strat plan by liwenting

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									                                  Committee and Date               Item      Paper
 Shropshire                       Education Scrutiny Panel
 COUNTY COUNCIL
                                  Date: 11 September 2002          13 H
                                  Time: 2.00 pm                    Public



        EDUCATION SERVICES DIRECTORATE STRATEGIC PLAN
                          2002 - 2005


Responsible Officer  Ian Budd
e-mail: Ian.budd@shropshire-cc.gov.uk       Tel: (01743) 254312     Fax (01743) 253172


Summary

      This report presents the draft Education Services Directorate Strategic Plan
      for 2002/2005 for consideration by the Scrutiny Panel.


Decisions Required

A.    Scrutiny Panel members are invited to consider the draft annual Education
      Services Directorate Strategic Plan and make recommendations on format
      and content prior to the approval and publication of the final plan.


                                    REPORT

Background

1.    The Education Services Directorate aims to produce a rolling three year
      Strategic Plan, reviewed annually. The Plan is included as Appendix A to this
      report.

2.    The Strategic Plan is guided by the County Council‟s core values, strategic
      priorities and broad development areas. It reflects national and local
      education developments and the emerging Community Strategy for
      Shropshire.

3.    The Strategic Plan includes a detailed planning matrix (which can be found, at
      section 6 of the attached draft plan). This incorporates priorities and actions
      for each part of the Education Services Directorate. These derive from Team
      Service Action Plans.
EDUCATION DIRECTORATE STRATEGIC PLAN - 2002/2005                            23/08/2011


4.           In addition to contributing towards the Strategic Plan, each team in the
             Directorate is responsible for preparing its own Service Action Plan. These
             include:

             (i)    an annual overview of the Service Action Plan for the previous year to
                    assess progress.
             (ii)   a statement of the team‟s targets, measures and resource needs for
                    the forthcoming year.

These were considered by Scrutiny Panel at its meeting of 22 May 2002 and (as
usual) will be updated annually. Copies have been placed in the Members‟ Library.

5.           As well as a description of the Directorate‟s Service areas, and a commentary
             on how they aim to fulfil the County Council‟s corporate objectives, the
             Strategic Plan also includes a series of Appendices:

                    Appendix 1 - Management Structure
                    Appendix 2 - Performance Management
                    Appendix 3 - Budget Statement
                    Appendix 4 - Best Value Process and Programme
                    Appendix 5 - Training Plan & Development Plan
                    Appendix 6 - Information Communications Technology Strategy
                    Appendix 7 - Communications and Public Relations
                    Appendix 8 - Equal Opportunities Strategy

List of Background Papers (This MUST be completed for all reports, but does
not include items containing exempt or confidential information)
Not applicable.

Human Rights Act Appraisal
The contents contained in this report are compatible with the provisions of the
Human Rights Act 1998.

Environmental Appraisal
Lifelong Learning is one of the Council's strategic priorities which the Service Plan
addresses.

Community / Consultations Appraisal
None.

Cabinet Member
Jeremy Clarke.

Local Member
Not applicable.

Appendices
Appendix A – Education Services Service Plan 2002 - 2005.



Contact: Ian Budd (01743) 254312                                                           2
Strat plan
Appendix A

Education Services Directorate
Strategic Plan 2002 - 2005
1.           Introduction

1. Introduction

1.1 General Context

The Education Act (2002) recognises a key role for high performing Local Education
Authorities in delivering the Government‟s agenda of raising standards, widening
access and promoting a culture of lifelong learning.

To ensure we work towards delivering the national agenda as well as delivering our
own local priorities we need to confirm our vision and strategy for the next decade.

In Shropshire we place a high priority on working in partnership with our schools, the
colleges of further education, other statutory agencies, the Church Authorities,
higher education institutions and the voluntary and private sectors in delivering
services to the communities of Shropshire. These partnerships have become
increasingly important in helping us to further develop and foster learning
communities for all in Shropshire.

Our work relates to the four themes from the Communities Strategy: Supporting
Inclusive Communities, Improving the Environment, Promoting Lifelong Learning
and Stimulating a Thriving Economy. The four strategic objectives of the Council‟s
Corporate Plan are: Lifelong Learning, Social Inclusion, Sustainability and
Transforming the County.

The Education Services Directorate‟s strategic plan reflects these community and
corporate priorities as well as our own educational objectives. The activities in
support of these overall strategic plans including those relating to cross cutting
legislation, for example Race Relation Act and Disability Acts are identified in our
individual service‟s Service Action Plans (SAPs). It is through our regular reviews of
these plans that we can demonstrate how we contribute and where we add value.

1.2. Strategic Planning Processes

We aim to ensure that our strategic planning processes:

            make the work of the Education Services Directorate more easily understood
             and thus more accountable to stakeholders

            make it simpler for schools, other educational establishments and
             communities to link their planning processes to that of the Directorate

            reduce the time committed to planning rather than delivery



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            allow better monitoring and evaluation processes to ensure the best use of
             resources and the effectiveness of the Directorate‟s activity

            make the plan a working document, subject to revision and change in the
             light of changing circumstances

            increase the involvement of communities, partners, learning establishments
             and customers in consultation about what we are doing, why and how well.

Our Strategic Plan is:

            transformational, i.e. a vehicle to stretch performance and achieve
             excellence

            built up from desired outcomes, i.e. what our Shropshire communities,
             partners, learning establishments and the LEA are striving to achieve

            differentiated, that is planned to differing levels of detail as required

            comprehensive and inclusive of the whole range of the Directorate‟s activity

            capable of simpler and more effective monitoring and evaluation, as part of
             a coherent system of performance management

            developed and updated electronically so it can be kept current for a range
             of purposes and audiences

            a three year plan from 2002/03 to 2004/05 subject to at least annual review.

            Integrated with the County Council‟s other planning processes, for example to
             meet the Commission for Racial Equality Standards for Local
             Government.


1.3          Achievements

Much has been achieved in recent years in the Education Service in
Shropshire which has been recognised through external evaluation from for
example, OFSTED as well as formal and informal feedback from the various
communities we work with:

            we have highly committed, hard-working and able people working in
             schools and the Directorate; this has contributed enormously to our
             success

            new ways of teaching and learning are being promoted to meet the
             individual needs of the learner.

            there has been a significant increase in nursery and other pre-school



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             provision including childcare and out-of-school hours provision

            improvements have been made in the provision made for children
             and young people with special educational needs and behavioural difficulties

            more resources have been invested in Information and Communications
             Technology and we are starting to see the benefits in teaching and learning
             and in support of efficient administration

            more joint planning and working is developing with other Directorates of the
             County Council, other Councils and other agencies including Health, Police,
             Connexions and the local Learning and Skills Council

            strong partnerships exist with the Churches, trades unions and professional
             associations, further and higher education and other stakeholders

            opportunities are growing for formal and informal learning in a range of
             different settings including youth and community centres

            high quality services continue to be provided to schools and to parents and
             the public more generally

We are not complacent. We recognise that there are significant challenges for us in
seeking to continually develop and improve our services and the lifelong learning
opportunities for people in Shropshire.




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2.           Core values

The work of the Directorate is based on our vision that in
everything we do we are:

“Working in partnership to support learning for all throughout life”
This statement encapsulates the purpose of the Directorate. It emphasises that we
will work to deliver the Council‟s priorities through leadership and support by:

     a. Working with others to enhance the impact of what we can achieve;
     b. Setting demanding standards in all activities against which performance may
        be judged; and
     c. Providing and increasing the opportunities available for everyone to learn
        throughout life, whether for work, leisure or fun.

The key priority for the Education Services Directorate must be to carry out those
duties required by law, as well as meeting the targets set by the Council.

