Despite the objections of several MPs who expressed concern over her suitability for the role, Amanda Spielman has been confirmed as the new head of education watchdog Ofsted.
New education secretary Justine Greening confirmed the news that the Privy Council had approved the appointment, saying “I’m confident Amanda Spielman is the right person to lead Ofsted and I look forward to working with her. Ofsted’s role is vital in challenging schools, childcare providers and social services to ensure every child reaches their full potential.”
Spielman said: “I am delighted to be confirmed as the next chief inspector of Ofsted.
“I have seen firsthand the impact a great education can have and I want this to be the norm for every child, with childcare providers laying the foundations for that experience while social care services deliver for the most vulnerable young people.
‘Reassured by Ms Spielman’s comments on further education’
MPs had laid out a series of objections to Spielman’s suitability for the job, ranging from a perceived lack of passion, a failure to understand the breadth of the role and, most concerning, “We were […] deeply troubled by Ms Spielman’s statement that “you cannot say that the buck stops with Ofsted” on child protection – whilst we agree that those delivering children’s services should be held responsible when they fail, the very purpose of inspecting children’s social care is to prevent children being placed at risk through service failure.” Her lack of any first hand teaching experience was also commented on.
“While there may have been concerns that she has never been a teacher, we have had a series of chief inspectors at Ofsted who had little or no experience of further education. In this context, Ms Spielman’s lack of detailed knowledge did not seem problematic,” said Association of Colleges chief executive Martin Doel, who added he had been “reassured by Ms Spielman’s comments on further education” during her submission to the select committee.”