Posted: Mon 27th Jun 2022

Colour coded school performance system to be scrapped in Wales

North Wales news and information

The way in which the performance of schools in Wales is measured is being replaced.

The current national school categorisation system rates schools as green, yellow, amber or red according to how much support they need.

The Welsh Government has confirmed the colour-coded ratings are being replaced by a “robust” self-evaluation system.

The self-evaluation system will align with the new curriculum being introduced in many schools across Wales from next term.

The government said the new school improvement framework would mean parents will be able to access “more up-to-date, detailed and informative information”.

The new system aims to move away from categorisation and will provide a summary of each school’s improvement priorities.

School development plans will be made public and published.

The Welsh Government said that reviews have shown pupil assessment and school accountability “have too often been blurred, leading to unintended consequences in the classroom.”

It said: “Assessment should be used in the best interest of pupils, enabling teachers to adjust teaching strategies to support their progress.

“While accountability, led by Estyn, drives improvement through better transparency and enabling judgement on performance. The framework published today distinctly separates the two.”

From September, Estyn will inspect schools under their new framework with plans to increase the number of inspections from September 2024.

The Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles said: “By putting learner progression at the heart of our reforms, we will be supporting every learner to reach their full potential.”

“Assessment and accountability are both critical to raising standards, but they each have a very different role to play, assessment is about understanding an individual pupil’s needs and accountability is about how the school’s overall performance is evaluated.

“By bringing national categorisation to an end we are doing two things. First, replacing it with a framework which sets out clear expectations so that every pupil is supported properly.

“And second, providing better, and more up to date information on each school’s improvement plans, so that the focus is on learner progression rather than on headline descriptions.”

Owen Evans, chief inspector at Estyn said: “We welcome the Welsh Government’s guidance on school improvement for providers across Wales and are fully aligned with this approach.

“Learner progression and well-being is at the heart of our work at Estyn and the move away from schools being evaluated with a disproportionate emphasis on a small number of performance measures is reflected in our new approach to inspection for schools and pupil referral units.

“We will continue to inspect schools and make judgements based on a wide range of evidence and information, covering the breadth of school activity.

“We are here to provide accountability across education providers in Wales and will continue to work rigorously to ensure all learners get the education and training they deserve, monitoring schools through follow up if standards aren’t high enough.”

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