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School report expected following latest visit to Gwent school in special measures

Cwmbran High School (Pic: Google Street View)

EDUCATION inspectors are due to issue an update following their latest visit to a Gwent school in special measures. 

Officials from Wales’ school inspectorate Estyn visited Cwmbran High School last week. 

The 1,115-pupil school has been in the most serious category of support since December 2018 when it was judged as failing to provide an acceptable level of education. 

Andrew Powles, Torfaen Borough Council’s director of education, said he was limited in what he could tell members of the education scrutiny committee but said the “verbal feedback” he had received is inspectors had noted “strengthened leadership among governors and staff in school”. 

He said Estyn had noted the “quality of leadership” and were satisfied with positive outcomes for the school. 

Mr Powles told the committee Estyn operates on a six year inspection cycle and Torfaen has “just completed” that cycle with a new six-year period to start in September. 

During the new period Estyn will also operate a new inspection framework which as well as a “core inspection” will include two interim visits to check on progress. 

During the last inspection period Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw, in Pontypool, was placed in special measures from April 2019 to March last year and Croesyceiliog was also in the category, from February 2020 to November 2021, while Torfaen was dubbed “a local authority causing significant concern” due to shortcomings in secondary school performance. 

An update report for the committee confirmed all Torfaen schools have been inspected during the most recent cycle and that one, unidentified primary school, has been placed in Estyn review and will receive a follow up visit from the inspectors in 2025. 

Mr Powles also told the committee Estyn had visited the local authority three weeks ago and its written report has been received which will be presented to the full council later this month. 

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He said the report was “positive” and Estyn has commented on the strength of the council’s evaluation system and it has been looking for improvement in outcomes for pupils, leadership and additional learning needs. 

He said he was “confident” the council has “good tracking” of performance of schools in place.