Eastern High transformation recognised by education watchdog

Estyn, the education inspectorate for Wales, has today published a report removing Eastern High school in Rumney, Cardiff from special measures. 

It comes after changes were introduced by the local authority and the school to transform results, standards and behaviour. In some areas the school is now seen to be using sector leading practices. 

Deputy Leader of Cardiff Council, and Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry, said: "I am delighted that Estyn has given such an excellent assessment of Eastern High. The findings of the latest inspection are testament to how well the staff, governors, local authority and the whole school community have worked together to deliver significant, sustained improvement. 

"It is particularly pleasing to see that the inspectors have recognised the strong progress made in meeting all five of the recommendations that they previously made in order to raise standards at the school. 

"This is great news for everyone involved with Eastern High, and provides an excellent basis for further improvement as the school prepares to move to its brand-new, multi-million pound, home next term." 

The Estyn inspectors found that there has been a trend of improving results at all key stages. Mathematics and English improved significantly, and performance compares very well with similar schools. 

The performance of pupils eligible for free school meals has improved significantly, and the inspectors commented on the school's effective systems to support pupils. 

This has brought about considerable improvements in punctuality and attendance, and pupils were found to work with enthusiasm and interest. The inspectors also said that pupils behave well in lessons and around the school. 

Welcoming the Estyn report, Eastern High school Headteacher, Armando Di-Finizio, said: "I'm over the moon with the outcome of our last Estyn visit. Being able to announce to staff that we were being taken out of special measures was an emotional moment for all the staff who have been through such a lot, and worked so incredibly hard over the past few years. 

"I'm positive this will lift the local community, who now have another good school to send their children to. This news, combined with the new building we're about to move into at Christmas, is a fantastic present for everyone associated with the school.

"The inspectors were very enthusiastic about the progress we have made in such a short time, and commented favourably on some of the sector leading practice we now have in place. 

"The job now is to keep the momentum going into the new build, develop our new partnership with Cardiff and Vale College and together create a campus with first-class learning, which is the envy of Wales." 

Eastern High school will move to the new Eastern Community Campus during the Christmas school holidays, opening for the first time in January. It will be an innovative site, shared with Cardiff and Vale College, offering a smooth transition into post-16 education and training. The £26m project is being jointly funded by Cardiff Council and the Welsh Government, through the 21st Century Schools programme.