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Positive Estyn report for Monkton School

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monkPUPILS at Monkton Priory CP School are benefiting from an ‘inclusive, caring and welcoming environment’ according to a recent Estyn report.

The report, published following an inspection in April, said the School’s current performance is ‘Good’ and the prospects for improvement are also ‘Good’.

A ‘Good’ judgement by Estyn describes the school as having “much strength and no important areas requiring significant improvement.”

The inspection focused on three key questions:

  • How good are the outcomes?
  • How good is provision?
  • How good are leadership and management?

The school answered ‘Good’ in all of them.

A summary of Estyn’s report found that:

  • Most pupils make strong progress, show high levels of motivation and interest in their work and make valuable contributions during lessons
  • Most pupils develop their literacy and numeracy skills well during their time at the school, including those on intervention programmes
  • There is a wide range of stimulating and engaging learning experiences, including an extensive range of extra-curricular activities of high quality that engage nearly all pupils effectively
  • Staff manage pupils’ behaviour skilfully and sensitively and, as a result, the behaviour of nearly all pupils is exemplary in classes and around the school
  • There is an extremely inclusive, caring and welcoming environment for pupils, staff, parents and the wider community

However, the report did find that standards in Welsh could be improved along with pupil’s ability to write at length.

The school is drawing up an action plan to show how it will address these recommendations.

The report believes prospects for improvement are good because:

  • The headteacher provides clear and dynamic leadership to the school and communicates high expectations to pupils, staff and parents very effectively
  • There is a very strong teamwork across the school, which has a positive impact on pupils’ attainment and aspirations
  • Leaders have a thorough understanding of the school’s strengths and areas for improvement
  • There is a clear focus on improving pupil attainment and implementing school improvement targets
  • The school has developed an outstanding range of highly effective partnerships that contribute significantly to raising standards of pupil attainment, attendance and wellbeing
  • The school’s strategies for using the pupil deprivation grant are highly effective and focus very well on raising standards for vulnerable pupils

One of the key findings of the report highlighted how many pupils enter the school with skills and knowledge at a level below that expected of their age, however they make good progress in their learning as they move through school.

Headteacher Mrs Shelley Morris said she was proud of that assessment:

“We work hard to provide an inclusive and stimulating environment and this ensures the children enjoy their learning.

“We use real life experiences to enhance learning such our teachers in the learning resource class arranging for pupils to meet and adopt an owl. This engaged pupils and they produced some fantastic work because of that.

“We also encourage a wide range of extra-curricular activities such as golf, surfing and horse riding. This has helped with our attendance and this opens their imaginations for learning.

“We aim to provide stimulating lessons that engage with pupils’ interests and the report suggests this is what we do.

“We can be very proud of that.”

Cabinet Member for Education, Councillor David Lloyd says everyone is benefitting from the way the school interacts with the community. “The report states that the ‘school is a beacon for lifelong learning in the community’ and that is definitely the case.

“They have established fantastic links with the Gypsy and Traveller Community trough the Unity Project and offer a range of lifelong courses including degree courses and this has brought the community into the school. There are role models for pupils to look up to

“Estyn has recognised them as being examples of best practice for ‘Creating an engaging learning environment’ and Supporting adult learning and skills acquisition’.

“Because of this, I believe that everyone wants to learn and through strong leadership and the teachers’ innovative and skilful methods of teaching, the school is going from strength to strength.”

Estyn’s report on Monkton Priory School can be found on www.estyn.gov.wales

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Milford Haven: Concerns over council refuse collection staff using drugs on duty

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL have confirmed that they are conducting an ongoing internal investigation.

The probe is relating to “illegal drug use by on-duty refuge collection crews” operating from the Thornton Refuge Depot in Milford Haven.

The Herald understands that following suspicions being raised, drug testing was carried out on refuse crews on Monday (May 10) – all before they left their depot.

This newspaper has been told that a number staff, which includes bin lorry drivers, tested positive for drug use, and that the council called in the police.

That information was passed to The Herald by someone who we have confirmed to be a member of staff working at Pembrokeshire County Council, who did not want to be named.

