good links between Essex outdoor facilities and schools and the incorporation of the outdoors into curriculum has the potential to enrich this and provide children with experiences which they may not access normally. There is potential for the Council to further influence schools in respect of their use of these facilities by promoting the resources that are available and encouraging new thinking about how to access them in terms of costs of transport etc.. There are also a number of programmes aimed at engaging NEETs in environmental projects and further utilisation and development of these should be considered as part of the development of the provision available for NEET young people. There are also strong links between the environment and volunteering with many environment projects relying on the input of volunteers – further consideration could be given corporately to how volunteers could be directed towards such projects and the use of volunteers considered during the commissioning process for them. Engagement in education and lifelong learning can have an important contribution to enabling people to enhance their independence; this applies both to residents who may experience issues impacting on their independence in adult life and to children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. Activity to increase the independence of adults of working age who wish to seek employment and are able to work will have an important contribution to indicators in this and other strategies about working age adults in employment and NEET. It is recognised that whereas the corporate indicator related to volunteering sits within the education and lifelong learning outcome that volunteers have a key contribution to play in supporting people to be independent and their role in respect of this will be further developed via activity initiated in response to the Who Will Care? Commission. Engagement in volunteering promotes people’s health and wellbeing and can also help people retain and regain their independence, often acting as a pathway to employment.
Cross cutting indicators and themes (1/2) 9 Rates of volunteering: Throughout the course of the development of these strategies it has been identified that there are some indicators which, although they are situated under one particular outcome, are relevant to all. One such indicator is ‘rates of volunteering’. This is appropriately situated under the Education and Lifelong Learning outcome due to volunteering being identified as an activity in which people engage which contributes to their ‘lifelong learning’; there are also important links between volunteering and employment as volunteering has the potential to increase skills levels and can be used as a pathway to this. Volunteering is however an important tool in the achievement of many of the other outcomes and the use and value of volunteers and the development of civil society has already been considered and is being further so under work related to Community Budgets and the Who Will Care commission which are primarily related to outcomes on safe communities and living independently. The activity outlined in this strategy should not therefore by taken to represent the totality of the organisation’s commissioning intentions in this area and are primarily representative of volunteering activity which is more explicitly geared towards young people, those requiring to enhance their skills level s and those seeking to volunteer to contribute to their lifelong learning. There are some actions related to the engagement of Essex County Council employees in volunteering which are included here as a result of the potential of this activity to contribute to their learning and development and also some other corporate actions which are situated here but are not explicitly related to this outcome and which actually have the potential to contribute in a cross cutting manner against all seven. Similar cross cutting activity has also been identified in respect of housing and poverty and safeguarding. Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 The Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 became law in 2012 and has been applicable from January 2013. The Act places a duty on public bodies to consider social value in commissioning and procurement activity and applies to the provision of services, the provision of services together with the purchase or hire of goods, or the carrying out of works. The Act states that the authority must consider: a) how what is proposed to be procured might improve the economic, social and environmental well-being of the relevant area, and b)how, in conducting the process of procurement, it might act with a view to securing that improvement It also requires that local authorities must consider whether to undertake consultation in making these decisions and in essence outlines an expectation that there should be consultation with stakeholders to better understand social value and improve service specifications. This is a cross cutting theme in that it should be applied to commissioning decisions made in respect of all of the strategic intentions outlined in this strategy. It however also has specific relevance to indicator 8) rates of volunteering , as it encourages commissioners to consider when commissioning / establishing new services the potential there is in communities to deliver these themselves – either through the voluntary or community sector or through other forms of civic actions, both utilising the skills of volunteers. Commissioners can clearly influence the development of the VCS, civic society and volunteering through the commissioning decisions they make and this may well be to the benefit of the area in focus.
