Estyn is a non-for-profit government body that is responsible for inspecting education and training in Wales.  They inspect all schools and settings (maintained and independent) for pupils of all ages from nursery age to further education, including work-based learning. They inspect the education of young offenders and offenders in secure estates and prisons. They also inspect teacher education, local authorities and regional school improvement services.
In addition to inspection they:
• provide advice and guidance to the Welsh Government on quality and standards in education and training in Wales. This advice is published in thematic reports which are commissioned by the Minister for Education and Skills.
• build capacity in the delivery of education and training in Wales based on inspection evidence, including promoting the spread of best practice through our case studies and supplementary guidance.
• contribute to a number of education working groups.
• provide a range of ad-hoc advice to Ministers, for example about the registration of new independent schools, or as part of other school reorganisation processes.
Current topics of the thematic research are services for young people and managed moves (where learners are moved to different schools). They have published guidance on inspecting the approaches taken by local government education services to reduce the impact of poverty on educational attainment and wellbeing.
They also review how effectively education support services and national initiatives for disadvantaged schools support them to improve the outcomes of disadvantaged learners and also how effectively their services directly support disadvantaged learners.
The context of deprivation and education in Wales
• Wales is a region of Europe that has significant deprivation issues
• Income inequality in the UK is considerable.  In a Welsh context, the biggest factor that is likely to influence income inequality is welfare benefits 
• Incomes in Wales are unlikely to increase greatly during the next 5 years
• The strongest way to prevent persistent poverty is through employment 
• Therefore, it is essential to get people of all ages but especially the young to engage with work and to ensure that they have the necessary skills for work and lifelong learning
• Only just over 20% of the Welsh population live in settlements of over 125,000 habitants compared with almost 40% in Scotland.  Wales has the least ‘economic mass’ of any country in the UK
• There is little evidence that earnings according to highly skilled, skilled or unskilled jobs vary regionally in Wales
• Within Wales, people’s chances of employment are driven much more by their skills than where they live.  The higher the qualifications the better the chances of employment 
• The most meaningful act would be to raise the skills of those with the lowest skills to help them into sustainable employment and stop young people from not engaging with work
• Most poor children are now living in working households (66%). However, for those in houses where there are lone parents that do not work in the households, the relative and material poverty of the child are increased
These issues are common to many parts of Europe and they will share their extensive experience and impact in this area of our work, contribute to the development of the toolkit and set up and host a virtual document sharing and collaboration interface to allow participating organisations to publish and work together on guidance, training materials and project outputs.