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Banding failures already undermining schools

11/11/2021

The initial implementation of Labour’s school banding system is already causing problems for some schools. Teachers and school representatives who have spoken to Plaid Cymru claim that schools have been undermined by the system which sets schools against each other.

Plaid Cymru Education Spokesperson Simon Thomas AM said that the early concerns raised show that the ministers assurances about his new system were misplaced.

School banding is at the heart of the work of the School Standards Unit but Plaid Cymru has consistently questioned the plans.  The main concerns are that it will only succeed in stigmatising schools at the bottom of the band as ‘failing’ schools and undermine efforts to improve education standards.  

Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson on Education Simon Thomas said:

“Plaid Cymru does not want our schools to be micro-managed. The Labour Minister is seeking to name and shame schools he considers to be underperforming, but this could only undermine them further.

“The Education Minister has himself conceded that league tables are ‘simplistic’ and ‘destructive’ yet continues to establish them in Wales by another name.  What the Minister has announced so far will only serve to highlight the gap between ‘good’ schools and ‘bad’ schools without addressing the reasons for failure.

“Teachers are unhappy about it, teaching unions are unhappy about it, and there is great concern already that the negative stigma is already hitting home. The Minister claims he isn’t creating league tables, but he has yet to explain how banding when it becomes public will not in effect create the same damaging effect as league tables.  

“We want to work to ensure that each school in Wales is successful, and not isolate those that aren’t.”