ARGUS COMMMENT: Shamed by this report
4:40pm Wednesday 20th February 2013 in News
EDUCATION is the most important service provided by our local councils.
The quality of our schools determines, by and large, the future of local communities and economies.
So it is shocking that Gwent now has two of its five local education authorities labelled as failing and placed in special measures. Monmouthshire today joins Blaenau Gwent on the roll of shame.
The news will no doubt worry thousands of parents, and justifiably so. Estyn, the schools inspectorate for Wales, says Monmouthshire provides some of the best primary school education in Wales – but the progress of pupils at secondary level is not good enough. And the percentage of children leaving school without qualifications is higher than the Welsh average.
Good primary education is normally the catalyst for secondary education to produce young adults ready to take on the challenges of the modern world. According to Estyn, this is not happening in Monmouthshire.
The Welsh Government will give its full response to Estyn’s findings today and has the option of sending in commissioners to take over the running of schools from the county council, as has happened in Blaenau Gwent.
What today’s damning report means for the people who have been in charge of education in Monmouthshire remains to be seen. But we would expect the cabinet member in charge of schools, Cllr Liz Hacket Pain, to at least consider her position, as this failure has happened on her watch.