A ‘VERY CARING’ Llanelli primary school has been placed in special measures by Estyn, the education inspectorate for Wales.
Pentip primary school, a voluntary-aided Church in Wales school, is the subject of a damning report which finds that urgent action is needed to address shortcomings in the progress of children at the school.
The Estyn report found that “nearly all younger pupils make slow progress developing their skills in literacy and numeracy”.
Despite the positive and supportive environment of the school, pupils were not making enough progress against benchmarks for their educational development.
The report finds that: “Many pupils in the Foundation Phase (aged four to seven) make slow progress in learning letters and sounds. As a result, they make inconsistent progress in reading.”
Lack of resources is, however, not part of the problem. Inspectors said the school has enough staff to deliver the national curriculum but standards are simply not good enough to ensure consistent progress by pupils.
The report said: “Adults’ subject knowledge is not always secure enough to enable pupils to make good progress for example in reading.”
The report continues: “The quality of teaching is inconsistent. Too frequently, teachers’ expectations of what pupils can achieve are too low and they provide pupils with activities that do not challenge them at a suitable level. They rarely enable pupils to develop their independent learning skills well enough. For example, in lower key stage 2, too many tasks rely on worksheets, which limit the opportunity for pupils to write at length.
“As a result, learning tasks do not always meet the needs and abilities of all pupils well enough. In a minority of classes, where teaching is strong, teachers provide stimulating learning experiences and foster pupils’ independent learning skills well. In these classes, most pupils speak enthusiastically about their work. For example, they particularly enjoy taking part in a national writing competition.”
Leadership and management at the school were deemed unsatisfactory and in need of urgent improvement.
Regarding teaching, the inspectors said: “The quality of teaching is variable and, in a majority of classes, teachers do not challenge pupils at an appropriate level.
“Overall, leaders and managers do not monitor standards of teaching and learning rigorously enough. Currently, they do not demonstrate the capacity to bring about necessary improvements.”
Around 18% of the 156 pupils aged four to 11 are eligible for free school meals, which is in line with the average for Wales.
Putting the school in special measures Estyn made seven recommendations including to raise pupils’ standards in writing and numeracy across the curriculum and to improve teaching by raising teachers’ expectations of what pupils can achieve.
The school will now draw up an action plan to show how it is going to address the recommendations to improve and. Estyn will monitor the school’s progress on a termly basis.
Those eligible for the Spring Covid-19 booster should get jabbed by end of June
ALL those eligible for the Spring Covid-19 booster are being urged to take up their offer of the vaccine before the end of next month.
A deadline of 30 June has been introduced to ensure all those eligible for the spring booster will have a long-enough interval between this and the autumn 2022 booster, if they are also eligible.
An announcement by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) about which groups will be eligible for the autumn booster is due to be published shortly.
The JCVI has advised that people over-75, older care home residents and all those aged 12 years and over who are immunosuppressed are eligible for the spring booster.
Those who are 75 on or before 30 June, can get their booster at any point up to the deadline.
Health Minister Eluned Morgan said: “It is important we continue our very high take up levels of the vaccine to help protect us against the risk of serious illness from Covid-19. I would urge everyone who is offered a spring booster vaccination takes up the invitation.”
If someone eligible for a spring booster has had a Covid infection recently, they will need to wait 28 days from the date they tested positive before they can be vaccinated. They will still be able to get vaccinated after 30 June as part of this campaign if they have to postpone their appointment.
All those eligible for spring boosters will be invited by their health board or GP.
It is not too late for anyone who needs a primary dose (first, second or third) to be vaccinated.
Please check for local arrangements.
Young people in Wales being failed when moving from child to adult mental health services
MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES are failing young people when they move from child to adult services, says a mental health charity.
Mind Cymru is calling for Welsh Government to make urgent changes to improve the system.
Nia Evans, Children and Young People Manager at Mind Cymru, said: “Young people have told us that their needs, thoughts, and feelings about moving to adult services are often unheard, or ignored.
“Welsh Government must support Local Health Boards to make sure this doesn’t happen, change the way services are run and make sure our young people are being heard and properly cared for.”
Mind Cymru has published a report, in ate the result of interviews with young people about their experiences of moving from Specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services – (SCAMHS) to AMHS.
They highlighted five key areas where services are failing young people:
– Poor information offered to young people, particularly on their rights
– Inconsistent use and follow through of care and treatment plans
– High thresholds for SCAMHS and AMHS referrals to be accepted
– Feeling abandoned / cut off from SCAMHS
– Age still dominates decision making process for moving from SCAMHS to AMHS
Nia Evans said: “Any one of these issues could make the process of moving from children’s services to adult services difficult for our young people. But often, more than one is happening at any one time.”
“Our young people have a right to care and support from a mental health system that has been put in place to help them recover. Action must be taken immediately to make sure support systems are robust and doing the job they were designed to do.”
Mind Cymru is asking people to email their Member of the Senedd (MS) and amplify the voices of these young people whose experiences are often unheard, and use the #SortTheSwitch hashtag on social media.
The full report is available here, including what a good move from SCAMHS to AMHS would look like for young people, and where the current system could improve.
Average UK price of diesel hits record of more than £1.80 a litre
LESS than two months after Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a 5p a litre cut on the average price of fuel – diesel prices have reached a record high price of 180.29p a litre.
The previous high of 179.90p was recorded on March 23rd 2022 – the day of the Spring Statement from Sunak.
In recent weeks, the UK government has tried to move away from its reliance on importing Russian oil, following President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Worryingly for drivers of petrol cars, the price per litre is fast approaching the record levels of 167.3p per litre set on March 22nd.
This latest price rise adds another challenge to UK households, as the cost of living crisis continues to impact families across the country.
RAC fuel spokesperson Simon Williams said: “Sadly, despite the Chancellor’s 5p a litre duty cut the average price of a litre of diesel has hit a new record high at 180.29p.”
“Efforts to move away from importing Russian diesel have led to a tightening of supply and pushed up the price retailers pay for diesel.”
“While the wholesale price has eased in the last few days this is likely to be temporary, especially if the EU agrees to ban imports of Russian oil.”
“Unfortunately, drivers with diesel vehicles need to brace themselves for yet more pain at the pumps. Had Mr Sunak reduced VAT to 15% as we call on him to do instead of cutting duty by 5p, drivers of diesel vehicles would be around 2p a litre better off, or £1 for every full tank.”
“As it is, drivers are still paying 27p VAT on petrol and 29p on diesel, which is just the same as before the Spring Statement.”
“The average price of petrol is also on the rise having gone up nearly 3p a litre since the start of the month to 166.65p which means it’s less than a penny away from the all-time high of 167.30p set on 22 March.”
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