SECONDARY schools in bands four and five will be eligible for a £10,000 windfall, the Welsh Government has announced.
High schools in the two lowest rated bands could receive thousands of pounds to “secure improvements in standards and performance.”
This is the second year that funding of this kind has been made available since the system was introduced in 2011.
Among the schools which would qualify for the sum for the second year running are Holywell High School, St Richard Gwyn in Flint, which are in band four, and Ysgol Clywedog in Wrexham which is in band five.
Education Minister Leighton Andrews said: “I have made a clear commitment to raising standards and performance in schools in Wales, improving levels of literacy and numeracy and reducing the impact of poverty on educational attainment.
“We’ve seen schools in bands four and five last year make real progress.
“This funding will go a long way in helping schools which are in those bands this year deliver improvements for their learners.”
In December, the banding system came under fire from teachers and politicians, among them Ashley Jones, headteacher for the Alun School in Mold, and Tony Davidson, headteacher at St David’s in Saltney, for depending on a “narrow” range of indicators.
But Mr Andrews adds: “The robust data we’ve made available through the banding system gives us and parents a clear picture of how our schools are performing and provides us with the information we need to challenge schools who are not delivering for our young people in Wales.”
Banding uses the performance of schools to group them into one of five bands, band one being the best performing and band five being those who need to improve.
According to the Welsh Government, information about how well 15 to 16-year-olds have performed in examinations, and information about their level of attendance is used in the evaluation of schools.
St David’s, alongside St Joseph’s Catholic and Anglican High School in Wrexham, Darland High School in Rossett and Ysgol Morgal Llwyd in Wrexham, could receive the sum for the first time.
In order to access the funding, schools will have to submit clear action plans with improvement targets to their local consortia.
In total, 60 band four and 24 band five schools giving a total of 84 secondary schools in Wales will benefit from this additional funding which totals £840,000.