'Failing' schools get top marks

Students writing
Education in Denbighshire deemed 'good' by schools' inspectorate Photo: ITV News Wales

Finally there is some positive news for Education in Wales.

Today the Schools' Inspectorate Estyn announced their findings on their most recent borough. Previously there had been bad news most recently with Torfaen Council which was in need of improvement and most damningly last year Blaenau Gwent was put into special measures, the lowest grade meaning intervention was necessary and they are being continuously monitored.

This morning though Denbighshire County Council bucked that trend with a grade of 'good'. Not the top grade but a significant improvement on where it was previously.

Estyn found that children's performance had improved across the board particularly at GCSE level.

The number of exclusions has reduced and days lost to exclusions are amongst the lowest in Wales. The authority was praised for knowing its schools well and supporting them where improvements needs to be made. They also found the number if schools requiring follow up inspections is 'among the lowest in Wales'.

A key problem area in Wales literacy was found to be performing well with the 'percentage of learners leaving primary school with functional literacy... Better than the average across Wales.'

Schools performance is rigorously assessed and they are 'highly effective' in challenging underperformance. This was particularly praised regarding leadership and management of schools 'which contributes well to improving standards'.

There was one main criticism that teacher assessments at key stage 3, that's just before GCSE level are 'not moderated precisely enough to make sure they accurately reflect learners standards'.

The main praise was for the authority itself which was judged to be 'excellent'. Estyn said 'The changes in the culture and leadership of the authority, together with very strong leadership from elected members and senior officers, have driven significant change and continuous improvement at a fast pace. This has enabled the authority to recover very well from failings identified during previous inspections. This is sector-leading practice. '

It's now hoped Denbighshire County Council will share it's knowledge on how it turned around education stab dwarfs to help in prove them across Wales.