Cross cutting indicators and themes (2/2) 10 Early intervention and prevention: This is a key theme running throughout all 7 strategies and specifically applies to a number of aspects of the Education and Lifelong Learning Strategy. Early Intervention is about ensuring access to early help for people at the place and point of need with the purpose of preventing escalation, and about targeted early activity for particular groups and individuals. Early can mean either or both: early in life and early in the development of a problem. Interventions can be universal or targeted. Adopting the principle of early intervention in all that we do will ensure that all people born, growing up and living in Essex will be supported to have the best start in life and develop, live, work and age well. For people it: • Delivers improved outcomes; • Builds resilience, capacity and independence; • Prevents problems developing ; • Protects people who are at risk from developing problems; • Reduces the severity of problems that have already emerged; • Avoids recurrence of problems For our system it: • Reduces social cost • Reduces financial burden • Targets help and activity where most effective Early intervention should be an explicit consideration in all commissioning decisions. The successful achievement of many aspects of this strategy is dependent on effective universal and targeted activity in early years, and the successful achievement of indicators in other strategies, particularly economic growth, are dependent on effective actions being taken to address problems while children are still in education which may impact on their future health and wellbeing and productivity. There are explicit links with activity outlined in respect of children with special educational needs and disabilities and also other vulnerable groups, including actions linked to safeguarding. An explicit reasoning behind many of the actions outlined in respect of the improvement of data systems and functions, for example regarding school performance, is to enable better early identification of arising problems so that these can be tackled prior to their escalation and them needing more costly interventions at a later stage. Achieving effective early intervention should over the long term assist the Council with closing its identified funding gap.
Indicators 11 These indicators are those through which progress will be tracked towards the achievement of the outcome. These indicators do not seek to measure the effectiveness of particular services, programmes or agencies. Rather, they seek to quantify the key changes the Council should expect to see as the outcome is achieved. All indicators have been selected based on the extent to which they a) say something of central importance about the outcome, b) are common sense and communicate with a broad range of audiences, and c) are based on data that is accurate, reliable, consistent and available on a regular and timely basis.
The curve we wish to turn 12 For all indicators a desired performance curve has been identified. In many case there is not sufficient data or easily analysable data to enable us to adequate plot predicted future performance against a desired curve and therefore at this stage this has only be plotted for indicator 1. Where required this has been identified as an issue with an associated action against each relevant indicator. The ability to do this is also impacted by changes to definitions and frameworks meaning there is a lack of comparable historical data – this is a particular issue in respect of school attainment.
Essex structural context (1/3) 13 The work outlined in this Strategy will be lead by Education and Lifelong Learning Commissioners sitting within the People Commissioning Directorate. The key areas of responsibility within the remit of these commissioners are: providing leadership to the education and skills sector in Essex and commissioning work to: drive up standards in under performing schools, improve access to education and educational outcomes for all children and young people and adults (particularly those vulnerable to educational and social exclusion) and improve the likelihood of employment. This includes: • commissioning sufficient high quality early years and childcare provision • ensuring high quality school places • commissioning support, advice and professional development for headteachers and school staff • commissioning school governor recruitment and training • commissioning 14-19 curriculum development and progression routes post-16, including apprenticeships • commissioning attendance and behaviour services, including provision for young people not attending school • commissioning support for children and young people with statements of special or additional educational need • commissioning infrastructure for maintained schools • facilitating community-led youth services • commissioning adult and community learning Commissioning and influence: The key organisations through which education and lifelong learning are delivered to residents are: early years settings, schools (including academies and free schools), further and higher education institutions and vocational training providers. There is limited direct delivery by Essex County Council and the relationship between the Council and these organisations is mainly one of a commissioning and influence. This is reflected in the actions selected for this strategy. Our relationships are stronger and more direct within the early years and schools sector than they are with other providers (for example further and higher education institutions and vocational trainers) however even here and particularly in relation to schools the nature of our impact is changing due to the increased autonomy within the sector. Overall this impacts our ability to influence the development of provision and also to track outcomes particularly for some indicators. A key priority area for influence based on the importance of getting things right in this sector to enable positive progress against other indicators and also due to the amounts of funding involved is the spending of the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) by schools (as agreed at the School’s Forum). Actions in this strategy are written in the context of the totality of spend across the partnership and are in particular predicated on our ability to influence where and how this money is spent in support of our strategic actions. It is also important that Essex uses its power to influence at a national level informed by the intentions of this commissioning strategy – for example in respect of the current DfE consultation on the Education Services Grant (ESG) (see national legislative and policy context slides). More detailed information about our role in respect of different providers is included on the next two slides and in the slides related to partners and partnerships. Transformation: Essex County Council has been undergoing a process of transformation to embed a commissioner / provider split into the way it is organised and operates. This process has yet to be fully embedded in the area of Education and Lifelong Learning and as a consequence there are some areas of the service where commissioners also still have responsibility of the provision of services. Further reorganisation and restructuring activity will continue to be rolled out through the course of this Strategy and is referred to where appropriate in the outlined actions. A number of core statutory responsibilities held by the Council relate to education, particularly those related to school planning, provision and admissions. For these areas although there is technically scope for delivery through other means there are unlikely to be significant overall benefits from this and therefore some aspects of direct provision are always likely to remain.
