Catholic Schools in Wales

There are 93 Roman Catholic schools in Wales, educating 30,350 pupils (6% of the Welsh total). 63% of these pupils are Roman Catholics (66% in primary and 60% in secondary schools) and 18% come from ethnic backgrounds other than white British (compared with 8% in all Welsh schools). In other respects the profiles of Catholic and all schools in Wales are fairly similar.

These are some of the headline figures from the introduction and appendices of a new report released by the Catholic Education Service for England and Wales (CESEW) on 6 June, and drawing upon its 2010 school census data: Peter Irvine, The Distinctive Contribution of Catholic Schools in Wales, available to download from:

The bulk of the document (pp. 8-41) comprises a quantitative analysis of, and commentary upon, the performance of Welsh Catholic schools as measured during the 2004-10 school inspection cycle operated by Estyn, the office of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate for Education and Training in Wales.

These inspections suggested that the 73 Welsh Catholic primary schools generally performed well, with higher proportions than the national average rated good or better on three of the seven key questions and almost identical proportions for the other four. The performance of Catholic secondary schools, of which there are only 15, was more mixed.

A comparable report for England, Value Added: the Distinctive Contribution of Catholic Schools and Colleges in England, was published by the CESEW last January, based on Ofsted inspections in 2005-09 and test and examination results for Key Stages 1-5 in 2007-09. See our coverage at:

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