Posted: Mon 27th Mar 2023

Estyn Inspection finds Connah’s Quay High School ‘In Need of Significant Improvement’

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Mar 27th, 2023

A Deeside high school has been marked as in need of ‘significant improvement’ after a recent schools watchdog inspection.

Connah’s Quay High School was inspected by Estyn, His Majesty’s Inspectorate for Education and Training in Wales, in January 2023.

The report published today states that in recent years, frequent changes in headteachers at the school have hindered its capacity to maintain a consistent approach to improvement.

Estyn found that “generally, pupils have a positive school experience, but some feel that bullying and behaviour management are not adequately addressed.”

“While the senior leadership team has remained stable, their roles have become unclear, impacting their ability to secure improvement and be held accountable.”

“Evaluation and improvement systems are insufficient, resulting in overestimation of the school’s performance.”

“Teaching is mostly effective, but pupils are not always challenged enough, limiting their progress.”

The report notes that school leaders have “fostered an inclusive ethos and supported pupils’ well-being.”

James Forber, the newly appointed headteacher, joined the school just two weeks before the inspection team arrived.

The report acknowledges his clear vision for high achievement and pupil wellbeing, as well as his rapidly growing understanding of the school’s strengths and areas for improvement.

The school’s governing body has accepted the findings of the report, which include recommendations to strengthen processes for self-evaluation and improvement planning, improve teaching and assessment, and enhance provisions for pupils’ skill development.

Despite the disappointing judgement, the report highlights many positive aspects of the school’s provision and the work of the staff.

It notes the nurturing, inclusive environment fostered by dedicated teachers and staff, who have established positive, mutually respectful working relationships with their classes.

Pupils with additional needs and those with English as an additional language are well supported, and the majority of pupils make suitable progress in developing their knowledge, understanding, and skills.

In response to the Estyn report, Headteacher James Forber said, “Having been appointed in January 2023, I took on this role with the knowledge that hard work, commitment and dedication to school improvement were needed to place this school back at the heart of the community.”

“I welcome the findings in our Estyn report, as this has given me a clear direction in which to take the school forward. ”

“In a matter of weeks, through the support from our dedicated governors, staff, parents and amazing learners, alongside valuable support from the Local Authority and its school improvement partner, GwE, we have seen a demonstrable improvement in the learning environment, uniform and standards of behaviour and conduct.”

“I look forward to continuing this journey with all members of the Connah’s Quay community and ensuring rapid progress in the next 12 months and beyond.”

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