Estyn: Education improving at Rhondda Cynon Taf council

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Image caption There are still three councils being monitored and four in special measures in Wales

A council's education services have been praised by inspectors who stepped in two years ago seeking improvements.

Pupils in Rhondda Cynon Taf were missing on average a year of schooling through poor attendance and truancy.

Standards are now improving and "slightly above average," schools' watchdog Estyn said.

Attendance is also getting better and in primary schools it is improving at a higher rate than Wales as a whole.

Among ways of cutting pupil absences, businesses have been offering prizes for good attendance.

Estyn said councillors and officials had shown "a clear commitment to taking difficult decisions".

It has now lifted its monitoring of education standards at the council.

Last month, Anglesey and Pembrokeshire were pulled out of special measures, despite First Minister Carwyn Jones insisting councils are incapable of improving education in their area.

Estyn is continuing to monitor Bridgend, Gwynedd and Vale of Glamorgan councils.

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