Mountain Ash Comprehensive School
Catchment Area, Reviews and Key Information

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New Road
Mountain Ash
CF45 4DG
01443 479199
11 - 18
Secondary (ages 11-19)
4 1 1 2 3 4
Estyn grade
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% Pupils achieving 5+ GSCEs A*-C inc. English/Welsh and Maths
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School Description

Mountain Ash Comprehensive School is an 11 to 19 mixed comprehensive school maintained by Rhondda Cynon Taf local authority that serves the town of Mountain Ash and the surrounding villages. Currently the school has 938 pupils, including 88 in the sixth form. Although overall pupil numbers are similar to those at the time of the last inspection in 2012 when they were 935, the number of sixth form pupils at that time was notably higher at 135 pupils. Around 32% of pupils are eligible for free school meals, which is much higher than the Welsh average of 16.4% for secondary schools. Around 60% of pupils live in the 20% most deprived areas in Wales. Approximately 26% of pupils have an additional learning need, which is slightly higher than the national average for secondary schools of 22.9%. The percentage of pupils with a statement of special educational needs is 0.6% compared with the average of 2.2% for the whole of Wales. Very few pupils are from a minority-ethnic or mixed-race background. Very few pupils speak Welsh as their first language or come from homes where English is not the first language. The headteacher was appointed in January 2017. The senior leadership team also includes a deputy headteacher and three assistant headteachers. Further information is available from the Welsh Government My Local School website at the link below. 1 A report on Mountain Ash Comprehensive School November 2018 Summary Mountain Ash Comprehensive School’s supportive and inclusive ethos has a beneficial impact on pupils’ personal development and wellbeing. Most pupils are courteous to visitors, staff and their peers. Many engage and behave well in lessons and the majority of pupils make sound progress in their learning. However, a minority of pupils are not sufficiently resilient in lessons, a few do not always behave maturely in class or respectfully as they move around the school. Teaching and assessment have many strengths, although overall there is too much variation in the quality of this provision. In a minority of lessons, teachers’ expectations are not high enough. The headteacher communicates a clear vision for the school that every pupil can succeed. The senior team work well together to realise this vision and this has contributed effectively to improved outcomes in 2018 for pupils, particularly at key stage 4. However, self-evaluation activities do not focus on the impact of provision on pupils’ learning closely enough. This limits leaders’ ability to target improvements in key areas of the school’s work. Inspection area Judgement Standards Adequate and needs improvement Wellbeing and attitudes to learning Adequate and needs improvement Teaching and learning experiences Adequate and needs improvement Care, support and guidance Good Leadership and management Adequate and needs improvement 2 A report on Mountain Ash Comprehensive School November 2018 Recommendations R1 Improve the progress that all pupils make in lessons, including in the development of their literacy and numeracy skills R2 Improve pupils’ resilience in learning, and their behaviour in lessons and around the school R3 Improve the quality of teaching R4 Improve the quality and impact of self-evaluation and improvement planning R5 Improve communication and engagement with parents R6 Manage finances robustly to address the budget deficit What happens next Mountain Ash Comprehensive School will draw up an action plan to show how it is going to address the recommendations. Estyn will review the school’s progress.

Mountain Ash Comprehensive School Catchment Area Map

This pupil heat map shows where pupils currently attending the school live.

Enter a postcode to see where you live on the map
heatmap example
All attending pupils
Pupil Level Annual School Census 2019
Pupil heat map key

How many pupils attending the school live in the area?


The concentration of pupils shows likelihood of admission based on distance criteria

This School Guide heat map has been plotted using official pupil data taken from the Pupil Level Annual School Census collected by the Welsh Government. The data tells us where pupils lived at the time of the last Pupil Census (released annually in July).

Our heat maps use groups of postcodes, not individual postcodes, and have naturally soft edges. All pupils are included in the mapping (i.e. children with siblings already at the school, high priority pupils and selective and/or religious admissions) but we may have removed statistical ‘outliers’ with more remote postcodes that do not reflect majority admissions.

For some schools, the heat map may be a useful indicator of the catchment area but our heat maps are not the same as catchment area maps. Catchment area maps, published by the school or local authority, are based on geographical admissions criteria and show actual cut-off distances and pre-defined catchment areas for a single admission year.

This information is provided as a guide only. The areas from which pupils are admitted to a school can change from year to year to reflect the number of siblings and pupils admitted under high priority admissions criteria.

3 steps to help parents gather catchment information for a school:

  1. Look at our school catchment area guide for more information on heat maps. They give a useful indicator of the general areas that admit pupils to the school. This visualisation is based on all attending pupils present at the time of the annual School Census.
  2. Use the link to the Local Authority Contact (above) to find catchment area information based on a single admission year. This is very important if you are considering applying to a school.
  3. On each school page, use the link to visit the school website and find information on individual school admissions criteria. Geographical criteria are only applied after pupils have been admitted on higher priority criteria such as Looked After Children, SEN, siblings, etc.

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