Strong support for continuing school improvement working group after election

By Katy Jenkins   |   Local Democracy Reporter   |
Tuesday 8th March 2022 8:15 am
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Clr. Paul Rapi (Stock image )

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There is strong support for ensuring the continuation of a working group focusing on school improvement after May’s election.

The Estyn action plan working group has met regularly to review and scrutinise the work undertaken by the education service to respond to a critical Estyn report on school standards in Pembrokeshire.

The last update from the group was presented to members of Pembrokeshire County Council’s schools and learning overview and scrutiny committee on Tuesday, March 1 following a meeting last month.

The committee heard that progress was being made and there was now only two schools in review categories – one in statutory category and one in Estyn review.

Working group chairman Clr. Paul Rapi said the directorate had done a “remarkable job.”

He added that there had been a number of very good meetings with some “heated debates” where members have learnt a large amount, and he praised the “up front” discussions had with director of education Steven Richards-Downes about the plans to improve standards.

Clr. Rapi said the working group should continue after May’s election, which was “strongly” agreed to by members, and also backed by the committee on Tuesday.

The main points covered at the February group meeting included the capacity of the service to deliver improvement, the improvements needed in literacy and numeracy skills and how those are being achieved, the range of improvements need in schools causing concern, the quality of governors, and the actions being taken to improve outcomes for free school meal learners.

There was also a focus on the implementation of trauma informed schools and of the additional learning needs act, as well as challenging the quality of evaluation and improvement planning, a committee report noted.

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