PUPILS and staff at Ysgol Eirias are celebrating a glowing Estyn inspection as they prepare to say goodbye to their popular headteacher.
Sarah Sutton this week announced she will step down from the role after six years, and 25 years in total at the Colwyn Bay school.
Mrs Sutton was delighted one of her final tasks before leaving this summer was to welcome an “outstanding” report from Estyn, the education and training inspectorate for Wales.
Eirias – one of the Top 10 Sunday Times ‘Parent Power’ high-performing schools in Wales – was described by inspectors as a “caring and inclusive community” with a “strong culture for safeguarding”, where pupils feel safe and “teaching is effective”.
They added: “There are valuable opportunities for pupils to develop their numeracy skills, both within mathematics and in other relevant subjects. The school offers beneficial opportunities for pupils to develop their thinking skills, their physical skills, and their creativity.
“The school’s curriculum builds well on pupils’ prior learning and there is a wide range of courses available. The school offers a wide and varied range of extra-curricular trips and clubs, especially sports clubs, where rates of participation are particularly high.
“The sixth form contribute well to the life of the school, and pupils in the sixth form generally make strong progress.”
Referring to senior staff and Mrs Sutton’s role, the report said: “The headteacher, ably supported by the senior leadership team, provides consistently strong leadership.
“She leads with passion and is highly ambitious for the school. She places full trust in the senior leadership team and together they have worked successfully to manage the school as it recovers after the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Mrs Sutton said she was sad to leave the warm and welcoming environment at Ysgol Eirias – which she joined as a teacher of chemistry in 1997 – but proud to have led the school and looking forward to the next chapter in her professional life.
She added: “Ysgol Eirias has been an incredibly important and dear part of my life for the last 25 years.
“It has been a joy to be part of the school community for all that time, but the real privilege has undoubtedly come from being headteacher.
“Whilst leading the school through the pandemic was at times challenging, it was the reflected efforts of the staff, learners and of course the parents and carers that moved the school forwards throughout this time.
“There have been so many areas of celebration, none more so than our most recent Estyn inspection, which is testament to the fabulous work the school has done. It’s a brilliant position for the new headteacher to move forward with.
“Again, I would like to thank the staff, who are committed, invested and dedicated in equal measure, and our pupils, both current and past, who have provided colour, texture and life to the school every single day.”