Two schools placed in special measures


Emily Davies

TWO schools have been placed in special measured following poor inspections.
St John the Baptist Primary School in Ruyton XI Towns and Ysgol Y Waun in Chirk received their poor inspection reports last week following visits from respective Ofsted and Estyn officials in February.
Both schools have vowed to work with their local authorities to address the reports, while inspectors will return at regular intervals to check progress and see that improvements are happening at the required pace.
In Chirk, the newly amalgamated Ysgol Y Waun, which has two sites for the former infants and junior schools, was judged ‘unsatisfactory’ in its current performance and prospects for improvement following the visit and responses to the parent questionnaire, which revealed only 35 per cent of those asked are satisfied with the school, while 32 per cent of those asked felt well informed of their child’s progress. The pupil questionnaire in comparison received positive responses.

Councillor Michael Williams, Wrexham Council’s lead member for children’s services and education said: “This is very disappointing for the school and we can assure everyone that staff, governors, pupils and parents we will be working closely with the school to ensure the issues raised by Estyn are addressed as soon as possible.”
The school was unavailable for comment.
Officers, who noted the governing body does not receive sufficient information to challenge effectively, have now recommended improving arrangements for safeguarding pupils which they say is “a cause for concern”, the low standards in numeracy, ICT skills and Welsh in most classes, a lack of ‘whole-school identity’ across the two sites, poor behaviour in a minority, plus improving planning and teaching especially in Key Stage 2 and self-evaluation to improve standards and monitor and evaluate progress.
Ofsted inspectors visiting Ruyton XI Towns school, which has dropped from ‘good’ in 2009 to ‘inadequate’, found the need to improve achievement of pupils and quality of teaching.
The leadership and management, and the behaviour and safety of pupils was judged to be inadequate.
Headteacher Julie Ball said: “We are already working on the issues raised by the inspector. An action plan is in place to take the school forward, focused on the key priorities. Staff and governors are fully committed to securing further improvements and we are already making progress.”
Ofsted officials did find attendance is high, children make good progress in reception, and reading and writing in Years 3 to 6, and behaviour is outstanding. They also said the new headteacher has drawn up “well thought-out plans” to improve achievement in mathematics and writing in Years 3 to 6.
Councillor Ann Hartley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for children’s services, added: “It is pleasing that the report highlighted the positive aspects about the school, but it is clear that there are issues that need to be addressed.
“We are all committed to making the necessary improvements to ensure the best possible provision for all pupils at the school,” she added.

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