The objectives that underpin our Mission Statement are:

     a. To continue to support schools in raising standards for pupils in education, in
        accordance with the priorities in the Education Development Plan;
     b. To empower people to participate in learning, enable progression and raise
        standards of achievement throughout life;
     c. To secure greater access to learning for all; and
     d. To be an organisation that is constantly seeking to learn, develop and secure
        high quality services.

Our work is guided by the County Council‟s core values:

 working for Shropshire
              consulting with Shropshire people and learning from them
              evaluating and developing services
              enabling local people and communities to contribute to the development of
               services
              providing services that show respect for our environment

 providing quality, value for money services
              measuring service performance against clear targets
              comparing ourselves with others
              providing value for money and efficient services which will be continually
               reviewed
              looking for ways to improve the quality of services, and putting things right
               if they go wrong
              demonstrating honesty and integrity
              achieving and retaining external accreditation of services



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 working with others
              working with other councils, individuals, organisations and businesses to
               ensure the best possible access to services for everyone
              working with other County Council services for the benefit of Shropshire
               people
              ensuring that all service users, existing and potential, are catered for
               without bias

 valuing and developing our staff
                treating everyone fairly, openly and honestly
                training and developing courteous and helpful staff
                encouraging and rewarding innovation and imagination
                achieving and retaining Investor in People status




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3.           Policy areas

Examples of the Education Services Directorate‟s contribution to each of the County
Council‟s four strategic priorities - lifelong learning, social inclusion,
sustainability and transforming the County - are outlined below.

 Lifelong Learning

              We continue to:

          support the development of learning within all schools and other education
           provision including early years to raise standards still further
          promote the vision within all education institutions which focuses on the
           needs of the individual and emphasises the development of the whole child
          promote collaboration and the sharing of good practice to further enhance
           the educational opportunities of all our young people
          ensure we work effectively in partnership with all other agencies in the
           support of life long learning activities including cross directorate and council
           working as well as with other agencies and the private and voluntary
           sectors.
          work with others to support, encourage and enable the widest participation
           in all types of formal and informal learning and training
          support and encourage participation in learning by the provision of good
           quality services within local communities through, for example, collaboration
           with libraries, arts, sport and heritage facilities
          provide an adult education service
          contribute to the work of the County Council and the Shropshire Lifelong
           Learning Partnership in making Shropshire a Learning County
          play a full part in the development of local and regional partnerships and
           initiatives related to lifelong learning
          work with and supporting local and voluntary groups within the wider
           “learning community”
          support the provision of consumer education to schoolchildren and
           generally to all age groups, enabling knowledgeable and empowered
           consumers
          promote environmental awareness through the delivery of our service for
           Shropshire communities
          provide opportunities for volunteers, work experience and vocational
           training
          work with others to develop higher education in the County
          provide an effective student support service for young people in further and
           higher education.

  Social Inclusion

               We continue to:

              develop behavioural management strategies and provision to support
               young people in their own school


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              provide programmes and opportunities and monitoring the performance of
               minority groups including those from ethnic groups, gifted and talented
               pupils, underachieving pupils, pupils with disabilities and Looked after
               Children, to ensure they are achieving in line with expectations.
              develop a continuum of support for children with special education needs
              support the further development of the youth service including the
               voluntary sector and multi-agency working to better support young people
               in their communities
              develop and promote adult education provision including Basic Skills
               programmes and more effective collaboration of work between schools, FE
               colleges and higher education institutions across the County
              develop early years and childcare provision and support the work of the
               voluntary and private sectors in maintaining provision in particular in the
               rural areas.
              help to identify individuals or groups of people who are disadvantaged or
               excluded in Shropshire and support their access to services
              reach out to hard-to-reach groups to discuss their needs
              maintain essential services, delivered locally
              contribute to the County Council strategy for promoting social inclusion and
               developing services to help deliver it including the implementation of the
               Race Relations Amendment Act and Disability Acts.
              promote services in ways that will reach non-users as well as existing users
              apply school transport policies that are fair and transparent, and operate a
               school transport system efficiently and effectively (NB, access to schools in
               a sparsely populated rural county is a real Social Inclusion issue);
              operate a school admissions system that is fair, transparent,
               comprehensible to parents and efficient (ie the system has been designed
               and is operated to ensure it treats everyone the same!).

  Sustainability

                 We continue to:

                develop and enhance environmental education projects, many developed
                 with cross directorate.
                ensure that the Asset Management Plan for the development of school
                 premises and other education sites.
                use the School Organisation Plan to support long term planning of
                 educational provision across the County.
                develop the Citizenship agenda for schools
                provide training on Health & Safety for staff in schools and Directorate to
                 improve living environment, increase health & safety awareness and for
                 monitoring accident and incident reports.
                ensure that the Education Services Directorate and partner organisations
                 will work together with existing Early Years providers to create high quality
                 sustainable provision and maximise the potential for expansion.
                provide access to Sustainability Grants for providers and promoting
                 sustainable childcare provision within regeneration initiatives in the
                 County.



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                develop business skills and competencies, and promoting links to wider
                 partnerships to continue existing provision beyond current funding
                 streams.
                develop a comprehensive and accurate database of information, statistics
                 and guidance across the full range of Education Services that will enable
                 an effective and sustainable reporting and planning process.
                enable a culture of continuous improvement, share best practice and
                 promote the use of communication via sustainable new media
                 technologies.

  Transforming the County

                 We continue to:

              ensure that there are high quality continual professional development
               opportunities for all school and LEA staff to equip them with the
               knowledge, information and skills they need to enable to do their job
               effectively and to provide opportunities for further development
              invest in an appropriate information technology infrastructure to help make
               services more accessible especially to those in the rural areas and to
               ensure improvements in information provision, record keeping and efficient
               management and monitoring of service delivery
              improve the process for consulting with all stakeholder groups and
               engaging them where possible in decision making and ensuring feedback
               following consultation or decision making.
              develop the range and scope of the educational provision and curriculum
               available to young people and adults across the County to enhance quality
               of life opportunities including an enhanced 14-19 curriculum, specialist
               schools, beacon schools, new partnerships to support learning, EAZ and
               Excellence Clusters and seeking opportunities to take part in pathfinder
               projects,
              further develop the opportunities that are coming from the collaborative
               working between the higher education institutions who have signed up to
               the Shropshire “Memorandum of Understanding”
              develop further opportunities to support the economic regeneration of the
               County through for example, maximising childcare opportunities thereby
               supporting return to work schemes, continued collaboration with the
               Learning and Skills Council, closer working with the business sector to
               develop curriculum initiatives to support learning in schools and continuing
               to promote advice and guidance on adult learning and student support
               schemes.




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4.           Directorate Services

Structure
One of the roles of the Education Services Directorate is to provide high-quality
services to schools, parents and carers, children and the wider community.
The Directorate is organised in four teams, which, in turn, are organised in smaller
operational teams. The structure provides for highly effective teams utilising their
professional expertise with a brief to ensure that there is appropriate cross
directorate and cross county council working.
The four services areas are briefly outlined below. A structure chart for the
directorate is provided at Appendix 1.


4.1          Advisory & Children’s Services

This team is responsible for working with schools to raise pupil achievement and
school performance. This includes responsibility for the Education Development
Plan and the Standards Fund as well as Advisory and Curriculum Services, Special
Educational Needs, promoting Social and Educational Inclusion and the Behaviour
Support Plan.

4.2          Access

This team is responsible for School Admissions, School Places Planning and
Review, Education Premises and Capital budget preparation and supervision, Client
Services including School Meals and Transport.

4.3          Community Services

This team is responsible for, Early Years and Childcare, Lifelong Learning
Strategies, the Youth Service and Student Support, Adult & Community Education
and Higher Education Development.

4.4          Strategic Management

This team is responsible for, Personnel, ICT, Governor Support and Education
Finance (including revenue budget preparation and supervision). Planning and
monitoring responsibilities including Best Value, Staff Development, Equalities,
Communication, Complaints, and Corporate interface, including Scrutiny.




