TASKER Milward School in Haverfordwest needs to be placed under special measures to improve, Education watchdog Estyn has said.

A monitoring visit of the school last month found not enough progress has been made in raising standards.

The school and local council will have to put into place a plan to improve the standard of education for pupils.

Mid and West AM Simon Thomas, Shadow Education and Skills Minister for Plaid Cymru said: “This follow-up report by education watchdog Estyn into Tasker-Milward V.C. School is disappointing.

"The report recommends placing the school into special measures to ensure standards are met. It will be frustrating for pupils and parents that insufficient progress has been made to improve the school’s performance. The Party of Wales has already raised this with the Education Minister. We have asked for a statement from the Welsh Government about what action is being taken to improve matters.”

The school will now draw up an action plan which shows how it will address the recommendations and in three months time the school will be inspected again for progress.

Response from Paul Lucas, Chairman of Tasker Milward Governors:

"Since the visit to Tasker-Milward VC School by Estyn Inspectors between the 24th and 26th June, 2014 - which has  resulted in Tasker-Milward requiring increased monitoring - the Governors and Acting Head Teacher have put in place a number of changes to make the necessary improvements. 

"The School and its Governors have been working closely with the Local Authority for some time to address earlier concerns raised by the Inspectors in order to make considerable improvements as quickly as possible.

"Only two months ago an Acting Head Teacher was appointed and significant changes have been made to the academic structure within the school since that time.

"Estyn fully acknowledged the positive improvements over the two month period but they considered that there had been insufficient improvement over the preceding 12 months since the initial visit in March 2013.

The positive aspects of the School were identified to include the following:

  • improved pupil behaviour. Most pupils are orderly when moving around the school and many exhibit high levels of respect for their school, their teachers and their peers.
  • the Strive to Achieve Respect (STAR) culture, which is a strategy to promote high levels of respect across the school, together with the use of weekly assemblies provides a worthwhile focus on respect and achievement. Many pupils are responding to this well.
  • the number of incidents of bullying has decreased significantly. Many pupils state that they feel safe in school and that almost all incidents of bullying are dealt with promptly.
  • an increased focus on improving the quality of teaching and learning across the school. Many pupils engage in tasks purposefully and show a positive attitude to learning. They respond well to praise and instructions given in Welsh.

"Although disappointed at the outcome of this inspection we are determined to act upon the findings as quickly as possible. 

"Discussions have already taken place with the Education directorate at Pembrokeshire County Council and further improvements have been implemented to strengthen the initiatives which are in place.

"The Governing Body is fully aware of the School’s duty to provide a high standard of education to its pupils and we feel that the recent measures will undoubtedly show a positive impact on School standards and outcomes for all pupils."