CROESYCEILIOG School has become the third secondary school in Torfaen to be placed in to special measures.

Following an inspection in February, Estyn’s chief inspector placed the school into special measures due to insufficient progress and important shortcomings.

In a report published today, Monday, Estyn made the following recommendations for the school.

  • Raise standards at key stage 4, improve pupils’ skills and develop their independence and resilience in learning.
  • Improve the quality of teaching.
  • Improve attendance.
  • Strengthen leadership at all levels.
  • Strengthen arrangements for self-evaluation and improvement planning, in particular the role played by middle leaders in this aspect of the school’s work.

This is the third secondary school in the borough to be placed into special measures, after Cwmbran High School in December 2018 and Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw in June 2019.

The local authority will now work with the school in drawing up the action plan and outline formal interventions it will take.

Estyn will visit the school to discuss the action plans with senior leaders and the local authority to ensure that they are an effective tool in securing improvement, and will carry out regular visits to ensure progress is made.

Cllr Richard Clark, Torfaen’s executive member for education said: “Croesyceiliog School is judged to have made insufficient progress in relation to the recommendations following the most recent core inspection. Clearly there is a lot of urgent improvement needed and as a result Estyn will increase the level of follow-up activity.

“We will give the school our full support to help the school draw up an action plan which shows how it will address the recommendations.”

Torfaen’s chief education officer, Dermot McChrystal said: “Although the Estyn report recognises progress in the school since the last inspection, the school requires a renewed urgency and higher levels of support to address their shortcomings.

"The council will work with the school to agree the immediate interventions that are required to drive rapid improvement.

"The council is securing additional leadership support to work with the leadership team to accelerate the pace of change.”

Chairman of governors, Colin Crick, said: “We fully accept the report’s findings and recognise the improvement measures recommended by inspectors. I’d like to reassure parents that the school is working proactively with governors, council colleagues, the regional education achievement service and Estyn to ensure our action plan rapidly delivers the necessary improvements across the school.

“The school will submit our action plan in April and we will meet with Estyn to evaluate the quality of the plan and agree the best way forward to address the recommendations. I know as a Governing Body we’ll support the school staff fully through this difficult period and we’re all determined to make the necessary improvements as quickly as possible for the benefit of all our pupils.

“We will be holding a meeting for parents on March 25 at 5pm in the main hall to explain how we will be ensuring the school makes rapid progress.”