Schools Challenge Cymru

Schools Challenge Cymru is targeted at Pathways to Success schools facing challenges in their circumstances and stage of development.

The schools are receiving additional resources and expertise to undertake a programme of swift, sustainable improvement.

They have all been assigned an adviser, with a proven track record of school improvement.

Find out more about what is being done in the ERW region.


Meet the team:

Joan Bessant, School Challenge Cymru Coordinator:

 Joan Bessant profile

•  Successful secondary headteacher in Pembrokeshire
•  Worked in partnership with other schools and FE
•  Involved in many aspects of staff development including NQT, Middle   Managers and NPQH
•  Successful focus on distributed leadership to secure school improvement
•  Experienced in curriculum development to meet the needs of all learners
•  Has supported school improvement across the region


Hefina Thomas, Schools Challenge Cymru Adviser: 

Hefina Thomas

• Successful deputy headteacher in two schools in Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion for 24 years.
• Developing positive relationships and influencing others by getting behind schools and identifying untapped potential.
• Working alongside Senior Leaders to identify main issues and barriers to learning and injecting energy and pace into improving outcomes. •Developing 'Accelerated Improvement Boards' to focus on progress against priorities and delivery of School Improvement Plans.
• Strengthening classroom practices with teachers learning from one another.
• Encouraging school to school work and effective partnerships to empower leaders to work together, especially with the cluster primaries


Peter Harrison, Schools Challenge Cymru Adviser:

Peter Harrison Web

• Successful headship in two very different schools
• Background in school improvement and teacher development, having worked in old West Glamorgan for eight years as Training Manager
• Science specialist
• Additional Inspector with Estyn.



Further articles:

Local Authorites Swansea-Abertawe Neath Port Talbot - Castell Nedd Port-Talbot Ceredigion Carmarthenshire - Sir Gaerfyrddin Pembrokeshire-Sir Benfro Powys

ERW is an alliance of 6 local authorities governed by a legally constituted joint committee. Its aim is to implement the agreed regional strategy and business plan to support school improvement.