Scrutiny Councillors congratulate Penclawdd Primary School

The Education Scrutiny Performance Panel met with the Headteacher and Chair of Governors of Penclawdd Primary School. They chose to speak to Penclawdd Primary School because they wanted to discuss the schools improvement journey, look at what the school is doing to improve its current performance and how it plans to improve moving forward.  They have detailed their thoughts on how the school is progressing in this Conveners letter to the Cabinet Member.

The Panel heard about the context of the school from the Headteacher including: currently there are 146 pupils on roll, 15% are identified with Additional Learning Needs and 3 pupils with statements.  15.6% of pupils receive free school meals and 7.5% have English as an additional language.  There are currently 7 classroom teachers (2 part-time) and 10 teaching assistants (some part-time).

The Panel concluded from our discussion with the Headteacher, Chair of Governors and the Challenge Adviser that improvements at the school are progressing well and they felt this was mainly due to

  • The school having a supportive, engaged and challenging governing body that understands its own skills base making it resilient and in a good position to help to drive improvement.  Councillors were particularly interested to hear about the work the governing body has done using a matrix to assess its skills base.  The Panel were pleased to hear that governors are now active, visible, knowledgeable and not afraid to challenge.
  • A stronger leadership team is in place with a clearly enthusiastic Headteacher and newly appointed experienced Deputy Head Teacher.
  • The school has a clear improvement plan and is working with and receiving support from the Local Authority and the Education Improvement Service.
  • School leaders using self-improvement processes effectively to identify what pupils do well and what needs to improve.
  • The school carefully considering which improvement tools are best for them including, for example, Building Blocks and Seesaw.
  • The school is enthusiastically learning from and sharing their good practice with other schools.
  • The school has strong support from parents and the local community with the school working taking its role in the community seriously.
  • A maintenance action plan is now in place to address shortcomings with the building including site security.

The Panel are pleased to hear about the much-improved picture at the school from the time of the Estyn Inspection recognising the distance that has been travelled in such a short amount of time.  This is due to the commitment from the Headteacher and staff at the school, the governors and the Education Improvement Service driving forward the improvements needed. 

The Panel wished to congratulate the Headteacher and the governing body at the school for their hard work and their commitment to this improvement journey, which is clearly showing to be moving in the right direction. 

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