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The impact of changes to regulations on the cycle of inspections


Last year the Welsh Government and Estyn undertook a series of consultations during February and May on proposed changes to Estyn’s inspection cycles. The published findings are available on link.


The new regulations have been made by the Welsh Government and will come into force on 1 September 2014.

Find out what the changes mean for you...

Why are the regulations changing?

In 2013 Estyn and the Welsh Government asked schools, pupil referral units, further education, adult community learning, youth support services and work-based learning to give their views on proposed changes to the frequency of inspections and the notice period given to schools and other providers. The consultation found that there was overwhelming support to reduce the predictability of inspections and so the regulations have been amended to reflect public opinion.

What do the changes mean in practice?

The scheduling of inspections will be more flexible from September 2014. This will make it less predictable when schools are due to be inspected. The changes will affect secondary schools first and then primary schools and other sectors from January 2015. Inspections will be scheduled based on a broadly representative sample of schools each term. There is no skew to the sample in terms of any perceived risk and any school can be inspected at any time.

Will the notice period of an inspection change?

No. Schools will still receive twenty working days’ notice of an inspection. The common inspection framework remains the same, the team will be the same size and the inspections will last the same length of time.

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