Next Ofsted chief defends lack of teaching experience

The Guardian is reporting that the next chief inspector for England’s schools has dismissed criticism over her lack of teaching experience and told MPs that she does not see herself as a crusader for higher standards in schools.

Amanda Spielman, who will take over as Ofsted chief in January if she is approved by parliament, told the education select committee that she was open to discussions on the use of “outstanding” as the top rating awarded by inspectors, saying that the word made her uncomfortable.

Spielman was nominated as Her Majesty’s chief inspector of schools by the education secretary, Nicky Morgan, after a career in finance and as a founder of the Ark academy chain, and faced immediate criticism from classroom teaching unions for her lack of formal experience as a teacher.

But in what was effectively her confirmation hearing, Spielman said she had received a “huge amount of positive reaction” since her nomination, including from the two headteachers’ unions.

“It’s something that will always be there, that I haven’t been a teacher,” she told MPs. “I have to make sure the team as a whole does have plenty of experience but I really don’t see that as a real impediment to doing the job.”

More at: Next Ofsted chief defends lack of teaching experience

What do you think? Is teaching experience essential for this job? What skills do you believe are necessary? What do you know about Amanda Spielman? Let us know in the comments or via Twitter ~ Jon

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  1. Nairb1

    Depends on how independent she is. Morgan said she was going to appoint somebody who was ‘in tune’ with government policies. I found Wilshaw bombastic and full of simplistic solutions but he never hesitated to criticise government policy if he felt it was warranted.

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