MPs rejected government's choice of head of OFSTED but she was appointed anyway

(14 Posts)
neolara Thu 07-Jul-16 17:31:48

So the Education Select Committee interviewed the proposed new head of OFSTED. They had serious concerns about her capacity to do the job.
Nicky appointed her anyway.

Just when you thought everything couldn't get more of a shambles......

ReallyTired Fri 08-Jul-16 00:45:14

Appalling isn't it. I think the select committee concerns are entirely valid. The appointment of the chief inspector of OFSTED should not be political. We need someone who understands child protection.

Sir Michael Wilshaw.... All is forgiven!

TaIkinPeace Fri 08-Jul-16 07:22:21

I believe the official appointment is not till October. Nicky mat not be in post by then ....

Tanith Fri 08-Jul-16 15:19:48

It's a political appointment and Ofsted are supposed to be independent.

Amanda Spielman's position is untenable after the select committee refused to endorse her - their findings are appalling.

How can anyone take her seriously when she doesn't appear to know the first thing about the organisation she is expected to lead?

Does Nicky Morgan have anything between her ears??

prh47bridge Fri 08-Jul-16 18:12:03

Amanda Spielman's position is untenable after the select committee refused to endorse her - their findings are appalling

There is a poster called Admission who is involved with Ofsted. Her comments on another thread are:

Don't often agree with Mrs Morgan but on this I do. The select committee were interviewing based on what they wanted from the candidate, not what was on the job description.

Ofsted need organising, they have many people who are experts on education and even a few on child protection but it is not necessary for them to be in charge overall. It needs someone who can rise above the day to day work and actually make Ofsted an efficient organisation.

The buck does not stop with Ofsted on child protection, that is simply a mistake by those on the select committee. Ofsted are responsible for inspecting it, not make it work.

Ms Spielman might or might not be the person who will sort it all out, only time will tell that but there is no way that she can be worse than the present incumbent.

ReallyTired Fri 08-Jul-16 22:00:35

"Ms Spielman might or might not be the person who will sort it all out, only time will tell that but there is no way that she can be worse than the present incumbent."

I think that Michael Wikshaw has achieved a lot as a chief inspector. There has been a big sea change in expectations of children. It is no longer assumed that children from poor backgrounds are destined to fail.

Maybe OFSTED does need organising better, but is that really the role of a chief inspector? It's laughable employing a chief inspector that could not carry out an OFSTED inspection herself.

Surely teachers have some training and practical experience that might be relevant to the role.

admission Fri 08-Jul-16 22:39:41

I agree that Sir Michael did actually kill quite a few of the myths around schools and the assumption that children from poor backgrounds were doomed to failure. He was good on sound bites but not so good on managing an efficient organisation. That is why the appointment of a good manager is important and Ms Spielman might be the right appointment based on her previous background.

prh47bridge Fri 08-Jul-16 22:43:34

Maybe OFSTED does need organising better, but is that really the role of a chief inspector? It's laughable employing a chief inspector that could not carry out an OFSTED inspection herself.

Yes that is the role of the Chief Inspector. If you read the job description it is clear that the job title is a misnomer (fairly typical of the Civil Service). The Chief Inspector is the CEO of Ofsted. There is no-one within Ofsted senior to this (unless you count the part time chair and part time board members). If the Chief Inspector doesn't improve the organisation no-one else will.

ITCouldBeWorse Fri 08-Jul-16 22:47:01

Surely it is possible to find someone with both managerial skills and experience in education?

ReallyTired Fri 08-Jul-16 23:12:03

Its easy to forget that a headteacher is essentially a CEO. Many secondary schools have thousands of children and in excess of a hundred staff. Many executive heads of academy chains or senior people in LEAs were once head teachers.

Michael Wilshaw changed the format of OFSTED inspections. For example getting rid of "satisfactory" and replacing it with "requires improvement". He understood that good teaching and management underpins every else.

My feeling is that Ms Spielman could have a role in OFSTED, but not as chief inspector for all the reasons the select commitee have put forward. I feel that admin management should be under the chief inspector rather than admin consultant managing the education specialist.

prh47bridge Sat 09-Jul-16 10:01:06

Surely it is possible to find someone with both managerial skills and experience in education?

She is one of the founders of the Ark chain of academies and has been chair of Ofqual for 5 years. She holds an MA in Comparative Education. She has not been a teacher but she has been involved with education for over a decade.

I feel that admin management should be under the chief inspector rather than admin consultant managing the education specialist

You are entitled to that view but that is not how Ofsted is set up. By law the Chief Inspector is the Accounting Officer for Ofsted, responsible for effective delivery of Ofsted's functions and for the public money it spends. They must give evidence to the Education Select Committee twice a year and can be called to appear before the Public Accounts Committee. The law also says that the Chief Inspector must keep the SoS informed about the quality of activities within Ofsted's remit and the efficient use of resources in carrying out those activities.

My view is that the CEO of an organisation needs to understand what those at the sharp end do but does not necessarily need to be able to do it themselves. They do, however, need to be able to set strategy and ensure that the organisation is appropriately structured to deliver that strategy.

I agree with Admission that the select committee's comments had very little to do with Ms Spielman's suitability for the role as advertised and as defined by legislation. She appears to have done a good job at Ofqual. Time will tell whether she can do a good job at Ofsted.

ITCouldBeWorse Sat 09-Jul-16 15:31:52

I cannot help but feel that someone who has never taught, is missing some component for this role- and I say this as a non-teacher. There are surely people who have experience at the coal face as well as ceo experience. You need only to look at SLT staff who no longer teach to see how easy it is to become detached.

OlennasWimple Sat 09-Jul-16 15:36:26

Ofsted is much more than school inspections, though - it includes oversight of nurseries and other early years provision, children's services (including fostering and adoption), related local authority functions etc etc etc

Should the Chief Inspector be experienced in all these areas too? (Does such a person exist?)

ReallyTired Sat 09-Jul-16 15:43:26

Should the chief inspector have direct experience of working with children or vulnerable people? I agree that ofsted has a huge remit. I don't think that the lack of experience of teaching is so much of an issue as a lack of experience with children.

A head teacher would have plenty of experience of working in cooperation with social workers. A child protection social worker would have experience of working with schools.

I feel if a select committee rejects an appointment then Nicky Morgan should rethink.

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