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National Categorisation

The primary purpose of the categorisation model is to identify the appropriate level of support for each school according to need and to ensure that, in partnership with schools and local authorities, we are able to direct our support and resources most effectively to secure the improvements necessary in our school system. A school’s strengths and areas for improvement in standards, provision and leadership are identified during discussions with schools throughout the year. These discussions are then used to decide on the most appropriate level of support for the school. 

The four regions have carried out rigorous moderation and verification processes to ensure that the categorisation process is consistently applied across the Wales.

You can find out more information about your local school and School Categorisation here  

Key Messages  

  • Categorisation allows us to see where we need to direct our resources and how we can support schools to improve through working with collaboratively.


  • Categorisation is about identifying which schools are in most need of support; it is not about labelling or creating league tables. 


  • Welsh Government have slightly changed the categorisation system in 2017-18 so it places more of an emphasis on schools’ own assessment (self-evaluation) of their quality of teaching and learning and ability to help other schools to improve. For 2017-18, Welsh Government decided not undertake the calculation that places schools into a standards group as part of Step 1.  No standards group will be published for 2017/18. School data will, however, continue to be shared with regional consortia and used to inform discussions as part of Step 2 of the process. Step 3 will see schools given a colour coding for the level of support that they need and this will continue to be published on My Local School. The timelines and processes for the National Schools Categorisation System remain the same.


  • This is part of the transitional arrangements as Welsh Government move forward in their mission to reform accountability within the education system and ensure that schools, and ultimately learners, are given the right support at the right time to enable them to fully realise their potential.