Anglesey schools: Special measures call from Estyn
Published: 31st Jul 2012 10:15:43
School inspectors have recommended that education services on Anglesey are put into special measures after judging them to be "unsatisfactory".
The council, which is being run by commissioners after concerns over how it was managed, has been given 50 working days to draw up an action plan.
Anglesey council said it supported the recommendations and that it was already making good progress.
The Welsh government has said it will establish a recovery board at Anglesey.
Education Minister Leighton Andrews and Local Government Minister Carl Sargeant said the recovery board would advise Welsh government commissioners who are running Anglesey at present and "challenge and support" the council over the education services. It will report directly the the government on a monthly basis.
Mr Andrews said: "There can be no doubt that this is a highly damning report. The education service within the authority is in an unacceptable position and urgent action is needed to address the issues raised."
Mr Sargeant added: "Recovery in education needs to go hand in hand with the corporate recovery which the commissioners are leading.
"We are pleased that all concerned fully support our approach and have contributed effectively to developing it."
The report by Estyn was critical of standards, low attendance, planning, and the quality of leadership at Anglesey.
Anglesey council has been run since March 2011 by commissioners appointed by the Welsh government amid concerns about how the authority is being managed.
Estyn is of the opinion that the authority falls into the follow-up category of requiring special measures”
The report on the quality of Anglesey's education services for children and young people follows an inspection carried out in May.
Inspectors judged the authority's performance to be unsatisfactory on a number of grounds:
The inspectors also judged the authority's capacity to improve to be unsatisfactory because of a history of under performance and a slow pace of action.
Estyn issued a set of seven recommendations to tackle the problems, including raising standards in all key stages and to make sure that all learners who can do so achieve functional literacy by the end of key stage 2.
In response, Anglesey council said it would do all it could to improve its education services.
Chief executive Richard Parry Jones said it fully supported Estyn's recommendations.
"They correspond to those areas already identified by the education service as key to driving forward the quality of education services on Anglesey.
We will work with the Welsh government to put matters right”
"We acknowledge the need to increase the pace at which improvements are made, and are confident that we are already making good progress."
Mr Parry Jones said a robust action plan has been drafted and will be presented to council to address all seven recommendations.
"We are pleased that Estyn has recognised the green shoots of improvement in many areas but accept that these need time to develop and demonstrate their impact on learners.
"This year's assessment and academic results will be a key indicator for us in further identifying the distance travelled."
Council leader Bryan Owen added: "The response to Estyn's report has been swift and decisive, and the action plan will be led by the senior leadership team in partnership with senior officers, schools, elected members, the WLGA (Welsh Local Government Association), Welsh government and other key stakeholders.
"We will work with the Welsh government to put matters right, and we are pleased that the commissioners' responsibilities have been broadened to make this happen."
No Welsh local authority has been judged "excellent" since Estyn changed the way it inspected schools two years ago.
Blaenau Gwent's education services are also in special measures.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Anglesey schools: Special measures call from Estyn. [Online] (Updated 31 Jul 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news.php/1443637-Anglesey-schools-Special-measures-call-from-Estyn [Accessed 10th May 2013]
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