School placed in special measures
A school for children with learning difficulties has been placed into special measures by inspectors.
Following a recent inspection by the Welsh education inspectorate Estyn, Brynllywarch Hall School in Kerry, near Newtown, was found to be unsatisfactory.
Inspectors found that urgent improvement is needed in care, support and guidance of pupils and in leadership and management.
They also stated that standards, wellbeing and attitudes to learning and teaching and learning experiences were adequate, however they do require improvement.
Inspectors said: "In accordance with the Education Act 2005, HMCI is of the opinion that special measures are required in relation to this school.
"The school will draw up an action plan that shows how it is going to address the recommendations. Estyn will monitor the school’s progress on a termly basis."
Recommendations in the report state the school needs to improve the quality of strategic leadership, improve key stage three and four curriculum and improve the quality of teaching and future behaviour.
The school has also been told to address shortcomings in the management of health and safety procedures identified during the inspection.
Despite being placed into special measures, inspectors did praise the working relationships between pupils and staff.
A summary from inspectors stated: "Over time, many pupils at Brynllywarch Hall School make suitable progress in their learning and improve their attendance and behaviour. However, a minority of pupils in key stages three and four do not make enough progress in managing their behaviour, and do not engage well in their learning.
"Nearly all staff have very good working relationships with the pupils. They understand pupils’ emotional needs well and respond sensitively when pupils are finding things difficult.
"The school provides learning experiences that meet the needs of learners at key stage 2 and post-16 well. However, the curriculum does not incorporate a sufficiently co-ordinated approach to the development of pupils’ skills.
"There is a significant difference in the quality of teaching across the school. Overall, teaching is adequate and needs improvement."
"The headteacher provides strong day-to-day operational leadership. However, the strategic role of the leadership team in improving pupils’ standards, the quality of teaching and the provision for pupil wellbeing is under developed."
Senior officers from Powys County Council will be working in close partnership with the school in order to secure improvement.
Councillor Myfanwy Alexander, cabinet member for education, said: “This report provides a clear blueprint for the improvements needed if Brynllywarch is to provide the best possible education for learners there and we are confident that the team there will be able to make these necessary changes.”