Education begins to improve, but Chief Inspector urges schools to prepare for new curriculum

There are some early signs of improvement in Welsh education this year, according to the Chief Inspector of Education and Training in his Annual Report published today. In primary schools, standards were judged as good or better in eight-in-ten, up from seven-in-ten last year and the proportion judged as excellent has doubled from 4% to 8%. Standards remain good or better in half of secondary schools, the same as last year.

Chief Inspector Meilyr Rowlands says,

For improvement to continue and in preparation for the new curriculum, schools need to prioritise improving pupils’ experience in the classroom. The distinguishing feature of schools that were judged excellent in 2017-18 is often down to the quality of the teaching and learning experiences they provide.

“The best schools have laid the foundations for a good education and in addition offer pupils stimulating experiences in the classroom that often relate to real life. In these schools, there is high quality teaching and strong leadership.

 There is much to do to prepare for the new curriculum and I encourage schools to read my annual report and use its resources to help their self-evaluation and improvement planning.

Successful schools like Ysgol-y-Wern, Cardiff, have already approached curriculum change in a positive and enthusiastic way.  They offer enriching classroom experiences to challenge pupils and develop their skills. Teachers recognise that planning exciting opportunities, especially in real-life contexts, is the key to engaging pupils and helping them to become lifelong learners.  

The report also highlights inspection findings from the other areas of education inspected by Estyn including all-age schools, special schools, independent schools and colleges, pupil referral units, local government education services, further education, work-based learning and Welsh for Adults.

Best practice case studies:

Banana Moon Day Nursery

Ysgol -Y -Wern
The Bishop of Llandaff Church in Wales High School
Ysgol Bro Edern

Cylch Meithrin Cefneithin Gorslas

Ysgol Plascrug

Ysgol y Gogarth

Martine’s Childcare
Denbighshire County Council

Ysgol yr Esgob
Castell Alun High School

Meithrinfa Seren Fach
Ysgol Uwchradd Tywyn
Aran Hall School

Ysgol y Preseli
Redhill Preparatory School

Gladestry Church in Wales Primary
Ty Bronllys

Bellevue Nursery

Olchfa School
Gower College Swansea
Cwm Glas Primary School

Ysgol Heulfan

Vale of Glamorgan
Westbourne School
Learn Welsh Glamorgan, University of South Wales

Publication date

Tuesday, 4 December, 2018