Denbighshire County Council has welcomed the findings of the recent inspection of its education services.
The report, produced after an inspection in February, judged leadership and management to be excellent and the outcome and quality of education to be good.
A notable feature of the report stated that "outcomes in Denbighshire are strong across nearly all key indicators over several years in primary and secondary schools, and particularly at Key Stage 4".
Denbighshire was one of only two authorities to receive excellence for leadership in the last round of inspections and is the first to be awarded an excellent rating for leadership under a new inspection framework introduced across Wales.
One of the other main findings highlighted the recent merger of education and children’s services in the county as having a “positive impact” on services for children, young people and their families.
Estyn have also asked Denbighshire to prepare a case study on the amalgamation of the education and children’s services, to share as best practice with other councils across Wales.
The report also finds that “the authority has a strong moral purpose that underpins its education services, focusing on an ambition to maximise the life chances of every learner”.
The report also says:
- The authority knows its schools very well.
- The authority has a strong moral purpose that underpins its education services, focusing on an ambition to maximise the life chances of every learner.”
- Pupils’ standards in Welsh first language remain strong over their time in school.
- The authority has a very secure understanding of the extent of elective home education in the county.
- A very strong feature of the authority is the way it consults with children and young people when making decisions that affect them and when evaluating the wide range of services it offers.
- Children can influence decision making.
- Schools work well in clusters of primary schools and their partner secondary schools
- The authority sets clear expectations of all schools and parents in relation to pupil attendance.
- The authority’s Welsh in Education Strategic Plan demonstrates a strong commitment to developing services through the medium of Welsh.
- There are good quality youth services are provided by the authority that meets the needs of a wide range of young people.
- Officers and elected members implement the authority’s modernising education programme successfully.
- The authority’s political and strategic leadership is highly effective.
- The authority’s approach to managing complex change are very effective.
Councillor Huw Hilditch-Roberts, Cabinet Lead Member for Children, Young People and the Welsh Language, said: “The opportunities for our children and young people are at the heart of everything that we do. We want them to have the best education possible and have plenty of opportunity to thrive and develop as individuals. We are delighted that this has been reflected in the report in such a comprehensive way.
“The report itself makes very positive reading and we must pay tribute to the tremendous amount of work that goes on in the local authority to support schools and ensure that all children receive the best than can with the resources available.
"The approach to working with our partners in the public sector is also a key factor in this success, as is our commitment to enhancing Welsh medium education. We are all working together with a common goal: to improve education and opportunities for our children and young people.
“Education in Denbighshire has been a priority for a number of years and this is paying dividends. We have also made a further commitment to improving education over the coming years and our vision for the best possible education for our children and young people has not changed.
“The report does include a small number of recommendations, as we would expect and we will be drawing up an Action Plan to make these changes."
* The full report can be found on: www.estyn.gov.uk