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Update on Torfaen Council’s post-inspection action plan following critical Estyn report

Estyn, the education watchdog in Wales, has moved the date of a meeting in September where they were due to check Torfaen Council’s action plan following a critical inspection report in May 2022.

They found the council is “a local authority causing significant concern” due to shortcomings in secondary school performance. Following the publication, an extraordinary full council meeting was held where Stephen Vickers, chief executive, said work has started on a post-inspection action plan to address the recommendations, and that the authority recognised the need to “respond at pace”.

At July’s council meeting Cllr Richard Clark, executive member for education, was asked by Cllr David Thomas, Llantarnam Ward, to update members on how the post-inspection action plan (PIAP) was progressing.

Cllr Clark said: “The post-inspection action plan is continuing. We have the improvement conference that you were aware of in September. Estyn have changed the date of that. It was the 14th, it’s now gone to the 22nd.  The focus on the period is to look at action. We are already underway with the review of the ALN (additional learning needs) area which we mentioned at previous meetings, and the pupil support service review is well advanced. So even though the action plan won’t be considered by Estyn until September, we’re not on hiatus until that happens.

“There’s been a successful headteachers’ conference on 14 July where they engaged heavily with the service and a warts and all perspective put that has been very constructive.

“It has focused the post-inspection action plan and the post-inspection action plan will be brought before members before that date on 22 September for members to contribute as well.”

A team from Estyn is working with the council on the PIAP in advance of the meeting on 22 September, when Estyn will decide whether or not to accept it.

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Update on Torfaen Council’s post-inspection action plan following critical Estyn report

School books and a chalkboard