A school has moved out of special measures following a positive inspection by the Welsh education watchdog Estyn.
Bedwas High School was found to have fallen short of acceptable standards in 2017, when the school’s leadership and overall performance were rated unsatisfactory.
But a follow-up inspection in March this year found that enough progress had been made to remove the school from the list of schools requiring special measures.
The inspection report says leadership which had previously been lacking has strengthened following the appointment of the new head teacher, Stephen Diehl.
Since joining the school, “robust” plans have been made to address the budget deficit, while staffing and the curriculum has also been restructured.
“In a short space of time, the headteacher has established a realistic understanding of the school’s strengths and areas for development,” says the report.
“[Mr Diehl] has not shied away from tackling underperformance and removing significant barriers to school improvement.
“Overall, these changes have contributed effectively to improvements in the quality leadership and improved teaching and outcomes for pupils in key stage 4.”
Attainment at GCSE and A-level has improved, with pupil performance comparing well with that in similar schools.
But the report says a majority of teachers fail to provide feedback that precisely identifies strengths in a pupil’s work and how they can improve.
“Overall, teachers’ written feedback focuses too narrowly on technical accuracy and does not give pupils guidance to develop their skills further,” adds the report.
Councillor Philippa Marsden, cabinet member for education on Caerphilly County Borough Council, welcomed the report as a positive step for Bedwas High School.
“I would like to congratulate the head teacher and the whole school community on the progress that has been made to date,” said Cllr Marsden.
“Much work has been done by the senior leadership team, the governing body and the young people to deliver the improvements that have resulted in this latest positive Estyn inspection.
“The council and the Education Achievement Service will continue to work closely with the school to ensure appropriate support continues to be put in place so that we can build on these positive improvements going forward.”