Education & Family

Amanda Spielman chosen as new Ofsted chief

Amanda Spielman Image copyright other
Image caption Ms Spielman founded an academy chain

Amanda Spielman has been chosen as the next chief inspector of Ofsted by Education Secretary Nicky Morgan.

Ms Spielman, currently chair of exams regulator Ofqual, has been chosen for her experience in the education sector although she has never been a teacher.

She has helped oversee the reform of GCSEs and A-levels and the founding and expansion of successful academy chain, Ark, during her time at Ofqual.

She will replace Sir Michael Wilshaw, who steps down at the end of the year.

Announcing the selection, Ms Morgan said: "I am delighted to recommend Amanda Spielman as chief inspector.

"From helping to set up one of the country's top academy chains, to acting as a council member for the Institute of Education, to overseeing our ambitious qualification reform programme, Amanda has extensive experience at the front line of the education system, making her uniquely qualified to take up this important role.

"I know that she is the right person to deliver the Education White Paper's commitment to continue to improve the quality and consistency of Ofsted's inspections, ensuring that it plays a central role in realising our vision of educational excellence everywhere."

Kevin Courtney, acting general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: "To have as the new chief inspector of Ofsted a person who has no teaching experience and who is heavily implicated in the academy programme, certainly does call into question both their suitability and impartiality for the job.

"It is a sad indictment of this Government's attitude to education that they place such little value on the experience of teachers and head teachers, that they would not consider such a background necessary for the chief inspector's role."

The Association of Teachers and Lecturers highlighted that Ms Spielman "has never taught, has never led a school or a major public institution, and as chair of Ofqual she has presided over qualification chaos in secondary schools".

Committee consulted

Ms Spielman, who has been officially named as preferred candidate for the post - formally known as Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Education, Children's Services and Skills - will now appear before the Commons Education Select Committee.

It will then feed back its views to the Education Secretary, who will consider the committee's conclusions before deciding whether to proceed with the appointment.

Ms Spielman co-founded the Ark schools academy chain, which has transformed some of the most underperforming schools in the country.

She is also a trustee of Stemnet, a network which works with thousands of schools, colleges and employers to inspire young people to study and pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and maths.

She takes over from Sir Michael, who was appointed by former education secretary Michael Gove, and has overseen many changes to the Ofsted inspection framework.

He clashed with Mr Gove over the inspection of academy chains and plans for no notice inspections.

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