Essex structural context (2/3) 14 • Schools and academies: In Essex there are: 459 primary schools, 77 secondary schools, 17 special schools. The range of educational provision for children and young people is now both broad and complex in terms of the number of providers involved and also their roles. An increasing number of these schools are academies, particularly at secondary level and now increasingly at primary; the presumption in law is that all new schools will now either be academies or free schools. Essex County Council does not have a preferred model of school organisation and leadership and believes the key driver in decision making in respect of this should be the model which is most likely to lead to sustained improvement in outcomes. It is an advocate of academisation when this is an appropriate choice for the school and has a role in advising and supporting schools wishing to become an academy however it supports the free choice of schools in this process. • With the introduction of greater autonomy in the education landscape the role and responsibilities of local authorities in terms of school places has changed. Its role now centres around four key functions: as a champion of children, families and communities, as a commissioner and enabler of effective commissioning, as a facilitator of partnerships, and as the maintaining authority for community schools. Essex County Council no longer provides school places but instead commissions them from a range of providers including schools, academy trusts and sponsors of academy chains. The County Council does however retain a statutory responsibility to ensure there are sufficient school places available every year, that there is diversity across the school system and that parental preference is maximised. In its strategic role, the County Council must ensure there is a response to changes in demand over time by securing the increase or removal of capacity, this can be achieved in a number of ways, including: commissioning new schools, extending existing schools, reducing places at existing schools, promoting the reorganisation of schools, and reviewing priority admission areas. Whilst the County Council has moved to be a commissioner of school places, it still has parallel responsibilities as a provider in respect of a number of community and voluntary controlled schools. • Independent Schools: There are 50 independent schools in Essex. The local authority does not have any formal role in respect of independent schools and is not responsible for their results. Essex does however have a general duty towards all Essex children and young people including those in independent schools and would seek to influence providers were there were concerns. Essex recognises the skills and expertise that exists in this sector and is encouraging of the engagement of independent schools in informal and formal school partnerships, federations etc.. and potentially as academy sponsors. Particularly in respect of provision for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities the local authority may also commission places within independent schools (both inside and outside of Essex) as suited to the needs of the individual. Generally in the context of the reducing funding envelop for this strategy the intention would however be to seek to develop provision in Essex maintained schools and academies to meet specific needs and encourage early identification and response to problems to prevent them reaching a level where a child may need to have a specialist place in an independent provider commissioned (see for example actions in indicator 2 re provision for children displaying sexualised behaviour). • Further Education is nationally funded by the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) which is an executive agency of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Funding is provided to colleges, private training organisations and employers. The government aims through its funding decisions to make sure that further education provides the skilled workforce employers need and helps individuals reach their full potential. This includes funding provision in the following areas: traineeships for young people not in education, employment and training (NEET), apprenticeships and careers guidance. In Essex we are working to develop the breadth of opportunity and access for all young people to remain engaged in some form of learning up to the age of 18 through the county’s Employability & Skills Unit which works with schools, colleges and independent training providers to achieve this. Our specific duties in this area are to: • promote effective participation in education or training to young people for whom we are responsible; • ensure that sufficient places are available to meet the reasonable needs of all young people, and to encourage them to participate; • make available to young people support that will encourage, enable or assist them to participate
Essex structural context (3/3) 15 Higher Education is nationally funded and delivered by independent institutions. The distribution of funding is overseen by the Higher Education Funding Council for England. The role of this organisation also includes monitoring that universities and colleges are financially healthy, that their courses are good quality, and that everyone with the potential to enter higher education has a fair chance to do so. The Government’s intention is generally to ensure that more public funding for teaching is routed through the student loan system and less through HEFCE, with the HEFCE taking on more of a regulatory role. The increasing use of modular course structures means that higher education qualifications are now more flexible than ever and can be tailored to meet the needs of the individual and their employer (if appropriate), or transferred between institutions. This has the potential of attracting additional people to consider engagement. Special Educational Needs Provision: The Local Authority has a critical role as champion for vulnerable children and young people. It will ensure that that all Children and Young People with SEND have a full range of support and opportunities available to them and are provided with opportunities to maximise their life chances, goals and aspirations. Our strategic priorities in this area have been identified in the 2014-19 Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Strategy. Essex continually reviews