Drop in number of Powys schools in need of extra support, new figures reveal

Reporter:

Jonny Drury

THE NUMBER of primary and secondary schools in Powys in need of extra support has dropped over the past year, according to new figures.

The National School Categorisation results released on Tuesday, show that seven more primary schools and two more secondary schools are now into the ‘green’ bandings.

In Montgomeryshire, Llanidloes High School has jumped from being rated as amber, to now being in the top category.

Headteacher Jane Harries has heaped praised on her pupils and staff for their turnaround in banding, but insisted the standards have always been good.

She said: “We are extremely pleased to jump up two colours, it just shows the hard work the pupils and the staff have done to get to this point.

“We’ve always had good results, but it is the second part of improvement capacity that has moved us up to green.

Welshpool High School has also risen to the top banding, after being placed in the yellow banding last year.

Two high schools are sitting in the red category in Powys, Llanfyllin and Llandrindod.

Builth Wells High School, which was placed in special measures in December 2015, has jumped from being in the red category to amber.

Headteacher Ionwen Spowage said: “We are thrilled with the outcome of this, and it shows the journey we’ve been on and are still on to raise the standards, and this is part of that."

Across the country, more primary schools have risen into green, 24 up from 17, and more are now rated as yellow, 47, rather than the 39 from previous results.

Only one primary school in the whole of Powys is now rated as red – Llandrindod Wells CP School.

Cabinet Member for schools Arwel Jones said: “Schools are increasingly building capacity to self-improve and becoming more resilient.

“Working together, schools and regional consortia understand well the challenges ahead.

“We will be providing and brokering tailored support for all schools, individually targeting the areas identified for improvement.”

Across Wales the number of schools in need of the most support has dropped.

Brecon and Radnorshire AM and Education Secretary Kirsty Williams said the figures are not designed to single out under performing schools.

She said: “This system is not about grading, labelling or creating crude league tables but about providing support and encouraging improvement in our schools. 

“It is about putting schools into a position that helps them to identify areas they can strengthen and what they need to do achieve further improvements.

“The figures we have published today show that 84.4 per cent of primary and 64.6 per cent of secondary schools are now in the green and yellow categories.

“This increase is to be welcomed, as these schools will have a key role to play in supporting other schools, sharing their skills, expertise and good practice.

“In this way they will be making a vital contribution to our national mission of driving forward improvements in Welsh schools and moving us towards a self-improving system.”

See full story in the County Times

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