Blaenau Gwent exam results up since regional body took over improving education
10:41am Wednesday 25th September 2013 in Gwent news
EXAM results in Blaenau Gwent have improved since a regional body took over improving education, but some schools' results are still "disappointing and unacceptable", according to a report.
The report going before Blaenau Gwent council's education scrutiny committee on Monday, September 30, will update members on the progress of the Education Achievement Service (EAS), set up by Gwent's five councils and tasked with improving education after three of those five councils' education departments - including Blaenau Gwent - were placed in special measures.
In 2011, the council was stripped of executive powers over education and a board from Neath Port Talbot council was set up to run the department.
Then in May this year, the inspectorate Estyn decided that control over education would not be given back to Blaenau Gwent council and its education department would remain in special measures.
Council leader Hedley McCarthy insisted at the time that the authority would be "unrelenting" in its mission to quicken the pace of school improvement and "will not falter in the face of any difficult decisions, however contentious."
Since February, Blaenau Gwent and Newport councils have shared chief education officer James Harris, and the Argus reported last month how the two authorities are to consider more ways in which they can share services.
This latest report covers progress made by the EAS between September 2012 and September 2013.
The EAS was tasked with providing services that support the monitoring and evaluation of schools' performance.
The report, by head of the EAS Steve Davies, said good progress had been made during the last 12 months and examination and test results for Blaenau Gwent council as a whole have improved this year.
"These not currently available for publication but we will be able to report further details at the meeting," the report said.
"However, there are still developments that need to be implemented and there are some schools for whom this year’s results are both disappointing and unacceptable."
Last month education minister Huw Lewis AM told the Argus that he expected to see improved GCSE results in the three Gwent counties in special measures.
A recent draft government report proposed that the work of the EAS will copied across Wales by existing regional consortia.