Monmouth is a town in the Wye Valley, just 2.3km from the English border, and is home to around 10,000 people. It is a commutable distance to both Cardiff and Bristol, and is 103 miles from London, being served by the A40. Sat on the River Wye, it is home to many historical attractions and is surrounded by incredibly beautiful countryside, both of which draw visitors from all over the world.
Not only is Monmouth a popular tourist attraction, it is also a fantastic place to live, with the Halifax Rural Areas Quality of Life survey based on health, life expectancy, employment, and school performance placing it in the top of all of the rural Welsh counties. As one would expect from an area with such high quality of life, there are several fantastic schools to choose from in both the state and private sectors.
There are three state Primary Schools in Monmouth: Kymin View, Osbaston, and Overmonnow. Kymin View is rated as “good” by Estyn, who stated that “the vibrant, modern environment, both indoors and outdoors, supports pupils’ learning well”.
Overmonnow was also rated as “good” across all five assessment criterias, with Estyn stating that “pupils of all abilities make good progress in developing their literacy, numeracy and ICT skills as they move through the school”. Osbaston is a Church of Wales school, and has also been rated as “good” in all five criteria; Estyn stated that students develop academically and that the school is a conducive environment to wellbeing.
Monmouth Schools Pre-Prep and Nursery is a fee-paying school, which is part of the William Jones School Foundation Trust. This was rated “good”, with the inspector finding that “the strong, caring ethos ensures pupils feel safe and secure and ready to learn”. The school also features extensive grounds and a wide range of enrichment activities.
Within the same trust, there are single-sex prep-schools for students aged 7-11 called Monmouth School Girls Prep and Monmouth School Boys Prep. These schools offer boarding and day facilities, and pride themselves on nourishing the students’ independent thought capabilities along with a wide range of extra-curricular activities, such as rock-climbing and kayaking.
Monmouth Comprehensive is the main state school in the area, with around 1,600 students enrolled. This school dates back to 1903, and is rated “adequate” by Estyn, which means that the school’s strengths outweigh its areas for improvement. The same inspection found that its prospects for improvement were rated as “good”. It has 10% fewer pupils with special educational needs and 9.6% fewer pupils receiving free school meals than the national average.
It was shown that pupils at Monmouth Comprehensive “make good progress in the majority of lessons”, “achieve high levels of attendance and behaviour”, and the school “has a very inclusive and respectful learning community”. They pride themselves on building the confidence and self-esteem of every child, and aim to have each individual develop a range of academic, vocational, technical, and emotional skills.
Head teacher, Vaughan Davies, recently retired after managing the move to new premises for the school, handing over the reigns to the new head and Abergavenny local, Hugo Hutchinson.
Monmouth Comprehensive also offers sixth form, where students can study A Levels or BTEC qualifications. In 2020, 98% of A Level students achieved passes and 43% achieved A*-C grades, with three students being accepted into Oxbridge. The BTEC results were similarly impressive, with 75% being graded at distinction.
These are a group of fee-paying schools which are a part of the William Jones School Foundation Trust. They are divided into a boys’ school, Monmouth School for Boys, and a girls’ school called Monmouth School for Girls, with both offering boarding and day facilities. They are open to pupils from ages 11-18. The A Level classes are taught in a co-educational setting, whereas the GCSE classes are single sex.
Both schools are set in incredibly spacious and attractive grounds, and the school group itself dates back to 1614. It has a very wide range of extra-curricular activities, and the schools pride themselves on producing inquisitive and independent learners. There are fantastic facilities in the school including large sports fields, well-equipped CDT labs and a 25m swimming pool. Both the boys’ and girls’ schools were rated as “excellent” by Estyn.
The three core values are community, integrity, and opportunity. This involves educating students in the importance of making a difference in their community, how to act with an honest and principled approach whilst being mindful of social responsibility, and to have high aspirations whilst remaining humble.
The school produces very impressive exam results; in 2019 81.6% of GCSE grades were A or A*, and 100% were graded A-C. For the A Levels, 50% of all grades were A*-A and 75% were A*-B. The school has a high number of students accepted into Oxbridge, and around 65% of students go on to study at a Russel Group university.
It is safe to say that there is a vast selection of desirable, high quality schools within Monmouth, making it a much sought-after location for families looking to live and grow in this wonderful town.
 “Halifax Quality Of Life Survey 2019 – Lloyds Banking Group Plc”. Lloydsbankinggroup.Com, 2011, https://www.lloydsbankinggroup.com/Media/Press-Releases/2019-press-releases/halifax/halifax-quality-of-life-survey-2019/.
 “Kymin View Rated ‘Good’”. Forest Of Dean And Wye Valley Review, 2020, http://www.theforestreview.co.uk/article.cfm?id=103575&headline=Kymin%20View%20rated%20%E2%80%98good%E2%80%99§ionIs=news&searchyear=2016.
 Estyn. A Report On Overmonnow C.P. School. Estyn, 2019, p. 3.
 “Estyn | Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools”. Habsmonmouth.Org, 2020, https://www.habsmonmouth.org/academic/estyn/.