In this section
Section highlightHouses into homes This report details findings to emerge from the evaluation during the first six months of delivery (April to September 2012).
Written Statement - Update on tobacco policy »Standardised packaging of tobacco products and Sub Committees on The Smoke-free Premises etc. (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2012.Learn more »
Living Longer: Ageing Well
The third phase of the Welsh Government’s pioneering Strategy for Older People in Wales has been launched.
- ‘Enterprise Troopers’ set to storm Wales’ primary schools
- “Wales is leading the way on Sustainable Procurement” – Jane Hutt
- Living Longer: Ageing Well
In this section
- Business and economy
- Children and young people
- Culture and sport
- Education and skills
- Environment and countryside
- Equality and diversity
- Health and social care
- Housing and community
- Improving public services
In this section
Section highlightAccess to information
The Welsh Government has followed the principles of openness in government for many years. Find out how you can make a freedom of information request or see requests that have already been made.
Sky lanterns: environmental and risk assessment »To establish an evidence base to help any future policy decisions on sky lanterns and helium balloons.Learn more »
- Higher Education (Wales) Bill: Technical consultation
- Renting Homes White Paper
- Continuity and Change - Refreshing the Relationship between Welsh Government and the Third Sector in Wales
- Strategic Environmental Assessment: Environmental Report, Rural Development Plan for Wales 2014-2020
- The draft School Governors’ Annual Reports (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2013
- The future of agricultural statistical data collection methods in Wales
Featured consultation »Implementing the Domestic Fire Safety (Wales) Measure 2011
26 days left
In this section
Section highlightFurther and Higher Education (Governance and Information) (Wales) Bill 2013
Removes a number of technical restrictions and controls on colleges without changing the principal powers of colleges to provide further, higher and secondary education.
Legislative programme 2012 - 2013 »
Addressing the Assembly in the Senedd today, the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, detailed the eight bills in the Welsh Government’s 5-year Legislative Programme that will be brought forward during the second year of the Welsh Assembly.Learn more »
Section highlightCommunity Infrastructure Levy
Local authorities can charge a Community Infrastructure Levy on new developments to support the infrastructure needed.
2nd Supplementary Budget 2012-13 »
Proposes a number of changes to the 1st Supplementary Budget for 2012-13, which was published on 26 June 2012.Learn more »
Written Statement - Introducing a National School Banding System
In February I announced my intention to establish a new School Standards Unit within my department. The Unit was established in May and one of its first tasks has been to develop the national banding system for schools as part of the improvement agenda that I set out in my February address.
As we approach the end of term I want to update colleagues on progress in developing the system, to set out what the system will achieve and outline the key actions planned for the autumn term.
The introduction of a banding system is one of a suite of policy actions designed to give us a clearer focus on our performance and progress. The system will group secondary and primary schools into bands reflecting their outcomes and progress, taking account of the challenge they face from socio-economic circumstances. Special schools will not be banded.
The banding system will use national data sets to provide a consistent approach to grouping schools according to where they are on their improvement journey. It will give the School Standards Unit a starting point for discussion with consortia and local authorities about priorities for support and challenge. In turn, it will give consortia and local authorities a starting point for discussion with schools; it will provide a basis upon which to direct our resources to where they are needed most to ensure we secure the improvements necessary in our school system.
Banding is NOT about labelling schools, naming and shaming or creating a divisive league table. It is about grouping our schools according to a range of factors to establish priorities for differentiated support and identifying those from whom the sector can learn.
The national school banding system is a tool to help us be effective in driving improvement across the board. The most important aspect of banding will be the support, challenge and sharing of best practice that follow. The development of a framework and statutory guidance to support this will be key to delivering long term, sustainable improvements.
The School Standards Unit has worked closely with the sector. As a result of this work we currently have a pilot banding system for secondary schools which uses a mix of data to reflect most recent outcomes, progress over time, contextual results and value added data. The School Standards Unit is testing this model in the first round of consortium stocktakes this term.
Following feedback from all local authorities this term, the model for secondary schools will be refined and finalised in time for the start of the new academic year. Work has begun on the primary school banding model which will be based on the same principles as the secondary model using national data sets, recent outcomes, progress and context.
It is important that schools, those involved in supporting them on their improvement journey, and parents understand which band their school is in, what it means in terms of support and challenge and priorities for improvement. That is why I have arranged for the sector to receive notification today about the progress we have made and the planned next steps in implementation of the school banding system.
Early in the autumn term each secondary school will receive details of the band into which they have been placed, the data on which the banding has been based and detailed guidance to help them interpret and understand the banding. We will also share the banding information with local authorities and support the implementation of the system with a suite of communication materials and activities to ensure as complete an understanding of the system and its purpose as possible.
For secondary schools, this initial banding will use data up to the 2010 external examination results. This is to ensure that schools, governing bodies and local authorities have banding information alongside other key performance information to inform discussion on relative performance and target setting early in the autumn term. Once we have data for the 2011 examinations the banding will be updated and the revised information sent to schools.
As work progresses with development of the model for primary schools I will keep colleagues updated and communicate a timeline for release of information.