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NAHT Cymru response to school categorisation data

Commenting on the annual publication of school categorisation data from the Welsh Government, Rob Williams, Director of Policy, NAHT Cymru, the school leaders’ union for Wales, said: “NAHT welcomes the categorisation data that illustrates the progress being made by school leaders and their staff on behalf of pupils.

“We still believe that for categorisation to work at its best, it needs to be part of a co-ordinated school improvement system in Wales, align with other processes and encourage and support a self-improving system. Greater consistency is required across the four regions to ensure that the allocated school support does not simply turn into increased challenge and workload – prioritising effort and enabling school leaders to invest in the quality of teaching is far more productive than simply adding another set of things for a school to do.

“As Estyn highlighted in their recent Annual Report, variability still exists across Wales and the additional focus on schools in the amber and red categories does not mask the huge funding disparities that continue to exist between schools.

“We know that the Welsh Government are listening to school leaders and their concerns about a system that uses single cohorts of pupil data in isolation, with no inclusion of the progress those individual pupils make whilst in a school. Given the huge changes to the curriculum and the radical implications for assessment clearly laid out in Donaldson’s recommendations, we call upon all members of the education system in Wales to play their part in focusing on maximising pupil progress and equipping our children and young people with the skills and attitudes to be effective lifelong learners.”

First published 31 January 2017