School categorisations to be suspended in Wales next year to ‘ease pressure’ during coronavirus pandemic
The Welsh Government will suspend school categorisation for the 2020 to 2021 academic year, as part of its measures to reduce pressure on schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Every year, primary and secondary schools are measured against a range of factors and placed into one of four colour-coded categories.
The system helps identify schools that need the most support and guidance, those doing well but could be doing better and those that are highly effective and can act as support to other schools.
The updated categories are published every January on the My Local School website.
A review of guidance on school improvement is to be undertaken.
The Welsh Government has also been working with the school inspectorate, Estyn, and a number of schools to pilot a National Evaluation and Improvement Resource, as well as a multi-agency pilot to support a number of schools that are causing concern.
Preparations are being made for when that work can continue.
The Education Minister, Kirsty Williams, said: “I recognise the difficult circumstances schools are currently operating in.
“My priority is to allow staff to focus their energies on the needs of pupils during these extraordinary and challenging times.
“I am committed to help reduce the administrative workload on education settings, where it is appropriate and safe to do so.
“I have temporarily relaxed requirements to undertake national tests and assessments and also worked with Estyn to pause its inspection arrangements.
“These steps will help give schools the space to continue the fantastic work they are doing in supporting their learners.”
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