THE HEADTEACHER of an Aberystwyth secondary school has been appointed to a key post in charge of Learning Services at County Hall, despite failing to move their own school out of Estyn monitoring.
Matthew Brown, was appointed to the post of head teacher at Penglais School, Waunfawr, at the beginning of the 2013/14 academic year.
Penglais is the largest secondary school in Ceredigion.
In 2014, the school was the subject of a critical report prepared by Estyn. That report suggested that the school’s prospects for improvement were ‘adequate’ due to the failure of senior school leaders to hold middle leaders to account robustly enough for improving outcomes in standards and wellbeing. Most critically, bearing in mind the post to which Mr Brown has now been appointed, Estyn found that the quality and rigour of self-evaluation and improvement planning by senior and middle leaders are inconsistent.
Among the data in the 2014 report, is a significant level of parent dissatisfaction with the school.
Estyn also found that boys at Key Stage Four performed less well than girls and that there was a need to improve the achievement of boys and pupils entitled to free school meals.
As a result of those findings, the school was subject to continued monitoring by Estyn in order to check on the school’s progress towards resolving the issues identified by the 2014 report.
In January this year, the school was the subject of a follow-up visit by Estyn.
That visit did not result in a further written report as no change was made to the underlying recommendation from 2014; namely, that the school remain subject to monitoring by Estyn.
A spokesperson for Estyn explained: “Should a school come out of follow-up then a report stating this would then be published in our website.”
While some improvements have taken place at Penglais, those have been insufficient to merit removing the school from monitoring.
Despite those failings, Mr Brown was successful in his application for the post of Head of Children’s Services, and was appointed to the role in January this year and before the outcome of the Estyn reinspection was known.
A check of the County Council’s website has revealed that the post of head teacher at the school remains unfilled. The Council has confirmed that the post will not now be filled until the end of the academic year 2016/17.
Stereophonics to play Swansea gig
ONE of Britain’s best live bands Stereophonics has announced a special performance at Singleton Park, Swansea on Saturday, July 13, 2019.
The stadium rockers will perform in their south Wales heartland to celebrate 20 years since the career milestone show in Swansea at Morfa Stadium to 55,000 people and the release of ‘Performance and Cocktails’.
It will be the band’s first time back in south west Wales since their Morfa Stadium show in 1999. This now iconic album, which was the band’s second studio release, gave Stereophonics three straight top five singles in the British charts with ‘The Bartender and the Thief’ reaching No.3, and both ‘Just Looking’ and ‘Pick a Part That’s New’ reaching No.4.
Over the past two decades, Stereophonics have played at some of the biggest venues to fans all across the globe, amassing over 10 million album sales in that time.
More recently in 2018, the band performed to sell-out crowds across the globe, including a huge 15-date arena tour, summer homecoming gigs in Wrexham and Cardiff plus headline shows at Kendal Calling, Y Not Festival and Victorious Festival.
Speaking about the latest announcement, Kelly Jones said: “Performance and Cocktails put us on the world map, and also on the TV and the Radio, which meant a lot of people went back to discover Word Gets Around and made our first album platinum! Morfa Stadium was where we set Performance and Cocktails alight, and it was a one off day that can never be beaten. It was perfect. I’m not a man that likes to go backwards, this event is merely a birthday party, so come along and help us blow out the candles.”
Stereophonics are Kelly Jones (vocals/guitar), Richard Jones (bass), Adam Zindani (guitar) and Jamie Morrison (drums).
Tickets go on sale on Friday (Dec 14) at 10am via www.myticket.co.uk.
Heroin could be linked to Aberysytwyth supply
A LIVERPOOL man has admitted possessing heroin that could be linked to drugs supplied in Aberystwyth.
Jack English, aged 20, pleaded guilty to possessing a quantity of heroin with intent to supply when he appeared at Swansea Crown ccourt for a plea and trial preparation hearing before Judge Keith Thomas.
The court heard the drugs could also be linked to English’s father, who had been a heroin user who had ‘gone to Aberystwyth on many occasions’ and who had died since his son’s arrest in October 2017.
Judge Thomas said he would sentence English on January 11.
English, of Storrington Road, was granted bail meanwhile but warned that a jail sentence was the most likely outcome.
Mark Drakeford named next First Minister
THE NEXT First Minister of Wales will be Mark Drakeford, it has been announced this afternoon (Dec 6).
Mr Drakeford, a Cardiff West AM, was named as the winner of the Welsh Labour leadership contest at the Principality Stadium.
The contest was triggered when Carwyn Jones, the current First Minister, announced he was stepping down.
Mr Jones will officially step down on Tuesday (Dec 10).
Mr Drakeford will then be officially confirmed as the new First Minister of Wales by the National Assembly next week.
In the first round of voting, the results were:
Mark Drakeford – 46.9%
Vaughan Gething – 30.8%
Eluned Morgan – 22.3%
Eluned Morgan’s votes were then redistributed on voters’ second preferences, with the following results:
Mark Drakeford – 53.9%
Vaughan Gethin – 46.1%
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