Estyn can work in both languages

11th August 2000 at 01:00
THERE was no requirement on Welsh school inspection body Estyn to have its new management structure approved by the Welsh Language Board ("Reshuffle angers Welsh teachers", TES, July 28).

On the subject of Estyn and the Welsh language the position is that Estyn delivers its services through both Welsh and English in accordance with its published Welsh Language Scheme, which was approved by the Welsh Language Board in 1997 when Susan Lewis was appointed chief inspector.

As in the National Assembly for Wales, Estyn's ability to work in either language does not rest with any single individual, but rather with the organisation as a whole. In all divisions there are staff who can work effectively in both Welsh and English.

Following the creation of the Assembly, Estyn has bee pro-active in restructuring itself. It is also now funded through the Assembly. Day-to-day management of the organisation is a matter for the chief inspector but Estyn operates to an annual remit issued by the Assembly and is already fully accountable to it.

Estyn's role is already quite different from the Office for Standards in Education's. It has a distinct and much wider range of functions. It also has a distinctive mode of operation designed to enable schools to gain the most from the inspection process.

The inspection system in Wales will continue to be operated by a thoroughly professional team of independent experts free to report without fear or favour on inspections undertaken.

Janis Pickwick

Spokesperson, Estyn

Cathays Park,


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