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5.           Performance Management

Government has established a large number of performance indicators and external
evaluation process that measure the effectiveness of local government. The
Comprehensive Performance Review will evaluate the work of the County Council
taking into account service inspections and best value review inspections as well as
an evaluation of our overall corporate effectiveness. Public Service Agreements
seek to stretch the already agreed performance targets seeking through some
additional funding to further improve local government services.

All these measures help us monitor our performance. By focusing on outcomes and
on what we are trying to achieve enables us to think about the key targets we are
seeking to meet and to ensure that our resources are deployed effectively.

There are however, a significant number of the desired outcomes, targets and,
therefore, activities, even if some details can be varied, that are statutory
requirements. They include those related to:

            School Improvement, Early Years, Adult Learning, Social Inclusion and other
             nationally defined priorities.

            The Authority meeting its statutory duties and responsibilities, for
             example the requirement to provide full-time education for excluded pupils.

            Helping achieve the targets which will attract Performance Reward Grant

Within this strategic plan there is also the scope to identify other outcomes, targets
and activities which are based on locally defined needs.

For us performance management is the presence of consistent arrangements for
linking educational vision and strategy with practical implementation throughout the
Directorate‟s teams, and for integrating our planning and review processes with
those of schools and other partner organisations.

The Directorate has appropriate planning and review and people management
processes to ensure effective monitoring of performance. These are detailed in
Appendix 2.




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6. Planning Matrix

6.1 The Priorities and Focus for 2003/04

The five main priorities for action within the Directorate over the coming year are to
develop and enhance the work on :

    School Improvement initiatives
    Social Inclusion
    ICT
    The flexibilities that will develop around the implementation of the Education Act
     2002
    Developing the role of young people

The following table provides a more detailed picture of individual team‟s activities for
2002/03 based on the four services areas: Advisory and Children‟s Services (ACS)
Access (AC) Community Services (CS) and Strategic Management (SM) The
information shows how their work impacts on national and local strategies, plans and
initiatives. In particular, the tables highlight outcomes that have real benefits for
users of the Education Services Directorate.

6.2 The Matrix

In support of the corporate framework, all Education Services Directorate teams
operate within a range of inter-related priorities which embrace the development
areas of the County Council and reflect the evolving community strategy for the
county. Additionally, the Directorate strategic plan also maps service team‟s
activities against major national and local initiatives and strategies and measures
potential impact on Best Value and Local performance indicators.

The planning matrix is demonstrated in the following illustration:




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                               Adm     AMP         ClS   SOC     TrS        AdE   YoS   EaY   StS   AdS      ChS     FiS   PlS   GoS
Corporate Strategic Priorities
Sustainability                           X          X              X         X           X            X       X       X     X     X
Lifelong Learning                X       X          X     X        X         X     X     X      X     X       X       X     X     X
Social Inclusion                 X       X          X     X        X         X     X     X      X     X       X                   X
Transform County                         X                                   X           X            X                           X
Education Development Plan
      Priority 1                 X       X          X     X                              X            X               X           X
      Priority 2                                                             X     X     X            X                           X
      Priority 3                                          X                  X           X      X     X                     X     X
      Priority 4                                          X                  X     X     X            X               X     X     X
      Priority 5                                          X
      Priority 6                         X
      Priority 7                                                                                                      X
      Priority 8                                          X        X                                                  X
Education Mission Statement Objectives
A - standards                    X                        X                              X            X       X       X     X     X
B - participation                                         X                  X     X     X            X                           X
C - access                               X          X              X         X           X      X     X                           X
D - quality                      X       X          X     X                        X     X            X       X       X     X     X
Best Value Performance Indicators
                                                         34a35               32    33    30         37,38,   43a43   31,
                                                           a                 42                     39,40,      b    36a
                                                         34b35              158                     41,47,   44,44    ,
                                                           b                                          48     a44b4   36b
                                                          160                                                  4c    36c
                                                                                                             45,46   36d
                                                                                                              159a
                                                                                                              159b
                                                                                                              159c
Local Performance Indicators
                                 5A                                                                          B3,B4   B2(
                                 5B                                                                            ,      i)
                                                                                                              B6
Equal Opportunities and Disability Awareness indicator
                                                                                         X                                  X




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                                          LEA Strategic Plan 2002 – 2003
    Activity       Ref.               Description                Local/National Context               Output
School           ACS1     Improving further the leadership        Corporate Strategic       Performance targets (as a
Improvement               and management of continuous             Priorities of Social      %) have been set for
and Children‟s            improvement. (EDP1)                      Inclusion and Lifelong    2004.
Services                                                           Learning.
                                                                  Directorate Mission        2002     2003     2004
                                                                   Statements on                Key Stage 2 (11)
                 ACS2     Improving teaching, learning and         Standards and                 Level 4+ English
                          attainment in the Early Years.           Quality.                    84       86       88
                          (EDP2)                                   School Standards and          Level 4+ Maths
                                                                    Framework Act, and         80       84       88
                                                                   Education Act 2002           Level 5+ English
                                                                   Education                  33       36       39
                 ACS3     Improving attainment in English           Development Plan              Level 5+ Maths
                          and literacy for pupils aged 5 to        Behavioural Support        30       34       38
                          14. (EDP3)                                Plan                        Key Stage 3 (14)
                                                                   Visser Report                Level 5+ English
                                                                                               73       76       80
                 ACS4     Improving attainment in                                                 Level 5+ Maths
                          mathematics and numeracy for                                         75       77       81
                          pupils aged 5 to 14. (EDP4)                                           Level 5+ Science
                                                                                               77       78       80
                                                                                                Level 5+ ICT (TA)
                                                                                               74       76       78
                 ACS5     Improving attainment in                                               Key Stage 4 (16)
                          information technology for pupils                                         5+ A* - C
                          aged 5 to 16. (EDP5)                                                 56       58       61
                                                                                                    5+ A* - G
                                                                                               92       94       96
                                                                                              5+A*-C (in public care)
                 ACS6     Continuing improvement of                                            18       19       20
                          teaching and learning in all                                        5+A*-G (in public care
                          subjects. (EDP6)                                                     56       58       60
                                                                                              Avg qual points score
                                                                                               44      44.8     45.4

                 ACS7     Improving attainment of pupils                                     BVPI 50 – Looked After
                          aged 16 and ensuring continuity of                                 Children
                          learning from 14 to 19. (EDP7)
                 ACS8     Promoting further opportunities for                                BVPI 45 - % of half days
                          supporting personal development                                    missed through
                          and lifelong learning. (EDP8)                                      unauthorised absence in
                                                                                             secondary schools =
                                                                                               2003    2004      2005
                 ACS9     Improving support for looked after                                    0.5     0.4       0.4
                          children through multi-disciplinary
                          and co-ordinated working.                                          BVPI 46 - % of half days
                 ACS10    Implement Behaviour Support                                        missed through
                          Plan priorities and embed new                                      unauthorised absence in
                          arrangements for tuition, medical                                  primary schools =
                          and behavioural support services.
                                                                                              2003     2004     2005
                                                                                               0.1      0.1      0.1
Effective        SM1      Implementation of Consistent             Statutory                EDP 1
financial                 Financial Reporting (CFR), new            responsibility.
planning and              school finance systems and                Directorate mission
resource                  development of Service Level               statements on
allocation.               Agreement support for schools.             Standards and
                                                                     Quality of Service.
                                                                    The activity also
                                                                     reflects national and
                                                                     local e-Government
                                                                     agendas.
                                                                    Training and
                                                                     Development Plan




