Skip to main content

The specific advice required by the Welsh Government in 2022 to 2023

1a) Detailed reports and, where appropriate, other resources drawing on evidence from thematic inspections

The thematic reviews to be included in the remit to Estyn for 2022 to 2023 are listed in the table below.

The list includes 7 items: 6 standard reviews and 1 short review.

The items included reflect a strategic remit that has a focus on the current reforms for the implementation of the Curriculum for Wales, ALNET Act and PCET reform, and includes an item focusing on Welsh language development and a focus on supporting vulnerable learners.







Implementation of the ALNET Act in schools

This review will consider the arrangements and implementation of the requirements outlined in the ALNET Act in primary and secondary schools, PRUs and local authorities, and intelligence gathered in 2021 to 2022 through engagement calls and visits.

Standard review


Developing reading skills

This review will focus on developing reading skills, including higher order reading skills, for 11 to 14 year olds and the transition between Year 6 and Year 7.

This would be a review across two years, with the focus in 2022-2023 on reading skills in English. In 2023 to 2024, the focus would be on developing reading skills in Welsh for this age group.

Year 1 of 2

Standard review


Welsh language development in initial teacher education

This review was postponed from the Remit Letter 2020 to 2021, after revisions to thematic activity due to the pandemic. This review will focus on how well ITE institutions support student teachers to improve their Welsh language skills, including teaching through the medium of Welsh.

Standard review


Supporting learners who are Educated Other Than At School


This review will build on other thematic reviews of EOTAS provision and provide an update on progress against recommendations in a previous report. The report would consider what works well in supporting learners to return to mainstream education.

Standard review


Peer-on-peer sexual harassment in Further Education colleges

This review will follow on from the review requested in 2021 to 2022 of the culture and processes at maintained and independent secondary schools to protect and support young people, by focusing on the culture and processes in further education colleges.

Standard review


Delivery of Essential Skills Wales qualifications in apprenticeship programmes

This review was postponed from the Remit Letter 2019 to 2020, after revisions to thematic activity due to the pandemic. It will have a particular focus on good practice in integrating essential skills qualifications into learning delivery. This would build on findings in previous inspections about shortcomings in the planning and delivery of essential skills qualifications in vocational learning programmes, as well as the outcomes of the Qualifications Wales review.

Standard review


Governance: Effective practice including acting as critical friends (including challenge at various levels), the impact of governor training 

Challenging the school leadership team is an area where many governing bodies need support – this review would assess the effectiveness of governing bodies and highlight what support and training is needed to upskill governors in readiness for the evaluation, improvement and accountability arrangements and curriculum reforms.

Short review

1b) Ongoing advice, detailed reports and, where appropriate, other resources drawing on evidence from inspection, engagement calls and visits, and other activity

The following topics are priorities for Estyn to provide Welsh Government with advice through updates following regular engagement visits and other activity to schools and other providers.






Implementing the new Jobs Growth Wales Plus Programmes

Engagement visits and other activity to providers delivering these programmes will focus on how the programmes are settling in, for their first year, before considering further review or inspection. 

A national report will outline the successes and challenges of the programmes.



Implementing the Curriculum for Wales – building progression into curriculum design and planning 


Engagement visits and other activity will continue to review how schools, PRUs and non-maintained settings are preparing for first teaching of the Curriculum for Wales and building progression, including the engagement and progression of learners from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds, into their design and planning. Regular updates and reports would focus on lessons learned – what is working well and why, what pitfalls to avoid and cameos of interesting practice, exploring the principles underpinning effective practice.



Local authority and regional consortia support for school improvement

Engagement visits and activity will focus on providing an update report on the support for school improvement by local authorities and regional consortia, including the changing arrangements in south west and mid Wales.

During 2022 to 2023 Estyn will continue to gather information from engagement calls and visits to support the Welsh Government’s learning recovery plan from the Covid-19 pandemic for the education and training sectors. This will result in regular reports, including cameos of interesting practice.

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

  • engagement of learners, including effective strategies to support different age groups
  • delivering a broad and balanced curriculum, supported by appropriate assessment, that meets the needs of all learners
  • support for learners, parents and professionals, in particular in relation to wellbeing
  • equity of learning and support in education with reference to the principles of ‘High Standards and Aspirations: a strategy for tackling the impact of poverty on attainment’
  • support for transition into primary, secondary and post-16 education and training
  • diversity
  • leadership and improvement planning
  • the system of awarding current qualifications and the development of qualifications for the Curriculum for Wales

In addition to termly updates, this advice may also be given through contributions to working groups, the National Network Conversations, written advice, published guidance or reports.

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

Estyn will continue to work with partners to roll out approaches to supporting secondary schools causing concern.

