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Sir Martyn Oliver Appointed as Ofsted Chief Inspector

Sir Martyn Oliver

It has been announced that Sir Martyn Oliver has been appointed as new Ofsted Chief Inspector!

Education Committee publishes verdict on incoming Ofsted Chief Inspector

The Education Committee today publishes its report on the appointment of Sir Martyn Oliver’s candidacy for the role of His Majesty’s Chief Inspector (HMCI) at Ofsted.

A pre-appointment hearing with Sir Martyn, the Government’s preferred candidate to become the next HMCI, was held on 5 September.

Following the hearing, the Committee decided it was satisfied that Sir Martyn has the appropriate professional competence and personal independence for the role.

The cross-party Committee reached its decision after a majority vote in favour of the Government awarding the post to Sir Martyn.

The Committee’s detailed conclusion and comments following the hearing can be found from page 15 of the report.

Sir Martyn is due to take over from the current HMCI, Amanda Spielman, from 1 January 2024. The appointment is based on a five-year term of office. 

The Committee wishes him every success in the role and looks forward to taking evidence from him in future.

Further information

  • The Committee’s report, ‘Appointment of HMCI of Education, Children’s Services and Skills’ can be accessed here and is attached to this email.
  • The video recording of the pre-appointment hearing with Sir Martyn Oliver can be watched via ParliamentLive.TV.
  • A transcript of the hearing can be found here.

Sector Response

Secretary of State for Education Gillian Keegan said:

“I am delighted the independent Education Select Committee has endorsed Sir Martyn Oliver for the post of His Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills at Ofsted.

“I particularly welcome the Committee’s recognition of Sir Martyn’s experience within schools and as a leader, as well as his focus on improving standards and opportunities for the most disadvantaged children, which I know will be essential in providing strong direction in the future of Ofsted.”

Sir Martyn Oliver, Chief Executive Officer of Outwood Grange Academies Trust, said:

 “I was deeply honoured and hugely privileged to be recommended for this role by the Secretary of State, and am delighted that the Education Select Committee has today approved my appointment.

 “Subject to the approval of the Privy Council, I am looking forward to engaging with all parts of the education sector that Ofsted regulates and inspects through a Big Listen, so that Ofsted is very much of the system and by the system for the benefit of children and parents.

 “I promise to be empathetic, compassionate and understanding of the challenges that those of us working in education, children’s services and skills face, especially in terms of the recovery post-Covid, and will ensure that we always take a holistic view for the good of all children, especially the most vulnerable and those who are disadvantaged.”

Daniel Kebede, General Secretary of the National Education Union, said: 

“As Martyn Oliver takes up the post of the new Chief Inspector of Ofsted, he will know that he is taking over an organisation in which the profession has lost trust.

“The Chief Inspector will need to listen to and genuinely engage with all parts of the profession and all types of school and do things very differently. Evaluating schools fairly at a time of such social and economic pressures, and educational under-funding, is complex. The human cost of inspection has rightly been under the spotlight this year. The current inspection system is not reliable or fair and does not take into account the many factors which affect schools. It is time for a real engagement with the chorus of voices calling for a much better system of inspection; one that is supportive, effective and fair.

“Evaluating schools robustly, and in ways that generates good teaching and learning is so important – but it simply must be done in a way which is motivational for leaders and for staff and which retains them in our education system. Real policy change is needed because Ofsted is out of touch with the realities school staff are juggling on the ground, especially as so many other family and children’s services have disappeared.

“The NEU is proud to be part of the Beyond Ofsted Inquiry, which will be publishing its final report and recommendations for a new system of school inspection. Constructive change is needed because Ofsted has clearly failed in its brief.”

Paul Whiteman, general secretary at school leaders’ union NAHT, said:

“NAHT congratulates Sir Martyn Oliver following the endorsement of his appointment.

“This is a crucial juncture for Ofsted, with there being growing consensus that major reform of school inspection is urgently needed to help ensure all schools are fairly held to account while fixing the unsustainable toll the current system places upon staff wellbeing.

“We look forward to working closely with Sir Martyn and discussing how a reformed inspectorate could work for the benefit of pupils, families and schools in future.”

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