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Estyn is the education and training inspectorate for Wales. Its name comes from the Welsh language verb estyn meaning "to reach (out), stretch or extend". Its function is to provide an independent inspection and advice service on quality and standards in education and training provided in Wales.

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Education and Training in Wales
Non-ministerial government department overview
Formed1907 (1907)
HeadquartersAnchor Court, Keen Road, Cardiff, CF24 5JW
Employeesc.100 permanent staff
Non-ministerial government department executive
  • Meilyr Rowlands, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Education of Education and Training (HMCI)

It is independent from, but funded by, the Welsh Government (section 104 of the Government of Wales Act 1998). Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Education and Training in Wales (HMCI) and her staff are Crown and civil servants.

Mr Meilyr Rowlands was appointed as Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Education and Training in Wales (HMCI) on 1 June 2015.[1]

The strategic directors are Simon Brown HMI and Claire Morgan HMI.

The purpose of Estyn is to inspect and report on the quality and standards of education and training provided in Wales, including:

  • how far education and training meet the needs of learners and contribute to their development and wellbeing;
  • standards achieved; and
  • the quality of leadership and training.

Estyn's head office is in Cardiff. Estyn was awarded Investors in People Gold (IIP) accreditation in March 2011.

The equivalent body in Scotland is HMIE and in England it is Ofsted.

Range of inspectionEdit

Estyn inspects the following:

  • nursery schools and settings that are maintained by, or receive funding from, local authorities;
  • primary schools;
  • secondary schools;
  • special schools;
  • pupil referral units;
  • independent schools;
  • further education;
  • independent specialist colleges;
  • adult community learning;
  • local authority education services for children and young people;
  • regional consortia for school improvement;
  • teacher education and training;
  • Welsh for adults;
  • work-based learning; and
  • learning in the justice sector.

Inspection reports are published on the Estyn website.


Strategic objectivesEdit

Estyn's strategic objectives are:

  • Provide public accountability to service users on the quality and standards of education and training provision in Wales;
  • Inform the development of national policy by the Welsh Government; and
  • Build capacity in the delivery of education and training in Wales.

Estyn works in collaboration with the Care and Social Services Inspectorate for Wales (CSSIW), Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) and Wales Audit Office (WAO) to implement the Welsh Government's policy statement on Inspection, Audit and Regulation. In partnership with Ofsted, Estyn has responsibility for inspecting learners in England who are funded by the Welsh Government and who attend independent special schools, work-based learning courses, and provision for young people in youth offending teams. Estyn inspects, through joint working with HMI Probation and HMI Prisons, the education of offenders in secure estate and prisons in Wales.

Estyn continues to strengthen its international profile through a range of links with other countries in Europe and further afield, including:

  • a close association with The Standing International Conference of Inspectorates (SICI). Inspectors have attended several conferences and workshops in Europe over the past year, dealing with a variety of subjects, including measuring social outcomes and the impact of inspection;
  • welcoming groups of international inspectors to presentations and training events about inspection in Wales;
  • contributing to a comparative study of inspectorates in Europe; and
  • updating Estyn's profile on the SICI website to reflect the current inspection framework and guidance.

See alsoEdit