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                  SM2   Monitoring of school‟s delegated         Corporate Strategic        EDP 1
                        budgets; surpluses and deficits,          Priority on Lifelong       Reports to DMT, Cabinet
                        expenditure trends and variance           Learning                   and Scrutiny
                        on spending against budget plans.        ESD Mission                Publication deadlines
                        Ongoing development of budget             Statement on               External Audit Certificate
                        plans, reporting, monitoring and          Standards                  BVPI 31
                        understanding.                           Training and               BVPI 36a,b&c
                                                                  Development Plan           LPI 2
                  SM3   Education Service budget                 Corporate Strategic        EDP 1
                        development, monitoring and               Priority on Lifelong
                        reporting - including statutory           Learning
                        Compliance work.                         Directorate Mission
                                                                  Statement on
                                                                  Standards and
                                                                  Quality Service
                                                                 Statutory
                                                                  responsibility
School governor   SM4   Provision of a refocused training        Corporate Strategic        Locally set targets for
support and             and development programme                 Priorities on lifelong     attainment of basic skills
Development             planned jointly with the Shropshire       learning and               to NVQ or equivalent.
                        School Governor‟s Council                 transforming the
                        (SSGC)                                    County
                                                                 Directorate Mission
                                                                  Statements on
                                                                  standards,
                                                                  participation, access
                                                                  and quality
                                                                 Directorate ICT
                                                                  Strategy
                                                                 Directorate Training &
                                                                  Development Plan
School support    SM5   Provision of advice, guidance and        Corporate Strategic        Communications Strategy
and                     support to schools. Working with          Priorities on              and electronic services:
Communication           wide range of appropriate partners        sustainability, lifelong   25% of services delivered
s                       to develop, resource and                  learning and social        electronically by April
                        implement effective policies to           inclusion.                 2003; 100% by April 2004.
                        promote better education.                Directorate Mission
                        Working in partnership to plan and        Statements on
                        develop                                   participation, access
                                                                  and quality.
                                                                 Shropshire LSC
                                                                  Strategic Plan
                  SM6   Development of the Directorate           Corporate Strategic
                        Communications Strategy and e-            Priority on lifelong
                        Government Strategy to further            learning and social
                        promote electronic delivery of            inclusion.
                        services.                                Directorate Mission
                                                                  Statements on
                                                                  Standards,
                                                                  participation, access
                                                                  and quality.
                                                                 Directorate and
                                                                  Corporate
                                                                  Communication
                                                                  Strategies
                                                                 Directorate Training &
                                                                  Development Plan
                                                                 Directorate ICT
                                                                  Strategy and
                                                                  Corporate Web
                                                                  developments
Human             SM7   Organisational development and           Co-ordinate delivery
Resource                operational provision for the             of IiP Action Plan.
management              Directorate, schools and other           Development of
and                     educational establishments.               Corporate guidelines
development                                                       on recruitment and
                                                                  retention.
                  SM8   Policy development for the               Development of             BVPI
                        Directorates Training and                 policies on re-grading,    30: 20% increase in
                        Development Plan.                         staff absence              access for 3 year olds
                                                                  strategy, sickness
                        Health and Safety Handbook and            monitoring, discipline,
                        Personnel Handbook for schools            capability.




Strat plan                                        16
                                                                     Directorate Training
                                                                     and Development
                                                                     Plan
                                                                    Corporate Freedom of
                                                                     Information and Data
                                                                     Protection Act Policy
Early Years       CS1    Implementation of Early Years and          Corporate Strategic        BVPI
                         Childcare Development Plan                  Priorities on              33 - £78.91 expenditure
                         priorities including;                       sustainability, lifelong   per head
                         Increasing funded places for 3              learning, social
                         year olds                                   inclusion and              Youth Service Plan
                         Increasing funded places for 4              Transforming the           targets
                         year olds                                   County.
                         Enhancing support and                      Directorate Mission
                         communications for providers                Statements on
                              Promoting recruitment                 standards
                              training of childcare staff           participation, access
                              Quality Assurance of                  and quality.
                               provision                            Strategic Equalities
                                                                     Statement
                                                                    EDP Priority 4

Youth Service     CS2    Promoting wider participation              Corporate Strategic        BVPI
                         through inter-agency partnership            Priorities on lifelong     32 - £1.76 per head
                         working, in line with the Youth             learning and social        42 – 5.8 enrolments per
                         Service Plan.                               inclusion.                 1000
                                                                    Directorate Mission        158 – 85% hours students
                                                                     Statements on              attend
                                                                     participation, access      4,200 enrolments
                                                                     and quality.               3 x outreach sites
                                                                    Training and               12 x school sites
                                                                     Development Plan           14 x providers supported

Adult Education   CS3    Implement strategies identified            Corporate Strategic        LPI
                         within the Adult Learning Plan to           Priorities on              5A
                         broaden participation, including            sustainability, lifelong   5B
                         supporting collaborative                    learning, social
                         partnerships.                               inclusion and
                                                                     transforming the
                                                                     County
                                                                    Directorate Mission
                                                                     Statements on
                                                                     access standards,
                                                                     quality and
                                                                     participation
                                                                    Adult Learning Plan


School            ACC1   Proactively supporting Appeals             Corporate Strategic        LPI: the number of-
Admissions               panels                                      Priorities on social             Days closure due to
(including               Allocation of school places                 inclusion                       breakdowns
Appeals)                          Yr 3 & Yr 7                                                        Schools visited
                                                                                                      Shortfall/surplus
                                                                                                     places
                                                                                                      Schemes
                                                                                                     introduced/completed
                                                                                                      Transactions
                                                                                                     completed
Asset             ACC2    Implement the growing Directorate         Corporate Strategic        Development of Genes 1s
Management                capital programme, including               Priorities on              system
Plan                          Monitoring of capital projects        Transforming the           Reduce the catering
Capital/Sites                 Development of                        County.                    subsidy
                               accommodation needs for              Directorate Mission
                               PRUs and Early Years                  Statements on
                              Sale and transfer of grounds          standards
                               leases                               Schools Access
                              Planning applications                 Initiative
                              Safer routes to school               Travel to School Plan
Client Services   ACC3    Review meal policy and price               Corporate Strategic       BVPI
(catering,                structures, tender work sites and           Priorities on             34a – 19.44%
cleaning and              contracts and provide design                sustainability and        34b – 0%
grounds                   consultancy and advice                      social inclusion          160 – 26%
maintenance)                                                         Directorate Mission       other
                                                                      Statements on             publishing the School
                                                                      standards                 Organisation Plan




Strat plan                                        17
                                                                Corporate contract
                                                                 management policy
School         ACC4   Maintain close working links with         Corporate Strategic     LPI - 100% of journeys
Organisation          other authorities and internal             Priorities on social    arriving on-time
Planning              teams, e.g. Health Primary Care            inclusion               0 – number of journeys
                      Team, to exchange information             Directorate Mission     cancelled
                      and enable better forward                  Statements on           per pupil cost should rise
                      planning.                                  standards               no greater than inflation.
                      Ensure continuing improvement in           participation, access   New indicators - 87%
                      school and pupil statistical data          and quality.            seat occupancy
                      through:                                  Asset Management        Education Transport
                           Pupil level annual school            Plan                    consultation every 3 years
                            census                                                       – next 03/04
                           SOP data (inc pupil number
                            forecasts)
                           School sufficiency survey
School         ACC5   Ensure that all entitled pupils have      Corporate Strategic
Transport             school transport arranged and              Priorities on social
                      notified to parents by the first day       inclusion &
                      of the term they enter school.             sustainability
                                                                Directorate Mission
                                                                 Statements on
                                                                 standards
                                                                 participation, access




