Wales politics

More schools rated as performing well in colour codes

Classroom Image copyright Thinkstock

More schools have been rated as performing well in the second year of a colour-coded rating system.

There were 333 primary and secondary schools in the top "green" category in 2015, up from 236 in 2014.

"Red" schools, those needing the most improvement, fell from 81 to 58.

But a group of north Wales primaries have claimed the system unfairly penalises small schools, where the performance of a single child can see a school judged in need of improvement.

Under the system, schools are placed in one of four categories - green, yellow, amber or red - reflecting the levels of support needed.

How did your school do?

Click here for green

Click here for yellow

Click here for amber

Click here for red

Education Minister Huw Lewis said: "This is not about crude league tables or labelling schools - it is about directing the right support to schools that need it and ensuring improvements right across our school system.

"Ultimately it is about raising standards and supporting our schools to self improve.

"Categorisation is also a system that delivers for all learners. Schools cannot just rely on the performance of their top students as any school performing below the agreed minimum standard for its free school meal pupils will not be put into the green category."

David Evans, secretary of teaching union NUT Cymru, welcomed the results as a "snapshot", but warned: "We shouldn't make any specific judgements on the basis of categorisation results alone.

"Schools in the green category may still need support in certain areas, while there is undoubtedly excellent teaching and learning taking place within aspects of those schools placed in yellow, amber and red.

"We must see categorization as part of the wider evaluation of schools, and more specifically as a way of identifying what support is needed, rather than a simple mechanism for judgement."

The Welsh Conservatives' Shadow Education Minister Angela Burns said: "In many ways, these rankings tell us what we already know, and what Estyn said earlier this week - that the gap between schools doing well and those that are not is too wide.

"Indeed, the performance of secondary schools across Wales remains worryingly inconsistent."

Plaid Cymru education spokesman Simon Thomas urged Labour ministers to give underperforming schools the help they needed.

"It is concerning that some schools identified as needing help last year seem to remain stubbornly stuck and not improving, and also that other schools, even with support, have declined," he said.

Liberal Democrat AM Aled Roberts said: "The new system is certainly an improvement on banding [the previous process] but it still does not take into account variations within a specific school.

"A green grade overall can mask any number of shortcomings in individual departments in the same way as a red grade can mask examples of excellence in a school."

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