A guide to the national school categorisation system

Understanding how your child’s school is performing: A guide to the national school categorisation system

What is this new system and why has it been introduced?

If we are going to raise the standard of education in Wales and help all our schools improve, we need a really clear picture of how well they are doing now and their capacity to improve further. Since the introduction of banding, which was our way of identifying secondary schools most in need of support based on their performance, we have seen many schools make great progress. However, I want to see many more schools improve, whether they are primary or secondary schools.

That is why I have introduced a new national school categorisation system for both primary and secondary schools. It will be a clear and simple way to judge how well a school is performing for all its pupils, how effectively it is led and managed, the quality of teaching and learning and the level of support and challenge it needs to do even better. My priorities of strengthening literacy and numeracy, as well as breaking the link between disadvantage and educational achievement are at the heart of the system.

Each primary and secondary school will be placed into one of four colour-coded support categories. This will show, at a glance, the schools that need the most help and guidance to improve, those that are doing well but could be doing even better and those that are already highly effective and can help others to do better.

I encourage all parents and carers to take an active interest in the performance and progress of the schools their children go to and to support the school on its journey in improving. Whatever category your child’s school is placed in, this system will help to make sure that the school will receive the help and support it needs to secure the very best outcomes for every one of its pupils.

Huw Lewis AM, Minister for Education and Skills

Parents guide