Posted: Fri 3rd Feb 2017

Positive GCSE Results For Central South Wales Schools Reinforced By National Categorisation /
This article is old - Published: Friday, Feb 3rd, 2017

The Welsh Government has today published the outcomes of the national categorisation system for primary and secondary schools. In the central south Wales region, these reinforce the positive GCSE results published in December last year. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

National Categorisation ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The National School Categorisation System is built on schools’ own self evaluation and improvement planning processes. The process is used to review and record how well a school is performing for all its pupils, taking into consideration current standards (with some contextual measures built in) and the capacity of the leadership and governance of the school to improve ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The categorisation colour (green, yellow, amber or red) indicates the level of support the school needs. The required support is then identified and sourced by the Headteacher and Chair of Governors, alongside the school’s Challenge Adviser as part of school improvement planning. In the Central South region: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

  • The percentage of green support schools in the primary sector has risen from 28.6% in January 2016 to 33.8% in January 2017; those in the yellow support category has reduced slightly from 53.8% to 50.5%
  • The percentage of amber support schools in the primary sector has increased slightly from 14.2% to 14.5% over the same period; the percentage of red support schools in the primary sector has reduced from 3.5% to 1.3%;
  • In the secondary sector, the percentage of green support schools has risen from 24.6% in January 2016 to 31.6% this year; the percentage of yellow support schools has increased from 35.1% to 40.4%;
  • The percentage of secondary schools in the amber support category has decreased from 28.1% to 22.1%; the percentage of those in the red support category has reduced from 12.3% to 7.0%.

The improvement in colour categories (which is mirrored in each local authority) reflects strong progress in the region and builds on its recent record breaking results at all key stages. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Categorisation reflects improvements in pupil performance at all levels ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

In December 2016, when the GCSE results were published, the percentage of pupils achieving 5 GCSE passes at grades A* – C including English/Welsh and mathematics (the ‘L2+’ performance measure) improved by 2.4% points to 69.0%, up from 58.5% in 2015 and 47.8% in 2012. This compares to a 2.3% point rise nationally to 60.39% up from 57.94% in 2015 and 51.1% in 2012. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Performance of the most deprived pupils has risen most markedly ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The performance of eFSM pupils has improved rapidly at all key stages and most rapidly in the foundation phase. At GCSE, the results of pupils eligible for free school meals (the eFSM measure) have improved by over 15%pts since 2012/13, with the proportion of pupils achieving the L2+ measure now reaching 37.8% compared to 22.7% in 2012/13, a 15.1%pt improvement. This compares to a national increase of 9.8%pts over the same period. Whilst there is significant room for further improvement, the proportion of eFSM pupils achieving L2+ performance measure is already above the national target set at 37% for 2016/17 for this measure. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Schools Challenge Cymru schools rose fastest, from the low base ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

As a group, the performance of the 16 School Challenge Cymru schools in the region at L2+ increased by 11.9%pts between 2013/14 and 2015/16. This compares to an increase regionally of 6.8% pts for all secondary schools, and nationally of 4.9% pts over the same period for this performance measure. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Teacher assessment for primary schools also shows the region sitting above the national average ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Teacher assessment outcomes also demonstrate that pupil performance at foundation phase, key stages two and three have also improved again for all authorities taking the region above the national average at each measure for the first time. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Looking ahead, the use of teacher assessment data and current performance measures are being reviewed in line with preparation for the new curriculum. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

In a joint statement the fourconsortia Managing Directors said: “Schools are increasingly building capacity to self improve and becoming more resilient. Working together, schools and regional consortia understand well the challenges ahead. We will be providing and brokering tailored support for all schools, individually targeting the areas identified for improvement.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Cllr Huw David, Chair of the Joint Committee of Central South Consortium comments, “We are delighted by the progress being made by schools in Central South Wales. It is a testament to the hard work of everyone involved that we are seeing such positive leaps forward. The region is ambitious, and through our work with schools and the wider community, our aspiration is to build the capacity of all schools so that they are able to raise the standards of education for all learners as well as closing the gap for our most vulnerable children and young people”. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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