WITH school attendance on the up in Caerphilly, the council has turned its focus to achievement.

Caerphilly County Borough Council's new Pupil Aspiration Board - or PUB - has been set up to share best practices in schools and foster a culture of change.

The council announced in their education scrutiny committee last month that they had moved ten places up in the school attendance rankings from 17th out of Wales' 22 local authorities to seventh.


The improvement in attendance has led to a shift in focus on improving attainment in schools in the local authority area.

The chief education officer Keri Cole said that it was important to tackle attendance first.

She said: “It all starts with pupils turning up.

“Schools have worked very hard with families to help improve the attendance levels.”

The next step for the council is the creation of the PUB, which met for the first time this month.

The board includes primary and secondary headteachers, welfare experts and an Education Achievement Service representative.

A report on free school meal (FSM) students said that the board would create a culture which drives the belief that the children can do better than expected and make a significant difference.

The council’s strategic lead for school improvement Paul Warren said that the idea was born out of a national initiative.

He said: “The board will primarily focus on secondary school FSM pupils, as those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds tend not to do as well.

“One example of where best practices could be used to help students is in a Caerphilly secondary school where a reading group was created to help FSM pupils catch up.”

The board contains three secondary headteachers and one primary school headteacher, but over time the board is expected to grow.

The council hope that eventually it can involve all schools in Caerphilly in some capacity.