19 September 2011
Commenting on the Welsh Government's school banding proposals, Wales Secretary David Evans said:
"The Education Minister has been at great pains to state that this banding approach is not a return to league tables. However, when you rank schools based on performance it is difficult to see how that is not the case. Playing schools against one another within local communities, through a banding system, will inevitably lead to those placed in the lower band losing students. Once children start drifting away from schools based on the stigma of these performance indicators it is difficult to get them to return. What is created is a dangerous cycle where schools at the lower end of the band suffer disproportionately.
"We are concerned that teachers who have worked extremely hard to try and provide improving educational standards, even against a backdrop of continued underfunding, will become demoralised as a result of seeing their endeavours disregarded.
"We will be meeting with the Minister in the coming weeks and will be putting these concerns to him. We will be asking the Minister to rethink his approach and instead focus on ensuring Welsh schools are properly resourced and properly funded to guarantee good schools inevery local community of Wales."