In response to the Minister's statement on banding schools, the Party of Wales Shadow Education Minister Simon Thomas said:
“Plaid Cymru has long opposed to the Welsh Government’s efforts to introduce banding for primary schools, as well as the already established banding for secondary schools. We warned that pitting schools against each other would only undermine the efforts of staff and pupils, and isolate the schools with the lowest rankings.
This has been borne out by the constant need to tweak school banding, postpone the “grading” of primary schools and introduce Schools Challenge Cymru to help those schools struggling.
“Now the government proposes an over-complex system of grading for primary schools; banding for secondary schools and yet another National Categorisation System driven by the regional consortia.
“Plaid Cymru favours a more constructive evaluation process which leads to targeted support where it is needed, with rigour injected by ad hoc inspections as recommended by Estyn but rejected by the Welsh Government.
“It’s hard to believe two different systems, the National Categorisation System and primary and secondary school banding, with three different sets of criteria will bring the clarity, focus and strong leadership that Welsh education needs. The Minister seems content to draw attention to his ability to play two different fiddles at the same time, while the education system burns on a pyre of strategies, initiatives, documents, guidance, criteria and frameworks.”