its portfolio of specialist SEN providers to ensure it meets the needs of current and projected SEN populations. Specialist SEN Provision is a term used to describe discrete school based provision made available to support pupils with statements of special educational needs. In Essex this provision consists of Special Schools and Additionally Resourced (Enhanced) Provisions attached to mainstream schools. Essex is seeking to commission an increased amount and spectrum of specialist provision and to consider possible delivery options, taking account of all potential consequences and risks associated with increasing specialist SEN provision and the availability of capital and revenue resources. The strategic direction is: • To maintain and develop special school provision in Essex, maximising the expertise available in Essex’s specialist providers to deliver advice and guidance. • To increase specialist provision proportionally across the four quadrants of Essex in response to predicted demand for places. • To establish additional enhanced provision and outreach support for pupils of mainstream ability with low incidence high level needs e.g. those with ASD Autistic Spectrum Disorders. • To ensure Essex has a continuum of alternative educational provision for young people with additional educational needs. Essex Education Services (ESS) is an Essex County Council in house delivery vehicle for school improvement services which trades with schools both inside and outside of Essex. The service offer includes: education consultancy, finance support, governor services, education HR, the School Library Service, Target Tracker and professional development. The services offered are strongly evidence and researched based, grounded in a detailed understanding of what is required for schools to be effective. The service has a clear business plan to 2015/16 and beyond which includes the development of new products and the growth of the customer base in terms of numbers of customers and income generated. The role of Essex Education Services moving forward will be considered as a key element of the work outlined in this strategy to transform how services to and for schools are provided. As a service provider EES sits outside of the Education and Lifelong Learning commissioning function of the Council and under the Deputy Chief Executive. Adult Community Learning (ACL) There are a number of providers within the market who provide adult community learning and with whom we need to work to contribute to outcomes against indicators related to this. In addition there is some direct provision of Adult Community Learning by Essex County Council which is primarily funded by grants (including those from the Skills Funding Agency).
National legislative and policy context (1/2) 16 The current policy programme of the Department for Education which is reflected in and influences this Strategy is made up of the following policies. Policies with particular relevance to actions within this Strategy are highlighted in blue:
National legislative and policy context (2/2) 17 There have been significant legislative and policy changes in recent years which have influenced the role and responsibilities of the Council and how we need to work. These include: A full detailed analysis of these changes and their implications for this strategy can be found in this slide:
Delivering change within our financial envelope (1/3) 18 • The Council has budgets for Education, Training and Life Long Learning activities within the Council’s revenue budget and the ring-fenced Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG). • Funding for schools comes primarily through the (DSG) – the DfE provides the Local Authority with the total DSG budget which has been made up from 3 blocks- as outlined below. Decisions made on the allocation of the DSG are made via the Schools Forum and the Local Authority acts to influence the spending of the DSG through this organisation. • • Schools Block (2014/15 £791.244m) • This is basic school funding based on pupil numbers plus additional funding for a series of factors such as deprivation and English as a second language • • Early Years (2014/15 £59.048m) • This block funds the provision of places for children at private, voluntary or independent settings across the County • • High Needs (2014/15 £116.846) • This block contains funding based on SEN pupil numbers, it also funds special schools, pupil referral Units and other enhanced provisions • 2014/2015 Financial position • In 2014/15, the total Schools DSG budget amounts to £968.9m, of which £455.5m is budget for primary schools and £397.9m to secondary schools. Of the total amount, £375.8m is allocated out to the Academy Schools in Essex. The majority of the reminder of budget is provided directly to maintained schools with the exception of some budgets (totalling £70.1m), that Schools Forum agrees to retain centrally. The material budgets relating to this Outcome are listed in the adjacent table:
Delivering change within our financial envelope (2/3) 19 • There are also a series of Council and grant funded budgets that support Education, Training and Lifelong Learning activities attributable to this outcome. The budget amounts for 2014/15 are summarised in the adjacent table: • These budgets are part funded by grant. In particular, Adult Community Learning budget is supported by a Skills Funding Agency grant and learner income of £12.6m and the variety of services to and for schools is supported by the Education Services Grant, which is estimated to be £15.3m in 2014/15, falling to £11.6m in 2015/16 as a result of an announced 20% cut in funding by Government. Essex Education Services The MTRS has stretching targets built for Essex Education Services (EES). It is expected to deliver a surplus of £1.6m in 2014/15, £2.2m in 2015/16 and £3.4m in 2016/17. This strategy refers to opportunities where surpluses generated by EES may be hypothecated to funding school improvement. Any such proposal needs to be seen in the context that this would increase the Council’s funding gap if existing target surpluses built into the MTRS were then used as additional school improvement spend. Any surpluses generated over these target surpluses are not currently ring fenced and therefore a decision would be needed as to whether this is used to fund school improvement services, help bridge the Council’s funding gap, or used to support other priorities that the Council has.
