‘The Times’ top ten state schools in Wales for the second successive year

Statement from the Headteacher of Llanidloes High School in response to being named in the top ten schools in Wales in 2018

Naturally, we are absolutely delighted to be placed in ‘The Times’ top 10 state schools in Wales for a second successive year.

We are especially pleased to see our Sixth Form once again receiving national recognition. It is little wonder that our vibrant Sixth Form is growing, with students travelling from far and wide to access the caring, close-knit, supportive and high quality learning environment. We have a strong history of supporting students to achieve places at Oxford, Cambridge and many other Russell Group universities. This year, we are possibly unique in Wales in being able to say that every single student was awarded a place in their first choice university, a feat rarely matched by fee-paying independent schools. We will continue to ensure our sixth formers have an open door to world-class higher education when they leave us for pastures new.

However, being one of ‘The Times’ top ten schools in Wales is not just down to our success at post-16. All of our pupils richly deserve this national recognition of their academic success. Each year Llanidloes High School reap the rewards of their mature approach to academic studies and their determination to excel. They seize every opportunity afforded them to access revision and mentoring support. Indeed, visitors to the school often comment on our pupils’ happy blend of courtesy and enthusiasm for learning, both of which feature at the heart of our successful school culture. It is a joy to be a part of such a vibrant and flourishing learning community.

A school cannot enjoy academic success without a superb staff team and we are no different. Every single member of staff at Llanidloes High School works tirelessly to plan and deliver enjoyable, inspirational and challenging learning experiences. They give up countless lunchtimes, run innumerable after school activities and go well beyond the extra mile to provide the support and opportunities every single child needs to thrive and excel. It is a privilege to work alongside such a gifted, caring and committed team.

We are also seeing the fruits of the excellent start our pupils are given in our primary schools. From Llanbrynmair, Carno and Ysgol Dafydd Llwyd in the north, to Rhayader in the south, and everywhere in between, our primary colleagues do a marvellous job of instilling a strong sense of respect and boundless enthusiasm for learning.

Furthermore, we are deeply thankful for the invaluable support we receive from parents and the wider community in Llanidloes who work so closely with us to ensure every child flourishes. For example, our ‘Friends of Llanidloes High School’ team work exceptionally hard – and with seemingly limitless creativity – to provide additional funding at a time when all schools are feeling the pinch.

Others who contribute greatly to the school’s success include our governors who have provided exceptional strategic oversight for many years. We are also thankful for our partners in the Local Authority, especially the highly effective school improvement service including the Challenge Advisers who deliver and broker first class support.

Finally, I am thankful for the support we receive from Headteachers and colleagues in every other Powys secondary school. The days of competition and rivalry between schools are thankfully a distant memory. The relationship between each and every secondary school in Powys is now characterised by collegiality and support as we jointly seek to make a positive difference to the lives of as many children as possible.

In short, the success of Llanidloes High School, including our flourishing Sixth Form, is very much a team effort. (If you would like to visit the school, including the Sixth Form, please contact the reception on 01686 412289)

Mr Daniel Owen (BA. MA. Oxon.)

Mrs Margot Jones, the Chair of Governors, said ‘The governing body is absolutely thrilled that the school has once again made it into ‘The Times’ top ten in Wales. We are extremely proud of our school and its many high achievements that are down to the hard work and dedication of the staff and pupils.’