SIX schools across Gwent are currently in special measures.

Inspectors from education watchdog Estyn visit schools across Wales, and if a school is judged not to be providing an acceptable standard of education, it is placed in special measures – the most serious category.

Across Torfaen, Newport and Blaenau Gwent, six schools are currently in special measures. No schools in Blaenau Gwent or Caerphilly are in special measures at this time.

Here are the schools currently in special measures:


Malpas Church in Wales Primary School

The school was placed into special measures following a visit from Estyn in November 2019.

The report said that the amalgamation procedure (of Malpas Church in Wales Infant and Junior schools) had “resulted in fractured relationships and poor communication between leaders and between leaders and staff.”

“Leaders do not track pupils’ progress or monitor and review teachers’ work, or pupils’ attendance, tightly enough,” the report continued.

However, it was noted that “pupils are happy and feel safe in school,” while “many enjoy their learning.”

Newport High School

Newport High School was placed into special measures after an Estyn inspection in November 2017.

It was found that the school’s “performance at key stage 4 is weak and is well below that in similar schools,” while “teaching across the school does not challenge all groups of pupils well enough.”

The inspectors did find, however, that “many pupils demonstrate a positive attitude towards their learning” and that “most staff develop positive working relationships with pupils.”

Bridge Achievement Centre

The Bridge Achievement Centre, which provides Key Stage 2, 3 and 4 education for children who are unable to attend mainstream education, was placed in special measures in March 2018.

The Estyn report found that “due to limited opportunities, pupils across the centre do not make enough progress in literacy and numeracy”.

“Leaders and teachers do not plan carefully enough to allow their pupils to progress in their knowledge, understanding and skills,” it continued.

The report does note that “teachers and support assistants across all provisions foster positive relationships with their pupils and, overall, pupils respond well to staff and establish a strong sense of trust.”

Recently out: St Julian’s Comprehensive School

St Julian’s School was placed under special measures by Estyn back in 2017 – with recommendations to improve Key Stage 3 and 4 learning, literacy and numeracy skills as well as the consistency of teaching.

But in December 2021, headteacher Dean Curtis wrote to parents, saying: “The school has been judged to have made sufficient progress to be removed from the list of schools requiring special measures.

“Inspectors commented on the improved standards of students’ work and how the quality of teaching is impacting successfully on student’s learning.”


Cwmbran High School

Cwmbran High School was placed into special measures following a visit by Estyn in October 2018.

The report recognised the school had made improvements, however, the pace of improvement had been too slow and insufficient progress had been made.

Estyn’s recommendations included improving the standard of pupils’ skills and behaviour, as well as addressing “shortcomings in teaching”.

Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw

Following an Estyn visit in April 2019, Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw was placed into special measures.

The report read: “the school’s leaders, including the governing body, have not shown the ability to ensure the necessary improvement.”

“Shortcomings in many teachers’ planning mean that pupils, on the whole, do not make enough progress in their lessons,” it continued.

Inspectors did note “a close-knit community that provides suitable care and support for its pupils” at the school and an overall “supportive ethos.”

Recently out of special measures: Croesyceiliog High School

Croesyceiliog School was put in special measures following an inspection in February 2020 due to shortcomings in several areas.

A report by education watchdog Estyn recommended improvements in the quality of teaching, attendance levels and that the school should strengthen leadership at all levels.

But following a further inspection in November 2021, the school was judged to have made progress against all of Estyn’s recommendations.

Blaenau Gwent

Brynmawr Foundation School

Brynmawr Foundation School was placed into special measures by Estyn following an inspection in October 2019.

Inspectors found that the school’s “changes have not had a sufficient impact on important areas of the school’s work such as teaching and pupils’ standards”, with pupils making “much less progress than expected.”

However, the report noted the school “has a supportive and inclusive ethos”.