School improvement recognised but special measures required

Posted on: Monday 3 December 2018

Today (3rd December), Estyn, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate for Education and Training in Wales published a monitoring report on Cwmbran High School which places the school in special measures 

This follows a monitoring visit by Estyn in October to measure the school’s progress against the five recommendations from the original inspection in December 2015. 

The latest inspection recognised the school has made improvements across a range of areas including standards at KS3. However, the pace of improvement has been too slow and insufficient progress has been made in relation to the five key recommendations since their last inspection. 

Estyn’s five recommendations are: 

1 - Improve the standard of pupils’ skills, particularly their writing, and numeracy

2 - Improve the behaviour and disrespectful attitudes of a few pupils in a minority of lessons  

3 - Ensure that the literacy and numeracy framework is implemented fully

4 - Address the shortcomings in teaching to ensure that pupils make good progress in all lessons

5 - Improve the consistency in the work of middle managers, particularly in planning for improvement 

Cwmbran High Head Teacher, Helen Coulson, said: “Estyn recognises the ongoing improvements made by the school but the pace of improvement has been insufficient. The school action plan has been updated to address the identified shortcomings and the school has introduced a range of strategies across the school to improve leadership, governance and good practice in the classroom.  I’d like to reassure parents that the school is working proactively with governors, council colleagues, the regional education achievement service and Estyn to ensure our action plan rapidly delivers the necessary improvements across the school.” 

“The school will submit our action plan in January and will meet with Estyn in February to evaluate the quality of the plan and agree the best way forward.” 

Torfaen’s executive member for Education and Lifelong Learning, Cllr David Yeowell, said: "The council shares Estyn's concerns over Cwmbran High's performance and issued a statutory warning notice to the school last year. Since then we have provided additional support for the school and governing body, however, the pace of change has not been fast enough and it has failed to make adequate progress. We will continue to support the school during this difficult time and ensure that it is able to successfully carry out the improvements at the pace that is required." 

Torfaen’s Chief Education Officer, Dermot McChrystal said: “Although the Estyn report recognises the progress the school has made since the last inspection, the school will now be required to work with renewed urgency to address these shortcomings and the council will work with the school to agree the immediate interventions that are required to drive rapid improvement. “ 

The Head Teacher and Chair of Governors will hold an open meeting for parents and carers on Wednesday, December 5 from 6pm – 7pm in the Upper School Hall. 

Parents/Carers who cannot make this meeting can email or call 01633 643950 to arrange an appointment with the Head Teacher or Deputy Head Teacher. 

To read the inspection report visit

Last Modified: 19/12/2018 Back to top