Executive Recruitment

"We are seeking an ambitious and dynamic Head of Education Improvement and Commissioning to lead the Council’s work in challenging and supporting high standards in teaching and learning across schools in Pembrokeshire"


Dear Applicant,

Thank you for your interest in the position of Head of School Improvement and Commissioning at Pembrokeshire County Council.

The county of Pembrokeshire has a population of just over 125,000 people. The Local Authority maintains five 11-18 secondary schools (1 being welsh medium), one welsh medium 3-18 school, one 3-16 school, one 11-16 school, 52 primary schools, one special school and one pupil referral unit.

At the time of the Estyn inspection last year, Pembrokeshire was one of six Local Authorities in the ERW regional consortium for school improvement, the others being the City and County of Swansea, Neath Port-Talbot, Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Powys.  The consortium is currently under review; Neath Port Talbot has since left the consortium and some other authorities have since given notice of their intention to leave.

Some key dynamics associated with our pupil cohort in Pembrokeshire are:-

  • Over a three year average, 16.2% of pupils aged 5 to 15 are eligible for free school meals, slightly lower than the Wales average of 17.8%
  • 12.1% of pupils aged 5 and over are fluent in Welsh, which is lower than the Wales average of 16.2%
  • 5.6% of pupils aged five and over are from ethnic minorities, below the Wales average of 11.4%
  • 24.3% of pupils have special educational needs, higher than the Wales average of 22.2%
  • 64 children per 10,000 were looked after by the local authority in 2019, which is lower than the Wales average

The Authority received its last ESTYN inspection report in December 2019. The report noted that:

“Senior officers and senior elected members have defined an ambitious vision and set a strong strategic direction for education services in Pembrokeshire. This clarity is beginning to have a positive impact on team-working within education services, and is leading to productive collaboration between the authority and other organisations which support education across the authority.”

ESTYN also identified that,

Although the authority has been robust in dealing with underperformance in a few instances, there has been insufficient focus on improving teaching and leadership in schools. Overall, the standards achieved by pupils in Pembrokeshire schools are too variable”, it noted that “plans for improvement are not sufficiently sharp” and has concluded with four recommendations that form the key issues for the new post-holder to address:-

R1 Raise standards in schools, particularly in literacy, numeracy and Welsh second language 

R2 Improve the outcomes for all groups of learners, including those eligible for free school meals and those who are more able 

R3 Improve the effectiveness of the authority’s work to improve teaching and school leadership 

R4 Strengthen the quality of evaluation by officers at all levels to improve the precision of planning for improvement

The Administration in Pembrokeshire has been clear about its vision for promoting high educational standards through delivering efficient primary and secondary education for learners and has adopted an inspirational vison that “every child and young person achieves and contributes more than they thought possible”.

We now seek an appropriately qualified and experienced person who can demonstrate an ability to turn this ambition into tangible outcomes in school and pupil attainment within a realistic timescale. If this is the sort of challenge, you are looking for and want to work with our Leadership Team and our Cabinet to deliver improvement, we look forward to hearing from you.

Steven Richards-Downes
Director for Education

Councillor Guy Woodham
Cabinet Member with responsibility
for Education and Lifelong Learning

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