Sharing Information about Local Schools

Data Sources

Data itemsSource(s)
School information, staffing, pupil details and characteristicsPupil Level Annual School Census (PLASC) - an electronic collection of pupil and school level data provided by all maintained sector primary, secondary, nursery and special schools in January each year. Schools record data on pupils and the school throughout the year in their Management Information System (MIS) software. This data is collated into an electronic PLASC return and submitted to the Welsh Government through a secure online data transfer system developed by the Welsh Government. Various stages of automated validation and sense-checking are built into the process to ensure a high quality of data to inform policy making and funding.

A summary of the PLASC process for 2014 covering timescales and reporting arrangements can be found here.
School financeData is collected on the Section 52 forms at both the outturn and budget-setting stage. Data is supplied by local authorities detailing individual schools finances. The budget data is collected in March and the outturn data is collected in July.

The data collection templates can be found here.
Foundation Phase, Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 attainmentNational Data Collection (NDC) – the electronic collection of teacher assessment data. Data is sent by schools to Knowledge and Analytical Services within the Welsh Government, care of their Local Authority.

A summary of the NDC process for 2013 covering timescales and reporting arrangements can be found here.
Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 external examination results for 15 and 17 year oldsThe statistics are collated from a number of awarding organisations over the summer. The following awarding organisations provided data for 2012: AAT, ABC Awards, AQA, ASDAN, British Computer Society (BCS), British Safety Council (BSC), City and Guilds, CCEA, CACHE, Cambridge International Examinations (CIE), EMTA Awards Ltd (EAL), EDI, EDEXCEL, ICAA, IFS School of Finance, IMI Awards Ltd (IMIAL), NCFE, National Open College Network (NOCN), OCR, Sports Leaders UK, VTCT and WJEC.

The number of 15 and 17 year olds are based upon the pupil numbers derived from the Pupil Level Annual School Census (PLASC) for maintained schools.
BenchmarkingData is used from the existing collections for Foundation Phase and Key Stages 2-4 to compare the performance of schools against others who have similar levels of pupils with free school meals (FSM).
AttendanceThe Pupils’ Attendance Record is made up of pupil-level attendance data collected electronically from maintained schools, care of their local authority (LA), and school-level attendance data from special schools collected via a voluntary, paper-based survey. Both collections are carried out by Knowledge and Analytical Services within the Welsh Government.
CategorisationThe National School Categorisation System provides a systematic view of a school’s performance, based on publicly available data and the school’s own self-evaluation in respect of leadership, teaching and learning.
  • Step one is a data-driven judgement using an agreed set of performance measures provided by the Welsh Government.
  • Step two begins with the school’s own self-evaluation of their capacity to improve in relation to leadership, teaching and learning.
  • Step three is the combination of the two judgements that will lead to a colour-coded support category for the school which will trigger a tailored programme of support, challenge and intervention. This is agreed between the local authority and regional consortium.
Detailed guidance on the methodology and data used in Categorisation is available here.
CoursesSchools record this information on Careers Wales Online. The course information presented on My Local School is taken from Careers Wales Online