School in suicide tragedy praised

21st January 2005 at 00:00
The school at the centre of a bullying row after a former pupil apparently committed suicide provides "outstanding" care and support to learners, according to inspectors.

Pupils at Cefn Saeson comprehensive, in Cimla, Neath, "are confident they would find help and support if they had a problem in school", says its Estyn inspection report, published this week.

Inspectors visited the 843-pupil school last November, two months after the death of Laura Rhodes. Laura, 13, from Neath, took an overdose of painkillers. Her parents said she had been bullied at Cefn Saeson, and released a letter she had written about her experiences. She left the school in June 2003.

But Estyn inspectors concluded relationships between pupils and pupils and teachers were very good, and that the quality of care, support and guidance provided by the school was outstanding.

Effective measures were in place "to eliminate oppressive behaviour including bullying, sexism and racism".

Peter Jones, deputy head, said the school had considered requesting a deferment of the inspection, but had been confident about the positive relationships between pupils and staff.

He added: "We are glad we went ahead and had what we thought about the school validated by independent inspectors. The support we've had in these difficult months has been very moving."

Estyn says the school has made progress since its last inspection, particularly on teaching and assessment. But some shortcomings remain, such as its self-evaluation and review procedures which failed to pick up on problems in information and communications technology and religious education identified by inspectors.

A date has still to be set for an inquest into Laura's death.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now