Self-evaluation and improvement processes are fundamental to school effectiveness. The national resource: evaluation and improvement aims to support all schools to develop and use a range of approaches and resources to achieve the best possible outcomes for all learners in Wales. It has been developed through a process of co-construction by education practitioners from across the nation. These include school leaders, Estyn, the regional consortia and local authorities.  In addition, the OECD provided input during the early stages of the resource’s development. We are grateful to all for their valuable contributions.

Alongside the development of the national resource, the Welsh Government has published school improvement guidance, which sets out a new framework for evaluation, improvement and accountability. Aligning with the Curriculum for Wales, the framework emphasises learner progression and well-being, and articulates the Welsh Government’s vision for successful schools.

Under the new framework, effective self-evaluation is the starting point for evaluation and improvement work, with schools’ performance evaluated using a wide range of evidence and information, that covers the breadth of school activity.

The practical strategies presented by the national resource will help schools put into practice the principles of evaluation and improvement set out in the school improvement guidance.

As a digital resource, the national resource provides a strong platform for the development of a sustainable, self-improving education system in Wales. It aligns with and complements other national initiatives including the development and implementation of a Curriculum for Wales, the national approach to professional learning, and the national professional learning journey. These resources aim to support the development of schools as learning organisations.

The national resource promotes a culture of continuous professional reflection, dialogue and learning. It is not a tick list of questions to be asked or jobs to be done. It provides a menu of approaches, reflection prompts and resources, organised into a user-friendly hierarchical structure for schools to select, adapt and use in their own context. It emphasises the importance of evaluation and improvement processes and reduces the status of documentation.

Following the publication of the resource, we will continue to work in partnership with schools and education professionals to ensure it continues to meet their needs, making refinements based on feedback received

Video: trailer for the National Resource: Evaluation and Improvement

The national resource plays a key role in supporting schools in developing the curriculum for Wales. It also supports schools as they develop to become learning organisations, providing additional detail to support self-evaluation processes that underpin the professional learning journey.

Effective evaluation of teaching and learning, at the core of the reosurce will also support schools in engaging with the pedagogy conversation through the national pedagogy project.

The national resource also has close links to the deeper evaluation that happens through professional enquiry, which is supported through the national professional enquiry project (NPEP).

These components support the National Approach to Professional Learning (NAPL) and reflect the dimensions and categories of Schools as Learning Organisations (SLO) and the Professional Learning Journey (PLJ) as follows:

SLO Dimension

PLJ category

The national resource prompts

Developing a shared vision centred on the learning of all learners

Developing a shared whole-school vision


Leadership, Curriculum

Modelling and growing learning leadership

Modelling learning leadership


Leadership, Curriculum

Establishing a culture of enquiry, innovation and exploration

Establishing a culture of change and innovation

Curriculum: Establishing a vision

Creating and supporting continuous learning opportunities for all staff

Creating continuous learning opportunities for staff


Learning and teaching: Professional learning, innovation and collaboration

Promoting team learning and collaboration among all staff

Team learning and collaboration

Learning and teaching: Professional learning, innovation and collaboration

Embedding systems for collecting and exchanging knowledge for learning

Creating systems for collecting and exchanging knowledge for learning


Learning and teaching: Professional learning

Learning with and from the external environment and wider learning system

Learning through the wider learning system


Learning and teaching: Professional learning


Establishing a culture of enquiry, innovation and exploration

Establishing a culture of enquiry and exploration

Curriculum: designing, planning and trialling