Call to scrap Wales’ school improvement funding system

A teaching union is calling on the Welsh government to scrap its system of funding schools needing improvement through consortia and to fund schools directly.

The National Education Union Cymru (NEU) said it was time to “call time” on the system, while other unions have asked politicians to look at it again.

The criticism comes after the latest colour categorisation of schools showed that a small number appeared to be “stuck” in the worst rating and others had dropped down – although overall the ratings show more schools have gone up and supporters state the consortia are having a “positive impact”.

Wales has four schools improvement consortia, which receive £139 million a year from the nation’s education budget.

David Evans, the NEU’s Wales secretary said that the fact that the number of schools in the red category – eligible for up to 25 days support – remains stable “shows that it’s time to call time on the consortia model”. He continued: “The so-called improvement agencies actually cause hard working education professionals in our schools extra pressure by focusing on ‘challenge’, rather than the support which would be welcome.”

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