HOW WELL IS YOUR SCHOOL PERFORMING?
High ratings for many as politicians clash over Welsh Government colour scheme:
SCHOOL colour code ratings that grade performance have sparked a mixed reaction, with one politician saying they should be “taken with a pinch of salt”.
Primary and secondary schools were placed into one of four categories – green, yellow, amber and red – to show the level of support the Welsh Government and school improvement consortia think each needs.
As well as looking at performance, this year schools were, for the first time, judged on wider issues such as wellbeing.
There has been a rise in the number of schools in the top two categories – green and yellow – and the bottom category, red, with an overall trend of improvement.
In North Wales, Gwynedd had the most schools ranked green, with 35. Five schools in Wrexham were coded red, the highest across the six counties.
Cabinet secretary for education, Kirsty Williams, said: “I’m pleased to see that more schools are now in the green and yellow categories, which continues with the upward trend we have seen over the past few years.
“These schools have a key role to play in supporting others to improve by sharing their expertise, skills and good practice.”
But Plaid Cymru’s shadow cabinet secretary for education, Llyr Gruffydd AM, branded the categorisation a “crude traffic lights system”. He said more transparency was needed about the true performance of schools, and added that inspections by education watchdog Estyn sometimes contradict categorisation findings.
“A common framework should be applied to help parents, teachers and policy makers better understand what is really taking place in our schools,” he said.
“If the Government is serious about improving education, it must do more to tackle the basic issues of school underfunding and a looming workforce crisis.
“They also need to explain why there is continued disparity between the categorisation of schools and Estyn inspections.”
Welsh Conservative shadow education secretary, Darren Millar, said: “These results should be taken with a pinch of salt. The latest Estyn report showed that school performance is standing still. These results therefore stand at odds with the impression given by today’s ratings.”