Page last updated at 06:54 GMT, Monday, 16 March 2009

Inspection due on schools system

School generic
Education services in the local authority have been criticised a number of times

A full inspection of Denbighshire's troubled education system and a partial re-inspection of youth support services are due to take place.

Schools watchdog Estyn will carry out more than 100 interviews with education officers and elected members in the two-week inspection.

The council was severely criticised by Estyn in a damning report of its education system in 2007.

The council's cabinet approved plans to modernise the system in January.

As well as the interviews, Estyn will run focus groups with head teachers, governors and partners.

The inspection will finish on 27 March with a presentation of the watchdog's conclusions.

Inspectors from the Wales Audit Office and the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) will also form part of the inspection team during part of the exercise.

Modernisation policies

Over the past few months managers within the authority have been working on documentation to show the work done since the last inspection.

The council said its modernisation policies would address a "vast range of issues" including surplus and deficit places and head teacher vacancies.

The model will also address infant and junior school amalgamation, community use of schools, mobile accommodation, promoting bilingualism as well as admissions and transport.

In January Rhyl High School was placed in special measures after Estyn said the quality of teaching was significantly below average for Wales.

Last week, more than 40 teachers at the school staged a one-day strike over plans to close the town's sixth forms and transfer it all to a new site linked to Llandrillo College.

In 2006, Blessed Edward Jones Catholic High School in Rhyl was also judged to be failing, but improved enough to be taken out of special measures by June last year.

A damning Estyn report into the state of education services in the county in 2007 eventually led to the ousting of former council leader Rhiannon Hughes.

The authority was later forced to submit an action plan for improvement to the Welsh Assembly Government.

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