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School achieves top marks at inspection.

A SPECIAL school has been awarded the best possible marks by inspectors.

Ysgol Ty Coch, in Tonteg, was awarded a double excellent for current performance and prospects for improvement.

Nearly all its 141 pupils, all of whom have statements of special educational need, make valuable progress in their learning and personal development, school inspection body Estyn said.

Headteacher David Jenkins, who has been at the school only two years, provides "inspirational leadership", pupil wellbeing is outstanding and the school's standard of care, support and guidance for pupils is exceptional, the report adds.

Ty Coch, which is split over two sites, provides education for pupils aged three to 19 with profound and multiple learning difficulties, autistic spectrum disorder and severe learning difficulties.

Inspectors found "Nearly all pupils are polite and courteous, and show high levels of respect towards others and the Pupil voice is highly effective throughout the school."

The main school site in Tonteg provides education for primary and secondary aged pupils.

In September 2014, the school opened a satellite site at Buarth y Capel in Ynysybwl. This site provides specialist support for pupils aged 14-19 with autistic spectrum disorder.

Describing outcomes as "excellent" the Estyn report says: "By the time they leave school, most pupils develop very useful independence, social and life skills and they are well prepared for the next steps in their lives.

"Most pupils develop their communication skills exceptionally well in relation to their needs and abilities.

"The majority of pupils use signing and picture exchange systems well to communicate their needs around the school."

All pupils leave the school with at least one recognised qualification and many achieve a range of valuable entry-level qualifications in vocational subjects, the document adds. All pupils move on successfully to placements in specialist colleges, further education colleges or day services and a few pupils also attend local mainstream schools for lessons such as science.

Pupils aged 16 and up can do work experience placements at school and in the local community with pupils working in the school cafe and hair salon.

Mr Jenkins said the double excellent inspection result was thanks to the shared vision of staff, governors, parents and pupils.

Post-16 teacher Chris Myhill said: "We are on an amazing journey in the correct direction for our young people. It is fantastic to hear that our ethos and priority was held in such high regard."

The school said in a statement: "Mr Jenkins and Janice Stuckey, chair of governors, would like to thank all staff, parents, partners, governors and especially the children and young people of Ysgol Ty Coch for their ongoing amazing dedication, commitment and success."

CAPTION(S):

Pupils at Ysgol Ty Coch welcome local Mayor Councillor Margaret Tegg to the school's new family centre

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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Oct 9, 2017
Words:458
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