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National School Categorisation System

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The system’s main purpose is to identify which schools are in most need of support.

The system ensures that, in partnership with local authorities and consortia, we direct our support and resources to improve our school system and as a result, raise standards and performance in Wales.

The system is about providing support and encouraging collaborative improvement by putting schools into a position that enables them to identify the factors that contribute to their progress and achievement, or what areas to focus on to achieve further development. It is not about labelling or creating league tables.

The system is a three step model that is not purely data-driven but also takes into account the quality of leadership and teaching and learning in our schools.

  • Step one is a data-driven judgement using an agreed set of performance measures provided by the Welsh Government.
  • Step two begins with the school’s own self-evaluation of their capacity to improve in relation to leadership, teaching and learning.
  • Step three is the combination of the two judgements that will lead to a colour-coded support category for the school which will trigger a tailored programme of support, challenge and intervention. This is agreed between the local authority and regional consortium.

The coloured support category for each primary, middle and secondary school is now available along with the benchmark boundaries used in the calculation of the standards groups.

The system is a co-constructed system between regional education consortia and Welsh Government.

The full outcomes (external link) of the categorisation system are available on the My Local School website.

As part of the agreed National Model for Regional Working, Welsh Government, local government, regional education consortia and the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) have worked together to ensure a national and consistent approach to the categorisation of schools.

If you have any queries on categorisation please contact