City children are getting among the best education services in Wales, new Welsh Government figures show.
Figures released by the Welsh Government and Local Government Data Unit demonstrate that every child leaves school with a recognised qualification, school attendance is among the most improved in Wales and that GCSE results are among the best in the country.
The Local Authority Performance Bulletin is produced every year to compare all 22 Welsh local authorities across a range of services.
Figures for 2015/16 show Swansea Council, compared with the year before, improved in nearly half of the 43 performance indicators that were measured.
It is in education where continuing strong improvement is being particularly well demonstrated. On attendance figures, Swansea was placed 20th among its local government peers for primary school attendance and 19th for secondary school three years ago.
Now both have improved to 10th, with 94.9% attendance for primaries and 94% for secondary schools. And both are within 1% of the top-performing local authority in Wales.
On top of that the percentage of pupils who achieved the required threshold, including getting A*-C in English or Welsh and maths has jumped to 64%, the third best performance among local authorities in Wales and a jump up the league table of six places in three years.
Cllr Jen Raynor, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, said:
“Education attendance and attainment are among the council’s top priorities. The latest Welsh Government figures indicate there’s a clear link between rising attendance and improving exam results.
“Over the past five years we’ve seen consistent improvement across the board, from Foundation Phase to A-Levels. That’s testimony to the strategy the council has put in place to support those schools which need to improve and to provide continuing challenge so pupils have the chance to be the best they can be.”
Cllr Clive Lloyd, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Transformation and Performance, said:
“These results are good news. They show that we are working hard to meet the everyday priorities of the people of Swansea.
“They want us to safeguard and educate our children and look after older people. They also want us to make sure our roads are in good condition and that, when people go out for a meal, that food hygiene standards are good.
“Our staff deserve enormous credit for their hard work because it’s led to improvements in nearly half the services we are measured against. The message here is that Swansea Council is performing well, even at a time when we have had to deal with budget cuts, the likes of which we have not seen before”
Some of the success stories include coming second for the number of people aged over 60 who have a bus pass, fourth for the quality of roads and fifth for the percentage of food establishments which are ‘broadly compliant’ with food hygiene standards.
Cllr Lloyd said:
“Although these are good results we are certainly not complacent. We finished in the bottom quartile for the percentage of municipal waste sent to landfill, although our performance has improved on last year and our recycling rates outperform Welsh Government expectations.”
He added: “We also have progress to make in some areas of children’s and adult services but, overall, this report builds on our excellent corporate health check last year from the Wales Audit Office.
“It praised the council for the progress we’re making to meet the challenges of the future and the measures we have in place to tackle issues that have already been identified.”
Other areas where the council is among the best in Wales include the percentage of empty private sector dwellings which were empty for more than six months that have been returned to occupation in the year. In this case over 19% of identified properties were brought back into use, the fifth best performance in Wales.