Ysgol Dewi Sant

Name Ysgol Dewi Sant
Estyn Inspection Rating 2
Address St David’s, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, SA62 6QH
Phone Number 01437 725000
Type Secondary (ages 11-19)
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 350 (50% boys 50% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 15
Local Authority Pembrokeshire
Percentage Free School Meals 8.8%

that staff awareness remains high. All staff identity badges display key safeguarding information on their reverse side. The school site is more secure. This includes a new reception area and the reception staff are rigorous in checking the identity of visitors and ensuring that they are advised of the relevant procedures for safeguarding children. Information leaflets for visitors and parents clearly set out the school’s safeguarding arrangements. Prominent displays and signage in the school reinforce these arrangements. Several governors are trained in safe recruitment and at least one of these governors participates in every interview process. Recommendation 6: Improve the quality and use made of individual education plans across the curriculum This recommendation has been partly addressed. Since the inspection, the school has improved the quality of individual education plans. The plans identify suitable targets, strategies to be employed to meet those targets, persons responsible and relevant success criteria. Performance against these targets is recorded well. The school reviews these plans twice a year and revises targets as necessary. Pupils and parents are now appropriately involved in the development and review of plans. The information from individual education plans informs £lesson boards£ that are generally used well by teachers and teaching assistants to ensure that pupils are supported effectively in their learning. However, a few teachers still do not regularly use the individual education plans or lesson boards well enough to plan learning activities that meet pupils£ needs. Recommendation 7: Review the roles and responsibilities of middle and senior leaders This recommendation has been largely addressed. Since the core inspection, the school has increased the capacity of the senior leadership team by adding three assistant headteachers and the school bursar. They work effectively alongside the headteacher and deputy headteacher, both of whom are now permanent in their positions. All the members of the senior leadership team have clearly defined roles and responsibilities which link well to improving teaching and learning. The increased capacity of the senior leadership team has resulted in the headteacher and deputy headteacher being able to manage their time more effectively and prioritise activities appropriately. The school’s revised management structure sets out clear lines of responsibility. Senior and middle leaders have a good understanding of their own roles and responsibilities and of their accountability in relation to each aspect of their work. Line managers have regular timetabled meetings with the staff they manage. The common agenda for these meetings is created by the leadership team and is based on whole school priorities, together with progress against agreed targets from the previous meeting. For these meetings, a common template is used to record action points, staff responsibilities and deadlines. New targets are then set and discussed in the next challenge and support line management meetings. This has developed into an effective means of holding staff to account for the completion of agreed actions. Line managers implement a range of suitable strategies to challenge the staff that they manage. Performance management procedures are carried out appropriately. Pupils have target levels or grades for each subject, and all teachers£ record assessments each half-term, enabling leaders to track pupils£ progress towards their targets and identify underperformers. Line managers challenge middle leaders vigilantly about the progress made by individual pupils during the year. Increased levels of challenge and accountability since the core inspection have started to have an impact on the quality of teaching and middle leadership in the school. This is reflected in the improvement in standards in many key indicators in key stage 3 and key stage 4 in 2014, including the level 2 threshold including English and mathematics in particular. Although there is good progress in many areas, senior leaders have not overseen well enough the school’s work to develop pupils£ literacy and numeracy skills. Recommendation 8: Develop the role of leaders so that they are fully accountable for their areas of responsibility This recommendation has been largely addressed. The headteacher has a clear vision and a strong commitment to raising standards. He inspires colleagues to share his high expectations for pupils and has ensured that the whole school is fully committed to improvement. In this focus on improvement the senior leadership team supports him very well. All the senior leaders understand their collective responsibility to improve standards. The school has developed further its strategies to increase accountability for improving standards and quality. There are robust, high-quality systems to enable senior leaders to monitor departments, and to help middle managers lead their areas effectively. Senior leaders ensure that all staff have a secure understanding of their roles and responsibilities, and that they carry them out effectively. Senior leaders challenge departments where standards are causing concern. Regular meetings between middle and senior leaders are supported by well-defined procedures. Agendas for these meetings, and for department meetings, are structured to ensure that important issues are addressed, lines of accountability are clear, and appropriate actions are taken within specified timescales. As a result, there is increasing consistency across the whole school in the way that managers and staff focus on agreed areas for improvement. Most middle leaders and teachers have responded well to the challenge of improving pupils£ outcomes. Governors have a very good understanding of the school’s performance and how it compares with that of other schools. They look closely at targets and results, and have begun to ask challenging questions about departments that are under-achieving. Link governors are associated successfully with all departments in order to monitor their progress. The governing body has set up a challenge and support committee together with an improvement board in order to hold staff to account. Staff present on their areas of responsibility to governors and explain what impact they have had on pupil outcomes. The improved approach to leadership and governance within the school has empowered staff at all levels to take full responsibility for their own areas. There is a strong desire throughout the school to raise standards for all pupils. This is reflected in the recent improvements in standards and the quality of teaching across the school. Recommendation 9: Improve the rigour and use of self-evaluation activities to inform improvement planning This recommendation has been partly addressed. Leaders have developed a healthy culture of self-evaluation within the school, supported by a stronger governing body. The school has an honest and accurate view of its current performance. The school’s targets for improvement, particularly in relation to performance in the main indicators at key stage 4, are appropriately challenging. The school openly publishes a wide range of performance data for parents and the wider public. There are clear links between the school’s overall self-evaluation, the school’s improvement plan, departmental plans and subject reviews. The format of the school’s progress reports against the recommendations from the core inspection is helpful, although the school has not always evaluated the impact of its actions successfully. The school has worked well with external organisations to improve its capacity to make accurate judgements about standards and the quality of teaching when observing lessons or scrutinising pupils£ work. The school’s views on standards and the quality of teaching match closely to the team’s findings during this visit. However, there is still a lack of focus on the development of pupils£ skills in these quality assurance activities. The use of data by subject leaders has improved following training for middle leaders and clear guidance from senior leaders about what they expect. The governing body has established a £challenge and support£ sub-committee. This committee meets monthly and provides a robust challenge to senior and middle leaders about performance in their areas of responsibility. However, inconsistencies remain in the quality of evaluation by a few subject leaders. The school has successfully addressed shortcomings in improvement plans, which now have a helpful common format. Actions are generally clear although success criteria are not always refined enough in order to understand what impact is expected. Plans now consistently include the implications for resources and for staff professional development. Recommendations In order to maintain and improve on this progress, the school should continue to work towards meeting the inspection recommendations that have not yet been fully addressed.