The Head of School Improvement and Inclusion advised that Stanwell Comprehensive, St. Brides Primary and Victoria Primary Schools had been inspected during the Summer term 2015 and that a summary of the inspection findings for each of the named schools / playgroups was appended to the report.

The report advised that School inspections were governed by the Education Act 2005 and the purpose of the inspections was to

-    provide accountability to the users of the services and other stakeholders through public reporting on providers;
-    promote improvement in education and training; and
-    inform the development of national policy by Welsh Government.

The overall judgements achieved by the schools was noted as follows:

   Current Performance  Prospects for Improvement
 Stanwell Comprehensive  Excellent     Excellent
 St. Brides Primary  Good     Good
 Victoria Primary Good    Good


When undertaking the inspections Estyn recognises the unique position to showcase some of the excellent practice identified across all of the education and training sectors it inspects and one way it does this is by asking schools it has identified excellence to write case studies outlining how excellence had been achieved in the identified areas.  Two of the Vale schools had therefore produced the following case studies as below:


 School     Case Study
 Victoria Primary  Nurture provision for children with additional learning needs.
 Stanwell Comprehensive  How the development of teaching in the school has led to excellent teaching and outcomes.


During the Summer term Estyn also monitored Barry Comprehensive School, with the overall judgement for the school being noted as “insufficient progress in relation to the recommendations” with the outcome “placed in significant improvement”.  The detail of the progress the school had made against each of the recommendations was provided at Appendix 3 to the report.  

The Vale also currently had two schools in Estyn Local Authority monitoring namely Llanfair Primary and Bryn Hafren Comprehensive schools with Challenge Advisors overseeing the work of the schools, monitoring the delivery of an agreed action plan and reporting progress on a termly basis.  The Local Authority was also required to submit a progress report to Estyn that summarised the progress made against each of the recommendations; make a judgement regarding the extent of the progress made in addressing the recommendations; and make a recommendation regarding whether or not the school setting should be removed from Local Authority monitoring.  The Vale of Glamorgan also currently had two schools in Local Authority monitoring, Romilly Primary and Y Bont Faen Primary.

Appendix 4 to the report provided a summary of Estyn activity for the period September 2014 – July 2015.

In referring to the monitoring report for Barry Comprehensive and the fact that the school had been placed in significant improvement  by Estyn, Members were advised that the monitoring had however,  taken place 15 days prior to the announcements of the schools exam results in August 2015 which had shown improvement.  However, the Estyn report had also found insufficient progress in relation to some of the recommendations that had been made previously.

In response to a question as to why Estyn had decided to undertake monitoring two weeks before the end of term, the Head of Service advised that this had indeed been unfortunate and Estyn recommendations had been made at that position in time, however, that was the position of the schools position at that moment in time.  

The Chairman, in referring to the current performance and prospects for improvement for the three schools that had achieved success in their overall judgements, requested that the Committee agree to let its thanks be forwarded to the schools in this regard, following which it was subsequently


(1)    T H A T the inspections judgements about the schools inspected during the Summer term be noted.

(2)    T H A T the judgements made by Estyn in its monitoring visit regarding the progress of schools in addressing inspection recommendations be noted.

(3)    T H A T the judgements made by Estyn with regard to schools in Local Authority monitoring be noted.

(4)    T H A T a letter of congratulations be forwarded on behalf of the Scrutiny Committee by the Chairman to Stanwell Comprehensive, St. Brides Primary and Victoria Primary Schools.

(5)    T H A T the report be referred to Cabinet for its consideration, highlighting the overall judgements for the schools visited in the Summer term and the recommendations following the Estyn monitoring visit to Barry Comprehensive School.

Reasons for recommendations

(1-3)    In order that Members are aware of Estyn judgements about local schools.

(4)    To offer the Committee’s congratulations.

(5)    For Cabinet’s consideration.

Attached as Appendix – Report to Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning): 7th September, 2015