Posted: Tue 4th Feb 2020

Updated: Wed 26th Feb

Strategic board moves in to troubled secondary school

North Wales news and information
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Feb 4th, 2020

Troubleshooters will be sent in to help run an Anglesey secondary school following the resignation of its headteacher last week.
Catrin Jones Hughes stepped down from the position at Ysgol Uwchradd Bodedern “following a period of illness” in the same week that concerns were raised that a lack of full-time teachers could affect pupils’ GCSE results.
The school, found by the Welsh Government to be in need of the greatest support and intervention after being colour coded as ‘red’ in the annual school ranking system, will also see a strategic headteacher put in place until a permanent headteacher is appointed.
Emyr Williams will combine his duties with his existing role as the headteacher of Ysgol David Hughes, having started his teaching career at Bodedern.
“As new strategic head teacher, I will ensure that the school’s pupils, especially those sitting their GCSEs and A-Levels this summer, are our main priority,” he said.
“I am, of course, keenly aware of the concerns of both pupils and parents. Working with the Board, we will provide the support needed for Ysgol Uwchradd Bodedern to turn a corner and make tangible progress in driving standards forward.”
The new Strategic Improvement Board begins its work later this month, initially for a year, to work with staff and governors and will include representation from bodies including the Welsh Government, Estyn,  GwE and Anglesey’s Learning Service – who acknowledged it had been a “challenging period” for the school.
Anglesey’s Education portfolio holder, Cillor Meirion Jones, said: “The County Council’s Learning Service and partners have been supporting the school.
“However, these additional steps are being taken to ensure further progress and for the benefit of the pupils.
“We feel that the support of a strategic head teacher and Board is the best way forward at Ysgol Uwchradd Bodedern.”
“The decision was not taken lightly and is in the best interests of pupils and staff. Both Emyr Williams and the Board will work with and support the Governing Body and Senior Leadership Team – providing additional expert leadership and management guidance.
“I believe that we will make progress by working closely together.”
According to Anglesey council, the Board will provide the “experience and expertise needed to help achieve sustained improvement” and will ultimately be answerable to Welsh government with progress reviewed after each term.
He added: “The decision was not taken lightly and is in the best interests of pupils and staff. Both Emyr Williams and the Board will work with and support the Governing Body and Senior Leadership Team – providing additional expert leadership and management guidance.
“I believe that we will make progress by working closely together.”
The latest move comes just days after North Wales Live was contacted by a pupil who, reporting a lack of full-time teachers at the school, had sparked concerns they were going to fail their GCSE exams.
While last year saw some of the school’s staff release a letter outlining a lack of confidence in the former headteacher, having made a number of complaints  to both Anglesey Council and the board of governors.
With 680 pupils on roll, the school was opened in 1977 with Welsh being the natural medium of instruction.
The school’s governing body has confirmed it will begin the process of recruiting a new permanent headteacher later this week. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​

By Gareth Williams – Local Democracy Reporter ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​



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