Changes to inspection arrangements from September 2017 – an update


We’re changing our inspection arrangements to help drive improvement and support innovation.


Education in Wales is changing. The Welsh Government is updating the curriculum and introducing a digital competence framework.  We want to ensure that inspections remain fit for purpose and that they are proportionate, flexible, streamlined and cost effective. 

From September 2017:

  • the notice period for inspections will be reduced to 15 days
  • inspections will typically take 4 days rather than 5
  • they will focus on 5 inspection areas; standards; wellbeing and attitudes to learning; teaching and learning experiences; care, support and guidance; and leadership
  • they will also focus on a thematic area - which will help inform our thematic reports, the Chief Inspector’s Annual report and advice to Welsh Government.
  • the current 4-point judgement scale will stay but its wording will be amended to focus on actions to be taken to support improvement
  • providers in follow-up will get more flexible support to help them make positive changes faster
  • local authority monitoring for providers in follow-up will cease and no providers will be placed in this category from September 2016 onwards. 

What’s happening next  

We will be:

  • Gathering feedback from inspectors and schools as we continue to undertake pilot inspections using the new arrangements. This feedback will be invaluable in helping to refine the new inspection arrangements.
  • Analysing feedback from our second consultation period which finished at the end of November. We will use this information to refine our new inspection arrangements.
  • Publishing new guidance and training materials for education providers that take into account feedback from the pilot inspections.
  • Finalising a training programme for inspectors so they are fully skilled at inspecting under the new arrangements.

Guiding principles for our new inspection arrangements