Council welcomes Estyn review findings

Headteachers in Powys are positive about how agile and responsive the county council and education officers have been throughout the pandemic, according to the findings of a review by Wales’ education and training inspectorate.

Estyn carried out a review of how Powys County Council worked with its schools and pupil referral units (PRUs) to promote learning and support vulnerable pupils during the pandemic.

The review formed part of a nationwide review by Estyn which had been requested by the Welsh Government.

Some of the findings in the review included that:

  • The council was quick to respond to the challenges of Covid-19 and implemented operational changes swiftly to ensure schools, parents/carers and learners had access to information and support;
  • Schools and parents appreciated the clear information and guidance available to them;
  • The support from the council’s digital learning team to address hardware, access and training needs was outstanding, according to school leaders;
  • The council’s Youth Intervention Service was singled out for praise by many headteachers after opening up the provision to all who needed it without a lengthy referral process.

The review also found that the council continued to address the recommendations from the 2019 Estyn inspection report maintained the schedule in its post-inspection action plan.

Cllr Phyl Davies, Cabinet Member for Education, said: “It’s almost a year since the pandemic gripped the country and it continues to throw up challenges that we need to overcome.

“We worked closely with our school leaders to make sure that our school staff and our learners have been supported during this difficult period.

“We welcome the findings of this review by Estyn, which highlights the work we have carried out to promote learning and support out vulnerable learners.

“We will continue to support our school leaders, school staff and learners during extremely challenging times.”