Press release: Education Secretary recommends new Chief Inspector of Ofsted

The Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan, has today (10 June 2016) recommended Amanda Spielman for the post of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills.

Ms Spielman has been chosen as the preferred candidate because of her impressive breadth of experience across the education sector and her proven commitment to raising standards for children and young people. She co-founded ARK schools, one of the most successful academy chains in the country, which has transformed some of the most underperforming schools in the country. Since 2011, she has been Chair of the exam board regulator Ofqual, overseeing a significant and ambitious reform agenda which sees the introduction of an entirely new, more rigorous suite of A levels and GCSEs. 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.

Over the past 5 years Ofsted has taken significant strides to improve its effectiveness, strengthening the inspection handbook and improving inspector training and quality. The education white paper outlined the next steps of inspection reform with a commitment to maintain parent confidence through robust and consistent inspections, while at same time ensuring inspections are focused on where they make a meaningful difference, reducing unnecessary burdens on schools.

Having led one regulator through a period of similar change, and at the same time having helped to oversee the growth of a highly successful MAT from 1 school to 34, Ms Spielman has precisely the right leadership experience to manage the organisation through the next period of reform and provide strong direction across the range of Ofsted’s functions, from schools and colleges to childcare providers and children’s services.

Education Secretary Nicky 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 frontline 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.

Notes to editors

  1. The Secretary of State has now asked Neil Carmichael MP, Chair of the Education Select Committee, to arrange for the committee to meet Ms Spielman, and will consider the committee’s conclusions before deciding whether to proceed with the appointment by seeking Privy Council agreement.
  2. Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector (HMCI) is a Crown appointment, and the appointment will not be confirmed until an order is laid by Privy Council.
  3. Amanda Spielman is a chartered accountant and has been Chair of Ofqual since 2011. She is also currently an adviser to ARK, which she cofounded. Amanda held various roles in investment strategy and finance at Kleinwort Benson and elsewhere from 1997 to 2001. She holds an MA in Mathematics and Law from Cambridge University, and MA in Comparative Education from the Institute of Education, University of London. She is also a member of various educational groups and associations – notably, council and audit committee member at Brunel University and Director of Floreat Education, and was a council member at the Institute of Education.

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