1d) Continue to work with Welsh Government and stakeholders to support PCET reform

Estyn will continue to work with Welsh Government and stakeholders to support PCET reform and preparations following legislation in creating the Commission for Tertiary Education and Research.

1e) Support for initial teacher education in the post compulsory education and training sectors

Building on the findings of the thematic review of initial teacher education and training in the post-compulsory sectors, Estyn will provide support to Welsh Government’s Post-16 workforce development steering group and undertake some further analysis of initial teacher education for the PCET sector.

1f) Develop a programme of inspections of youth work

Building on the recommendation of the Interim Youth Work Board’s report, and the Ministerial response to that recommendation, Estyn will develop a programme of inspections of youth work settings/provision for both the voluntary and the maintained sector. This will include training current practitioners as peer inspectors and piloting approaches for including young people in an inspection team.

1g) Support for local authority and regional arrangements for school improvement services relating to education technology (EdTech)

Estyn will work with Welsh Government to review the use of education technology funding in local authority link visits.

1h) Policy areas on which the Education Directorate 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 Education and SHELL Directorate officials.

For 2022 to 2023 it is anticipated that Estyn will contribute to the following working groups but this will be reviewed in the future:

  • All Wales Forum of Gypsy Traveller Education Practitioners 
  • Consistent Performance Measures Steering Group and technical group
  • Curriculum for Wales Group
  • Curriculum for Wales Assessment Group
  • Developing the Welsh and Welsh-medium workforce task and finish group
  • Ed Tech Delivery Authority
  • Technical Standardisation Group
  • Early Years Project Board
  • ECEC Quality Framework Task and Finish Group
  • Education Other Than at School (EOTAS) Ministerial Advisory Group
  • Global Futures Steering Group
  • Welsh Language Framework Group for English-medium schools and settings
  • High Standards and Aspirations: a strategy for tackling the impact of poverty on attainment
  • Teacher Recruitment and Retention Advisory Board
  • Early Career Stakeholder Group
  • Interim Youth Work Board and the new Youth Work Implementation Board
  • 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
  • Liberty Protection Safeguards working groups
  • Minority Ethnic Achievement Local Authorities Forum
  • National Digital Learning Council
  • National Network Coherence Group
  • Non-maintained sector – curriculum support resources
  • National Delivery Group for looked after children in education
  • Offender Learning Employability and Skills Group
  • Education in Wales: Our national mission Programme Delivery
  • Workforce Development Strategy Participation Group
  • Post Compulsory Education and Training (PCET) Reform Ministerial Strategy and Implementation Board.
  • Post-16 Digital 2030 Steering Group
  • Professional Workforce Development Steering Group and sub-groups
  • Professional Learning and Collaboration Group
  • Reading and Oracy in Wales group
  • Safeguarding in Education Steering Group
  • Strategic Education Delivery Group
  • Teaching Assistants Professional Learning steering group
  • The Assessment Advisory Group
  • Personalised Assessment Project Board
  • The Learning Portfolio Working Group.
  • The Childcare Offer for Wales: Stakeholder Reference Group
  • Vocational Qualifications Forum
  • Vulnerable Children Young People & Safeguarding Group
  • Wales Strategic Forum for Careers Development
  • Welsh Government’s Improvement and Support Conference

1i) 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
  • regular monitoring of independent schools registered to provide additional learning provision for learners with statements of SEN or individual development plans
  • 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, including material change requests
  • pupil development grant
  • education improvement grant for schools
  • development of qualifications and inspection arrangements for any proposed new initial teacher training and continuing professional development requirements for teachers, tutors and trainers in the lifelong learning sector
  • schools causing concern
  • follow up work in respect of Local Education Authorities and regional arrangements for school improvement services
  • work with the Welsh Government Central Honours team to contribute any relevant intelligence as part of their process for validating honours citations for professionals within education and training providers
  • assist Welsh Government with the response to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, if required
  • background information for Ministerial meetings and visits to schools and other providers
  • Senedd questions.

2. An indicative forward look at possible items required by the Welsh Government in 2023 to 2024

This is a provisional forward look only and is provided to help Estyn plan for 2023 to 2024. Further detailed discussions will take place between policy officials and Estyn before items are agreed.

  • developing reading skills in Welsh (second year of review, focusing on 11-14 year olds, and the transition between Year 6 and Year 7)
  • accelerated and enhanced learning programmes in further education
  • work relating to ‘High Standards and Aspirations: a strategy for tackling the impact of poverty on attainment’
  • exclusion
  • support for vulnerable learners in non-maintained settings, especially those with SEN or English as an additional language
  • Careers Wales: focus on support for the Young Person’s Guarantee
  • changes to the school day
  • school improvement support for schools causing concern
  • best practice in learning and teaching of British Sign Language (BSL)
  • best practice review of the curriculum to address diversity
  • family learning, focusing on parenting programmes
  • flying start provision