Further doubts cast over US replacement for Ofsted top job

Another prominent American educator has ruled themselves out of taking over as chief inspector of schools, raising further uncertainty over Nicky Morgan’s plans to recruit a candidate from across the Atlantic

Dave Levin, the co-founder of KIPP (article free to subscribers), the hugely successful US charter school provider, has told TES that he had not even been contacted by the Department for Education regarding the role of head of Ofsted.

The inspectorate’s current chief inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, steps down in December, and reports earlier in the week stated that the education secretary was scouring the US for his replacement.

A source close to the education secretary Nicky Morgan told TES that she was eager to cast the net as far as possible in a bid to unearth the best possible successor to Sir Michael.

The preferred candidate would be an experienced and successful education reformer, willing to take on the teaching unions, the source added.

But Mr Levin, who was cast as the front runner for the position, said he was not interested in taking over at the inspectorate.

“While it’s an honour to be associated with the search for this key position, I have not been contacted by anyone in the UK’s Department for Education regarding the head of Ofsted position and am not considering any position at Ofsted,” Mr Levin said.

“I am fully committed to continuing our work at KIPP to put more students from underserved communities in the US on the path to and through college.”

As much ‘clout’ as Wilshaw

Earlier in the week, two other prominent US educators named in a piece by The Sunday Times took themselves out of contention.

Eva Moskowitz, chief executive of New York charter chain Success Academy, ruled herself out and told TES that her work in the city was “far from done”.

And the author and founder of charter chain Uncommon Schools Doug Lemov is also understood to have quashed rumours that he was in the running.

Earlier this week, a senior source within the DfE said: “We are looking at the US, Canada and Northern Europe – as well as the UK – for a replacement who will have as much clout as Sir Michael.”

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