A HIGH school on the Herefordshire border has been plunged into special measures after a damning report by inspectors.

Powys County Council said its officers, including school improvement officers, will support Gwernyfed High School, in Three Cocks, near Hay-on-Wye, after it was put in special measures by Estyn, the school inspectorate for Wales.

Inspectors said the school, with around 500 students aged between 11 and 19, had failed to make sufficient progress and now the school must draw up an action plan to show how it is going to address the recommendations.


Councillor Pete Roberts, Powys County Council’s cabinet member for a Learning Powys, said it was "extremely disappointing but not unexpected news".

The school was told to improve in five areas after a damning report in 2020.

It was told to improve the progress that all pupils make in lessons, including in the development of their literacy and numeracy skills and Welsh language development.

And even two years on, inspectors said that in the majority of cases, pupils make limited progress from their starting points as a result of low expectations or over-direction by teachers, with teaching often ineffective.

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It was also told to improve attendance overall and the attitudes to learning of a few pupils, and leaders have strengthened approaches to improving attendance – with numbers going in the right direction.

It was also told to strengthen the quality of teaching and assessment, but the school's new approach lacks clarity and direction and has not had sufficient impact on classroom practice or on the progress of pupils in lessons, inspectors said.


Estyn also told the school to improve the quality and impact of leadership at all levels, particularly by strengthening improvement processes, but there has not been a "clearly articulated strategic vision for improvement".

The new executive headteacher Rob Edwards is said to be trying to establish a more positive climate at the school to underpin improvement.

The fifth and final point from Estyn was that the school needed to address the health and safety issues raised during the previous inspection and these have largely been addressed, with some outstanding due to the building’s protected status.

Inspectors will now revisit the school at intervals to check its progress.