Appointment of His Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills

This is a House of Commons Committee report.

Sixth Report of Session 2022–23

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Contents

1 Background to the hearing

OFSTED

1. OFSTED inspects and regulates services that care for children and young people, and services providing education and skills for learners of all ages. OFSTED is established as a body corporate, and is a non-ministerial department sponsored by Department for Education (DfE). It has around 1,800 employees working across eight regions and also directly contracts more than 2,000 OFSTED Inspectors to carry out inspections of schools and further education and schools provision.

2. OFSTED’s priorities are set out under the OFSTED strategy 2022–27:1

  • Inspections that raise standards, helping education and social care recover and improve.
  • Right-touch regulation, advancing high-quality care, education and safeguarding for children.
  • Making the most of insights through research and analysis to inform practitioners, policymakers and decision-makers, leading to improvement across the system.
  • Developing the evidence base about early years education, including curriculum and pedagogy, and acting on it.
  • Promoting children’s safety and welfare in everything they do.
  • Keeping pace with sector changes, continually reviewing their approach and advocating for additional powers where required.
  • Being open and accessible to different audiences, understanding their needs.
  • Making sure they have a sufficiently skilled workforce with the right tools, knowledge and expertise.

Pre-appointment hearing

3. Pre-appointment scrutiny hearings by select committees for certain ministerial appointments were introduced in 2008. Select committee pre-appointment hearings provide opportunity for:

a) scrutiny of the quality of ministerial decision-making;

b) public reassurance, in addition to the processes of the Office for the Commissioner of Public Appointments, that those appointed to key public offices have been selected on merit;

c) public evidence of the independence of mind of the Candidate; enhancing the appointee’s legitimacy in undertaking his or her function, including providing the public with an insight into the Candidate’s views on the policy issues related to the role.

4. The appointment of HMCI is one of four positions subject to a pre-appointment hearing by the Education Select Committee.2 This is to help ensure sufficient Candidate suitability for the post.

5. On the 19 July 2023, the Secretary of State for Education, Rt Hon. Gillian Keegan, wrote to us to say that Sir Martyn Oliver, currently CEO of Outwood Grange Academies Trust, had been chosen as the Government’s preferred Candidate to take up the post of the His Majesty’s Chief Inspector of OFSTED. The Committee was invited to hold a pre-appointment hearing with the Candidate.3 The Secretary of State’s letter, details of the recruitment process, the Candidate’s curriculum vitae and a supporting statement from the Candidate are all appended to this Report.

6. As per Liaison Committee guidance, Select Committees are also encouraged to issue a written questionnaire to the Candidate, inviting the Candidate to disclose any conflicts of interest, to demonstrate their experience and expertise, their independence, and to indicate their initial priorities once in post.4 The Candidate’s responses to this questionnaire are also appended to this Report.5

7. We accordingly invited Sir Martyn to attend a pre-appointment hearing on Tuesday 5 September.

2 The recruitment process

8. The competition was launched in the public appointments section of Gov.UK on 13 March 2023 for a period of just under four weeks, closing on 6 April. A total of 29 applications were received when the competition closed, and one Candidate withdrew their recommendation before the Candidates were sifted. Four Candidates were invited to interview as they were deemed to have met the bar.

9. The interview recruitment panel was chaired by Julia Chua (Director General, Schools Group, DfE). It comprised of senior independent panel member Dr Jo Saxton (Chief Regulator, Ofqual), OFSTED representative Dame Christian Ryan (Chair of Board, OFSTED), and Leora Cruddas CBE (Chief Executive of the Confederation of Schools Trust).

10. The outcomes of the interview stage were presented to the Secretary of State, who agreed to meet the two Candidates who were deemed appointable before making her decision on the preferred Candidate.

11. The appointment is based on a fixed term of five years, commencing on 1 January 2024, after the term of current Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman, ends.

3 The Position of His Majesty’s Chief Inspector

Role and person specification

12. His Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills (HMCI) is a crown appointment, appointed by Order in Council. HMCI is responsible for the leadership and management of OFSTED, the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. As OFSTED’s Accounting Officer, HMCI is also responsible to Parliament for OFSTED’s use of public funds. His Majesty’s Chief Inspector is bound by the seven guiding principles of public life (Nolan Principles) and is required to account for the public funding allocated to the role.

