Wales

Colour-coded school performance ratings revealed in Wales

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Media captionHead teachers say the new system is "very little better' than banding

Parents can find out how their children's schools have been rated with the results of a new colour-coded system revealed.

The 238 best performing schools have been rated green, while 81 schools have been rated "red" for needing the most improvement.

The education minister said there is "no hiding place" under the replacement for the controversial school banding.

But one teaching union said the change would "anger many schools".

The headline figures in the report show:

  • Out of 1,332 primary schools assessed, 207 have been put in the green support category and 58 have been put in the red support category.
  • Out of 211 secondary schools, 31 have been put in the green support category and 23 are in the red support category.
Image copyright Miriam2009
Image copyright Thinkstock
Image copyright Thinkstock
Image copyright Thinkstock

Education Minister Huw Lewis said it was time to "wake up" for anyone who did not think he was serious about raising standards.

'Hard work'

"My interest is in learners achieving their full potential, rather than vested interests in the system," he said.

Unions had criticised the banding system - which was introduced just over three years ago - as a failure and for being volatile, with schools able to leap from the lowest band five, to the highest band one, in only one year.

The decision to scrap them was made last September.

The Welsh government believe it will help both primary and secondary schools improve by judging them over a three year period rather than just one.

But the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) accused the minister of a lack of consultation and "unilaterally changing" the basic rules for judging standards in secondary schools at the last moment.

Acting NAHT Cymru director Dr Chris Howard said: "The new school categorisation system will anger many schools in Wales at a time when the minister should be recognising the hard work that's been done to raise standards.

"It will do nothing to encourage schools and teachers working with the most challenging communities."

The union said the new system was "very little better" than banding and it ensured half the schools in Wales would be classed as sub-standard even before a lesson had been taught.

They said it encouraged schools to exclude pupils with poor behaviour and low levels of academic achievement.

'No apology'

It is also concerned it "unfairly penalises" schools which have more pupils who are entitled to free school meals.

Dr Howard added: "The categorisation system was supposed to show which schools needed most help. It will not be seen that way. It will stigmatise schools and the professionals in them."

But Mr Lewis said: "Under this system, there is no hiding place for schools that don't deliver for the most disadvantaged pupils.

"We have deliberately set a high bar - I make no apology for that."

And he countered union criticism by saying that achievements by free school meal students were "simply not good enough".

He added: "Under the new system you don't get to call yourself a top performing school, unless the results of your poorest pupils reach a certain basic standard.

"If there are those who seriously want to argue with the basic fairness of that, then good luck to them."

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