Appointment of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills Contents
Appendix 4: Details of the role and recruitment process
The Chief Inspector is responsible for the leadership and management of Ofsted, and as its Accounting Officer, is responsible to Parliament for the use of public funds. The role of Chief Inspector also includes:
- Driving Ofsted to be an ever more focused and effective inspectorate – one where the quality and credibility of inspection continues to improve while value for money increases
- Providing outstanding leadership to Ofsted as an organisation, including building and maintaining a high-performing workforce, managing change effectively, and demonstrating commitment to equality and diversity
- Leading and inspiring Her Majesty’s Inspectors and Regulatory Inspectors across the country so that Ofsted builds and maintains a committed and high-performing workforce of Inspectors who have credibility with the sectors they inspect
- Ensuring that Ofsted continues to drive improvement and raise standards in an increasingly autonomous school system, making fair and rounded judgements of school performance to promote educational excellence everywhere
- Ensuring that Ofsted continues to improve the quality of Early Years provision through a strong inspection regime
- Ensuring that Ofsted continues to drive quality in apprenticeships and the FE sector
- Ensuring that Ofsted continues to drive quality and raise standards in children’s social care
- Ensuring that Ofsted is able to respond to challenges in an appropriate and proportionate way – including, for example, dealing with issues around extremism in schools, colleges and training providers, child sexual exploitation, and increasing efficiency
- Ensuring that Ofsted is able to respond pro-actively to the direction of government policy and strategy, for example the development of more autonomous school and further education systems, innovative delivery models in social care, and the target to grow apprenticeships
- Ensuring that Ofsted continues to meaningfully engage parents, carers, pupils and students, professionals, and employers, and safeguards Ofsted’s reputation
- Representing Ofsted to the public, ministers and Parliament
- Working in a highly effective way with key contacts, including ministers, professionals and service users – for example:
- Schools, children’s service and early years’ settings, professional and sector bodies and parents and others who draw on Ofsted reports
- The Secretary of State for Education, ministers, and MPs across government
- The Chair and Board of Ofsted, and Ofsted’s senior management team
- Chair and members of the Education Select Committee
- The Permanent Secretary and senior officials of the Department for Education (DfE), Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), and other departments
- Regional schools commissioners (RSCs)
- Leading public conversation in relation to the implementation of regulation and standards in education, children’s services and early years
Applicants must be able to evidence the following skills and experience:
- Strong personal commitment to the highest standards in education and children’s services
- Experience at the highest level in education or children’s services, including substantial organisational leadership skills and proven experience in leading and managing change in a complex environment
- Strong communication skills, excellent judgement under pressure and a high degree of personal integrity
- Understanding of and ability to utilise Ofsted’s role in using regulation and inspection to drive up standards and improve the lives of children and young people right across England
- Understanding of the current political landscape, and the direction of government policy, including on education, early years and children’s services policies and the Better Regulation agenda
- Sound financial judgement, in order to operate effectively as Accounting Officer, managing the Ofsted budget in a way which maximises benefit to the taxpayer
The Secretary of State agreed a selection panel chaired by Sara Nathan OBE, the Public Appointments Assessor (PAA) assigned to the recruitment campaign. Members of the panel were:
- Chris Wormald, then Permanent Secretary of the Department for Education
- David Hoare, Chair of Ofsted
- Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive of Stonewall (the independent member)
The advertisement was live from 22 February until 21 March on the websites of the Centre for Public Appointments, the Guardian and the Times, appeared in print in the Guardian Social Care and the Sunday Times, and received attention through social media and in sector-specific publications including the Times Educational Supplement.
The advertisement as it appeared in the Guardian:
Following approval from the Minister for the Cabinet Office to use headhunters, officials procured Saxton Bampfylde through a fully compliant, open process to assist with promoting the vacancy and securing suitably qualified applicants.
We received 32 applications for the post. 15 of the candidates were male (47%), and 17 female (53%); five candidates declared themselves as from a BAME background (16%), and one declared themselves as LGBT.
The candidates were longlisted and shortlisted in line with OCPA guidance. On 31 March the panel met and longlisted 11 candidates (six male, five female). On 11 April the panel met again. Six candidates were shortlisted, the panel having considered further information on each candidate gathered by Saxton Bampfylde through informal interviews.
Subsequently one shortlisted candidate withdrew ahead of interview. The five remaining shortlisted candidates were interviewed by the panel on 21 April. The panel recommended three appointable candidates (two male, one female). The Secretary of State met each of the appointable candidates before making her choice of preferred candidate.