Wales

Rhydygors school criticised by care inspectors

Rhydygors school Image copyright Google
Image caption New chair of governors Matthew Harries said progress was being made

A Carmarthen school at the centre of a police investigation into claims of historical abuse has been criticised by care inspectors in a new report.

Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales said the residential unit at Rhydygors school, Carmarthen, was failing to meet minimum standards.

It was also criticised by school inspectors, Estyn, last September.

Governors said they were building on the progress already made in addressing concerns raised in the Estyn report.

Earlier this month, Dyfed Powys Police said they had arrested six former staff members as part of Operation Almond, which is investigating claims of abuse at the school between 1976 and 1986.

Rhydygors School, in Johnstown, provides special education for pupils with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties.

The CSSIW report said: "Overall, we found that young people and their representatives cannot be confident that due care and attention has been paid to the national minimum standards for residential special schools in the period since our last inspection, as the service has not fully met these standards."

'Unsatisfactory'

The school is now subject to monthly visits from Carmarthenshire council to monitor the quality of care pupils receive.

The report said its acting head teacher, Margaret Davies, and governing body should be more aware of national minimum standards.

It also said 80% of care staff should hold a relevant qualification but the residential unit had failed to meet that target.

The service also failed to complete an annual review of the school's welfare provision for boarding pupils.

Inspectors Estyn described the school's performance as adequate but said its prospects for improvement were "unsatisfactory".

It said: "The school's arrangements for safeguarding pupils generally meet requirements but a few areas give a cause for concern."

The school's chair of governors Matthew Harries said: "Rhydygors was inspected by Estyn in September 2014 and, as the new chair of governors, I will be looking to build on the progress that has been made to address the recommendations of the report.

"Indeed, we are pleased that progress has been made in many of these areas as noted in the more recent CSSIW report."

A CSSIW spokesperson said: "We do not have any significant concerns about Rhydygors School."

Operation Almond is also looking into allegations of abuse at Cartref-y-Gelli children's home in Carmarthen between 1986 and 1990.

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