POSITIVE steps are being taken to support pupils and staff at an Anglesey school which got the lowest mark in a national school rating system.

The island's County Council is helping Ysgol Uwchradd Bodedern overcome what it has described as "a challenging period."

The school was scored 'red' in the Welsh Government's colour coded categorisation scheme. Red denotes a school needing the highest level of support.

The council has appointed a new strategic head teacher in the short term; and will also establish a new Strategic Improvement Board (SIB), in partnership with Estyn and Welsh Government.

The school’s Governing Body will also begin the recruitment process for a new permanent head teacher.

Emyr Williams began his teaching career at Ysgol Uwchradd Bodedern and is now the most experienced secondary head teacher on Anglesey.

He took up duties as Bodedern’s strategic head teacher on Monday, February 3. He also remains in charge of Ysgol David Hughes in Menai Bridge.

Emyr Williams explained, “As new strategic head teacher, I will ensure that the school’s pupils, especially those sitting their GCSEs and A-Levels this summer, are our main priority. I am, of course, keenly aware of the concerns of both pupils and parents. Working with the Board, we will provide the support needed for Ysgol Uwchradd Bodedern to turn a corner and make tangible progress in driving standards forward.”

The Isle of Anglesey County Council has a statutory responsibility to monitor and provide additional support when a school encounters a period of significant challenge.

The new Strategic Improvement Board begins its work later this month for an initial one-year period. It will include representation from key partners including Welsh Government, Estyn, School Effectiveness and Improvement Service for North Wales – GwE as well as Anglesey’s Learning Service.

The Board will provide experience and expertise needed to help achieve sustained improvement; and will ultimately be answerable to Welsh Government with progress reviewed after each term.

Anglesey’s Education portfolio holder, Councillor Meirion Jones, said, “The County Council’s Learning Service and partners have been supporting the school. However, these additional steps are being taken to ensure further progress and for the benefit of the pupils.”

"We feel that the support of a strategic head teacher and Board is the best way forward at Ysgol Uwchradd Bodedern.”

He added, “The decision was not taken lightly and is in the best interests of pupils and staff. Both Emyr Williams and the Board will work with and support the Governing Body and Senior Leadership Team - providing additional expert leadership and management guidance. I believe that we will make progress by working closely together.”