Chepstow school turns fortunes around

South Wales Argus: Chepstow School raising standards. Daniel Barclay, Callum Dark, and Jacob Bird on their iPads. Chepstow School raising standards. Daniel Barclay, Callum Dark, and Jacob Bird on their iPads.

A MONMOUTHSHIRE school criticised for its performance last year has been removed from the list of schools requiring Estyn monitoring.

Chepstow Comprehensive School’s performance, as well as its prospects for improvement, were described as “adequate” by inspectors in January 2012, and the body recommended seven areas for improvement.

If at least one of the overall judgements for a school is “adequate”, but it does not need significant improvement or special measures, it will receive an Estyn monitoring visit, which took place in October.

The Free Press reported how the 950-pupil school was deemed to need “particular” intervention by the regional schools body the Education Achievement Service (EAS) last year. The EAS monitors all schools in Gwent alongside Estyn’s annual inspection regime.

A team of inspectors, led by Robert Davies visited the school to monitor the progress made against recommendations made in last year’s Estyn inspection.

In his report, Mr Davies judged that the school had ‘made good progress in respect of the key issues for action’ and removed the school from the list of schools requiring monitoring.

The report highlighted the improvement in results, particularly in maths at Key Stage 4, and of the work undertaken to improve all students’ literacy and numeracy skills.

At key stage 4 there has been a solid improvement in the headline indicator that includes English and Maths. This measure has increased by seven percentage points and for 2013 is above modelled expectations.

Improvements in maths have been strong and performance for 2013 is well into the upper 50 percent of schools with similar free school meals’. New school systems were praised for their impact on student outcomes.

A spokeswoman for EAS praised the school for its consistent progress over the last year, which saw 61 percent of students achieved five or more GCSE’s including English and Maths, five per cent up on last year. Top grades also increased and 80 percent of students got five or more A*-C grades.

Headteacher, Claire Price said: “We are exceptionally proud of the progress that we have made during the last 18 months. The inspectors reflected our hard work to make sure that all young people leave our school with the best possible outcomes."

"We will continue to ensure that we maintain and improve our progress, not just against the Estyn recommendations but also in all areas of the life of the school."

Chairman of governors, Craig Bridgeman, added: “This report reflects the fantastic effort made to improve our position in such a short time. Strong leadership, direction and a tangible plan with a team ethos has led to the first phase of our journey to excellence at Chepstow School.”


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