24 February 2022
Reference:16033 – school warning notices
Thank you for your request which I received on 31 January 2022. You asked for information on how many schools in Wales have received a formal warning notice between September 2015 and September 2020; a breakdown of the grounds used for issue of the warning notices; and the percentage of schools issued with a formal warning notice that did not have ground 1 ’the standards of performance of pupils at the school are unacceptably low’ as one of the grounds for issuing the notice.
The information you requested is below. The response is based on information held by Welsh Government. Welsh Government issued no warning notices to schools between September 2015 and September 2020. Therefore, our records consist of information and letters sent to us by local authorities, in line with the requirement on them, under section 3 of the Schools Standards and Organisation (Wales) Act 2013, to provide copies of warning notices issued to schools to Welsh Government.
From our records, 61 schools in Wales have received a formal warning notice between September 2015 and September 2020. Some schools have received more than one warning notice within this period. We hold 68 warning notices in total, therefore the calculations below are based on 68 warning notices issued. Some warning notices include more than one ground.
A breakdown of the grounds used for issue of the warning notices are as follows:
Ground 1 ‘the standards of performance of pupils at the school are unacceptably low’ – 57% (i.e. ground cited in 39 out of 68 warning notices)
Ground 2 ‘there has been a breakdown in the way the school is managed or governed’ – 76%
Ground 3 ‘the behaviour of pupils at the school or any action taken by those pupils or their parents is severely prejudicing, or is likely to severely prejudice, the education of any pupils at the school’ – 3%
Ground 4 ‘the safety of pupils or staff at the school is threatened (whether by a breakdown of discipline or otherwise)’ – 3%
Ground 5 ‘the governing body or headteacher has failed, or is likely to fail, to comply with a duty under the Education Acts’ – 13%
Ground 6 ‘the governing body or headteacher has acted, or is proposing to act unreasonably in the exercise of any of its or his or her functions under the Education Acts’ – 24%
Ground 7 ‘the school is in significant improvement’ – 3%
Ground 8 ‘the school is in special measures’ – 3%
The percentage of schools issued with a formal warning notice that did not have ground 1 as one of the grounds for issuing the notice (based on the number of warning notices we hold (68) rather than number of schools) is therefore 43%.
If you are dissatisfied with the Welsh Government’s handling of your request, you can ask for an internal review within 40 working days of the date of this response. Requests for an internal review should be addressed to the Welsh Government’s Freedom of Information Officer at:
Information Rights Unit,
or Email: Freedom.firstname.lastname@example.org
Please remember to quote the ATISN reference number above.
You also have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information Commissioner’s Office,
However, please note that the Commissioner will not normally investigate a complaint until it has been through our own internal review process.