School self-evaluation for improvement project

We’re working with OECD, schools, local authorities and regional consortia to look at developing a national programme for improvement.

About the project

As part of the national mission for educational reform, the Welsh Government has asked Estyn to co-construct an innovative piece of work with colleagues from the OECD and education professionals in Wales.  The task is to create a national self-evaluation and school improvement toolkit to support consistent levels of high quality school improvement work. This is in response to the fourth enabling objective within the Education in Wales: Our national mission to develop robust assessment, evaluation and accountability arrangements supporting a self-improving system.

Our role

We will draw on the strengths of our position as an education inspectorate to undertake this work using our extensive evidence base from inspection and thematic work that identifies what makes self-evaluation and improvement processes effective. Self-evaluation has historically been the weakest area in school inspections.
Self-evaluation and improvement processes underpinned by an open and honest collaborative culture should be an integral and ongoing feature of the work in all schools, regardless of their current performance/situation.
This work aims to support the system to address these issues to improve outcomes for learners.

Working in partnership

The OECD brings extensive expertise and experience and an international perspective of similar work in other countries.  It is a fundamental principle that this work is a co-construction with the teaching profession and many other stakeholders from education in Wales.

What will the project do?

  • develop a national definition for school improvement processes
  •  agree a national purpose for this work
  • define a set of principles to support effective school improvement processes

Structure of the project

A steering group with representatives from Estyn, OECD, Welsh government,  ADEW and regional consortia colleagues provides strategic direction, for example by setting out the timeline, organising events, collating and synthesising the views of delegates over time to produce a toolkit and to co-ordinate effective training to support successful implementation of the toolkit.
A working group with representatives from a range of schools that include primary, secondary, special and PRU, English and Welsh medium, large and small and so on as well as representatives from ADEW and the regional consortia will take a leading role to create a toolkit in accordance with an agreed set of principles and guiding purpose.  They will also share developments locally as the project develops, for instance within their local authorities.
A wider stakeholder group of education professionals and other stakeholders will also make an important contribution to this work.  They will have a key role in incorporating checks and balances into the process and in gathering the views of a wider stakeholder audience to include pupils, parents, governors and other groups such as diocesan education services.


The working group will meet approximately  monthly, the stakeholder group termly and the work of the steering group will be constant over the next twelve months or so.
We will consult with stakeholders in autumn/spring 2018-2019 before rolling out the new improvement processes in 2019-2020.

Since March 2018 we have:

  • Developed the project’s strategic vision, structure, governance and broad timeline
  • Worked co-constructively with a wide range of stakeholders and engaged with many more
  • Set out our initial workstreams
  • Begun to align this work with other key national developments.

Next steps

We will consult with stakeholders in autumn/spring 2018-2019 before rolling out the new improvement processes in 2019-2020.

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