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Secondary schools are in decline

taskersSIX PEMBROKESHIRE secondary schools’ performance has declined over the last three years, according to data released yesterday (Thursday, December 12).

Not a single secondary school makes it into the top tier of banding, while two schools are in the lowest band for performance. The schools in the lowest band are Tasker Milward VC School, Haverfordwest and Milford Haven School.

Two Pembrokeshire secondary schools have improved their level two performances in English, Mathematics and Welsh over the three year period covered by the data, Pembroke School and Ysgol Greenhill.

The most marked performance declines have been at Tasker Milward School, where relative performance has fallen by 28.9 points, and Ysgol y Preseli has declined by 35.1 points over the same period. Ysgol y Preseli was the only school in Pembrokeshire in the three year reporting period tothe highest rating band. Criticism has been made by teaching unions about the data being inconsistent.

David Evans, head of NUT Cymru, said: “It is hard to see how a system that has so little support amongst the profession can continue in its current format. It is causing real difficulties for schools and unless that is addressed, risks creating a long-term crisis for Welsh education. We only need to consider the fact that the school ranked at the top of Band 1 last year but now finding itself in Band 4 to see that this is a seriously flawed system.”

Council Leader, Councillor Jamie Adams, said: “Pembrokeshire County Council notes the publication of the banding of secondary schools, which presents a mixed outcome for our schools.

“We are working with the schools identified as needing to improve their position.

“Pembrokeshire, like other local authorities in Wales, uses the outcomes of the school banding process to support school improvement.

“It is one part of a series of performance indicators used that support the evidence in self-evaluation.

“When used constructively and in context, it provides a good range of data demonstrating trends and annual performance. Schools are challenged and appropriate support and targeted interventions are undertaken.

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“Since the data was available to schools and the local authority during the summer, appropriate interventions and support are now in place.”