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The specific advice required by the Welsh Government in 2020 to 2021

This document sets out the Minister for Education’s annual remit to Estyn for 2020 to 2021. The annual remit is additional to Estyn’s core business.

1a) Ongoing advice, detailed reports and, where appropriate, other resources drawing on evidence from engagement visits

During 2020 to 2021 Estyn will ‘pause’ the usual set of thematic reports and concentrate on supporting the education system’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Estyn will also be partially suspending inspections for maintained schools and PRUs during the 2020 to 2021 academic year. This has been assisted by the Welsh Government introducing the Education (Amendments Relating to the Intervals for Inspection of Education and Training) (Wales) Regulations 2020 which will come into force on 1 September 2020 and extends the current inspection cycle from 7 to 8 years. The intention of the partial suspension of inspection period was to enable inspectors to support the curriculum through engagement visits. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, initially the engagement visits will be re-purposed to support schools’ recovery from the current situation.

Estyn will capture learning and provide independent advice and evidence to support initial planning for continuity of learning in schools and post-16 sectors and future decision-making to support the education system’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In order to provide evidence-based advice, inspectors will capture feedback from providers and carry out engagement visits to providers with a focus on capturing learning and evidence about remaining challenges for professionals, learners and parents.

In particular we will require Estyn to provide advice across the sectors within its remit in relation to:

  • engagement of learners, including effective strategies for different age groups
  • the home curriculum and the transition to the recovery curriculum in all education providers
  • support for learners, parents and professionals, in particular in relation to emotional wellbeing
  • equity of access to learning and support
  • support for transition into primary, secondary and post-16 education and training
  • learning in local authority commissioned EOTAS provision (e.g. independent special schools, colleges, training providers, home tuition).

This advice may be through contributions to working groups, written advice or published guidance or reports.
Depending on the recovery of the education system, Estyn will determine in consultation with Welsh Government and other stakeholders, whether there is an appropriate point to start focusing engagement visits on preparation for the implementation of Curriculum for Wales.

Estyn will undertake in the 2020 to 2021 autumn term a thematic review of local authorities’ and regional consortia’s approaches to supporting learning and vulnerable learners during the COVID-19 pandemic. The review will evaluate the effectiveness, extent of influence and impact of local authorities’ education department and regional consortia’s approaches to supporting schools, governing bodies and learners during the periods of remote learning and partial reopening of schools, and the full reopening from September 2020.

Estyn will also undertake thematic reviews of the approaches to blended learning and support for learners’ engagement, mental health and wellbeing in further education colleges, work-based learning providers and adult learning in the community partnerships during the COVID-19 pandemic. The reviews will highlight practices that are working well as well as aspects that need further development, drawing from the Post-16 link engagement calls in the autumn term and further engagement with a sample of providers in the early spring term 2021.

1b) Continuation of the work on the national evaluation and improvement resource

Estyn will continue to work with Welsh Government on the national evaluation and improvement resource.

1c) Continue to work with Welsh Government, local authorities and regional consortia to support schools causing concern

Estyn will continue to work with partners to pilot new approaches to supporting schools causing concern.

1d) Policy areas on which Welsh Government may require advice or support through contributions to working groups

Estyn provides advice and support for decision making in a range of areas. Estyn may be asked to provide support to various working groups through representation, presentation of written evidence or discussions with senior Welsh Government officials.
For 2020 to 2021 it is anticipated that Estyn will contribute to the following working groups but this will be reviewed going forward:

  • Additional Learning Needs Reform
  • All Wales Forum of Gypsy Traveller Education Practitioners
  • All Wales Safeguarding in Education
  • Consistent Performance Measures
  • Curriculum for Wales Curriculum & Assessment Group
  • Curriculum for Wales Operational Delivery Board
  • Curriculum for Wales Coherence Group
  • Curriculum for Wales Assessment Group
  • Curriculum for Wales Review Implementation: Change Board
  • DCF
  • Digital Operations Group
  • Digital Standards Working Group
  • Digital Standards Group
  • Education Other Than at School (EOTAS) Delivery Group
  • Education Reform Strategic Stakeholder Group
  • Elective Home Education Stakeholder Working Group
  • Global Futures Steering Group
  • Initial Teacher Education Recruitment and Retention Board
  • Initial Teacher Education Transition Group
  • Joint Ministerial Task and Finish Group on a Whole-School Approach to Mental Health and Wellbeing
  • Keep in Touch Meeting (Youth Justice Board, Welsh Government and Inspectorates)
  • Lead and Emerging Practitioner Schools Project Board
  • Minority Ethnic Achievement and Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Local Authorities Forum
  • National Digital Learning Council
  • National Networks
  • National Online Safety Network
  • National Strategic Group for Children who are looked after
  • National Strategy for Educational Research
  • PISA task group
  • Post Compulsory Education and Training (PCET) Group
  • Digital 2030 Steering Group
  • Post-16 Further Education Specialist Group
  • Safeguarding in Education Steering Group
  • Schools Causing Concern
  • Teacher Education Accreditation Board
  • The Childcare Offer for Wales: Stakeholder Reference Group
  • Wales Strategic Forum for Careers Development
  • Welsh Government Data Group
  • Welsh Government’s Improvement and Support Conference
  • Youth Work Stakeholder Group
  • Welsh Government workload group

Curriculum for Wales Area of Learning and Experience working groups:

  • Expressive arts
  • Health and well-being
  • Humanities
  • Languages, literacy and communication
  • Mathematics and numeracy
  • Science and technology.

Curriculum for Wales professional learning pioneers working groups.

1e) Other areas on which Welsh Government may require advice and support regarding education and training in Wales

Estyn also provides ongoing support in the following areas:

  • School closure and reorganisation proposals
  • Placements for pupils with a statement of special educational need where specific Welsh Minister consent is required under section 347(5) (b) of the Education Act 1996
  • Annual monitoring of independent schools which have been approved under section 347(1) of the Education Act 1996, to admit pupils with statements of special educational needs (SEN) generally and has pupils with SEN on roll; or an independent school that has registered to admit pupils with SEN under section 158 of the Education Act 2002 and has SEN pupils on roll
  • Inspection and annual monitoring of all independent specialist colleges in Wales and provision of an inspector as part of a team on the inspections or annual monitoring visits of independent specialist colleges in England where 10 or more learners from Wales are funded to attend
  • Registration of independent schools
  • Pupil development grant
  • Education improvement grant for schools
  • Development of qualifications and inspection arrangements for any proposed new initial teacher training and continuing professional learning requirements for teachers, tutors and trainers in the lifelong learning sector
  • Schools causing concern
  • Follow up work in respect of Local Authority Education Departments
  • Honours nominations
  • Background information for Ministerial visits to schools
  • Senedd questions.