NUT Cymru comment on school categorisation publication

30 January 2015

Wales’ largest union for qualified teachers have responded to today’s publication of school categorisation in Wales. The system, introduced after the flawed banding approach was scrapped following a campaign led by NUT Cymru, ranks schools in one of four colour coded categories.

NUT Wales Secretary, David Evans, said:

“We are fully committed to accountability and believe the data which makes up the categorisation system should be readily available to parents. Indeed, through the Welsh Government’s ‘My Local School’ website that is already happening. However, NUT Cymru remains sceptical that ranking schools in any sort of public judgement is the best way to help support standards. 

“The jury is certainly still out on the effectiveness of the categorisation model; nonetheless, it is fair to say it is an improvement on its predecessor. NUT Cymru led the campaign against banding by consistently highlighting the numerous flaws in that approach. We were very pleased that the current Minister was willing to listen to those criticisms and sought to find a compromise.  Amongst some other changes, categorisation does at least allow schools to move up and down the system independently of the performance of others with a stated aim being to have no schools in the red category. Hopefully this will address the restrictions on collaboration the banding system created but there remain challenges that have to be addressed, not least in ensuring consistency of approach across Wales.

“We are yet to see the full effect of categorisation and we must be vigilant to any unforeseen and unintended impacts it may have. We will be speaking to members over the coming weeks and months to seek their professional feedback and will be working with the Welsh Government to highlight any potential concerns and to take advantage of any positives that may come to the fore.”