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Pembrokeshire school banding results released – how did yours perform?

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THE PERFORMANCE of schools across Pembrokeshire has been released by The Welsh Government today (Jan 31).

The National School Categorisation System, introduced in 2014, places schools into one of four colour-coded support categories to demonstrate the level of support they need – green, yellow, amber and red.

Last year a change was made to the factors that decide a school’s category. There is now a much broader assessment that considers a wider variety of information including wellbeing and the quality of teaching and learning, rather than just looking at areas such as performance, including GCSE results.

The purpose of including a broader and more sophisticated range of factors is to understand the kind of support needed by a school and to give parents a better picture of how a school is performing.

Here is a list of how Pembrokeshire’s schools performed:

GREEN
Sageston CP
Lamphey CP
Puncheston CP
Wolfscastle CP
Templeton CP
Tavernspite CP
Pembroke Dock CP
Monkton Priory CP
Cleddau Reach VC
Manorbier
St Francis RC
St Oswalds VA

YELLOW
Eglwyswrw CP
Goodwick CP
Hook CP
Johnston CP
Llanchllwydog CP
Maenclochog CP
Narberth CP
St Dogmaels CP
Stepaside CP
Roch CP
Prendergast CP
Pennar community
Neyland community
Ysgol Hafan Y Mor
Cilgerran VC
Cosheton VC
St Florence VC
Tenby Church in Wales VC
Gelliswick Church in Wales VC
Holy Name RC
Mary Immaculate RC
St Aidans VA
St Marks VA
Ysgol Caer Elen
Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi

AMBER
Bryn Conin CP
Ysgol Bro Ingli
Mount Airey CP
Croesgoch CP
Broad Haven CP
Golden Grove CP
Milford Haven CP
Haverfordwest VC
St Teilo RC

RED
Fenton CP
Saundersfoot CP
Coastlands CP
Spittal VC
St Marys RC

In summary:

  • 88.4% of primary schools and 69.4% of secondary schools are now in the green and yellow categories. This increase from last year continues the upward trend since 2015.
  • There has been a rise in the number of schools in the green category – those schools requiring least support – by 6.2 percentage points to 41.6%.
  • The proportion of red schools – those identified as needing most support – is around the same as last year (a small decrease on 0.1 per cent) in the primary sector. In the secondary sector, this has decreased by 1.8 percentage points.
  • 52.5 % of special schools have been categorised as green, and needing less support, with no schools categorised as red and in need of most support.

Cabinet Secretary for Education Kirsty Williams said: “I’m pleased to see that even more of our schools are now in the green and yellow categories, continuing on with the upward trend we have seen over the past few years.

“These schools have a key role to play in supporting other schools to improve by sharing their expertise, skills and good practice.

“The system has become more sophisticated over time and now allows for a much broader range of factors about a school’s ability to improve to be taken into account – leading to a tailored programme of support and intervention which meets the needs of all pupils.”

A Pembrokeshire County Council spokesperson said: The categorisation process in schools in Pembrokeshire has been reliable, rigorous, accurate, and carried out in accordance with the national categorisation model.

“The colour generates the amount of support the schools need to move forward at pace.

“Each school that requires red support is aware of the improvements that they need to make and is working collaboratively with the local authority and regional consortium to make the necessary improvements.”

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10% Council tax rise supported

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IN A RECORDED vote, Pembrokeshire County Council has approved its draft budget for 2019/20, which will see a 10% rise in council tax.

The budget was approved at Thursday’s (Feb 21) Full Council meeting but was met with some opposition by some members who said other options were available.
Cabinet member for Finance, Cllr Bob Kilmister described his role as a ‘poisoned chalice’ but went on to say: “We are still cheaper in Pembrokeshire than any other local authority in Wales. I have heard that increasing the council tax may have a burden on many who fit into the category of working poor.
“However, if we cut more services it will affect these people the most.”

He went on to highlight a number of outcomes should council tax not be increased by 10% and added: “An additional £1.89 a week avoids these outcomes.”

There is also an extra £1m to cover Brexit but Cllr Kilmister said he had ‘no idea’ if that would be enough.

Cllr Brian Hall asked how many redundancies would be made if certain services were changed but Cllr Kilmister said they were looking at what they have got in the council and looking to train for those people who are leaving vital jobs.

Cllr Hall said that the majority of staff were really concerned, and Cllr Kilmister said they could not start that process until a decision was made on the budget.

