Minister congratulates challenged Tonypandy school on huge improvement
Education Minister, Huw Lewis was yesterday at Tonypandy Community College to congratulate teachers and pupils on an 18% increase in exam success.
The school, which is one of 40 participating in the Welsh Government’s multi million Schools Challenge Cymru programme, has reported that the percentage of its students gaining at least five good GCSEs including Maths and English, has leapt from 30.5% in 2014 to 49% in 2015.
The school has also reported a huge jump in the fortunes of its pupils eligible for free school meals, with the percentage of those pupils gaining at least 5 good GCSEs increasing four-fold from 6% in 2014 to just over 24% in 2015.
Speaking about this significant improvement, the Minister said:
“The progress made by Tonypandy Community College over the last year is truly impressive and I am delighted to be visiting the school to congratulate both teachers and pupils on their hard work and success.
“These results, and the progress of other schools in the Challenge, prove that with the sort of intervention and support we are offering, challenged schools can and are making rapid and sustainable improvements – improvements that are genuinely changing the future fortunes of learners across Wales.
“I am particularly pleased by the increase in performance of those pupils at Tonypandy who are eligible for free school meals.
“I believe passionately that success at school should not be determined by the area in which you live or the wealth of your family. Schools Challenge Cymru is a key part of our work to ensure that every child in Wales, regardless of background, is given every opportunity to succeed.
“Tonypandy, and other schools in the programme must now keep up the good work and build on the success and momentum of the first year of Schools Challenge Cymru. Welsh Government and Consortia will provide every support to help them in this endeavour. ”
Head teacher of Tonypandy Community College, Helen O’ Sullivan said:
“The first year of Schools Challenge Cymru has been hugely positive for us and our results really do speak for themselves.
“We are delighted to be reporting not only an 18% increase in the numbers of pupils gaining 5 good GCSEs but also an 18% increase in the pupils eligible for free school meals reaching that level. We will be working hard to build on that progress over the next school year.”
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