13. The main responsibilities of HMCI are to:6

  • Drive OFSTED to be an ever more focused and effective inspectorate and regulator–one where the quality and credibility of inspection and regulatory activity continues to improve while maintaining value for money;
  • Provide outstanding leadership to OFSTED, maintaining an excellent reputation for reliable and fair judgements, managing change effectively, and demonstrating commitment to an inclusive workplace that values diversity and promotes equal opportunities for all;
  • Ensure that OFSTED appropriately considers safeguarding in schools, colleges and children’s services;
  • Provide advice to the Secretary of State for Education on the areas within OFSTED’s remit, and as requested by the Secretary of State;
  • Lead and inspire His Majesty’s Inspectors and Regulatory Inspectors across the country so that OFSTED builds and maintains a committed and high performing workforce of inspectors with deep expertise;
  • Promote high educational outcomes in an autonomous and increasingly trust-led school system, whilst making fair and rounded judgements;
  • Further improve the quality of Early Years provision and outcomes through an effective inspection and regulatory regime;
  • Ensure that OFSTED continues to drive quality in apprenticeships and the Further Education and Skills sector through effective inspection;
  • Ensure that OFSTED continues to raise standards in children’s social care through effective inspection, responsive to future reforms of the market;
  • Ensure OFSTED continues to drive high standards of teacher development through effective inspection of Initial Teacher Training, Early Career Framework and National Professional Qualification providers;
  • Ensure that OFSTED responds effectively and proportionately to societal challenges, such as the threat of extremism or child sexual exploitation;
  • Ensure that OFSTED demonstrates awareness of, and sensitivity to, challenges providers have to deal with, such as a public health emergency or the impact of inflation on their young people, families and budgets while maintaining a focus on high standards;
  • Respond proactively to the direction of government policy and strategy, such as social care reform, the agenda for skills transformation, reforms to initial teacher training and priority given to evidence-based teacher professional development and the increasing importance of trusts;
  • Protect OFSTED’s reputation with parents, carers, pupils and students, professionals, and employers;
  • Build highly effective working relationships with:
  • the Secretary of State for Education, Ministers and other Government departments;
  • Permanent Secretary and senior officials of the Department for Education (DfE);
  • Ensure OFSTED has good relationships with:
  • Schools and colleges, children’s services, and early years’ settings, professional and sector bodies, parents and others who draw on OFSTED reports;
  • devolved funding bodies, such as mayoral combined authorities, and other bodies with an oversight and/or regulatory role in further education such as the Office for Students, the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education, and the FE Commissioner; and
  • Represent OFSTED in public debate and maintain its reputation as a trusted, knowledgeable, and independent inspectorate and regulator, able to report independently on standards.

14. The Candidates were assessed against seven essential criteria during the recruitment process.7 They were:

  • Significant experience at a senior level in schools or trusts, including substantial organisational leadership skills and proven experience in leading and managing change in complex organisations.
  • Strong communication and relationship skills in order to build partnerships across a system to raise standards.
  • Excellent judgement under pressure and a high degree of personal integrity, including experience of taking difficult, independent, calls in a senior position with high profile.
  • 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 across England. Specifically, they will need to demonstrate the ability to take forward, build on and improve the Education Inspection Framework (EIF) but also be able to adapt to the changing education and care landscape, such as the increasing importance of Trusts and social care reform.
  • Understanding of the current political landscape.
  • Sound financial judgement and a clear understanding of value for money, in order to operate effectively as Accounting Officer, managing the OFSTED budget in a way which maximises benefit to the taxpayer.
  • A sound understanding of, and commitment to, equal opportunities.

15. Candidates were also expected to demonstrate the following desirable criteria:8

  • Understanding of the direction of government policy and experience in at least one of the other areas within OFSTED’s inspection and regulatory remit e.g., Further Education, Early Years and Children’s Social Care.

The Government’s preferred Candidate: Sir Martyn Oliver

16. The Secretary of State’s preferred Candidate is Sir Martyn Oliver. He is currently the Chief Executive of Outwood Grange Academy Trust (OGAT) - a large MAT which has grown under Sir Martyn’s leadership from 17 academies to 41 primary, junior and secondary academies located across the North of England. Sir Martyn is also a National Leader of Education, and a Trustee of the Education Endowment Foundation and of the Office for Students. Sir Martyn has held various teaching and headship roles and has also mentored a number of headteachers and CEOs across England. Sir Martyn has indicated no political activities or conflicts of interest as part of this recruitment process.9 The Candidate’s CV and supporting statement have been included as appendixes.10

17. In the view of the Secretary of the State, Sir Martyn:

… emerged as the strongest Candidate suitable for the role from a competitive field

… has significant experience in education, having held various teaching and headship roles.11

18. In line with the guidance drawn up by the Liaison Committee on the conduct of pre-appointment hearings, our questioning sought to test the professional competence and personal independence of the Candidate. The Liaison Committee also observes that a Candidate will need to be able to withstand parliamentary and public scrutiny should they take up the post, and that questioning may therefore be robust.12 We questioned Sir Martyn on the following:

  • the role and powers of the His Majesty’s Chief Inspector of OFSTED;
  • the Candidate’s priorities, if appointed;
  • how his previous experiences have prepared him for this role;
  • the challenges facing OFSTED today;
  • the challenges facing the education sector today.

Conclusions

The Committee’s views on the suitability of the Candidate

19. The Committee held a pre-appointment hearing with the Government’s preferred Candidate for His Majesty’s Chief Inspector, on 5 September 2023. We agree that Sir Martyn Oliver is appointable for the post.

