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The Independent Recovery board which will oversee improvements in education services in Monmouthshire has been announced. Its members are:
- Mark James – Chief Executive of Carmarthenshire
- Janet Jones – Principal Officer Youth & Community Neath Port Talbot Council
- Rod Alcott – formerly with the Wales Audit Office
- Jonathan Morgan – former Assembly Member
A senior official from the Welsh Government will chair the board on an interim basis while a permanent chair is appointed. The board will meet for the first time on June 27.
The Independent Recovery Board set up to run education services in Merthyr Tydfil has been named as:
- Dr Mohammed Mehmet – Chief Executive of Denbighshire
- Gareth Williams – former Director of Children and Young People’s Services in Leicestershire
- Dr Tom Entwistle – expert in Public Policy and Management from Cardiff University
- Councillor Paul Hannon – elected member of Newport City Council
Karl Napieralla has been seconded from Neath Port Talbot council as an interim chair.
The Education Minister has announced the setting-up of Independent Recovery Boards to take over failing education services in two councils. Leighton Andrews had previously said he would intervene following critical reports into Merthyr Tydfil and Monmouthshire councils.
He now says that 'he can have no confidence that Merthyr will resolve these problems itself, even with support' and so its intervention board will take over the day-to-day running of the education service.
In Monmouth's case, the authority will continue to be responsible for the delivery of education services while the board oversees improvements and monitors progress.
The leader of Merthyr Tydfil council, Brendan Toomey, is defending how schools have been run since Labour regained control in May last year. However, he has promised to co-operate with the minister's decision to take the schools off the council. They'll probably be transferred to Rhondda Cynon Taf.
Plaid Cymru's education spokesperson, Simon Thomas accuses education minister Leighton Andrews of 'jumping the gun' by taking Merthyr Tydfil's schools from local council control and wanting to transfer them to Rhondda Cynon Taf. He added that the minister must share the blame for poor education.
Education Minister Leighton Andrews has been explaining why Merthyr Tydfil is losing control of its schools. It's the most drastic action he has yet taken against a local education authority that has been classed as 'unsatisfactory' by the schools inspectorate, Estyn.
Leighton Andrews is setting up a recovery board to oversee the change olf control of Methyr's schools. He is taking less drastic action in Monmouthshire, which also received an 'unsatisfactory' recovery in education in Merthyr.
He says there's a new senior management team in Monmouthshire and a new director of education will start work in May but the evidence strongly points to a need for an independent recovery board to oversee the improvements needed. He has given the council until May 6 to respond to Estyn's report.
The Education minister, Leighton Andrews, has just announced that he is removing control of schools from Merthyr Tydfil Council. His decision follows a highly critical report from the schools inspectorate, Estyn,
His preferred option is to merge Merthyr's local education authority with neighbouring Rhondda Cynon Taf but sending in commissioners to runthe LEA or handing it over to an outside body are also options.