Cllr Jamie Adams said they needed to come up with a budget that was more ‘wider-thinking’ and said it was about ‘delivering value for money for Council Tax payers.
He said he was unable to support the budget that demands 10% and challenged other members saying: “Don’t be afraid of doing that, there are different ways to square the circle.”

Cllr Josh Beynon said that while a 10% rise was not the most popular it was the right thing to do.

Cllr Phil Kidney said he was finding it tough to get his head round the customer service centre closing and said they would ‘disenfranchise’ a lot of people by doing so.
However, Cllr Kilmister later said that the service would still be provided but in a different way.
He also said that the current administration was doing more of getting rid of buildings that the previous administration ever did. He added: “This is not something I am doing out of choice, I am doing it out of necessity.”

Cllr Pat Davies said she was ‘dismayed’ to find the previous administration had no strategic plan and said that she had done a lot of catching up over the last 18 months.
Speaking on the transformation program, Cllr Michelle Bateman said progress was being made and that she didn’t want to be part of a council that cuts services and keeps council tax low.

Cllr John Davies explained that the council does have other options and Cllr Kilmister challenged him saying he was welcome to make a new proposal but told Cllr Davies he would have to tell him where the money would be coming from.

Cllr Kilmister went on to say they could only do the budget on the information they have.
Council Leader Cllr David Simpson praised Cllr Kilmister for what he had done over the past 12 months saying he had done an ‘exceptional job’.
He went on to say that he was ‘proud’ of his whole cabinet who had the ability to answer any questions that came their way.

Cllr Simpson then said: “The staff we have in this building are superb, do we want to slash their jobs? No we don’t. We are looking at departments and making cuts where we can.”
When it was put to the vote, 37 members voted in favour of the budget, with 21 voting against.

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Councillor denies ‘bullying’ claim

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A COUNCILLOR has denied that he ‘bullied’ a senior officer of the council when he said that the Chief Executive and Dyfed Powys Police enjoyed a ‘cosy relationship’.
That was the claim made by Cllr Jacob Williams at a recent meeting of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee in relation to the delay in sending a letter of complaint to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).
The complaint related to the Pembroke Dock Commercial Property Grants scheme, which is still being investigated by Dyfed Powys Police.
At a meeting of Full Council on Thursday (Feb 21), Cllr Ken Rowlands submitted a question asking if the leader agreed with his statement.
The leader, Cllr David Simpson simply replied: “No, I do not.”
In response, Cllr Rowlands said: “Would you agree that the member concerned slandered our chief executive and the police?”
He went on to say that he was far from happy for an officer to be insulted and bullied in such a way.
Cllr Rowlands felt it was a breach of the code of conduct and added that Cllr Williams should make a public apology.
Cllr Simpson responded: “I have had three communications after the Jacob Williams and Chief Executive incident. All three left a meeting with me understanding that it is not the leaders’ role to interfere with members.
“If the actions are unreasonable the chair is there to make sure members act in a good way. There are sixty members and I can’t alter their opinions. As for a breach of the code of conduct, that is a matter for you and if you think he has you have an obligation to go to the monitoring officer.”
Cllr Jacob Williams stated that he ‘categorically denied’ the claims made by Cllr Rowlands and said he understood that he did make a complaint to the monitoring officer but that it wasn’t considered appropriate to refer to the ombudsman.
At the same meeting, questions were also asked by Cllr Mike Stoddart in relation to the council’s handling of the letter of complaint.
He asked which officers were involved in drafting a letter and was told that the Head of Legal services made a decision to provide a draft which was authorised by the committee services manager.
Cllr Stoddart also asked why there was a lack of clarity as to who the letter should be sent too.
Cllr Simpson responded saying the resolution was unambiguous and that the IOPC website directed complaints to Dyfed Powys Police which was contradictory to the resolution of council.
Finally, Cllr Stoddart asked when the letter of rejection was received by then chair Cllr Paul Harries, how long after putting it in his briefcase did he rediscover it.
Cllr Simpson replied on behalf of Cllr Harries stating it was found on October 10, 2018.
Cllr Stoddart replied simply to say that it had been ‘lingering in the bottom of his briefcase for five months’.

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Haverfordwest: Pedestrian killed on A4076 at Dregeman Hill

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AT 11.10PM on Wednesday, February 20, Dyfed-Powys Police received a report of a road traffic collision on the A4076 at Dredgeman Hill, Haverfordwest.

The collision involved a car and a pedestrian. Tragically, the pedestrian was pronounced dead at the scene.

The police told The Herald: “We are appealing for any witnesses that may have been travelling along that section of road at that time. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Serious Collision Investigation Unit quoting message 431 of February 20.”

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