Delivering change within our financial envelope (3/3) 20 Therefore the 2014/15 budget has been aligned against agreed activities. If the Commissioning Strategy has actions that will deliver new ways of providing services, then this will need to be contained within the existing budget. This would mean that existing activities may have to stop or dramatically reduced. The Council’s Medium Term Resource Strategy currently has a funding gap of approximately £237m+ to 2016/17 and it is expected that commissioning outcome strategies will identify ways in which this gap can be closed. The actions highlighted within this strategy need to be seen within this context and further work will need to be undertaken to prioritise actions so as to ensure that a reduced funding envelope is used most effectively to deliver the best possible outcomes. Whilst the DSG is driven by Government and therefore future budget allocations are to a degree unknown, the table identifies the impact of reduced funding on the non-DSG budget if there were expenditure reductions of 10% or 20% • Therefore, to reflect these potential budget reductions, the strategy needs to not only further define and prioritise the scale of the actions in the plan, it must also be further developed to identify as to what areas of existing work can be de-commissioned or reduced in a way in that minimises impact on outcomes. Both reviewing options to partially or fully decommission services as well as looking at new ways of delivering successful outcomes will require innovative solutions and new ways of working • This expenditure analysis only includes contribution for these outcomes from the Council. It does not include the other funding that comes into Essex to other providers that the Strategy highlights are crucial in ensuring that the Council works with in order to maximise the success of the outcomes.
Key existing and related Essex policies, plans and strategies (1/1) 21 There are a number of existing strategies and plans which address the indicators identified for this outcome. This strategy does not override or replace these strategies but should in the main part identify key activities from them which will contribute to turning the specifically identified curves. On completion of the commissioning strategy and in accordance with agreed review schedules the content of the existing strategies will be further aligned to the commissioning strategy to ensure they reflect the change strategic operating model while continuing to act key drivers for change of identified need. Key existing strategies / plans which should be read alongside this document are as follows:
Service user / customer views (1/1) 22 Views of Children and Young People The Schools Health Education Unit Survey (SHEU) survey is a wellbeing surveycommissioned by the Involvement of Children, Young People and Parents Team within Essex County Council and delivered by the Schools Health Education Unit in order to collect robust information about children and young people’s lifestyles. The survey is now in its eighth year and the findings are used to inform Essex's annual needs assessment for children’s services and the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment by identifying baseline data and informing targets, service evaluation and improvement. • Key findings, relevant to the indicators considered in this Commissioning Strategy are as follows: • 75% of primary pupils say they enjoy school but significantly fewer secondary pupils (60%) say this, although the proportions have generally risen over the last six years. 4% of primary and 8% of secondary pupils say they never enjoy school. While 67% of primary pupils always try their best at school, just 38% of secondary pupils say the same: however, just 1% of all pupils say they never try their best. • When asked what might help them to do better in school, 59% of primary and 72% of secondary pupils want more fun/interesting lessons, followed by more help from teachers and a quieter or better behaved class. 30% of primary and 16% of secondary school pupils want less bullying. 22% of primary and 14% of secondary pupils say that they did not need any more help to do their best. • When asked what they hope to do when they leave school, 56% of secondary pupils say they hope to go to university, 17% want to get a job and 12.5% do not know what they hope to do. The proportion wanting to go to university fell significantly in 2011 but has now risen back to previous levels, with a mirroring fall in those wanting to get a job. • These findings are particularly relevant to planning actions under indicators 1 and 2 (children attending good schools and achieving at school), indicator 4 (NEET) and indicator 7 (participation in further / higher education and vocational training). Lifelong Learning Consultation A consultation was carried out in relation to the Lifelong Learning Strategy (2013-2018) in November and December 2012. with the feedback reported in January 2013. Key highlights are as follows: • 476 people accessed the survey, but only 156 completed at least some of the survey (33%) • People were asked if they agreed with Essex’s vision for lifelong learning: “We will harness Essex’s entrepreneurial spirit to involve all residents in lifelong learning. We will help all residents to realise their ambitions by supporting a world class education and skills system and build lifelong learning into everything we do” and 92.3% of respondents agreed. • People were asked if they agreed with the five priorities of the strategy: (Ensure every child achieves a good level of development in early years; Ensure every child can go to a good or outstanding school; Lead the UK in education and skills attainment; Ensure education and skills provision are driven by the needs of employers; Enable all residents to learn throughout their lives) and 89.8% stated that they did. • Although the sample is small these findings indicated a general positivity by Essex residents towards the idea of lifelong learning and the importance of the Council investing in this. Further analysis of these findings will help inform actions against indicator 5, particularly identifying why people who may identify benefits in lifelong learning may be prevented from participating.
