Diocesan press releases

From Special Measures to Excellence: A North Wales town celebrates the success of its church school

A small town in Flintshire is celebrating after overturning a Estyn report which placed its church primary school in ‘special measures’.

Ysgol yr Esgob in Caerwys has been awarded ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ in all five judgement categories, making it one of the best in Wales.

It follows the 2011 inspection when the school was rated unsatisfactory and placed in ‘special measures’.

The Chair of Governors at Ysgol yr Esgob, Roland Ward, said: “The parents of Caerwys saw the school improve rapidly on the appointment of our inspirational new headteacher in 2012, and they have stuck by it. The previous verdict of ‘special measures’ can be the death of a small school, but we’ve overturned this and we’re delighted.  The new gradings make our school one of the best in Wales, and the town is celebrating.

“There are banners congratulating the school at all the entrances to the town, in the square, and on the church tower.  Every shop and many houses are displaying congratulations posters.   It’s a real community celebration.”

Under Estyn’s new framework, the inspectors give five judgements, not just one. For Ysgol yr Esgob the results were:  Standards, GOOD, Pupil care, support and guidance: EXCELLENTTeaching: GOODLeadership and management EXCELLENTPupil wellbeing and attitudes to learning:  EXCELLENT,

The headteacher of Ysgol yr Esgob, Sue Clisham, said: “The response from Caerwys residents has been amazing. The report says that the school is a, ’vibrant learning community’. It’s been a real community effort over the last six years, and I am grateful to all the staff, parents, pupils, governors and the residents of Caerwys for all their support- through thick and thin.’

The director of education and lifelong learning for the Diocese of St Asaph, Rosalind Williams said: “Congratulations to all at Ysgol yr Esgob.  This is a tremendous achievement and makes the school one of the best in Wales.  We’re delighted.”

Parents of children at Ysgol yr Esgob are celebrating too.  One parent, Katie Pierce said: “My whole family is so very pleased and proud for all at Ysgol yr Esgob on the excellent results. We extend our biggest congratulations to all those that have worked so hard to bring it up to such a high standard, and we feel very lucky indeed to have it right on our doorstep!

The school was inspected by an Estyn team led by one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Schools in February, 2018. The report can be viewed on the Estyn website  www.estyn.gov.uk.