Sharing Information about Local Schools

About

Thank you for visiting My Local School. It is a website designed to provide school performance data for parents and others who may have an interest, in particular pupils and governors. It has been developed through consultation with key partners.

The site aims to present information in a clear and simple format. The data is displayed by school. This is to allow the viewer access to a wealth of information from a range of sources about a particular school.

The site presents many of the outputs of the education system such as examination performance, but also some of the inputs such as finance. However it cannot measure other factors such as levels of parental involvement, support networks in place for pupils, external tuition and the levels of motivation that an individual pupil has to attain the best she or he can.

The summary page is a data sketch of the school at a glance. You should click on the individual tabs for more detailed charts and tables. The charts in the site tend to be over a 5 year period so it is possible to see over time if the performance is up, down or level. Furthermore the chart view reveals clearly where one year may show a temporary dip or a high point. It should be noted that at a school level performance can vary a lot year on year depending on the size and make-up of the particular cohorts, and therefore year on year trends should be used with caution.

Performance of a school can be affected by many factors. One of the key relationships is between results and poverty. There are a number of ways to identify social deprivation, but the most widely accepted is by using Free School Meals (FSM) data. Broadly speaking when the levels of pupils with FSM rise the levels of performance fall although this is not a definitive relationship and some schools consistently outperform others with similar or lower levels of FSM.

We would advise you to use the data as a whole to consider the performance of the school, including the contextual information about the school, rather than focus on simple single measures of performance. As such, data on the national school categorisation system has been included to provide a composite measure of school performance.

To give a perspective on performance comparisons are often provided between the school, the local authority and the average across Wales. To provide context the site also presents data on specific groups of pupils such as boys and girls and the number of pupils from a minority ethnic background or with special educational needs.

The site also allows instant access to the most recent Estyn report for your school. This link is located at the top right hand side of a school page.

Some of the terminology may be technical, we have sought to explain this either next to the data or within the glossary. In the glossary you will also find an explanation of the key stages of education in Wales.