Strat plan                                     18
6. Appendices



Appendix 1- Management Structure

Appendix 2- Performance Management

Appendix 3 - Budget Strategy

Appendix 4 - Best Value Process

Appendix 5 - Training Plan

Appendix 6 - Information and Communications Technology Strategy

Appendix 7 - Communications & Public Relations

Appendix 8 - Equal Opportunities Strategy




Strat plan                        19
          Appendix 1

                                EDUCATION SERVICES DIRECTORATE
                                          Liz Nicholson




        ACCESS                     COMMUNITY                       ADVISORY &                       STRATEGIC
     Robin Durham                   SERVICES                   CHILDRENS SERVICES                  MANAGEMENT
                                    Paul Taylor                        Carol Tiddy                     Ian Budd




     Jo Humphreys                  Janet Graham                        Cathy Lister                 Linda Skimins
Education Premises Manager    Early Years and Childcare           Senior Adviser - Primary         Personnel Services
      John Baxter                     Manager                          Chris Warn                       Manager
 Education Places Manager        John Humphreys                   Senior Adviser - School            John Jones
    Jenny Crowder               Community Education               Improvements Projects          Education Officer (LMS)
  Client Services Manager           Organiser                         John Rowley                 Robin Chowdhuri
                                      Roy Bell                 Senior Adviser - Secondary and      School Support &
                                Principal Youth Officer             Continuing Education        Communications Manager
                                                                     Gill Henderson                   Sue Round
                                                                  Senior Adviser - Special      Governor Support Manager
                                                                         Education                  Andy Shannon
                                                                        Jan Lane                   Principal Education
                                                               Inclusion &Behaviour Support          Finance Officer
                                                                          Manager
                                                                       Phil Wilson
                                                                     Business Manager




     Transport Policy                Youth Service             Advisory/Curriculum Services              Finance
   Planning (AMP/SOP)        Adult Education/The Gateway       Inspection Services                          LMS
   Pupil Forecasts (SOP)            Student Support            SEN Management/Policy              Personnel Advice for
         Admissions             Joint/Community use of         School Exclusions and               Department/Schools
      Client Services                    schools               Attendance                        Departmental Training &
    Free School Meals         FE/Connexions/LSC Liaison        Client Role in joint                   Development
                             Lifelong Learning Partnership     arrangements                      Statutory Management/
                                         Support               SEN Support Services               Administration Issues
                               Early Years and Childcare       Telford & Wrekin Joint           School Governors Support
                                   Inter-Agency work           Arrangements                             & Training
                                                               Music Service                       Committee Support
                                                               RAISE Project                         Health & Safety
                                                               School Effectiveness Centre                   IT
                                                               Belmont Arts Centre & Arts         SACRE and Diocesan
                                                               Youth Support                              liaison
                                                               Standards Fund Performance,          Communications
                                                               Research and Review
                                                               Education Otherwise than at
                                                               School




          Strat plan                                      20
Appendix 2

                                       Performance Management
Our performance management framework has many key features that enable the Directorate to focus on
continuous service improvement. The framework includes strategies for planning, review and people
management. As a Directorate consistently striving to improve, our framework:

has clear, logical and well publicised arrangements for planning at community, corporate, directorate, service,
business unit and individual project levels

promotes cross-service and corporate approaches at all levels

incorporates objectives, priorities, indicators and targets, all of which clearly focus on outcomes in all plans and
uses these proactively for monitoring, review and evaluation of performance and for staff appraisals into service
planning, monitoring and review

ensures that the results of evaluation directly influence future planning

benchmarks its performance, consistently sets targets to improve performance levels and is able to
demonstrate significant success in achieving top quartile performance

systematically plans its employment needs and ensures that appropriate recruitment and retention strategies
and development opportunities are in place for new and existing employees

empowers managers by devolving responsibility for managing resources and supporting innovation and
reasonable risk taking

regularly communicates with staff at all levels collectively and individually to keep them up to date with current
issues, policy development and changes in their own or others‟ roles

involves staff in challenge and change

regularly surveys staff, acts on the results and provides them with feedback

manages financial resources to achieve maximum benefit without exposing the authority to unnecessary risk

regularly reviews systems and processes to ensure that they are robust and are delivering required results,
undertaking redesign where this proves necessary

has processes to identify risks, evaluate their potential consequences and to ensure effective risk management
and review

uses information and communications technology (ICT) wherever appropriate and viable

Performance Management: Planning and Review

For us, it is important to have consistent arrangements for linking educational vision and strategy with practical
implementation throughout the Directorate, and for integrating our planning and review processes with those of
schools and other partner organisations.

A collaborative performance management culture is part of the Directorate‟s culture. Planning time frames cover
the short, medium and long-term within Service Action Plans and the Directorate Strategic Plan. Planning
derives from the authority‟s community strategy, vision and priorities and there are mechanisms for reviewing
these regularly. All planning incorporates clear allocation of responsibilities, realistic measures and targets.

There is a clear relationship between corporate, service planning and community planning with partner
organisations. The priorities and practical implications of all processes are closely evaluated and there is a
common focus on outcomes. The results of consultation are fed consistently into planning arrangements. All
members and officers recognise their responsibilities to prioritise, plan and set standards and targets.
Monitoring, review and evaluation are undertaken rigorously and systematically. The planning process is visible
and active; staffs know about their personal responsibilities and are actively engaged.

The Best Value Review (BVR) programme is developing to include more emphasis on crosscutting issues, fewer
more strategic reviews and a sharper focus on demonstrable improvement. Individual BVRs are planned
strategically to produce step changes in areas where this is necessary.




Strat plan                                          21
Our service plans and performance are monitored and reviewed by Directorate staff, service stakeholders and
by elected members. Service plans and performance indicators are reviewed internally by individual operational
teams, the Strategic Management Team and the Directorate Management Team. The Headteachers‟ Planning
and Monitoring Group undertakes a key role in monitoring and reviewing both service action plans, the
Education Development Plan and the Post-Inspection Action Plan. The Shropshire School Governors Council,
Teacher Professional Associations and Diocesan Directors also fulfil similar roles as “Critical Friend” to the
Directorate. Elected members monitor and review all service plans and performance indicators by either the Best
Value Panel or Education Scrutiny Panel.

Performance Management: People Management

People are recognised as a valuable resource with a key role in ensuring the Directorate‟s educational vision is
fulfilled. The council is working to ensure that the profile of its workforce reflects that of the local community. The
management of people is an essential aspect of the role of service managers and team leaders. Key aspects of
our employment policies include recruitment, retention, health and safety, equal opportunities, appraisal and
induction.

The Directorate has a staff charter setting out the cultural values of the organisation which provides a
commitment to basic staff entitlement including: appraisal, training and development for all staff in order to
secure our strategic approach to employee training and development.

The Directorate has a training and development policy and plan covering all
grades of employees and an adequate budget to support this. Team development is emphasised. Our aim is to
ensure that staffs feel valued and part of the whole organisation rather than members of individual units.

The council has a strategic approach to internal communication through team and Directorate wide meetings
and briefings. Employees are regularly asked for their views and ideas through upward as well as downward
communication arrangements. Appraisal arrangements are applied consistently and fairly.

There is a comprehensive human resource management strategy which includes arrangements to ensure that
the future workforce requirements of the authority are being planned for systematically through recruitment,
retention, retraining and exit strategies. The strategy also reflects the council‟s responsibilities as a major local
employer, including equality targets and strategies. There is active management of staff absence.




Strat plan                                           22
Appendix 3




Strat plan   23
Appendix 4

                                      Best Value Revised Process

The review process is an integral part of best value as it is through the review that continuous improvements to
services are made. All reviews will formally commence in April and should normally be completed by the
following September unless otherwise stated in the terms of reference. This allows for any proposed changes to
services to be fed into the Councils annual budget process. The flow chart below summaries the process
adopted by the Council.



