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Ysgol Rhiwabon removed from special measures

Staff and students at one Wrexham secondary school are celebrating today following the news that the school has been taken out of special measures.

Ysgol Rhiwabon had been placed under special measures last spring after Estyn, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate for Education and Training in Wales found the school had “made insufficient progress in relation to the recommendations following the core inspection in January 2015.”

Six recommendations were noted in the report at the time, including improving attendance and reducing levels of persistent absence and raising standards in key stage 4 with specific focus for boys.

Today the school confirmed that it had received the news that it was being removed from special measures following a successful Estyn visit in November.

The follow-up report by the inspectorate judged Ysgol Rhiwabon to “have made sufficient progress in relation to the recommendations following the core inspection in January 2015.”

A detailed breakdown on the progress of all six recommendations put to the school last year is provided in the new monitoring report, with strong progress listed for the following:-

– Strengthen improvement planning and ensure that the actions to bring about improvement are sufficiently robust
– Improve attendance and reduce levels of persistent absence
– Raise standards in key stage 4 and particularly for boys
– Ensure that middle leaders are held to account robustly for improving outcomes in standards and wellbeing

The remaining two points have also made satisfactory progress according to Estyn.

The report published today also comments on the rapid improvements and the robust way staff in the school work collaboratively to share good practice and focus on the students and their learning. This has had a positive impact on standards in Ysgol Rhiwabon which have improved significantly during the last eighteen months.

As a result of the new monitoring report, the school has been judged to have made such good progress that further Estyn inspection visits are not required.

Speaking today Headteacher of Ysgol Rhiwabon, Mrs Ferron-Evans said the school had made “rapid progress” and will use today’s news as a “platform to grow even stronger”.

Mrs Ferron-Evans said: “I have always been proud of Ysgol Rhiwabon and its local community and never more so than this week as the Estyn Report recognises the hard work of so many people.

“Throughout the frequent monitoring visits I have reminded students and staff how special they are and we have ensured that we have taken measures to secure sustainable success. Our school has made rapid progress since the time of the core inspection and we will use this as a platform to grow even stronger in the future.

“I would like to congratulate the students, staff and governors of the school. They have worked tirelessly over the last five terms and thoroughly deserve this success. I would also like to thank the local community and our primary colleagues for showing their loyalty and belief in the school.

“It is with great pride that I look forward to working with such a dedicated and professional staff in the future to continue driving improvements in Ysgol Rhiwabon.”

Such sentiments have been echoed by, Mr Keith Benning, chair of governors, who said: “On behalf of the Governors at Ysgol Rhiwabon I would like to congratulate the staff and students for all the hard work that has been undertaken.

“The school can now look forward to a very positive future in providing excellent educational provision for our students within the local community.”

Lead Member for Education at Wrexham Council, Cllr Phil Wynn, said: “Having visited Ysgol Rhiwabon on a number of occasions over the last six months I am delighted to learn that Estyn have removed the school from their special measure category.

“I would especially like to thank and congratulate the Headteacher Mrs Ferron-Evans for all her tireless efforts in raising educational standards at the school, aided by her leadership team, Governors and students.”

Head of Education for Wrexham Council, Ian Roberts, added: “This is excellent news and testament to dedication and commitment of the whole school community at Ysgol Rhiwabon.

“The findings within the Estyn report are very encouraging and I’m confident that the school can go to strength to strength from here.”

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