Central South Consortium
The Central South Consortium (CSC) is a school improvement service which operates on behalf of five local authorities: Bridgend, Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil, Rhondda Cynon Taff and the Vale of Glamorgan.
This region is the most populous in Wales. It includes over 400 schools and serves 135,000 learners – a third of the country’s school-age children. The region is home to the highest number and the largest proportion of children living in poverty; it is also home to the capital city and the economic, financial, creative and media industries of Wales.
Historically the region has underperformed against schools elsewhere in Wales. Since 2012 it has seen a steep and sustained improvement in learner outcomes at every level and in every local authority area but there is further to go.
Our ambition as a region is that, by 2018:
- our learners achieve the best educational outcomes in Wales, rivalling similar parts of the United Kingdom;
- the poverty-related attainment gap is closing faster here than anywhere else in Wales;
- that the region is known and recognised for its high-quality school-led professional learning.
Our aim: to improve educational outcomes for all pupils, and the outcomes for vulnerable learners fastest. The success of schools in this region is the key to the future economic and social success of Wales. We are improving. We need to do more.
Our shared objective, developed in partnership with schools in the region, is to transform educational outcomes by improving leadership and teaching and by eradicating the impact of poverty on educational outcomes.
We want to do this is by building the capacity of schools to be self-improving. We want to develop a culture that embraces innovation and enables teachers and leaders to work together to improve practice in ways that are informed by research and have a positive impact on pupils’ achievement and progress.
Our vision is to enable schools themselves to lead this work by increasingly delegating the responsibility and resources backed by a robust system of accountability. We believe that this is vital in order to secure sustainable long-term improvement in the achievement of all children and young people in the region.
In everything we do we are developing this system through the Central South Wales Challenge. This will mean:
- effective school self-evaluation and improvement planning within a robust and confident framework of accountability are at the heart of an improving system;
- every school will be part of a well-functioning school improvement group (SIG) or pathfinder partnership;
- collaborative activity, including peer enquiry, where schools work together to develop their practice and add value to their work to improve standards and the quality of education;
- improving teaching and learning is the focus of all our work in schools, with professional development provided through improvement hubs and specialist centres where schools act as a resource for the region;
- high quality leadership development programmes for aspiring, new and experienced senior and middle leaders;
- opportunities for personal development throughout a teacher’s career; and
- schools increasingly draw on, and are supported by, their communities and families in partnership with their local authority.
- These changes will be characterised by a shift of resources to schools where schools take responsibility for their own improvement. The 2016-2017 business plan will set out the plans for how we will do this in more detail.