After a request for a statement, a spokesperson for the council has stressed that none of their vehicles were involved, suggesting that, on the day in question, positive tests were arrived at before any bin lorries had left the depot.

As part of the multi-agency operation the police were called and attended Thornton Refuse Depot, but did not make any arrests, and said they had little involvement in the operation.

Pembrokeshire County Council spokesperson said: “We can confirm that there is an ongoing internal workplace investigation and can clarify that there was no police involvement on the day in question – no Pembrokeshire County Council vehicles were involved.

“We are not in a position to comment any further at this time.”

Dyfed Powys Police told The Pembrokeshire Herald: “At the request of Pembrokeshire County Council, officers attended Thornton Refuse Depot to provide [them with] support on the morning of Monday, May 10.

“Officers attended; however they were not utilised.”

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Council’s Planning Committee approves ambitious dockyard plans

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL’s Planning Committee this morning (Tuesday, May 18) approved an application for the construction of a new marine engineering project at Pembroke Dock’s Royal Dockyard.
The plans, vociferously opposed by local heritage groups, passed unanimously.

The matter will now go to the Welsh Government, which has reserved its position on the scheme’s approval.
Committee members expressed the view that the balance between heritage and economic development were balanced, with strong views expressed on either side. They decided the balance of the application favoured economic development subject to conditions regarding aspects of the site’s preservation and its ability to be restored in the future.

The Committee members who attended a site visit on Wednesday, May 12, said it was the most informative and best site visit they had this council term. Visiting the site gave them a clearer idea about what was planned and the scale of the project, which would not have been gained from a paper exercise.

While the approval of the scheme was unanimous, one element of the reserved matters caused some members concern: the height and size of the proposed massive new sheds which would be built at a later phase of the project.
Cllr David Pugh, seconded by Cllr Steve Alderman, moved an amendment which would approve the project and delegate reserved matters to officers apart from the sheds’ construction, which would return to the Committee for detailed approval.

Cllr Tony Wilcox and Cllr Mark Carter emphasised the need for certainty regarding the project’s development, a position supported by Cllr David Howlett, Cllrs Pugh, Alderman and Cllr Stephen Joseph said that little delay would be caused to the scheme by bringing the sheds’ development back to the Committee. They noted the significant intrusion of the sheds into the landscape for miles around.

Planning Officer Mike Simmons advised that the project would proceed in five phases and that the applicant, Milford Haven Port Authority, was keen to proceed with the first phase as soon as possible. The first phase would be the infilling of the docks and pool, removing a caisson gate and preserving it, before the building of new slipways.
The Port Authority already accepted the sheds would only be built if there was commercial demand for them.
The amendment proposed by Cllr Pugh passed by six votes to five with two abstentions.

It means before the sheds are built, the Committee will decide the detailed application relating to them.

All other aspects of the development will be decided by officers.

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Business

Further Covid-19 business support packages to become available soon

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PEMBROKESHIRE businesses that remain affected by Covid-19 restrictions can check their eligibility for a new package of support from the Welsh Government.

This latest support package will help those businesses eligible to meet ongoing costs through to the end of June as they prepare for re-opening and more normal trading conditions.

Businesses that stand to benefit include:

  • nightclubs and late entertainment venues
  • events and conference venues not covered by the Welsh Government’s Cultural Recovery Fund (CRF)
  • hospitality and leisure businesses, including restaurants, pubs and cafes
  • supply chain business, which have been materially impacted by restrictions

An eligibility checker has opened on the Business Wales website so businesses can find out how much support they are likely to be entitled to and how to apply.

See more information and check your business’ eligibility at: https://businesswales.gov.wales/coronavirus-advice/

Funding will be calculated based on the size of the business and the type of restrictions they are under.

Businesses will be able submit applications to the Welsh Government from 24th May 2021 for grants of up to £25,000 and by the end of the month to Pembrokeshire County Council for smaller fixed Discretionary Grants.

To keep up to date and see the future application process for the Discretionary Grants please see: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/business-advice-and-support

The above link will be be updated with the latest information.  

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