A very positive Estyn report for GwE

Date 16/11/2017

GwE warmly welcomes the report published by Estyn following their recent inspection visit.

 Estyn provided an assessment on progress based on the following definitions:

-          Limited progress does not meet the recommendation

-          Satisfactory progress addresses the recommendation in a majority of respects

-          Strong addresses the recommendation in most aspects

-          Very good addresses the recommendation in all aspects


Today’s (16 November) report shows that during their recent visit, Estyn found that GwE had made very good progress against four of the recommendations and strong progress against two:

-          Ensure that the school improvement service uses data, target setting and tracking procedures more effectively to challenge and support schools in order to improve performance of all learners across schools and local authorities, particularly at key stage 4: Strong Progress

-          Improve the quality of evaluation in the delivery of school improvement services: Very good Progress

-          Improve the rigour of the arrangements for identifying and managing risk: Very good Progress

-          Ensure that business and operational plans contain clear success criteria and that progress against these are monitored effectively: Very good Progress

-          Clarify the strategic role of the regional networks and their accountability to the Joint Committee: Very good Progress

-          Develop an appropriate framework to assess value for money; ensure that the business plan is accompanied by a medium-term financial plan and that work-streams are fully costed: Strong Progress


The Estyn report summarises the following:

Since the core inspection, GwE has conducted an intensive and comprehensive review of its work and its effects on standards, provision and leadership across the region. Early action following this work has ensured that stakeholders at all levels have increasing confidence in GwE’s ability to provide an effective school improvement service. Significant changes have been made to management structures to distribute leadership and ensure clear lines of accountability. The managing director’s strong and decisive leadership has been a key factor in promoting the substantial improvements in the quality of the school improvement services since the inspection.


Karen Evans, Lead Director commented:

“We are very pleased with the positive outcomes from the Estyn monitoring report & are delighted that Estyn have highlighted the progress in many aspects of our work:

The quality of work of the core subject improvement advisers is excellent.

GwE has taken very positive steps to improve its data handling system from the foundation phase to key stage 4.

GwE, in partnership with local authorities and schools, has strengthened the system of setting targets and made it more consistent.

GwE responds positively to requests from local authorities to conduct intensive internal reviews in individual schools GwE has ensured a more proportionate allocation of resources and time to work with secondary schools than at the time of the core inspection.

GwE gives clear guidance on tracking outcomes against targets.

As part of the revised approach of working with schools, GwE produces a purposeful support programme for each school.

The early and direct action to improve the quality of the regional service since the core inspection has led to significant improvements in standards in the foundation phase and key stages 2 and 3.


“The findings of today’s report are testament to the strong partnerships and networks that exist across the region. I am privileged to work alongside such committed professionals within GwE and the wider education sector in North Wales. We must now continue to work together to build on the momentum and ensure our vision & objectives for 2020 become a reality.”


Councillor Gareth Thomas, Chair of the GwE Joint Committee commented:

“We are delighted that Estyn has given recognition to the significant work & progress within the consortium.


“It is pleasing that Estyn has highlighted our partnership working with Bangor University on the ‘Collaborative Institute for Education Research, Evidence and Impact’ project to develop evaluation systems and methodology. We also appreciate the recognition for our work in developing the Welsh language.


“We pay tribute to the hard work and dedication shown by the consortium staff and partners. We have an extremely skilled and knowledgeable team, and it is through their commitment that we have been able to continually strive for improvement.

Finally, we would like to thank everyone who has been involved in securing this progress. We are very much looking forward to continuing our work with the region’s schools and learners to achieve our vision and continue to improve outcomes for all.”


A full copy of the Estyn Monitoring Report can be found on the GwE website: http://www.gwegogledd.cymru/