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The leader of Monmouthshire County Council, Peter Fox, said today's Estyn report acknowledged schools there are still performing well, but could do better when deprivation is factored in, and that 'special measures' is a wide recommendation, which could include a range of approaches.
He told our Education Correspondent Joanna Simpson that the council is "already working with other authorities" on several education services, and is "already in discussions over how we can work in a more regional approach" over others.
The leader of Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council, Brendan Toomey, said Estyn's damning report into Merthyr's education services came as no surprise, and the council has instigated a number of improvements.
He told Nick Powell that he doesn't think it's inevitable that education services will move away from councils' control, as "local authorities need to have a big part to play in the delivery of education services, for accountability reasons."
Our Education Correspondent Joanna Simpson has been speaking to Wales' Education Minister, Leighton Andrews, who says he agrees with Estyn's recommendation that there needs to be action to improve education services at both Monmouthshire and Merthyr Tydfil councils - and he will be intervening.
Today two councils on different sides of the social spectrum have both been found to be failing their children.
Merthyr Tydil - an economically challenged area - and Monmouthshire - a more affluent part of the country - have both been recommended by the schools inspectorate Estyn to have immediate intervention for their education services.
Monmouthshire's education performance, given the low level of deprivation, was found to be "well below average" when compared to similar schools.
The number of pupils excluded from school is 'too high'. The authority does not support and challenge schools enough. Their prospect for improvement is considered 'unsatisfactory'.
In Merthyr Tydfil, at every stage, standards for pupils are "unsatisfactory." Exclusions are "too high", "too many" young people are not in education, employment or training and attendance at primary schools is "unacceptably low."
The council has not challenged underperformance and it has not responded well enough to past inspections dating back to 2004. This is also not expected to improve.
After today's reports detailing the failings in education in Monmouthshire and Merthyr Tydfil, the number of councils that have been recommended for special measures by the education watchdog Estyn has now reached five.
The others are:
- Blaenau Gwent - July 2011 - after Estyn found "systemic" management failures
- Anglesey - July 2012 - after Estyn found "unacceptably low" secondary school attendance rates, among other failings
- Pembrokeshire - December 2012 - after Estyn found "important shortcomings in leadership"
Last November, Wales' Education Minister, Leighton Andrews, announced a review into how schools are run, which raised the prospect of local councils losing responsibility for them.
The schools inspectorate Estyn says the quality of local authority education services for children and young people in Monmouthshire and Merthyr Tydfil is "unsafisfactory".
It is recommending both should be taken into special measures.
The reports say the councils have not done enough to work out where they need to improve, and how best to help poor performing schools.