Want to know more about what we do? Maybe your answer is in our Frequently Asked Questions…


Q.  What does Estyn do?

Estyn inspects quality and standards in education and training providers in Wales.

Estyn is responsible for inspecting:

  • 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;
  • teacher education and training;
  • work-based learning;
  • careers companies; and
  • offender learning.

Estyn also:

  • provides advice to the Welsh Government on quality and standards in education and training in Wales; and publicises good practice based on inspection evidence.

Q.  What DOESN’T Estyn inspect in Wales? 

Estyn doesn’t inspect university education, other than Initial Teacher Training courses. 

Q.  How many inspections does Estyn do a year?

During 2010-2011, Estyn is due to carry out 453 inspections.  Currently, external contractors work with Estyn to inspect schools in Wales. From September 2010, Estyn started to bring all inspections in-house with the aim of phasing out the use of contractors by 2012.

Q.  How long does an inspection last?

On average, our inspection teams will spend between 2 and 5 days at the organisation they are inspecting. The length of time they spend on-site depends on how many learners are in that organisation. You can learn more about what our inspectors look for when they inspect different education and training providers in the inspection guidance section.

Q.  What legislation gives Estyn powers?

Estyn receives funding from the Welsh Government under Section 104 of the Government of Wales Act 1998.  A range of other legislation gives us powers in relation to different sectors. This includes the Learning of Skills Act 2000, the Education Act 2005 and the Education (School Inspection) (Wales) Regulations 2006.  

Q.  Is Estyn independent?

Estyn is independent of the National Assembly for Wales but we receive our funding from the Welsh Government.  

Q.  How much of the education budget goes to Estyn?

In 2010-2011, Estyn was allocated total revenue of £14,055,000, just 0.55% of the Welsh Government’s education budget.  To read more about the way Estyn allocates its budget – read our Annual Plan.

Q.  How often are schools or education and training providers inspected?

Every education and training provider is inspected at least once every 6 years. If we find that the education or training provider needs more support to improve the education or training they are providing, we make annual visits to support them, until we’re happy that they are providing their learners with the support they need.  We also have the power to make an unannounced visit to any education and training provider in Wales if we are concerned.  

Q.  How do I find out about my local schools?

For general information about your school you should contact them directly. To search for an inspection report, click here.

Q.  What do I do if I have a complaint about my school? 

If you have a complaint about a school or other education and training provider you should raise your concerns with the provider in the first instance. Estyn does not investigate or follow up complaints in relation to the activities of individual schools or providers. Your first course of action is to raise your concerns formally through the school’s complaints procedure. Failing satisfaction at that stage, you should escalate the complaint to the Director of Education or equivalent in the Local Authority.

Q.  What do I do if I want to report a child protection issue?

See Safeguarding FAQs

Q.  How do I make a complaint about Estyn?

We should like to hear your views of our work and how it affects you. Your suggestions, compliments and complaints will help us to recognise high-quality work as well as improve the services we provide. Link to Feedback and Complaints Leaflet 

Q.  Why aren’t all inspection reports available in Welsh? 

Reports are published in accordance with Estyn's Welsh Language Scheme. Inspection reports of individual institutions will be issued bilingually when requested by the education and training provider or, in the case of schools or local authority providers, when this is in line with the policy of the local authority. Where a bilingual report is not requested, reports on individual institutions will appear in English only. 

Q.  Where are Estyn’s offices?

Estyn’s office is in Cardiff.  For more information and directions, click here.  

Q.  How many people work for Estyn? 

About a hundred people work for Estyn. This includes both Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMI) and inspection support staff.  

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