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Newtown High School remains in Estyn follow up category

John Beddoes Campus in Presteigne which is part of Newtown High School (Pic: Google Streetview)

A POWYS high school remains in an Estyn follow up category following an inspection in October.

Despite this, Newtown High School which includes the John Beddoes campus in Presteigne say that the report published by Estyn today, (Monday, December 18) “shows progress.”

The school was taken out of “special measures” by Estyn two years ago after making improvements in areas of concern which included bullying, teaching quality and attendance.

The Estyn review category is the “lightest touch” of follow up under the inspection regime and they have given the school three recommendations to address.

Estyn said: “Since the school was removed from special measures in October 2021, the headteacher and his staff have worked diligently to continue to improve key aspects of the school’s work. ”

The report does highlight some issues on having one school – but campuses which are roughly 27 miles apart.

Estyn said: “Overall, the school provides a balanced curriculum, which meets the needs of most pupils well.

“Pupils at the Newtown campus have a suitable range of options at key stage four and the sixth form, including vocational courses such as agriculture and health and social care.

“However, pupils at the John Beddoes campus have a restricted choice of courses at key stage four.”

Estyn continue: “Pupils at the Newtown campus benefit from a range of suitable opportunities to practice and develop their literacy, numeracy, and digital skills across the curriculum.

“However, skills provision for the pupils on the John Beddoes campus is not as well developed.”

Headteacher Rob Edwards said: “We are proud that Estyn have acknowledged the strong progress we have made.

“However, there is still more work for us to do.

“The pupils and the staff at Newtown High School work incredibly hard and the report is a reflection of this work.”

The three recommendations are:

The need to refine leadership responsibilities so that the school’s improvement work has a consistent impact across the two campuses.

Improve communication between staff, and with pupils and parents, to develop cohesion, effective collaboration, and a consistent sense of community across the whole school.

Continue to refine evaluation and improvement processes so that they take full account of the impact of leadership on the outcomes of all pupils.

The school will be expected to draw up an action plan to show how it is going to address these recommendations and Estyn will work with Powys County Council to review the school’s progress.

John Beddoes High School in Presteigne was closed in April 2014.

It then reopened in April 2014 as the Newtown High School John Beddoes campus.