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Ofqual Chair Amanda Spielman Chosen As New Ofsted Chief

Favoured appointee has chaired Ofqual since 2011 and co-founded academy sponsor ARK, but possesses no hands-on teaching experience

  • Ofqual Chair Amanda Spielman Chosen As New Ofsted Chief

Nicky Morgan has recommended that the current chair of Ofqual, Amanda Spielman, should succeed Sir Michael Wilshaw as Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills.

Spielman has served as Ofqual’s chair since 2011, while also acting as education advisor to the charity and academy sponsor ARK, which she co-founded. A chartered accountant, she previously worked in corporate finance, strategy and planning for, among others, Nomura International, Bridgewater and Kleinwort Benson.

Although she possesses no prior hand-on teaching experience, she is a council and audit committee member at Brunel University, a director of Floreat Education Academies Trust. She is also a trustee of the STEM network STEMNET, and was previously a council member at the Institute of Education.

Commenting on the appointment, the Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan said, “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.”

The post of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector is a Crown appoint, which means the appointment cannot proceed without an order from the Privy Council. The Education Select Committee Chair, Neil Carmichael has been tasked with arranging a meeting with Spielman, and will decide whether to seek Privy Council agreement on the basis of the Select Committee’s conclusions.

The reaction

Malcolm Trobe, interim general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders
“We welcome the announcement that Amanda Spielman has been recommended as the next Ofsted chief inspector. If this appointment is confirmed, we are sure that Amanda’s broad experience in education and business will help her to oversee a remit which extends widely beyond schools, and we look forward to working with her.

“We would encourage the new chief inspector to actively engage with current school and college leaders in determining the future direction of inspections.”

Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers
“We wish Amanda Spielman every success as the next chief inspector of Ofsted.  It is a key post which carries national responsibility for maintaining and improving education standards in England.

“However, we note that Amanda 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.

“Nicky Morgan will doubtlessly be relieved to have a less “troublesome” chief inspector than Sir Michael Wilshaw, who, although he got many things wrong, was unafraid to challenge the Government’s policy when he thought it was wrong.  Whereas Amanda Spielman’s record is of agreeing with and implementing the Government’s policy, and we expect Nicky Morgan wants more of the same.”

Main image via Flickr

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