Wales plans to make it harder for schools to predict inspections


Teachers in Wales may no longer be able to guess when inspectors are due under proposals to change the frequency of inspections and notice given to schools.

The Welsh government and education inspectorate Estyn want to ensure “less predictability” as to when inspections will take place and reduce the temptation for schools to “over-prepare”.

Currently, schools and providers are inspected every six years. Although they only receive 20 working days’ notice, they can often predict when the next inspection will take place.

The consultation also proposes to reduce the amount of time a school or provider has to prepare an action plan after inspection. Currently, it can take up to 80 working days.

Chief inspector of Estyn Ann Keane said: “Independent inspection is a vital component of driving improvement in education and training. 

“We can already see the positive impact of our inspection process in the improved provision of those schools that received additional support through follow-up inspections.”

She added: “This is an important consultation which has the potential to change the way we inspect, minimise stress on teachers and reduce the temptation for schools to over-prepare for inspection as there would be less predictability as to when an inspection will take place.

“I want to encourage all parents, learners and education and training providers to take part in the consultation.”

Education minister Leighton Andrews said: “I want to see improvements in standards and performance in education in Wales. For that reason, it is imperative that the already robust Estyn inspection process is as rigorous as it can possibly be.

“In order for our schools and providers to succeed and deliver for our learners, they need to be of the highest standard and assessed properly and fairly. This new consultation seeks views on how we and Estyn can make that happen.”

Schools have until May 1 to submit views, which can be emailed to


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