Our partners and our relationship with them (1/1) 23 A full overview of the partners with whom we need to work to implement this strategy, their roles and responsibilities and how we engage with them is included on the embedded slide. This also includes an overview of key partnership forums.
1) Percentage of children attending a good school – strategic analysis and insight (1/1) 24 • Developing aspirations and ambitions at an early age is vital and attendance at a good school is considered crucial to this. Our actions are focused on both on increasing the percentages of good and outstanding schools and the percentages of children attending these schools. • The Ofsted Annual Report (Dec 12) indicated significant regional variation in quality of education in the UK with the East of England being the area of most significant concern; this is a particular issue for primary education. • Overall in Essex there has been a positive trend in respect of the numbers of schools being graded good and outstanding from 2009 with the percentage of schools increasing from 66-71% and the percentage of pupils in these schools increasing from 67-71%. • Further improvement is however required and there are some localised and specific areas of concern to be tackled. Primary education is of greater concern than is secondary; there has currently been a much lower rate of academisation at primary level than there has at secondary and so this sector has yet to benefit from many of the potential positive benefits this can bring to improving performance. • Across all provider types (Nursery, Primary, Secondary, PRU and Special) there is clear evidence of a smaller percentage of children attending good or outstanding schools in the most deprived areas. • The Standards and Excellence service have clear processes and protocols to RAG rate all underperforming schools, enabling a clear prioritisation of intervention and support to be established and appropriate commissioning for support undertaken. • Support is prioritised for schools requiring improvement and in a category; however these are supplemented by visits to good and outstanding schools to enable more collaborative working and sharing of good practice. Commissioned support, including that provided by Essex Education services, is being targeted at leadership and management, as that is shown to have the greatest impact on school performance. Leadership and management of schools includes governance which has a high potential impact on school performance but where the impact is currently low due to poor quality, ill-focused and non-strategic governing bodies. Governance is a key improvement priority. • Alongside this Active Essex are providing targeted support for sport in schools . This is supporting leadership and management and also classroom delivery within Physical Education aiming to ensure high standards of Physical Literacy. • In the period 2010 – 2012, 77% of new primary school places commissioned have been at good or outstanding schools More detailed analysis and insight can be accessed in the below slide:
1) Percentage of children attending a good school – the curve we wish to turn 25 • Increase the percentage of schools rated good and outstanding • Increase the percentage of children attending a good and outstanding school • To aim for 100% schools judged good outstanding and 100% of children attending a good or outstanding school by 2018. • To increase the percentage of new places commissioned in good or outstanding schools from 77% in 2012 towards a target of 100% in 2018 Source: OFSTED from 31st August 2013 (end of academic year data) NB: performance will be impacted by changes to the Ofsted framework during this time period
1) Percentage of children attending a good school - Strategic Actions (1/5) 28 NB: actions deemed as priorities for the achievement of the desired turn of the curve are identified through ‘**’
1) Percentage of children attending a good school - Strategic Actions (2/5) 29
1) Percentage of children attending a good school - Strategic Actions (3/5) 30
1) Percentage of children attending a good school - Strategic Actions (4/5) 31
1) Percentage of children attending a good school - Strategic Actions (5/5) 32
2) Percentage of children achieving at school – Strategic analysis and insight (1/1) 33 • Achievement at school, from the very earliest stages, is key in fostering a sense of aspiration and ambition in children and young people and consideration has been given in this indicator to the percentages of children achieving at all stages of the curriculum. More detailed analysis and insight can be accessed in the below slide:
2) Percentage of children achieving at school - Strategic Actions (1/5) 36
2) Percentage of children achieving at school - Strategic Actions (2/5) 37
2) Percentage of children achieving at school - Strategic Actions (3/5) 38
2) Percentage of children achieving at school - Strategic Actions (4/5) 39
2) Percentage of children achieving at school - Strategic Actions (5/5) 40
