GOVERNORS at an Aberystwyth secondary school have blamed financial cuts for its continued failure to meet quality teaching and pupil performance standards following an inspection.

Last week, the Cambrian News reported that an inspector’s report into Ysgol Penglais school said that not enough progress was being made in key areas including pupil standards and teaching and that the school was in “need of significant improvement”.

This week new Welsh Government rankings place the school in the bottom ‘red’ category - the only secondary school in Ceredigion to be ranked so low.

The rankings mean the school, which remains in Estyn monitoring and will be inspected again in 12 months time, will see intervention from authorities - receiving up to 25 days of support in a bid to raise standards.

Chair of governors Richard John, in a letter to parents, said the lowly ranking is “a direct impact of the Estyn visit” and blamed financial difficulties for the school’s failure to meet Estyn recommendations over the last four years.

“Since 2014 the school has undergone a good deal of change in staffing and structure,” Mr John said.

“At the time of the 2014 inspection, Estyn noted that Ysgol Penglais was sixth out of seven secondary schools in Ceredigion in terms of its school budget per pupil. Since the Estyn inspection, the school’s income from the county has reduced further.

“In 2014/15 we had to make savings of approximately £500,000 with further cuts in 2015/16.

“This year we are going to have to make further substantial savings.

“When undertaking an inspection, Estyn does not take account of a school’s financial circumstances nor of the effect of cuts.

“Cuts of this magnitude will inevitably have an adverse impact."

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