Press release from Cardiff County Council


A good education can transform lives.

That’s why we’ve been working hard to improve standards across Cardiff.

It’s why we’re investing £284 million (on top of the millions we’ve already invested) in new and improved school facilities (like these) over the next 5 years.

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And it’s why we’re delighted that the Estyn report into education services in Cardiff published in February, says that in recent years we’ve demonstrated a sustained improvement in the quality and effectiveness of our education services.

In the words of Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry: “Education in Cardiff has come a long way over the past 10 years.”

And it really has. In fact, according to information in the report, in many instances the quality of education children and young people in Cardiff receive is now among the very best on offer in Wales.

“Excellent” judgements for standards in secondary schools are higher than those nationally, with outcomes for learners above expectations at KS4 in the majority of schools inspected from 2017-20.

Outcomes for pupils that are eligible for free-school meals have generally been above that of the same group nationally – with the proportion of this group achieving 5A/A*grades being notably higher than the national average.

There was also praise for the quality of Youth Cardiff provision in prioritised areas of the city and for the work done by Cardiff Commitment to establish city networks to support youth engagement and progression, with inspectors finding that thereis effective education and support for vulnerable and minority groups, and for young people from disadvantaged areas of the city.

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In fact, inspectors were so impressed that they’ve asked us to prepare three case studies to feature as examples of good practice on the Estyn website.

The first will be on the ground-breaking work Cardiff Commitment have been doing to engage with businesses to improve employment opportunities for young people.

A second case study will highlight our support for children of asylum seekers, and a third will look at how we’ve set about transforming youth work.

So what next? Well, we keep working for Cardiff.

As with all school reports (at least the ones we remember from our school days) there are still areas we can improve, but in the words ofCabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry:

“Allied to our £284m commitment to build new and better schools over the next five years in addition to our significant budget delegated to schools, this report is good news for Cardiff, good news for parents and great news for our children and young learners.”

And those new school buildings really can make a difference. Since 2017 we’ve opened six new primary schools, and two brand new, state-of-the art high schools, one of which was Cardiff West Community High School.

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Last autumn we caught up with head teacher Martin Hulland to learn more about the impact the new school buildings were having on pupils.

Here’s what he told us…

You can find out more about our school building programme here:

But before, you go…a word of warning. We’re delivering new schools as quickly as we can, so the projects we mention will have moved on – the new Fitzalan High School being a prime example – it’s gone from being little more than a CGI image, to this…

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Once finished, the new Fitzalan High School will be a £64 million investment in the community, home to 100 classrooms, 4 sports pitches and a 25 metre swimming pool.

But it will be more than that as well.

It will also be another demonstration of our commitment to transforming education in Cardiff, to a Child Friendly Cardiff and of what ESTYN call our “bold and ambitious vision for all learners.”

You can read the full report here: