Wales

Schools performing better in Wales, new ratings show

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Media captionJackie Parker, head of Crickhowell High School in Powys, says all schools look to improve

There has been an improvement in school performance, according to annual categorisation ratings.

Hundreds of schools are placed into colour-coded support categories - green, yellow, amber and red.

Two thirds of secondary and more than 85% of primary schools are green and yellow, which the education secretary says "continues with the upward trend we have seen over the past few years."

But there are slightly more schools in red than last year.

A full breakdown which shows which of Wales' 1,547 schools are in each category has also been published on the My Local Schools website.

Green schools require just four days worth of support to improve and yellow schools receive up to 10 days of support.

There are 56 schools in the red category - judged to need the most help, up to 25 days of support. This is 10 more schools than last year.

OVERALL SCHOOL PERFORMANCE - AT A GLANCE:

This year, the system has been fine-tuned so rather than just performance measures such as key GCSE results, there is a broader look at how schools are doing and the quality of teaching and learning.

The findings include:

  • 85.3% of primary schools and 68.3% of secondary schools are now in the green and yellow categories
  • There has been a 29% rise in the number of green schools, compared to last year
  • There are 17 schools which have stayed in the red category (seven secondary and 10 primary) from last year
  • Two areas have no red schools at all for a successive year - Merthyr and Swansea
  • Pembrokeshire has the most schools - six - in the red category, including four of its high schools.
  • Four areas have no green secondary schools - Anglesey, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire and Torfaen

Education Secretary Kirsty Williams said there was "real strength" in primary schools and she wanted to see improvements in the secondary sector, with help targeted for those schools in the red category.

"Parents should know and have confidence that those schools will have support from their local education authority, their regional consortia and those schools around them doing well," she said.

Plaid Cymru education spokesman Llyr Gruffydd called for a reform of the "crude traffic light system" and said also the Welsh Government needed to tackle the basic issues of school underfunding and recruitment.

"They also need to explain why there is continued disparity between the categorisation of schools and the outcome of Estyn inspections, which can still contradict each other," he added.

Darren Millar, Conservative education spokesman said many of the schools rated green would not have been in the green category had they been consistent with last year's scoring tool.

"If we want an education system that competes with the best in the world, then we must be honest about the failings in Welsh schools - and work with the teaching profession and other stakeholders to solve them," he said.

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