THE head teacher of an Abergavenny comprehensive school said there has been a “relentless focus” on standards over the past 18 months and that an improvement plan is already in place.

Elspeth Lewis responded to the latest Estyn inspection at King Henry VIII Comprehensive, published last week, in which a team of inspectors concluded the school’s current performance as “adequate”.

Alwyn Thomas, who led the team in an inspection in December, praised pupils’ positive attitude in learning and good behaviour in lessons. Despite the praise, Mr Thomas found a minority of pupils are not able to use literacy or numeracy skills effectively across the curriculum.

The report also found performance at Key Stage Three and Four does not compare well with that of similar schools and in a minority of lessons pupils make insufficient progress. Attendance is below expectations and does not compare favourably with similar schools.

Inspectors highlighted improvements made by the staff and pupils which include the newly-appointed head teacher succeeding in communicating a clear vision to staff, pupils and parents focusing on raising standards and expectations.

There has also been an improvement in performance at Key Stage Three and Key Stage Four.

The result of this is in improving standards in GCSE English and maths.

Mrs Lewis, who has been in post at the 978-pupil school since September 2014, said: “The report accurately reflects the current position of the school. But there has been a relentless focus on standards, teaching and learning and leadership over the past 18 months. As a school we have an accurate picture of where we are and are committed to further improving in each key area.”

Rod Cunningham, chairman of governors, added: “All strengths and areas for development highlighted in the report were known to staff and governors with improvement plans already in place. The task now is to monitor progress and push for even higher achievements.”

Estyn is due to revisit the school in 12 to 18 months time.

Mrs Lewis said: “I truly believe the school has the potential to be judged as excellent in the next few years.”