I am writing to you to update you on the progress of the Estyn monitoring visit to Cwmbran High School in June 2017.
In December 2015, 10 weeks after Cwmbran High School opened, we were inspected by Estyn. The school received a judgement of ‘adequate’ across all areas. At this point, there were no GCSE results or other external data available. The outcome of this initial inspection meant the school would be ‘monitored’ by Estyn.
The first set of GCSE results for the school in 2016 were weak in a number of areas and sadly reflected the array of challenges faced by the school in the first academic year.
Estyn wrote to us in November 2016 stating that the school was judged to have made progress in respect of the key issues for action from the inspection in December 2015; however, the key indicators in Key Stage 4 (GCSE results) were more ‘variable’, so the school would remain in Estyn monitoring.
Estyn conducted another monitoring visit for 1.5 days, on 13th & 14th June 2017. Three Inspectors visited the school and spent the majority of the first day looking at documentation (school Self-Evaluation, Improvement Plans etc.). They met with some senior and middle leaders and nine Year 9 pupils (who represented the school in a mature and positive way). They also looked at twelve pupils’ books (6 from Year 8 and 6 from Year 10). The monitoring visit was very short, Inspectors did not have the opportunity to carry out any lesson observations or walk around the school.
The outcome at the end of the monitoring visit was that the school had made satisfactory progress in the following recommendations:
R 2 – Improve the behaviour and disrespectful attitude of a few pupils in a minority of lessons.
R 4 – Address the shortcomings in teaching to ensure that pupils make good progress in all lessons.
R 5 – Improve the consistency in the work of Middle Managers, particularly in planning for improvement.
Limited progress was made in:
R 1 – Improve the standard of pupils’ skills, particularly their writing and numeracy.
R 3 – Ensure that the Literacy & Numeracy Framework is implemented fully.
As you can see, skills need further, significant development, not just in English and Maths lessons, but in all areas of the curriculum.
Estyn are going to continue to monitor Cwmbran High School and have placed the school in the more serious category of ‘In need of significant improvement’.
The main reasons for this are:
- The outcomes in August 2016, particularly GCSE results.
- The outcome of the Estyn monitoring visit in June 2017.
We are very disappointed by this outcome and feel it does not reflect the significant improvements we have made across the school.
Please be assured that we are continuing to work extremely hard on improving standards in all areas and will be focusing on accelerating the improvements in skills.
We are predicting an improvement in results in August 2017 and I look forward to being able to share these outcomes with you in September.
The school’s Post Inspection Action Plan will be available on our website, following approval from Estyn.
Please inform us if you are unable to access the report.
Thank you in anticipation of your continuing support.
Mrs H Coulson
Cwmbran High were inspected by Estyn from the 7th – 11th December 2015. At this point the pupils had been attending the new school for 12 weeks.
The Estyn Inspection Framework is heavily dominated by the data schools have produced in the previous three years e.g. GCSE results, KS3 levels and attendance figures. Cwmbran High School, having only opened in September 2015, has produced no data as yet.
In the Estyn report there are a number of very positive observations and comments’, considering the very short length of time the school has been open.
With the absence of any “data”, the outcome achieved was the best we could have anticipated at this point. The school and Estyn agree on the areas in which the school needs to continue to develop and we have a detailed” Action Plan” in place.
There were a large number of positive quotes including:
“The school has managed successfully an effective transition from the curriculum provided in the previous schools, particularly in Years 11 and 13.”
“The school provides a caring and supportive environment that has a positive impact on many aspects of pupils’ development and wellbeing”
“The Headteacher provides purposeful leadership and effective direction to all aspects of the school’s work. She has articulated a clear vision and ambition for the school to be a “centre of excellence for teaching and learning” and the “school of choice” for pupils and staff. Together with the governing body, she has set out well defined strategic priorities and managed successfully the transition arrangements to the opening of the new school.”
“Many pupils behave well around the school and show respect and care for others. In the majority of lessons, many pupils show positive attitudes to learning.”
Rest assured, in a short space of time Cwmbran High School will be recognised as a high achieving academic school and a centre of excellence for teaching and learning.
Mrs H Coulson
Please click link below for full report.