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Standards boss says Caerphilly schools doing ‘good’ job of impressing inspectors

Caerphilly County Borough Council offices in Tredomen (Pic: LDRS)

SCHOOLS across Caerphilly County Borough have done a “good” job of impressing inspectors over the past two years, according to the man in charge of raising standards.

The vast majority of schools inspected since the start of 2022 have required no follow-up visits from Estyn, Caerphilly Council’s education committee heard on Monday May 20.

And inspectors chose eight of those schools to serve as case studies from which the rest of Wales can learn best practice.

Paul Warren, the council’s strategic lead for school improvement, told the committee the inspector’s conclusions show local schools’ “profile overall is good”.

“There are areas of improvement,” he added. “We would like no schools in follow-up [arrangements with Estyn].”

In cases where inspectors feel schools need to make improvements, they can insist on a subsequent visit to check progress.

Three of the 35 schools inspected since early 2022 were, or will be, subject to an Estyn review, a council report shows.

Estyn may also declare a school is “in need of significant improvement”, meaning it has to draw up a special action plan to address the inspectors’ recommendations.

Schools in this category will usually be monitored for progress around 12 months after Estyn publishes its initial inspection report.

Since the start of 2022, inspectors have categorised three Caerphilly schools as needing “significant improvement”, and one of those – Risca Comprehensive – was later placed in special measures, an Estyn report shows.

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Another school, Crumlin High Level Primary, was put in special measures following its inspection in 2022, but has since been “judged to have made sufficient progress” and Estyn removed the school from its special measures list in April 2024.

At the committee meeting, Mr Warren also noted how inspectors were concerned about attendance levels at the county borough’s schools.

“Attendance is a recommendation in many school reports”, he said, adding that the issue was “one of our main priorities for improvement”.