Ysgol Ardudwy – response to Estyn inspection

Date: 07/02/2019

Ysgol Ardudwy’s Acting Headteacher, Governing Body and staff welcome the recent Estyn report, with work already being carried out to improve performance in specific areas in accordance with the recommendations of the inspectorate.


The report notes that the “school has faced a challenging period in terms of leadership, following the departure of the headteacher and chair of governors in September 2018” but highlights the new Acting Headteacher clear vision for the school which is based on raising standards, ensuring the welfare of pupils and improving teaching and learning standards.


Whilst accepting that Estyn sets out the need for improvements, the report underlines the recent successes, since September 2018, to create a sense of purposeful collaboration in one effective team, and to adjusting the responsibilities of middle managers and establishing suitable management arrangements. This work has led, in a short period, to improvement in the behaviour of pupils and internal communication.


The report draws attention to the school’s “nurturing and supportive ethos” which successfully promotes high levels of wellbeing. As a result, most pupils feel safe at school and many of them feel confident that the school deals effectively with any problems. It is a matter of pride that most pupils are courteous and as the report notes “treat their peers, staff and visitors with respect, and these pupils behave well in lessons and around the school.”


The inspectors add that all staff know the pupils well and use this to foster a supportive ethos that successfully promotes pupils’ wellbeing. As a result, they behave well and show respect for each other and others.


The report also notes that there is a need to continue with the effective changes that have been established in September and further adapting leadership structures to ensure that standards continue to improve.


Annwen Hughes, Chair of the Governing Body since September 2018 said: “I am very pleased that the inspectors describe the school as a close and caring community that offers valuable support and guidance to pupils. These comments provide a sound basis for the school to implement Estyn’s suggestions to raise standards effectively. As a Governing Body we will give the Acting Headteacher and his team all the support to continue to implement the improvements needed.”


Mr Aled Williams, Ysgol Ardudwy Acting Headteacher added: “This report offers a clear programme for us here in Ardudwy, as a team, governing body and a whole community to move on to take action and ensure that the school offers the best possible education for the children and young people of the Ardudwy catchment area. We look forward to the challenge to fully implement this vision."


Councillor Gareth Thomas, Gwynedd Council Cabinet Member for Education said:


“As the Local Education Authority, we welcome the positive changes that have already been implemented at Ysgol Ardudwy over recent months and we will continue to work with the Acting Headteacher and the school's staff on the work of continuing with the improvement process.


“The Estyn report obviously notes areas that require attention and as a member of the Governing Body I am fully aware that work has been ongoing for some time to deliver improvements. However, it is pleasing to see that the inspectors drew attention to the positive work that has already been carried out at Ysgol Ardudwy and to the Acting Headteachers clear vision for the future."


Whilst work continues to ensure improvements, Estyn has noted that Special Measures are required at Ysgol Ardudwy. The school will produce an action plan to explain how it will respond to the recommendations.