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Gwent schools singled out for interventions

31/07/2013 Joanna
Primary and secondary teachers across Blaenau Gwent have received guidance on how to raise standards in their schools, it has been reported.

Education services for the local authority area were placed in special measures after a 2011 report by Welsh education watchdog Estyn highlighted "systemic" management failures there.

In May, Estyn published a follow-up report criticising attainment in the county borough's schools, especially at secondary level, and expressed scepticism about prospects for improvement.

Now the South Wales Argus has revealed the extent of change the South East Wales Education Achievement Service (EAS) - a regional consortium placed in charge of overseeing improvements in local education - has deemed necessary at Blaenau Gwent schools.

Whereas just one primary and two secondary schools were placed in Estyn's special measures category, the EAS has placed 35 schools across the county within its two worst categories and served them with intervention plans.

The identities of the schools in question, however, are known only to their head teachers and governing bodies, as well as the EAS itself.

As part of the consortium's efforts to improve education in Blaenau Gwent, guidelines will be issued in September as to what it considers the defining characteristics of excellent, good, adequate or unsatisfactory schools.

It also sees teachers as playing a central role in implementing improvements and is developing a programme with five south-east Wales primary schools whereby other schools can send their own staff to one of them to learn how they can enhance teaching.

The EAS is set to run a similar scheme for secondary schools as of January 2014, with there already ten primary and two secondary teachers in Blaenau Gwent who have been identified as capable of helping to improve other schools.

Anglesey, Merthyr Tydfil, Pembrokeshire, Monmouthshire and Torfaen have also been placed under special measures by Estyn, with EAS having also been given responsibility for upgrading education in the latter two local authority areas as well.

Posted by Theo FouldsADNFCR-2164-ID-801619213-ADNFCR
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