A NEW team of education experts has been created to help failing Powys secondary schools on their “journey to improvement.”
Late last year two Powys secondary schools, Brecon and Gwernyfed received further disappointing Estyn reports which saw them “placed” in special measures,
At a meeting of the Learning an Skills scrutiny committee on Monday, January 30 members discussed the draft council budget which will see an extra of £4.5 million given directly to schools with a further £1.1 million for the education department.
Councillors went through a raft of savings proposals worth over £1.7 million proposed by the education department.
Creating the secondary improvement team would save on the contribution of £50,000 for the next two years to the now defunct ERW regional education consortium.
A further £50,000 that would also have otherwise gone to consultants.
The secondary improvement work in Powys was being provided through ERW.
Cllr Lucy Roberts said: “The report mentions that primary schools are performing well – which is great and I’m pleased to hear that but it doesn’t mention the fact that some secondary schools haven’t performed so well.”
Director of education Lynette Lovell said: “We measure our success on Estyn inspections, and we have a strong primary sector.
“We have work to do with our secondary schools and that’s why we’ve extended the secondary school improvement team, we recognise there’s work to do in terms of standards and budgets.”
Head of education, Georgie Bevan said: “I’m really confident in the team we’ve got to provide that bespoke support that individual secondary schools need on that improvement journey for them.”
In November, Estyn published a follow up monitoring report on Gwernyfed High School following a visit in October.
Then in December Estyn also published a follow up monitoring report on Brecon High School following a visit in November.
Estyn judged that both schools had made “insufficient progress in relation to the recommendations following the most recent core inspection.”
Estyn said: “As a result, His Majesty’s chief inspector of Education and Training in Wales is increasing the level of follow-up activity.
“His Majesty’s Chief Inspector is of the opinion that special measures are required.”
The schools will individually need draw up an action plan to show how they will address several recommendations made by Estyn.