Plan after Estyn report shows education problems in Monmouthshire

Plan after Estyn report shows education problems in Monmouthshire

Plan after Estyn report shows education problems in Monmouthshire

First published in News South Wales Argus: Photograph of the Author by

MONMOUTHSHIRE councillors have acted after a report said education provision for children who aren’t suited to mainstream schooling is not meeting all their needs.

Inspectors Estyn judged Monmouthshire Pupil Referral as adequate but with unsatisfactory prospects for improving because it does not provide a curriculum that consistently meets pupils’ needs.

The children and young people’s select committee met on Thursday to consider how to address the problems identified.

As we previously reported, an inspection found the learning environment was not fit for purpose and there was no policy in place for improving pupils’ literacy and numeracy skills.

Assessors said the scheme, which teaches pupils who have either been excluded or are at imminent risk of being excluded from school, also lacked sufficient support for pupils with additional learning needs.

Following the meeting, Liz Hacket Pain, Cabinet member for children, young people and learning, said an action plan is in progress, which is likely to include an increase of six staff.

“I think the disappointment has led to changes in the system that will benefit the small number of young people who use the service,” she said.

Cllr Dimitri Batrouni said he was concerned the problems had not been discovered earlier.

But he added: “I am pleased with what has been said and they are taking it seriously.”

Cllr Armand Watts said there must be a “rapid and immediate response.”

Of the report, he said: “It was very alarming, arguably the most vulnerable in the community had not been given appropriate learning.”

In 2010/11 none of the pupils registered with the service, which was set up in 2009, returned to mainstream school. At the time of inspection 29 people were registered with the service, three having 25 hours of education, eight were in part-time education and 18 were taught outside of school.

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