The Local Scrutiny Plan for Comhairle nan Eilean Siar for 2018/19 reports progress in some significant Education and Social Work areas over the past year and has not identified a need for additional scrutiny of the Comhairle’s work beyond statutory or ongoing work.
The Audit Scotland Plan identified that Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is receiving universal support from the Scottish Attainment Challenge with Schools in the area having Pupil Equity Funding plans in place and being progressed. The Plan also found that there is strong strategic leadership and that the Comhairle has appropriate governance in place to ensure that educational provision is well organised and well led. In addition, outcomes for young people are improving and are more positive than outcomes for young people with similar needs and backgrounds from across the country.
A progress review of services for children and young people was carried out in May 2017. As well as concluding that there had been considerable progress in all areas, the Care Inspectorate also found corporate parenting had been thoroughly embraced and the voices of care experienced children and young people were increasingly influencing policy and practice. There was evidence of improved collaborative working at all levels across the partnership.
Comhairle Leader, Roddie Mackay, said: "It is good to see progress being made by the authority in these areas and recognised by these Scrutiny bodies. It is to be welcomed that the Plan has not identified a need for additional scrutiny although the work must continue in improving services for our communities against a challenging financial climate."
Audit Scotland adopted an amended approach to local authority scrutiny in April 2015 with the introduction of Local Scrutiny Plans developed by Local Area Network (LAN) leads. These plans give a description of each Council’s context including the challenges it faces and what it is trying to achieve. The plans then make an assessment of the challenges likely to be faced by each Council in achieving good outcomes for local people and set out any areas of concern about the way in which the Council is run.
Scrutiny bodies making up the Local Area Network include Audit Scotland, Care Inspectorate, and Education Scotland.