Estyn is led by Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education and Training in Wales and inspects quality and standards.

It is a Crown body, established under the Education Act 1992. Estyn is independent of the National Assembly for Wales but receives its funding from the Welsh Government under Section 104 of the Government of Wales Act 1998.

The word Estyn is a Welsh word meaning 'to reach out' and 'to stretch'.

Who we inspect:

  • nursery schools and settings that are maintained by, or receive funding from, local authorities;
  • primary schools;
  • secondary schools;
  • special schools;
  • pupil referral units;
  • independent schools;
  • further education;
  • independent specialist colleges;
  • adult community learning;
  • local government education services;
  • teacher education and training;
  • Welsh for adults;
  • work-based learning;
  • learning in the justice sector; and
  • all-age schools.

Advice and guidance

We provide advice and guidance to the Welsh Government on quality and standards in education and training in Wales. This advice is published in our thematic reports which are commissioned by the Minister for Education and Skills.

The Chief Inspector provides this advice under the Education Act 2005. The Act outlines that the Chief Inspector has the general duty of keeping the Assembly informed about the quality of the education in schools.  It also states that the Chief Inspector may advise the Assembly at any time on any matter connected with schools, or a particular school.

Similarly, under the Learning and Skills Act the Chief Inspector can advise the Assembly on matters relating to education or training for those aged 16 or over in providers funded by the Welsh Government.

To read the Welsh Government’s response to each report visit Estyn remit reports.

Best practice

We also build capacity in the delivery of education and training in Wales based on inspection evidence, including promoting the spread of best practice through our case studies.

Joint working

Estyn works in collaboration with the Care and Social Services Inspectorate for Wales (CSSIW), Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) and the Wales Audit Office (WAO) as part of Inspection Wales, which is a collaborative initiative between the four main inspection, audit and review bodies in Wales.

Estyn inspects learners in England who are funded by the Welsh Government and who attend independent special colleges, work-based learning courses, and provision for young people in youth offending teams. We also inspect, through joint working with HMI Probation and HMI Prisons, the education of offenders in secure estates and prisons in Wales.