I write in response to your negative and particularly unbalanced report of Tonypandy Community College’s latest Estyn Report (“School Faces A Long Haul” Rhondda Leader, April 28 2016).
Your headline is both inaccurate and misleading. It certainly is not reflective of the progress made.
Tonypandy Community College is showing widespread progress in every category and we are proud of the efforts made by fellow governors, staff, students and parents.
Unfortunately your report fails to highlight many of the positives of the situation, which is particularly upsetting given the incredible amount of work undertaken during the past year.
Achieving the highest GCSE results in our history with an 18.7per cent rise; the most improved school in Wales; the presentation of a national school network award and the re-categorisation of the College by the Welsh Government to a higher grade all illustrate the major improvements taking place.
Estyn’s initial report highlighted six key recommendations and every area has developed positively in the follow-up inspection.
The report stated that progress had been made in raising standards at Key Stage 3 and 4. Inspectors were impressed by the improvement in the percentage of GCSE A* to C grades in Mathematics and English.
They also recognised that the majority of students make valuable contributions to class discussions and give well-reasoned explanations and listen with respect to their teachers.
Not only did inspectors state that students organise their written work well but also have a sound working relationship with their teachers, working positively either in groups or as individuals.
Strong progress was found in improving behaviour in the lessons. Teachers plan work that is interesting and engaging with strong subject knowledge and they have a good constructive relationship with their students.
This is a team effort in every respect and with the continued dedication of all involved we will succeed in achieving the outcome we desire for the College.
We would have hoped that your report would also have commended our students and staff for their many achievements during the year.
We look forward to the next visit in the summer term to build on this very pleasing report.
Mr E. Griffiths
Chair of Governors