Denbighshire - Spotlight stays on failing council

A failing Welsh authority will remain under official scrutiny for another year, the Assembly government announced last week.

Reports in 2007 by Estyn, the schools watchdog, and an independent consultancy found that schools in Denbighshire had high truancy and exclusion rates. The county council's poor management was blamed.

Jane Hutt, the education minister, convened an independent education recovery board. The council has since been inspected three times.

Ms Hutt said that in spite of progress, education services to schools needed to be improved. A new director of education and head of school improvement have been appointed, but there is still no chief executive. Estyn carried out a re-inspection last month. Its findings will be released in June.

Meanwhile, heads are angry that the government is backing Denbighshire's decision to close the sixth forms at Rhyl High and the nearby Blessed Edward Jones. Most students will transfer to Rhyl Sixth, a new unit to be run by Coleg Llandrillo. DE.

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