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Estyn report on education services

Estyn have reported back on their inspection into Bridgend County Borough Council’s education services.

During their visit in March, inspectors met with a large range of stakeholders including council officers, headteachers, learners and elected members, while parents, carers and other interested parties were asked to submit their views via an online survey.

Estyn found that pupils in Bridgend County Borough schools make good progress between the ages of five and 16, while standards at key stage 4 (Years 10 and 11) in secondary schools compare well with other local authorities.

The inspectors praised the local authority’s collaborative approach to working, reporting that it has a strong commitment to meeting the needs of pupils with emotional, social and behavioural difficulties.

Pupil attendance is good, the education welfare service is effective, and the music service has been judged as providing particularly good provision. There has also been a positive reduction in the number of young people who aren’t in education, employment or training.

However, the inspection also highlighted some areas for improvement, including the need to raise standards of literacy in primary schools and improve outcomes for post-16 learners in sixth forms.

Estyn also noted that the pace of progress in schools causing concern is too slow, and recommended the need to strengthen the role of the Welsh Education Strategic Forum to ensure timely progress in delivering priorities identified in the Welsh in Education Strategic Plan.

Estyn has identified many strengths and recognised how much we prioritise our education services and schools. Inspectors have also suggested some areas for improvement so we will now draw up a post-inspection plan to address those recommendations.

I am particularly pleased that Estyn recognised how elected members and officers share a clear strategic vision for education, and this is reflected in our priorities and policies.

The inspectors praised our ‘Team Bridgend’ approach to ensuring that young people receive the education to which they are entitled, and I would like to thank everyone who contributed to the inspection visit. I am also proud that Estyn has asked us to provide a case study for their website on our work in relation to young people’s involvement in decision-making processes in schools and the local authority.”

Councillor Charles Smith, the council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Regeneration

Bridgend County Borough Council maintains 48 primary schools (including two infant and one junior), nine secondary schools, two special schools and a pupil referral unit.

In 2018-2019, the council’s net education budget was approximately £108m.

The inspection can be read in full on the Estyn website.

For general enquiries, please contact Bridgend County Borough Council's customer contact centre:

Telephone: 01656 643643
Opening hours:

09:00 to 17:00 Monday to Thursday; 
09:00 to 16:30 Friday.

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