Authority's inspection bucks trend

6th June 2008 at 01:00
The future looks bright for schools in Pembrokeshire - the fifth largest county in Wales
The future looks bright for schools in Pembrokeshire - the fifth largest county in Wales.

The local authority has received a glowing report from Welsh inspectorate Estyn months after overall poor performances of local authorities came under fire from chief inspector Dr Bill Maxwell.

In his annual report, in February, Dr Maxwell claimed two-thirds of education services offered were unlikely to improve.

But Pembrokeshire notched up three grade 1s alongside an equivalent number of grade 2s. Inspectors reckon the chances of improvement are also high, awarding five grade 1s and one grade 2 in six areas.

The authority's special relationship with schools, as well as teaching unions, is seen as key to its success. Good consultation within rural communities has seen it through the sharp reduction of the county's primary schools from 94 to 66 with closures and mergers.

Increased investment in buildings and additional learning needs has helped. Pupil achievement is also above-average, and the county has the least number of post-16 school-leavers in Wales.

See TES Cymru next week for more on Pembrokeshire's success story.

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