Mark backs local schools as they begin ‘Challenge Cymru’ journey

Cardiff West AM Mark Drakeford backed local schools – Cantonian High School, Glyn Derw High School and Michaelston Community College – after it was announced that they would be part of the Schools Challenge Cymru programme announced by the Welsh Labour Government on Thursday.

Called Pathways to Success Schools, Education and Skills Minister Huw Lewis announced the local schools as three of forty secondary schools part of the Welsh Labour Government’s multi-million pound improvement programme to increase performance in Welsh schools.

Schools have been chosen using a range of performance data and information that highlights the challenges they face in terms of their circumstances and stage of development. They have been also been chosen as it is believed they have the potential to deliver swift and positive improvements for learners.

Working with their own Schools Challenge Cymru advisor, each Pathways to Success School will be given the opportunity to access proven expertise, to deliver a package of support that is individually tailored to meet each school’s needs and the needs of their learners. The programme will be backed by around £20 million of Welsh Labour Government funding.

The programme will also provide targeted support to participant schools’ cluster primaries in order to address challenges at the earliest opportunity and improve transition between these key stages of education.

Local AM Mark Drakeford said:

“I’m very supportive of these schools as they begin their school improvement journey as part of the Schools Challenge Cymru programme.

“This is a big investment of time, expertise and resource in Cantonian High School, Glyn Derw High School and Michaelston Community College and I’m backing the staff, governors and pupils at the school as they begin this exciting journey.

“Our Welsh Labour Government is committed to raising standards across the board in our education system and this Schools Challenge Cymru programme will be a huge support for the schools over the next few months.”

Making the announcement Welsh Labour Education Minister Huw Lewis said:

“Today is a landmark day for Wales as we announce the forty schools which are going to be taking part in our Challenge.

“This programme will help raise achievement at all these schools who will get the support and challenge they need to take the next steps in their school improvement journey.

“I’ve made no secret of my desire for a relentless focus on improving the quality of teaching and learning here in Wales. These schools have been chosen as we believe they have the potential to make swift and lasting improvements which will benefit learners in the short term and long into the future.

“What we’re doing here in Wales is really special. We’ve learned from the most successful parts of the London and Manchester Challenges and delivered something specifically tailored for our young people in Wales.

“We must drive up educational standards in Wales for all our learners, raising levels of literacy and numeracy and, in so doing, breaking the link between educational attainment and poverty.

“Today’s announcement is a major step forward in making that happen.”