THE colour-coded school banding system will be suspended for the 2020/21 academic year to reduce pressures on schools during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Welsh Government's annual school bandings place schools into a category – either green, yellow, amber, or red – to denote their performance and the amount of extra support they require.

“I recognise the difficult circumstances schools are currently operating in," education minister Kirsty Williams said. "My priority is to allow staff to focus their energies on the needs of pupils during these extraordinary and challenging times.

County Times:

Wales' education minister Kirsty Williams

"I am committed to help reduce the administrative workload on education settings where it is appropriate and safe to do so."

Other measures for Welsh schools include a temporary relaxation of the requirements to undertake national tests and assessments, as well as a suspension of Estyn inspections, Ms Williams said.

“These steps will help give schools the space to continue the fantastic work they are doing in supporting their learners," she added.

Some evaluation for schools will continue, however. The Welsh Government is working with Estyn and some schools to pilot a National Evaluation and Improvement Resource, as well as a multi-agency pilot to support a number of schools that are causing concern.