Independent review - FAQs

In May 2018, an independent review of Estyn’s role in supporting curriculum and education reform made 34 recommendations. The report recognised the strengths of Estyn and the vital role we play in enhancing the learning of young people in Wales. We want to keep our stakeholders up to date as this work develops. These FAQs outline the latest picture.

How will the recommendations of the independent review be implemented?

Estyn’s Chief Inspector, Meilyr Rowlands, has welcomed the report. Many of the recommendations in the report are subject to Welsh Government decisions, for example those depending on changes to legislation or regulation.

In consultation with Welsh Government, the profession and with all our stakeholders, we will now consider carefully how best to move forward with the report recommendations.
Our first step in this process will be a period of formal and informal consultation with stakeholders. Details of the practical arrangements around any agreed changes will be communicated to all stakeholders in good time.

If inspections are paused, how will this affect underperforming schools?

One of the things we will be consulting on is whether we should pause inspection, and if so, when the best time to do this would be. If we decide to pause inspections, we would then need to consider how to make sure that this time is used effectively. Realistically, the pause should coincide with an academic year, and the earliest this could happen is 2019-20.
Whatever is decided, we will continue to monitor and support schools that require it. For example, we will continue to monitor schools in a statutory category (special measures and significant improvement) and those under Estyn review.  We also reserve the right to inspect any school that needs it.

Which sectors are affected?

We will continue to inspect local government education services and post-16 and initial teacher education providers.  We will review how self-evaluation and curriculum developments in schools impact on Post-Compulsory Education and Training reform.
Our work with Care Inspectorate Wales to develop a joint inspection framework for non-maintained settings will continue.

How will any changes affect external inspectors?

We will consider carefully how best to deploy our inspectors during any pause in inspections. As is usual when Estyn develops any new approaches to inspection, we will ensure that all our inspectors receive appropriate guidance, training and support.

How does the independent review affect the review of self-evaluation in schools?

There are a number of references in the review to self-evaluation and the report encourages schools to continue to use self-evaluation to inform improvement processes.  Estyn are jointly leading with the OECD a self-evaluation and improvement project that will help to inform future developments regarding self-evaluation.  Later in the autumn term, we plan to pilot a small number of the tools developed by the self-evaluation for improvement practitioner working group.  
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