Ofsted chief appointment confirmed

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Amanda Spielman will be Ofsted’s next chief inspector, the Government has confirmed.


The Privy Council, which includes party leaders and ministers and advises the Queen, has signed off the appointment.

Education secretary Justine Greening said, ‘I’m confident Amanda Spielman is the right person to lead Ofsted and I look forward to working with her.

‘Ofsted’s role is vital in challenging schools, childcare providers and social services to ensure every child reaches their full potential.’

The news follows a row over the recommended appointment earlier this month, between Ms Greening’s predecessor Nicky Morgan, and the Education Committee, after it produced a damning report on Ms Spielman’s suitability.

Neil Carmichael, Conservative MP for Stroud, acknowledged her ‘broad experience’ – the former merchant banker is chair of exams regulator Ofqual, and co-founded multi-academy trust Ark – but said she had displayed a lack of ‘vision and passion’ during interview.

He added that she had given ‘particularly troubling’ responses on child protection.

Some unions had also been critical of the choice, especially in light of Ms Spielman's lack of teaching experience.

Ms Morgan wrote a strongly-worded letter to Mr Carmichael, overruling the report, which called for the appointment not to proceed.

She accused the committee of desiring qualities that were not on the job spec, and having a ‘narrow and stereotypical’ view of leadership.

A DfE spokesperson said, ‘Ms Spielman’s appointment was confirmed by the Privy Council after a rigorous recruitment process conducted in line with the requirements set by the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

‘Ms Spielman will take over the role from Sir Michael Wilshaw when his term of appointment ends.’

PACEY's director of communications, Victoria Flint, welcomed the apppointment and highlighted a number of priorities for the inspector.

'With the quality of early years provision the best it has ever been, Ms Spielman has an opportunity to build on the significant progress that has been made and ensure that early years remains a continued focus for the inspectorate,' she said.

'Bringing early years inspections in-house is a major step forward.

'However, there is still a need to make the inspection regime more consistent across different types of providers.'

PACEY called for fast-tracked inspections to be made available for all providers with a ‘requires improvement’ grade, not just nurseries.

Ms Flint added, 'We also call on the new chief inspector to address, as quickly as possible, the growing problem of unreasonably long waiting times for initial registration that is a major barrier for new early years providers.

'Finally, it is crucial that Ofsted continues to shine a light on the problem of lower quality provision in deprived areas, and work with the Government and the early years sector to ensure that all children, regardless of their background, have access to the highest quality possible early education and childcare.'

Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Pre-school Learning Alliance, said he looked forward to building on the regulator's recent improvements with early years, such as through the Ofsted Big Conversation, which has 'benefited both the inspectorate and providers'.

He added that there are a number of outstanding issues needing to be addressed, around consistency of inspections and delays with inspection of new providers.

In an earlier Tweet Ms Spielman welcomed the decision to uphold the nomination.

She tweeted, 'I am really pleased that the Secretary of State is confirming my nomination as HMCI today - thank you to everyone who has expressed support.'

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