THE controversial school banding system launched in 2012 has been replaced with a system of colour coding and now includes primary as well as secondary schools.

Called the national school improvement and categorisation system, the best schools will now be rated green, followed by yellow, amber, and red for those needing "significant improvement”.

The previous system used performance data to categorise performance and forced Monmouthshire’s cabinet member for children, Councillor Liz Hacket Pain, to defend the county’s schools after criticism of their places in the Welsh Government’s banding system.

Now the rating will look on exam performance data in key subjects, as well as attendance levels.

An element of self-evaluation is also intended to bring in factors such as leadership and teacher assessments. Huw Lewis, the Welsh minister responsible for schools said: “My focus on driving up performance for pupils from a deprived background is at the heart of categorisation, which is why no secondary school can achieve the highest green category unless they are also delivering for those pupils eligible for free school meals (FSM).

Controversially, secondary schools where less than 30 per cent of FSM pupils got at least five A* to C grades including English, Welsh and Maths automatically can’t be higher than yellow category.

Supported by the unions who criticised the previous system, the four bandings are green, yellow, amber and red. A school in the green support category will receive up to four days of challenge adviser time, a yellow category school will get 10 days, amber schools will have 15 days and red schools will get up to 25.

Monmouthshire Schools have been categorised as follows.

Green; Shirenewton Primary School and Trellech Junior and Infants Yellow: Undy Primary School, Rogiet County Primary, Thornwell Primary School, Durand Primary School, The Dell Primary, Cross Ash County Primary School, Ysgol Gymraeg Y Fenni, Deri View Primary School, Kymin View Primary School, Usk Primary School, Raglan Primary, Osbaston Church in Wales School, St Mary’s R.C.P School, Archbishop Rowan Williams Va

Secondary; Caldicot School, Chepstow Comprehensive School, Monmouth Comprehensive School.

Amber; Llandogo Primary School, Overmonnow Primary School, Ysgol Gymraeg Y Ffin, Castle Park Primary School, Dewstow Primary School, Magor VA Primary School.

Red: Pembroke Primary School