3) Rates of literacy and numeracy at all ages – Strategic analysis and insight (1/1) 41 • There are substantial numbers of adults in Essex who do not have adequate literacy and numeracy skills. Published research demonstrates significant benefits to both individuals and the economy in terms of higher wages and better employment prospects if adult literacy and numeracy skills are improved. Consideration is therefore given to literacy and numeracy rates for our adult population. • The Skills for Life Survey commissioned by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, estimated that, of a total working age population in Essex (870,700); • 383,600 (44%) do not have level 2 skills in English (GCSE C or above); • 672,000 (77%) do not have level 2 skills in Maths (GCSE C or above); • 188,200 (22%) do not have entry level 3 qualifications in Maths (equivalent to what is expected at age 9-11). • The UKCES Employer Skills Survey 2013 also suggested that nationally, employers faced increased difficulty finding appropriate oral and written communication, literacy and numeracy skills . These core generic skills were all cited as lacking by greater proportions of employers reporting skill-shortage vacancies than in 2011. • The OECD Survey of Adult Skills gave a clear message as to the impact of poor literacy and numeracy skills: • the median hourly wage of workers scoring at Level 4 or 5 in literacy is more than 60% higher than for workers scoring at Level 1 or below; • adults with low literacy skills are more than twice as likely to be unemployed; • poor proficiency limits adults’ access to many basic services and to the possibility of participating in further education and training; • individuals with lower proficiency in literacy are more likely to report poor health and to believe that they have little impact on political processes; • the children of parents with low levels of education have significantly lower proficiency than those whose parents have higher levels of education; • The survey also highlighted how England's 16 to 24-year-olds are falling behind their Asian and European counterparts in terms of literacy and numeracy skills. The study ranked England 22nd for literacy and 21st for numeracy out of 24 countries. Countries with lower skill levels risk losing in competitiveness as the world economy becomes more dependent on skills. Per capita incomes are higher in countries with larger proportions of adults who reach the highest levels of literacy or numeracy proficiency and with smaller proportions of adults at the lowest levels of proficiency. • Research commissioned by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills estimated that, over the career of an individual, the added value to the economy from that individual gaining a basic skills qualification in English or Maths is £27k (Net Present Value). This figure reflects the higher wages and better employment prospects as a result of a learner gaining a basic skills qualification, less the government funding or fees paid by individuals or employees and any output forgone during learning. As an indication of the impact that improving literacy and numeracy skills could have: • a 5% reduction in the number of adults in the working population without level 2 literacy would require courses delivered to around 19,000 learners and result in £518m of economic benefit; • a 5% reduction in the number of adults without level 2 numeracy would require courses delivered to 33,000 learners and see an economic return of £907m; More detailed analysis and insight can be accessed in the below slide:
3) Rates of literacy and numeracy at all ages – Issues (1/1) 42 NB: this indicator covers adult literacy and numeracy (age 16+), literacy and numeracy below age 16 is covered by indicators 1 and 2
3) Rates of literacy and numeracy at all ages – Strategic Actions (1/2) 43
3) Rates of literacy and numeracy at all ages – Strategic Actions (2/2) 44
4) Percentage of young people aged 16-19 not in education, employment & training – Strategic analysis and insight (1/1) 45 • Supporting young people in the continuation of education and into employment and training is crucial in developing and sustaining aspiration and ambition. There is a need to understand our youth unemployment in order that we can put interventions in place and to that end, the number of young people whose activity is unknown is targeted for reduction. This is considered in conjunction with the percentage of young people who are not in education, employment and training (NEET). • There have been significant reductions in NEET amongst 16-19 year olds in Essex:6.4% in 2011/12 (Nov-Jan), 5.7% in 2012/13 (Nov-Jan), 4.9% in 2013/14 (Nov-Jan), 4.7% in January 2014, with a target of 4% for 2013/14 (Nov-Jan). The focus of activity within this strategy is to maintain this positive trajectory. • Considerable progress has also been made to reduce the proportion of young people whose activity is unknown. Unknowns were 6.1% in January 2014 compared to 9.4% at the same time in 2013. • However, NEET in some districts (Tendring (6.6%), Basildon(5.6%) & Harlow (5.6%) remain above average. NEET rates amongst vulnerable groups of young people (LDD, care leavers etc.) also remain a concern. • Key actions currently underway to reduce NEETs include: • Focused tracking of the unknown cohort has