Blaenau Gwent 'worst in Wales' for school performance
11:50am Thursday 10th January 2013 in News
BLAENAU Gwent was the worst performing council in Wales for school attendance and GCSE passes, according to a Welsh Government report.
The council had 35.5 per cent of pupils aged 15 who achieved the level two threshold, including a GCSE pass in English or Welsh and mathematics, during 2010/11.
The council also came bottom in the number of half-day secondary school sessions attended by pupils, with 89.4 per cent attended in 2010/11.
The figures come a report Welsh Government report assessing the performances of local authority services. It also names Blaenau Gwent and Torfaen as the councils to show the biggest deterioration, with Wrexham, in the percentage of looked-after children who had three or more placements during 2011 and 2012. Blaenau Gwent and Torfaen both had more than 11 per cent of looked-after children in three placements or more.
However, Blaenau Gwent came out top in the number of public free swims being provided per 100 people under 16 and over 60 during 2011/12, with 142 free swims per 100 persons.
The council was also top for the number of fly-tipping incidents cleared within five working days during 2011/12, achieving a 100 per cent pass rate. Newport was also at the top with 100 per cent.
Torfaen council had the lowest percentage of reported fly-tipping incidents being cleared in five working days, with 77.4 per cent, but was named as showing the biggest improvement with regard to school absences.
The council had more than 92 per cent of half-day sessions attended by pupils during 2010/11.
To see the full report visit www.wales.gov.uk
Working for change
A BLAENAU Gwent council spokeswoman said the Ebbw Fawr Learning Community was committed to raising academic performances and qualifications for students and their families and is placed to work alongside the council and Coleg Gwent Learning Zone.
She said: “The council is committed to the 21st Century School programme and aims to transform the school estate to raise educational standards.”
She added that lookedafter children having three or more placements can sometimes be viewed as a positive thing as sometimes the ‘placement’ can mean the child has been adopted.
With regard to fly-tipping and free swims, she said: “The council is obviously pleased to see its commitment and hard work paying off.”
A Torfaen council spokesman said: “It is disappointing to be in the bottom quarter for our response to fly-tipping. We are already working on a new procedure to focus equally on responding to fly-tipping and enforcement and this will deliver improvements over the next 12 months.”