                                                PREPARATION
                         (incl. Training for the staff involved; Agreeing terms of reference)




                                 BASELINE SERVICE ASSESSMENT
                                 (Answers the „What are we doing now‟ Question)
                                            (Reported upon internally)




                                               REVIEW
                         (Using the 4 C‟s of Challenge, Compare, Consult and Compete)

Over 5
Years
                                    REPORT ON THE OUTCOMES

                    (Answers the „How should we deliver the Service in the future?‟ Question)
                   (Reported to Education Scrutiny Panel and the relevant Cabinet Committee)




                                      DEVELOP AN ACTION PLAN

                      (Reported to the relevant Cabinet Committee as part of the final report)




                                             EXTERNAL AUDIT
(Inspectors will rate service delivery in terms of how well it is currently being delivered and whether it will improve
                                                     in the future)




                                    FOLLOW UP MONITORING OF
                                          ACTION PLAN




Strat plan                                           24
Appendix 5
                                   Training and Development Plan

GENERAL CONTEXT STATEMENT

Shropshire County Council Education Services Directorate recognises that the successful attainment of its
mission is directly related to the quality of its staff. The Directorate therefore seeks to promote and fully utilise
the skills, knowledge, personal development and commitment of all staff. Training and development is the single
most important vehicle for developing individual effectiveness consistent with both the aims of the Directorate
and Corporate Plans.

The aim of our training and development strategy and plan is to:
• enable all staff to update and extend their knowledge, skills and experience to make them more effective in the
jobs they perform
• enhance job satisfaction and motivation in order that staff may contribute fully to the attainment our mission
statement
• assist in the development of strategies to ensure effective succession planning
• contribute to the establishment of a culture which thrives upon change, innovation and development
• assist all staff to achieve their full potential

PURPOSE OF TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT

The purpose of training and development is to enable our operational teams to support learning for all
throughout life by:
 promoting and delivering continuous improvement and organisational change;
 promoting a commitment to life long learning by all staff;
 developing individual skills, capabilities, knowledge and understanding of all staff.
OUTCOMES OF TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT

The prime outcome is a strategic, comprehensive and well managed program of training and development which
targets Directorate priorities and school and individual needs, is based on sound adult learning principles, and is
accessible to all staff.

This will result in:
 improved support for schools
 improved leadership and management practices throughout the Directorate
 enhanced skills, knowledge and understanding for all members of staff.
 the effective implementation of Directorate priorities and initiatives.
Teams are asked to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of training and development programs in which they
participate as part of appraisal & development and service action planning processes.

PRINCIPLES OF TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT

Training and development is seen as a continuum which encompasses induction, in-service training, ongoing
professional development, multi-skilling and, where appropriate, retraining.

Effective training and development activities reflect current knowledge of best practice in respect of learning
principles, access and models of delivery.

Principles:
1. All training and development initiatives should contribute to improved support for schools or other clients of
the Directorate.
2. The Directorate has the responsibility to ensure that all staff members have access to appropriate training and
development experiences.
3. Training and development for all staff members occurs within the framework of a negotiated, individual
program of training and development arising from the Appraisal and Development process.
4. Team learning as well as individual learning is promoted.
5. A range of training and development strategies are valued and employed, including mentoring, coaching,
researching, personal reflection, interchanges, discussion with and observation of colleagues and participation in
formal conferences, programs and courses.
6. Formal and informal workplace and on-the-job learning are valued and encouraged.
7. Technology and open learning models are to be used to provide equity of access.
8. Prior learning and existing skills and knowledge are recognised, valued and utilised.
9. Training and development activities are planned, targeted and linked to management and strategic plans.




Strat plan                                          25
10. All activities should be evaluated in terms of effectiveness and their contribution to improved student learning
outcomes.

THE OPERATIONAL FRAMEWORK OF TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT

To be effective training and development must be strategic and target identified priorities as well as promoting
individual development. Planned Training and Development opportunities will almost always fall into three
categories:

Whole-Directorate Training and Development Initiatives

These initiatives address strategic systemic priorities and are developed and implemented on a whole
Directorate basis. Particular initiatives will target the needs of specific groups or individuals with specific
responsibilities.

Team Training and Development Initiatives

These initiatives are developed to address Directorate priorities within a team or teams addressing similar
issues. They are initiated by team leaders or managers, on the basis of analysis of team needs or the service
action plan.

Individual Development Initiatives

Individual staff members have a responsibility to pursue their ongoing development. This can be accomplished
through participation in Directorate and other training and development initiatives.

The Assistant Director - Strategic Management will produce an annual Directorate Training and Development
Plan which will identify training and development priorities and the manner in which the priorities will be
addressed and resourced. This plan will be based upon the Directorate and Corporate Plans in addition to the
service action plans produced by individual teams.

Each staff member in partnership with their appraiser is responsible for developing an individual program of
training and development which is linked to Directorate priorities.

ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

The responsibility for providing effective, strategic and targeted training and development activities which
enhance service provision is shared between team members and managers.

All staff members are responsible for:
 implementing practices which lead to enhanced student learning
 pursuing their continuing professional development and learning
 contributing to the professional development of colleagues.
Team leaders and Managers are responsible for ensuring that their training and development activities:
 contribute to improved student learning outcomes
 address Directorate priorities
 are linked to the service action planning process
 meet the training and development needs of their staff and service users
 are accessible to all members of the team where appropriate
 are evaluated in terms of their effectiveness
 identify and utilise expertise and resources available in the team and Directorate.
Directorate Management Team is responsible for:
 implementing training and development initiatives which contribute to improved service provision and positive
    learning outcomes
 ensuring that, in their areas of responsibility, training and development priorities and needs are identified,
    analysed and addressed
 implementing monitoring and evaluation procedures to ensure the quality and effectiveness of the training
    and development activities for which they are responsible
 identifying, analysing and meeting the training and development needs of their staff.
Education Personnel are responsible for:
 identifying, analysing and meeting the training and development needs of staff




Strat plan                                           26
 co-ordinating and providing leadership in the planning, design, delivery, monitoring and evaluation of training
    and development across the Directorate
   assisting teams in the achievement of their training and development responsibilities
   promoting, supporting and accessing training and development networks and partnerships
   providing policy advice on issues related to training and development
   implementing quality management systems for training and development and promoting and disseminating
    best practice
   allocating Directorate training and development resources and monitoring their use.

Professional associations, which are supported by the Directorate, contribute to the professional development of
their members through a range of training and development activities:
 providing advice on the professional development needs
 designing, developing and implementing training and development programs




Strat plan                                        27
Appendix 6

                    Information Communications Technology Strategy Update
B.           A.        Introduction

Rapid advances in information and communications technology (ICT) combined with the growing demand for
more accurate and responsive information is posing both new challenges and opportunities for the Education
Services Directorate. The need to „measure‟ best value based on performance indicators as well as to provide
electronic service delivery options in accordance with the Government‟s Information Age strategy is increasing
these demands.

Central to this process is the evaluation of information needs together with the identification of the most
appropriate and cost effective means of addressing these needs. The adoption of a comprehensive Directorate
ICT Strategy provides for this process.

The co-ordination of ICT activities is overseen by the Directorate‟s ICT Client Group (composed of members
from all Directorate operational teams) and the Headteachers ICT group which meet on a regular half-termly
cycle. These groups are chaired by the Assistant Director – Strategic Management.

C.           Aims

D.           Our ICT aims are to:

    identify management and operational information needs for the Directorate together with the most
     appropriate and cost effective means of provision in a single ICT strategy.
    provide wider access to information and services to schools and the general public.
    provide on-line service delivery options in accordance with the Government‟s information age strategy.
    promote efficient working practices in the use of ICT equipment.

E.           Context

F.           Our operational context includes the following features:

    corporate aims and objectives of sustainability, social inclusion, lifelong learning and transforming the
     County.
    corporate ICT strategy.
    corporate ICT security policy.
    Freedom of Information, Data Protection, Disability Discrimination and Human Rights legislation.
    E-government / E-commerce.
G.

