A Picture of Schools

Report cover
A Picture of Schools
21 October 2021

This is part of a suite of summary reports looking at a picture of public services.

Following publication of the Picture of Public Services report we’re publishing a series of sector-specific summary reports.

This report summarises key information about schools in Wales.

It explores capacity, performance, funding, and outlines some of the key issues or challenges.

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented enormous challenges to public services and the people who deliver them. Schools have faced huge pressures with the challenges of shifting services online while also providing in-person support to children of key workers. Schools then had to create a COVID-safe environment for a return to face-to-face learning.

What we found

When the pandemic hit, schools and the education system were already showing signs of strain. A major reform programme was part-way through, there were substantial workforce pressures and school finances were under pressure. The Welsh Government had commissioned a review of school funding.

We found three key issues in schools:

  1. Mitigating the impact of COVID on pupils.
  2. Following through the reform programme.
  3. Addressing the workforce challenges.

The pandemic has disrupted the education of a generation of pupils; its impact varying for pupils of different ages and being particularly difficult for vulnerable children.

Going forward, schools face the challenge of supporting pupils’ wellbeing and working within the restriction of social distancing and other measures to reduce transmission.  

Picture of Public Services 2021
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