Posted: Tue 23rd Feb 2016

Abertillery 3-16 Learning Community Principal Appointed /
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Feb 23rd, 2016

Work to establish the Abertillery 3 – 16 Learning Community by September continues with a Principal now being appointed by the Temporary Governing Body (TGB). ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The scope of the Abertillery 3 to 16 Learning Community will bring together the existing Abertillery Comprehensive and Abertillery, Bryngwyn, Roseheyworth and Queen Street primary schools. The Learning Community will use several existing school sites in the area, with new buildings under development in Abertillery and in Six Bells for completion by September 2017. The two school buildings will result in a £15m investment into the school estate (through the 21st Century Schools programme) and is part of the Council’s continued drive to raise educational standards and improve outcomes for all learners in the county borough. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The new Principal is Liz Miles who is currently an acting Assistant Director at Estyn (the Welsh school’s inspectorate). Liz joined Estyn in 2010 and has undertaken a range of inspection work relating to schools, post-16 education and local authorities. Previously, she worked as a nursery teacher, primary teacher, advisory teacher, head teacher and as a local authority school improvement officer. Liz started her education at Six Bells Nursery and then Queen Street Primary before her family moved out of the area. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Liz is married to Chris, and they have two grown up sons, both of whom are teachers.
The Temporary Governing Body has met several times and going forward will be working with Liz on the transition arrangements to establish the new Learning Community in time for the September opening. A key priority for the Principal and the TGB will be to work with school leaders and the local authority on a transition plan to ensure a smooth introduction of the new arrangements. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Temporary Governing Body is made up of the Chairs’ of Governors of existing Governing Bodies, along with local authority representatives, co-opted governors and parent governors. Mike Haines, the Chair of Governors at Abertillery Comprehensive School, has been elected as Chair of the Temporary Governing Body. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Liz Miles says: “This is an exciting opportunity for the whole community and I hope I can work effectively with the children and their families, the governors, leadership teams and staff so we can build on and share the existing good work and make sure that every child in Abertillery has a successful education and future. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Chair of Governors, Mike Haines says: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Everyone agrees that there are huge benefits for children if primary and secondary schools work more closely together. Here in Abertillery we have got the chance to put ideas about partnership working into practice and to create something really special. There are excellent links to build on and valuable staff expertise to share across phases and school sites. I believe that staff will benefit from being part of the Learning Community just as much as pupils if we have a common purpose and work together effectively as one team.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Councillor Keren Bender, Blaenau Gwent Council’s Executive Member for Active Living and Learning, said: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“We are pleased to be making progress on the Abertillery Learning Community, which is part of the Council’s wider vision to deliver 3 – 16 through learning across the county borough in order to raise standards and improve outcomes for learners. The Temporary Governing Body’s first important task was to interview for and appoint a Principal, so we are delighted to now have Liz on board and look forward to working with her on this exciting project. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“The Council will continue to work in close partnership with the Temporary Governing Body and the new Principal on the development of the learning community and will be in consultation with staff over the coming months. We will also be staying in touch with parents, pupils and the local community to keep them informed of progress. We will soon be holding drop-in engagement sessions for parents where we will be providing information and answering any questions.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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