H.           Action

    Directorate ICT Client Group and Headteachers ICT Group to continue to co-ordinate, monitor and review
     the Directorate‟s ICT strategy.
    annual review of ICT Strategy, Post-OFSTED Action Plan and associated Action Plans.
    upgrade/ replace all equipment to latest corporate standard (windows 2000 and office XP).
    encourage staff to use energy saving settings on all Energy star rated equipment.
    complete improvements in Broadband telecommunications links to all schools and remote service delivery
     points.
    adopt SAMIS for purchase ordering and financial reporting for schools and support services.
    further develop the web site and promote electronic service delivery.
    increase the opportunities for the public to access services and wider information, e.g. at home, schools
     (acting as learning centres) and libraries.
    identify additional funding streams for staff training and procurement of software and hardware.
    train staff to an appropriate level to deliver services, e.g. European Computer Driving Licence as a
     competency standard.
    prepare a business continuity plan.
    implement and monitor corporate IT security policy.
    identify jobs and staff which could benefit from the greater use of ICT or improved/increased resources.
    assist with implementation of ICT related projects recommended by the Best Value Review.


I.




Strat plan                                            28
J.           Progress

Considerable progress has already been made with the implementation of the original strategies. In particular:-

    the use of electronic communication using upgraded Lotus Notes has become widespread within the
     Directorate.
    much obsolete equipment within the Directorate has been replaced to the latest corporate ICT standard.
    key operational systems are being upgraded and integrated, e.g. Continuing Professional Development,
     Governor Support, Admissions, Pupil Performance data.
    the National Grid for Learning is attracting significant funds for school ICT infrastructure and content
     resources, whilst New Opportunities Fund allocations are supporting school staff training.
    District Audit have recently commended the Authority for its current good practice in implementing the
     National Grid for Learning.
    Shropshire County Council has been nominated as lead Authority for the West Midlands Broadband
     Consortium. Good quality Broadband connectivity will be secured one year ahead of its original schedule.
    Shropshire schools are amongst those pioneering the use of ICT in curriculum and administration on the
     national DfES Workload Pathfinder initiative.
    All parts of the Directorate are developing web pages and levels of public/school access is being monitored.

K.           Outstanding Issues

    the general usage of electronic communication between LEA services and schools.
    comprehensive planning for resources for on-going replacement of hardware due to obsolescence or
     demands of modern software products and providing application support.
    training for new software being rolled out to schools over the next year.
    further work on ICT security policy and system audit procedures.
     the need to improve the web presence and usage by schools of available on-line information and services.


Joined-up Thinking

While considerable progress has been achieved to enable users to maximise the potential of the media the ICT
strategy must clearly link with other priority areas. The Directorate is in the process of developing its
Communication Strategy. The central feature of this will be a schools portal that will be delivered using ICT
developments. The aim of the strategy will be for stakeholders (heads, teachers, governors, parents, pupils,
members and officers) to have full access to all the information they need to maintain and promote the highest
standards. In addition, the Portal will eventually allow stakeholders to access, complete and submit forms on-
line, as well pay for services where appropriate.




Strat plan                                        29
Appendix 7
                       Shropshire Education Communications Strategy
Vision

To provide heads, teachers, governors, parents, pupils, members and officers with an effective, reliable and
secure system for communicating the necessary information to support delivery of a first class education
system.

Stakeholders will be able to access relevant and up-to-date information, submit consultations and management
information on-line and share best practice.

Aims

The strategy will deliver the following aims over a staged programme and to be completed by December 2003.
The staged programme will be managed through a Communications Action Plan. The Strategy will:

1.   Ensure effective and timely communication between LEA and schools through the design, development and
     implementation of an Education Community Portal;

2.   Ensure schools receive quality curriculum development tools, up-to-date guidance and management
     information;

3.   Allow schools to submit management information and other data on-line to the LEA both quickly and
     securely;

4.   Provide a system to deliver emergency messages to schools within short time-scales;

5.   Reduce the costs of communicating with schools and other stakeholders by maximising on-line potential of
     Broadband;

6.   In partnership with funding bodies and training providers support training and development for stakeholders;

7.   Develop and embed a culture of continuous improvement and celebrate success;

8.   Promoting Government policy for the implementation of e-Governance;

9.   Provide and promote the use of stakeholder consultative sites within the education community Portal,
     including heads, teachers, governors, parents and pupils;

10. Develop stratagems for developing and sharing best practice, i.e. use of Portal, management of press and
    public relations etc. and

11. Develop the appropriate partnerships both internally and externally to ensure adequate funding, training and
    marketing.

Background

The Shropshire education community needs to implement an effective, reliable and secure system of
communications between Directorate teams, schools and the wider group of education stakeholders. The
Strategy will also need to provide support and guidance to stakeholders on the best practice for developing
effective relationships with the press and how to manage public relations. Additionally, the strategy will need to
assess and address the learning needs of stakeholders, with access to training and learning materials a key
priority. Finally, the LEA needs to use an effective medium to disseminate a unified and unambiguous message
that can be clearly understood by listeners and deliverers.

Shropshire is a rural county that suffers from the usual disadvantages associated with remote locations,
including infrastructure difficulties. However, it is clear that if the education partners across the county are to be
able to communicate, both with themselves and externally, then we will need to adopt a more pro-active
approach to developing communications stratagems. Adopting this approach has business and symbolic
importance as the County as a whole seeks to modernise its skills and employment base.

What is clear is that this strategy cannot be implemented in isolation and that it must recognise the wider
corporate communications agenda. Where appropriate the implications, impacts and outputs of the education
communication strategy will be reflected against other key priorities as necessary. For example, where training is
required would this make an impact on the Local Learning and Skill Council priorities and, if it did, would extra
funding be available make our own training provision more sustainable?

The County Council has recently signed a significant contract with a leading Telecommunications Company to
develop and install a County wide Broadband network. The Network will connect some 260 sites across the



Strat plan                                           30
County with schools being the first to „go-live‟, all secondary schools and the large primary schools will be live by
April 2002 and the remainder will be on-line by December 2002. The education community, in particular
schools, have made a significant investment in this broadband network and expect it to be the platform on which
to deliver the communications strategy.

Implementation: Using the Education Portal

The introduction of the Broadband network represents a significant opportunity to put an appropriate
communications and media strategy in place. By using a single access point, i.e. Education Community Portal,
we are able to ensure a single unified message with stakeholders and external „customers‟, e.g. press,
Government Agencies, potential partners or suppliers etc.

The great advantage of using the Portal is that it is web-based and as such can be accessed by anyone through
the internet. It also has the capacity to contain managed secure areas for communities of particular interest.

There are some key considerations to be mindful of to ensure that the action plan delivers the Portal and
subsequently achieves the aims of the communications strategy. These include:

    The stakeholders, who are they and what level of access do they require?

     The stakeholders must include Heads, teachers, governors, parents, pupils, members and LEA officers.
     There is a broader group of associates whose actions have an impact on the delivery and effectiveness of
     the Portal, these might include DfES, OFSTED, local press etc.

    What is the technical and intellectual capacity of stakeholders to both access and manage the information,
     and can we address those needs through the strategy?

     Using new media technologies to deliver a service across a broad range of stakeholders will present some
     significant issues regarding the appropriate level of skills and knowledge required to make the system
     effective. There is anecdotal evidence to suggest that many people are nervous about using computers
     when, a) they have had insufficient training, b) unused to the technology, c) cannot see the practical
     applications.

     It is an aim of the strategy to deliver the appropriate training to those stakeholders where there is an
     identified need. Naturally, delivering an ambitious training programme across the full range of stakeholders
     will require substantial resources. These resources are not available through the strategy; however,
     external associates have already expressed an interest in developing a portfolio of training courses.

