MORE school to school cooperation in Blaenau Gwent has been welcomed by senior councillors.

At a meeting of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council’s Cabinet on Wednesday, April 10 councillors received an update on the council’s improving schools programme.

The report explained that as it stands now, the only school in the council’s schools causing concern category is The River Centre River Centre 3-16 Learning Community,

The River Centre is an all-through special school across three campuses in Ebbw Vale and Tredegar.

It was placed into special measures following an inspection in 2022.

Brynmawr Foundation School was moved out of special measures by Estyn last December after demonstrating “significant improvement.”

The report adds that Bryn Bach primary school in Tredegar requires follow up from Estyn after it was inspected in July last year.

The report explained that during the Autumn Term, Estyn inspected three Blaenau Gwent schools.

Two of these are primary schools, Beaufort Hill in Ebbw Vale, and Deighton in Tredegar.

The all through school (both primary and secondary) Ebbw Fawr Learning Community was also inspected.

None of the three are in an Estyn follow up category indicating “positive inspection outcomes.”

Interim director of education, Luisa Munro-Morris said: “I don’t want people to be concerned about Brynbach, they are in a follow up with Estyn and that’s the lightest touch.

“It’s more about Estyn wanting a bit more reassurance.

“When Estyn came in, the headteacher had only just been recently appointed permanently to the role.”

Dr Munro-Morris explained that it was likely that Estyn inspectors would hold a “tabletop” exercise and look at the school’s development plan and self-evaluation documents.

This would allow them to judge whether the school is progressing on the right trajectory.

Cabinet member for regeneration and economic development, Cllr John Morgan said: “To me what is really pleasing is cluster working and how schools are working together.

“There’s a consistent theme on school vision and pupil progress and how our schools and pupils are embracing the new curriculum.

“I really welcome this report – it explains exactly what Blaenau Gwent is doing.”

He added that it had been “pleasing” to see Brynmawr Foundation school come out of special measures.

Council leader Cllr Steve Thomas said:  “What I like about the report is that it’s balanced.

“There are some real good changes in some schools – but it says that there is further work in other areas.”

Councillors voted to accept the report.