Flintshire Council’s cabinet will welcome the positive Estyn inspection report into its education services when it meets later this month.

Estyn conducted a full inspection of the education and youth services earlier this summer.

Estyn found that, overall, pupils in local schools, including those entitled to free school meals and those with special educational needs, make ‘sound progress’ during their time in statutory education.

Primary education in the county is particularly strong with the proportion of primary schools achieving excellent judgements for standards well above the Wales average.

The performance of vulnerable groups of pupils has improved over the last three years with the number of Year 11 leavers known not to be in education, training or employment remaining low.

One notable area of high performance is the early intervention work to support children’s speech, language and communication. This has been highlighted as sector leading practice.

Leader of Flintshire Council and cabinet member for education and youth, Councillor Ian Roberts, said: “I welcome this recognition of our position and performance and I am extremely pleased that the inspectors have recognised the good progress being made by the education service in Flintshire. It is a credit to the hard work of all involved.”

The report also highlights that most pupils’ wellbeing is good across all phases of education and notes that schools have the strategies to improve the mental and emotional health of pupils both in schools and through its Integrated Youth Provision.

The effective working relationship between the council and the regional school improvement service (GwE) is highlighted as a strength with appropriate support for schools leading to improvements in standards achieved by pupils.

The provision for vulnerable pupils, those with special educational needs and those Educated Other than at School (EOTAS) is also described positively in the report.

The report makes a small number of recommendations for ongoing improvement, including continuing to improve the standards achieved by learners by the end of key stage 4, improved pupil attendance levels - particularly in the secondary sector, and reducing the number of fixed term and permanent exclusions.

The report also recommends that the council works with schools to keep school deficit budgets under control.