From education to employment

Incoming Ofsted Chief Inspector quizzed by Education Committee

Sir Martyn Oliver

Evidence Session               

Pre-appointment hearing with preferred candidate for His Majesty’s Chief Inspector (HMCI), Ofsted

Tuesday 5 September at 10:00, Committee Room 15               

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MPs on the Education Committee will question the Government’s preferred candidate to become His Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Schools at Ofsted, Sir Martyn Oliver, on his suitability for the role.

Sir Martyn was chosen by Education Secretary Gillian Keegan in July. He is currently the Chief Executive of Outwood Grange Academies Trust (OGAT) which sponsors 41 secondary, primary and alternative provision schools in the north of England.

Among issues that the cross-party Committee may raise are how Sir Martyn believes Ofsted could improve its relationship with schools following a backlash this year against the way it conducts inspections. He may also be asked for his views on reforms, announced by Ofsted in June, to the way inspections are carried out and its complaints processes, as well as for his views on one-word judgements.

He may be asked about the role he believes Ofsted can have in improving outcomes for disadvantaged children, and to address concerns about high exclusion rates and strict “zero-tolerance” approach that is observed in OGAT schools.

Announcing him as the preferred candidate, Keegan said Sir Martyn had “demonstrated exemplary leadership in areas of disadvantage”. Former HMCI Sir Michael Wilshaw also praised his leadership of OGAT.

Sir Martyn is a Trustee of the Education Endowment Foundation, the National Institute of Teaching, and the Office for Students. He was a member of the Government Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities.

Amanda Spielman’s term as the current HMCI ends on 31 December 2023 and her replacement is due to take up post on 1 January. The appointment is based on a five-year term of office with remuneration of £165,000 per annum.

Witness schedule from 10:00

Sir Martyn Oliver, the Government’s preferred candidate for His Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills, Ofsted. 

Background information:

Pre-appointment scrutiny hearings by select committees are an important part of the process for some of the most significant public appointments made by ministers. They are used to gauge the candidate’s competence and independence of mind. In a few days after the hearing the Committee is likely to publish a short report setting out its view on the suitability of the candidate for the post. However, the Committee’s statement will not be binding with regards to the candidate’s eligibility for the role.

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