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Care to explain the banding system Leighton?

December 19, 2012 12:36 AM

As mentioned previously Education Minister and Rhondda AM Leighton Andrews is refusing to budge on the issue of banding - as he does on most things. This despite criticism from all quarters.

The banding system is highly flawed and based on a mish mash of data that somehow seem to miss the main point - whether schools are actually providing a good education for their pupils.

When the bandings were first announced in December 2011 Treorchy Comprehensive School in the Minister's own constituency, was one of just two schools in Rhondda Cynon Taff to be ranked in the top band. Twelve RCT found themselves in bands four and five.

Rhys Jones, headteacher at Treorchy Comprehensive was reported as saying at the time that he was "delighted" with the school's ranking position in the top band.

He told the Rhondda Leader: "We are obviously delighted that the school's in band 1; it reflects the hard work the pupils and their parents, the staff, and the wider relationship with the governing body. The different aspects reflect the work that's done within the school to improve pupils' attainment in every aspect of school life."

This year Treorchy finds itself in Band 3, this despite an inspection report earlier this year that saw it become the first in Wales to be graded excellent across the board. Leighton Andrews praised the school and appointed the Head to his new "practitioner's panel" - designed to advise the Welsh Government on best practice

So how exactly does this equate to a band 3? Maybe Mr Andrews would care to explain to that school and every other school where staff, pupils and governors are working their socks off to maintain and improve standards only to have these morale breaking bands imposed.

K aren Roberts