A notice will be served by Ceredigion to withdraw from regional school improvement working alliance ERW on 31 March 2021.

ERW is an alliance of six local authorities created to deliver school improvement services across Mid and South West Wales. ERW is governed by a Joint Committee bound by a legal agreement. Cabinet members agreed to serve the notice to the ERW Joint Committee in its meeting effective from 17 March 2020.

In light of other County Council's imminent withdrawal from ERW, members of the Learning Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee questioned whether it was timely for Ceredigion to review its membership of ERW.

Councillor Catrin Miles, Cabinet Member for Learning Services and Lifelong Learning, said, “Ceredigion has invested heavily in the concept and implementation of regional working. Officers have spent considerable time and effort in the creation of a regional school improvement service in order to improve outcomes and experiences for all learners within the region. The future footprint of any regional school improvement service does not necessarily need to align with the current ERW model.”

The last few years have been challenging as regards to further developing a collaborative approach across all six authorities, including different views and priorities, a lack of resource and funding to priority areas in Ceredigion, and a lack of Welsh Language standards compliance because elements of ERW’s provision not being available in Welsh.

Councillor Miles continued, “Ceredigion remains committed to the principle of working in various forms of partnerships with others for the benefit of our pupils.”

A detailed and current review of ERW impact on school improvement and value for money will be undertaken and presented to Learning Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet. This will be provided prior to the end of the notice period for the final decision.