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Amanda Spielman at her pre-selection hearing

Nicky Morgan to press ahead with Spielman appointment

Education Select Committee rejects Amanda Spielman as new head of Ofsted, but Morgan is '100 per cent confident' in decision

Posted by Stephanie Broad | July 08, 2016 | People, policy, politics

Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, is to appoint Amanda Spielman as the new Oftsed chief inspector, despite the Education Select Committee issuing a report which rejected the decision following a pre-appointment hearing. 

Education Committee chair, Neil Carmichael MP, said that though Spielman has a broad range of experience, she had failed to demonstrate ‘the vision and passion’ expected from a candidate.

'Ms Spielman has experience of secondary education but she did not persuade that she had a clear understanding of the other aspects of the Chief Inspector's role, including early years, primary education, FE, and children's services,” he said. “Ms Spielman's responses on child protection were particularly troubling and did not inspire confidence that she grasped the importance of Ofsted's inspections in preventing children being held at risk through service failure. As a Committee, we did not leave the session with the view that Amanda Spielman was prepared for the vast scope and complexity of this important role.” 

However, the Secretary of State is clear that Spielman is the right person to replace Sir Michael Wilshaw – having had a proven track record as a leader and huge experience in the education sector.  

Nicky Morgan said: “I chose Amanda Spielman as my preferred candidate for Chief Inspector of Ofsted because I was impressed by her leadership, and absolute determination to raise standards to ensure every child gets the excellent education they deserve. That view was echoed by an independently chaired panel and her nomination has been supported by people from across the sector. 

“As I have said I was disappointed that the decision wasn’t shared by the committee who I believe have underestimated her. Having considered their response, I remain 100% confident in my decision and will continue with the pre-appointment process.

“I believe Ms Spielman will make a highly effective leader of Ofsted who will not shy away from challenging government, schools or local authorities to ensure the best for our children and under her watch Ofsted will play a hugely important role in driving improvement in childcare, schools, children’s services and adult learning.”

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