TWO Newport schools were highlighted as examples of “outstanding” practice by Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education and Training, Ann Keane.

In her annual report on Welsh education, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector named St Joseph’s High School and Marshfield Primary School, as well as Usk Prison, as case studies of exemplar practice.

According to the report, standards of education in Wales have not improved in the main, but Ms Keane picked out the Gwent examples calling the standard achieved by some pupils “outstanding”.

St Joseph’s High School was praised for its leadership and literacy skills. The report said the school had a good track record in helping those who join the school with weaker skills to make progress. Acting head teacher at the school, Trevor Brown, said: “We are pleased the chief inspector highlights the excellent work of our teachers, middle leaders and support staff. We have a school to be proud of and are always keen to share good practise. But we are still incredibly aspirational and continue to aim high.”

Marshfield Primary School was picked out as having given priority to improving numeracy over the last two years.

The inspector said planning was clear and thorough with expectations clearly set out and teachers using numeracy in other subjects too. In examining learning within the justice sector, HMP Usk was picked out for having a high retention across learning areas, above the national average. Ms Keane added: “We have been using the same framework in inspections over the last three years and I had hoped to see improvements in performance by now. What schools and the post-16 sector need to improve is the quality of teaching, assessment, literacy and numeracy, self-evaluation and Welsh second language. I know improvement is possible and that excellence is possible, as we have seen in the many case studies that are quoted in the annual report.”