Review of Estyn makes 34 recommendations for change

All inspections suspended for a year, grading to be scrapped, and a focus on validating schools’ self-evaluation are among the recommendations for change in a significant independent review into inspectorate Estyn, published last week.

Professor Graham Donaldson was commissioned by Estyn and the education secretary in Wales, Kirsty Williams, to review the inspectorate’s role and function in the context of the major reform programme underway in Wales between now and 2021.

Prof Donaldson is the main architect of the new curriculum, due to be available for use in 2020.

A former teacher, Prof Donaldson headed the Inspectorate of Education in Scotland from 2002 to 2010.

His report – A Learning Inspectorate – makes 34 recommendations, covering Estyn’s governance, inspections and wider issues relating to accountability and improvements in a system undergoing substantial reform. The recommendations include:

A further recommendation is for school inspection to focus on four key questions:

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