reduced the number of unknown 16-19 destinationsfrom 17.6% Dec 2012 to 7.8% Dec 2013,allowing increased awareness of specific groupings within the NEET cohort and enabling tailored supportive interventions. • Early intervention planning to ensure young people identified as in danger of disengagement post 16 are supported, in both pre and post 16 settings. • Data sharing agreements in place with all post 16 learning providers, allowing the sharing of individually identified NEET cohorts to appropriate providers, supporting direct marketing of courses relevant to young peoples needs and aspirations. • Regular negotiations with providers that might support the large numbers of NEET young people with special educational needs. • A target of 1500 NEET 16-19 young people supported to gain education, training or employment via 1-1 intervention. • Holding to account those providers that are in receipt of current SFA/EFA commissioned ESF contracts to address NEET numbers in Essex, ensuring the highest possible impact. • Specific targeted sport related projects initiated by Active Essex. More detailed analysis and insight can be accessed in the below slide:
4) Percentage of young people aged 16-19 not in education, employment & training - Issues (1/1) 46
4) Percentage of young people aged 16-19 not in education, employment & training - Strategic Actions (1/3) 47
4) Percentage of young people aged 16-19 not in education, employment & training - Strategic Actions (2/3) 48
4) Percentage of young people aged 16-19 not in education, employment & training - Strategic Actions (3/3) 49
5) Percentage of adults participating in lifelong learning - Strategic analysis and insight (1/1) 50 • Participating in adult learning is found to have significant positive effects on individual health, employability, social relationships, and the likelihood of participating in voluntary work. In turn these four domains have positive impacts on individual well-being (Report by the London School of Economics and Political Science) • Using the latest methods as recommended in recent HM Treasury Green Book guidance (Fujiwara and Campbell, 2011), it is possible to place a value on these positive impacts. This study finds that, for adults, participating in a part-time course leads to: • • improvements in health, which has a value of £148 to the individual; • • a greater likelihood of finding a job and/or staying in a job, which has a value of £231 to the individual; • • better social relationships, which has a value of £658 to the individual; and • • a greater likelihood that people volunteer on a regular basis, which has a value of £130 to the individual • The impact of adult learning on child poverty is well documented, although net returns are harder to come by. The Public Value paper by NIACE concluded the impact of learning on employment possibilities is a key area for poverty, as is adult education with provision of financial literacy and support to access public funds which can fill the gap in financial services for low-income, disadvantaged families. • In addition, benefits of participation could be felt in relation to feelings of social isolation (particularly amongst the elderly), vulnerable groups, including unemployed and those with disabilities. It could also see impact in parent/child relationships and the knock on effect on children’s learning if their parent participates. Significant impact of participation on health would be expected and requires further exploration. • Lifelong learning is defined as voluntary learning which may be accredited or unaccredited undertaken for either personal or professional reasons but outside of formal FE or HE qualifications, which is addressed in indicator 7. It should be noted that volunteering (as covered in indicator 8) could also be classed as lifelong learning . • Within the context of this indicator, it is the level of engagement in voluntary learning and the perceptions of Essex residents of the social and economic value it has, that are considered. The ‘hard’ numerical data in relation to formal higher education, further education and vocational qualifications will be considered in the context of the ‘Percentage of people participating in further education/higher education/vocational learning’ indicator. • It is important that we are aware of what benefits people identify from their engagement and any barriers that they may identify to engaging more. We recognise that participation in lifelong learning is and should be principally a voluntary decision and even residents who have high ambitions and aspirations may not wish to participate or may not identify the activities they do engage in as lifelong learning. We do not therefore view it as a high priority indicator. • At present there is limited perception data available and in view of the priority attached to the indicator and the difficulty in obtaining a comprehensive or accurate picture we do not advocate spending significant funds on seeking to address this. We do intend however to include questions in relation to this in the quarterly Essex Residents survey going forward. More detailed analysis and insight can be accessed in the below slide: