A WELSH medium school which is earmarked for a £6 million expansion project has been put in special measures.

Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw in Trevethin, Pontypool, provides “suitable care and support for its pupils”, but requires urgent improvement in many areas, a report from education watchdog Estyn says.

Inspectors who went into the school in April found shortcomings in teachers’ planning, which they said impacted on pupils progress in lessons.

The school – for pupils aged 11-18 – does not plan carefully enough to develop pupils’ skills, particularly in literacy, the report said.

“There are very few opportunities for pupils to develop their numeracy skills in relevant subjects other than mathematics,” it says.

“Opportunities for pupils to develop their ICT skills are limited across subjects.”

Estyn says special measures are required, rating the school as unsatisfactory and needing urgent improvement in three out of five areas.

The school’s performance was rated as ‘good’ in 2014, but since then leaders have not shown the ability to ensure necessary improvement, inspectors said.

Plans are in place to extend the age range at the school to three-18, with nursery and primary provision.

The proposals are due to be decided next week after the council deferred a decision due to be made on Tuesday.

Councillor David Yeowell, the council’s executive member for education said: “Clearly there is a lot of urgent improvement needed in the school but I know this decision was not taken lightly by the inspection team.

“Unfortunately, despite encouraging verbal feedback, the decline in attainment at KS4 since 2014 was a key factor and despite the determination of new head teacher and the leadership team to accelerate the pace of change, at the time of this inspection it had not been quick enough for Estyn.”

Opportunities for pupils to develop ICT skills were also found to be limited.

Inspectors said the school “does not self-evaluate accurately or rigorously,” including analysing performance data and evaluating standards of learning and the quality of teaching.

But the report said a “supporting ethos” ensured pupils attend regularly and feel safe.

Lynne Davies, chair of governors, said: “While we fully accept the report’s findings, we also recognise the strengths and improvements identified by inspectors over the past 18 months.

“The school will draw up an action plan that shows how it will address the recommendations and we’re confident there will be significant progress to share with inspectors when they return to monitor the school’s progress each term.”