    What actions do we take to overcome cultural resistance towards the use of these new technologies, how
     should we „market‟ the Portal to stakeholders?

     During a recent exercise the post room circulated an urgent message via e-mail, during the subsequent
     follow-up exercise it emerged that some schools lacked the skills to open the message, while some lacked
     the will. They complained that the message had not been sent by post as had happened in the past. The
     strategy will suggest ways in which we can market the Portal and help stakeholders identify how best the
     strategy can add value to the work they do. It is obvious that if schools have contributed significantly
     towards the implementation of broadband it would be sound commercial sense to then exploit it to its full
     potential.

     Added value might be demonstrated through, a) cost savings, b) shared best practice, c) more effective
     communications with partners and d) simplified procedures and time saved. The strategic outputs for the
     Portal could include targets that demonstrate best value.

    How do stakeholders want to use the Portal to manage information supporting planning and service
     delivery?

     The Portal presents opportunities for accurate and timely exchange of management information between
     stakeholders. In particular, it will help deliver the e-Government agenda by allowing stakeholders to submit
     information, consultation responses, financial and statistical information. The next step would be for
     stakeholders to use this information to support planning and service delivery; the action plan will include a
     proposal to survey stakeholder planning needs and assessment of future service delivery standards.


The action plan will also include interim actions until the electronic system is fully in place, in particular, tandem
systems to ensure information is always available on request. However, effective selling of this project to
stakeholders will ensure a „dependency culture‟ does not develop around these temporary measures. The
Standards Centre, based at Shirehall, will maintain a full and up-to-date library for reference purposes.




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Internal Management

The continued development of the strategy and implementation of the action plan will require careful
management and evaluation of progress. It is proposed that a steering group is established to ensure that the
aims of the strategy are achieved. However, it is not proposed to either recreate existing structures or to
subsume their role to this group. Membership of the steering group will consist of representatives of existing
stakeholder groups, e.g. ICT Heads Group, Shropshire Governor Group, Education Web Development Group
etc. Each member will bring the latest thinking from their own communities and feedback progress on the
strategy. The Steering Group will in turn report to the ICT User Group, who will consider the strategy against
ongoing ICT development needs.

Finance

The action plan, where possible, will identify resource implications both positive and negative for the
implementation of actions. The Education Directorate has already made a significant contribution towards the
introduction of Broadband and it is envisaged that the implementation of this strategy will be nil cost. This
excludes the projected training costs. The Directorate will be developing a bid for Shropshire LSC to fund
training activity across the e County.

There are some significant cost savings to be achieved from the immediate and proper use of the Education
Community Portal. It is planned that almost all contact with stakeholders that is done through paper methods at
present will be delivered electronically, this will have huge cost saving implications for the Directorate. Initial
scoping of the work needed to implement the strategy must include possible up-front costs to design and
implement the Portal. It is hoped that these costs will be offset against potential savings.




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Appendix 8
                                        Equal Opportunities Policy

Our vision is „Quality and Value in Partnership‟, which is at the heart of everything we do. The County Council is
committed to this vision, and through this to improve the quality of life in Shropshire.

We will strive for the highest possible public service and professional standards, and will be accountable to
Shropshire people for everything we do.

We believe that equal opportunity is about treating people fairly, openly and honestly and recognising that
people all have different needs, cultures, experiences and expectations.

It is the policy of Shropshire County Council to ensure that no person, whether a job applicant, employee,
service user or third party receives any less favourable treatment because of his or her gender, marital status,
family status, lifestyle, age, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, disability, political affiliation, Trade Union
membership or any other condition or requirement which cannot be shown to be justifiable.

Shropshire County Council as an employer

We will implement our Equal Opportunities Policy in our role as an employer. We will strive to have a workforce
which reflects the population we serve.

We will strive to achieve and maintain accreditation as an Investor in People.

We will demonstrate our commitment to equal opportunities in the way we:

   recruit and select people
   train and develop people
   recognise the abilities that people display
   manage changes when those impact upon employees
   expect the highest standards of employee conduct and behaviour
   will not accept any form of unfair treatment, discrimination, harassment, or removal of dignity by any of our
    employees or to any of our employees.

Shropshire County Council’s position on service delivery

We will implement our equal opportunities policy in delivering services by ensuring that:
 everyone has fair access to our services
 we use clear and unambiguous criteria
 good quality information is available to people in plain English or if requested in a format which is accessible
  to them.
 we consult people about their needs
 we set the highest example in all partnerships and arrangements in which we work alongside other
  individuals and organisations, and expect the same standards from them.

To implement this policy we will:
 make sure all employees know about the policy and understand it. We will do this by induction, appropriate
    and timely publicity e.g. notice boards, lotus notes, employee newsletters.
 take action to put things right, wherever and whenever we find unfair treatment.
 develop equality action plans at directorate level to implement commission for Race Equality Standards
    „Race Equality Means Quality‟.
 train managers via the management competency framework
 monitor and review our performance on an annual basis.

Commitment

The County Council as a whole is committed to equal opportunities and it affects everything we do. Our
commitment to equal opportunities is shared equally by both Councillors and officers and we have a senior
member of the Council taking a lead role on equalities issues.

The County Council‟s Resources Cabinet Committee in January 2000 adopted the definition of a racial incident
as „any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person‟.

We have adopted a „zero tolerance‟ approach to racial incidents in the workforce.

We have a „dignity and respect‟ policy which enables an employee to complain about any form of bullying or
harassment.



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We are committed over time to achieving level 5 of Commission for Racial Equality Standards.

We have a confidential counselling service available to all employees.

We have policies for alternative working patterns; e.g. job share, term time only working.

We have a complaints procedure to enable anyone external to the Council to complain if they feel that they have
received a standard of service which is poor or discriminatory.

A complaints Charter is in place.

We have a „blow the whistle policy‟ to protect employees who speak up about wrong doing. This wrongdoing
may relate to discrimination, abuse of vulnerable people as well as suspected fraud or corruption.

The council is entitled to use the „positive about disabled people (2 ticks) symbol‟ which confirms our
commitment to people who are disabled.

We are committed over time to making our public building accessible.

We have mechanisms in place to produce our documents in Braille or large print for people with visual
disabilities on request and we are able to translate documents into community languages on request.

We have adopted „plain English‟ as our standard for communications.

The Council will consider taking the appropriate action against an employee whose conduct infringes the
standards required by this policy.

THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF MANAGERS

Overall Responsibility

All managers are responsible for implementing the policy in every area of management activity, including
managing the relations with others - for example, partner agencies.

All managers are responsible for proactively promoting the policy in a positive fashion to others and for setting a
good example to others by championing and implementing the policy.

Management of Employees

All Managers are responsible for ensuring that all employees and potential employees are made aware of the
policy, helped to understand it, and made clear about what standards of behaviour are expected from them.

Managers must not ignore, tolerate or condone harassment of any kind, but must take prompt action to deal with
it. They must proactively challenge any offensive language, any offensive pictorial or other material which goes
against the policy.

All complaints alleging that the policy is being breached must be taken seriously and swift and appropriate action
to investigate and deal with the complaint is taken.

Individuals who complain about such breaches and who indicate that they are consequently experiencing stress
must be supported. The confidential counselling service can be used for this if necessary.

Managers must seek advice and support if necessary.             .


THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF EMPLOYEES

All employees are responsible for complying with the Equal Opportunities Policy and for ensuring that the
standards of behaviour required by the County Council are achieved.

All employees must raise concerns about discrimination, abuse of vulnerable people, or unfair treatment
immediately they become aware of it.
                                                                th
This policy was agreed by Resources Cabinet Committee on 8 March 2000

Consultation was undertaken with members of the Corporate Equal Opportunities Working Group: Corporate
Directors, UNISON, MPO and the Chief Executive.




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