independent news and information website for the towns and villages which lie alongside the River Dee in north Wales, from Connah's Quay to the border with Chester.

Flintshire secondary school labelled ‘unsatisfactory’ last year taken out of ‘special measures’ in record time

A Flintshire secondary school which the Welsh school’s watchdog Estyn labelled “unsatisfactory” last year is celebrating after it was taken out of ‘Special Measures’ in record time.

St Richard Gwyn Catholic High School in Flint had been placed into ‘Special Measures’ after exam results over recent years had been judged poor and  below the national average, a report at the time by Estyn also criticised the school’s leadership

After a recent monitoring visit, the Estyn team fed back on the rapid and major improvements that have been made since the inspection in May 2016 and has announced that the High School has been removed from the category of Special Measures.

The school is judged to have made such good progress that Estyn has decided that further monitoring visits are not required.

Headteacher Paul Heitzman, said:

“I would like to congratulate all members of our school community. They have worked so hard over the last four terms. It is extremely rare for a school to improve this quickly.

All of this follows on from our record-breaking examination results in the summer. I am proud of all our achievements. St Richard Gwyn has emerged stronger than ever and is now facing the future with great confidence.’

Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Youth, Councillor Ian Roberts, said:

“I’d like to add my congratulations to St Richard Gwyn Catholic High School’s achievement.

The school has made fantastic progress in the past 18 months and I am sure that the dedication, hard-work and commitment of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wrexham, the teaching and support staff and the governing body will ensure that the school will go from strength to strength.”

Interim Chief Officer for Education and Youth, Claire Homard added:

“I am delighted with the outcome of the recent monitoring visit to St Richard Gwyn Catholic High School and their removal from Special Measures in such a short timeframe.

This is testament to the commitment of the leadership team, the staff, the governors and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wrexham, who have all worked in very close partnership.

There has also been dedicated support provided by specialist teams within the Local Authority and the Regional School Improvement Service, GwE.

This outcome is an excellent example of what can be achieved by effective joint working. It will be a pleasure to see the school continue on this successful path of improvement.”