The Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles has enjoyed visits to two Pembrokeshire schools.

Mr Miles visited Haverfordwest High VC School and Portfield School on Friday, February 2, taking in tours of both school sites and meeting pupils, staff and local education leaders.

Haverfordwest High VC School was officially opened by HRH The Princess Royal in October 2022.

The school was jointly funded by Pembrokeshire County Council and Welsh Government under its Sustainable Communities for Learning Programme. The school caters for 1500 pupils aged 11-16 and 250 Sixth Form students.

Portfield Special School
Portfield Special School (Pic supplied)

At Haverfordwest High, Mr Miles was welcomed by Headteacher Jane Harries, Pembrokeshire County Council’s Director of Education Steven Richards-Downes and Preseli Pembrokeshire MS Paul Davies and Chair of Governors Mrs Christine Williams.

Mr Miles was then given a tour of the impressive facilities by Head Girl Cerys Foss and Head Boy Troy Goodridge, including a visit to a School Council Meeting.

Mr Miles later visited Portfield School, which provides education for pupils with statements of special educational needs aged 11-19.

Mr Miles met the school’s Senior Leadership Team plus Head Girl Celyn Sollis and Head Boy Lewis Edwards, and enjoyed a brief tour of the school. This included visiting the location of the proposed new build for the primary phase school and Sixth Form block.

Mr Miles also took the opportunity to speak with pupils and staff involved in the Taith project, Wales’ international learning exchange. Portfield pupils and staff enjoyed a visit to Bruges in Belgium last year and are already planning the next trip to Sweden.

Following the visits, Mr Miles said: “It was fantastic to see the impressive new Haverfordwest High School, and it was a real pleasure to hear and see first-hand how the school is giving learners an innovative platform for learning and a supportive environment to help them reach their potential.

Hwest High visit
Left to right: Steven Richards-Downes Director of Education, Cerys Foss Head Girl, Christine Williams Chair of Governors, Jeremy Miles Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jane Harries Headteacher, Mr Paul Davies MS, Troy Goodridge Head Boy. (Pic supplied)

“In Portfield School, I heard from pupils and staff about their recent Taith trips to Belgium and Sweden, and how the experience has helped build confidence, broaden horizons, and grow aspirations.

“It really is heartening to see the impact Taith is having, enabling us to break down barriers to international exchange and opening up opportunities for all.”

Mrs Harries, Headteacher of Haverfordwest High VC School and Executive Headteacher of Portfield School, said: “We shared with Mr Miles the many ways in which the school supports our pupils in what continues to be an increasingly challenging society.

“He was able to talk to staff and pupils who explained how our school was now providing much more than academic education which was vital for them, how the school has adjusted to the requirements of the ALN Bill and how their Asymmetric Week arrangements facilitated professional development and cluster collaboration.”