NUT: School banding announcement “is a backwards step for children in Wales”

Commenting on today’s School Banding announcement, NUT Wales Secretary David Evans said:

“Sadly today’s publication confirms our worst fears. There are areas in Wales that have schools ranked in band 1 with neighbouring schools placed in band 5. We have to ask what is to stop band 5 parents voting with their feet and changing schools based on these bandings. Clearly, this publication will create competition between schools, and naturally parents are going to look at the tables as a simplistic way of branding schools good or bad.

“What is especially concerning is that whilst these bandings have been announced, and the schools in the bottom bands face the stigmatisation of their rankings, we are unsure what, or even if, resources will be made available any time before September 2012 to support them. Certainly no financial support will be forthcoming.

“We have consistently warned that this is a backwards step for children in Wales and instead of improving standards, it will in fact lead to pockets of educational deprivation in Wales. We will be scrutinising the support that reaches schools in the lower band closely. “We strongly believe and fear the reality of these bandings will not match up with the expectations of the Government and they must seriously consider revisiting this approach to protect the future of our schools.”

Contact Owen Hathway, NUT Cymru, Ty Sinnott, 18 Neptune Court, Vanguard Way, Cardiff CF24 5PJ. Tel: 029 20491818. Mob: 07921146442 e-mail: cymru.wales@nut.org.uk