An update on schools causing concern in Powys has been asked for by members of a council committee that scrutinises education.
At a meeting of Powys County Council’s Learning and Skills scrutiny committee on Tuesday, October 17, councillors and lay members were looking ahead on what should be discussed at future meetings.
Powys has several schools that have been inspected by Welsh Government education watchdog, Estyn, which have been placed in various categories for follow up work.
Committee lay member, Sara Davies said: “It’s a question about schools causing concern - I raise it at every meeting that we’ve had over the last few months, but I still don’t see anything on the work programme.
“And considering we have two schools in the south (of Powys) in special measures I’d like an opportunity to discuss what is happening with those.”
Lay member and former primary school headteacher, Margaret Evitts added: “And one primary school in the north that I have concerns about.”
Earlier in the meeting, schools’ improvement manager Eurig Towns had explained how inspection reports read as judgments of “Excellent, Good, Adequate, and Unsatisfactory” have been dropped by Estyn.
This means that the type of follow up work that Estyn notes that should take place following an inspection, such as “Re-inspection, special measures, significant improvement, focussed improvement, progress review, Estyn review or not in review, ” are now the indicators of school performance.
This change came about because Estyn want to focus on “how well providers are helping a child to learn, rather than grading.”
Mr Towns said: “You cannot compare what was written in 2018 to 2022. The way to look at it is if there is no follow up, there are no issues around the education there.
“Every school will have recommendations.”
Last year Estyn inspected three secondary schools.
Following these inspections Brecon and Gwernyfed High Schools are in special measures while Ysgol Calon Cymru is in Estyn’s “review” category.
Several primary schools inspected over the last year are also in an Estyn category.
Leighton Primary School needs “significant improvement”, while both Forden Church in Wales and Radnor Valley Primary Schools are in the “Estyn review” category.