Wider reflections on the role

20. The Committee recognises Sir Martyn’s commitment to education and his breadth of experience both within schools and as a leader, with a particular focus on the most disadvantaged children. We understand that Sir Martyn was limited on what he could say regarding his priorities prior to taking the role and we welcomed his focus on listening to the education sector, keeping children safe and providing quality education to children. However, given that safeguarding has been a key focus of this Committee, we hope that Sir Martyn will make this one of his priorities moving forward and we hope he can expand on his stated ambition to make Ofsted work holistically across different areas to support safeguarding. We look forward to Sir Martyn establishing his priorities for the role and we will monitor those areas closely to ensure that children’s lives are being improved by the raising of standards.

21. Sir Martyn’s CV details his extensive experience in schools in leadership roles. He has made significant contributions to the education sector, as evidenced by his Knighthood, received in 2022.13 Sir Martyn’s work with Outwood Grange Academy Trust (OGAT) has been transformative for many schools in the country. In the evidence session, we were encouraged by how Sir Martyn intends to use this experience in his role as head of OFSTED.

22. His supporting statement shows a passion for the role, and an aim to make OFSTED a champion for children.14 Sir Martyn expressed his strong ambition to help schools recover from the COVID-19 pandemic which had been “a disaster” for educators and pupils across the country.15 We particularly welcome Sir Martyn’s focus on disadvantaged children, reflected in his questionnaire answers and in the evidence session.16 The Committee questioned Sir Martyn over his role on the Commission for Racial and Ethnic Disparities and reports of excessive strictness within his Trust’s schools, namely a “zero-tolerance” policy, and overuse of measures like isolation rooms and exclusions noting that such policies had been shown to have a particular negative effect on the most disadvantaged pupils in schools.17 Sir Martyn explained the context of using reflection booths within Outwood Grange Academy Trust and highlighted the importance of these tools, as a time-limited measure, in providing children with a safe space to reflect on their actions, supporting teachers and safeguarding all children in the Trust. He stated that his Trust’s policies contributed to a lower level of exclusions than other schools in similar settings.

23. The Committee also questioned Sir Martyn on political impartiality, curriculum breadth and the use of thematic reviews. We welcome his suggestion of an urgent thematic review into attendance but Members were concerned at an apparent lack of awareness over controversial and contentious debates on RSHE and the teaching of gender in schools. We will monitor closely how Ofsted addresses these issues.

24. We also questioned Sir Martyn about his personal assessment of the adequacy of the one-word judgement system. He told us that he had views on the system but he wanted to talk to “the experts who are delivering on the ground” and parents before reaching any conclusions.18

25. We welcome the Candidate’s intention to collaborate closely with the education sector and to engage in a substantial listening exercise following his appointment, and we hope he will pay keen attention to the wellbeing and the needs of teachers, headteachers and children’s services professionals. Sir Martyn was keen to ensure that the regulator shows empathy whilst maintaining its independence and regulatory role. He also showed an appetite for looking at the way that appeals are conducted and managed. We were pleased to hear Sir Martyn’s engagement with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) professionals and the work he had undertaken with the alternative provision sector.

26. The Committee notes that despite Sir Martyn’s call for “more current serving leaders”, to make Ofsted an “inspection of the system by the system”, he himself has “never served as an inspector” before, due to “being too busy going behind the schools that Ofsted has placed into special measures and picking them up to have the time to go on and do it myself”.19 We therefore hope that in his position he will be mindful of the difficulties that leaders face in balancing their responsibilities to their schools with training to be and acting as inspectors.

27. The Committee understands that the role of HMCI does not require experience in every facet of OFSTED’s remit, however we were reassured that Sir Martyn has taken steps to engage with children’s services and the education sector more widely in preparation for this role. This is a good start, and we will expect Sir Martyn to continue to work closely with the children’s services sector in order to sufficiently raise standards for children in social care. He expressed an interest in the regulator being able to take a more proactive role in monitoring owners of multiple care settings and this reflects concerns that the Committee has raised previously.

28. Sir Martyn told us that his ambition was for OFSTED to “deliver to the Government of the day without fear or favour”.20 He emphasised the importance of diagnosing the problems within the education sector in a holistic manner to ensure that “no child can slip between the gaps”.21 We welcome this ambition and look forward to his engagement with this Committee in the future to flesh out how it can be achieved.

Further scrutiny of OFSTED

29. This Committee will be taking forward its inquiry into OFSTED’s work with schools this Autumn. The inquiry will aim to assess how well OFSTED is fulfilling its role in inspecting schools and whether and how it could be improved, to inform the work of the incoming His Majesty’s Chief Inspector. The inquiry will look at the impact of OFSTED judgements on schools and pupils, including the impact on workload and wellbeing for all members of the school community, and the usefulness of OFSTED inspections for schools and parents. The inquiry will also look at OFSTED’s complaints procedure and assess how accountable OFSTED is in its work. It will also explore the impact of the new Education Inspection Framework introduced in 2019 and we look forward to making further recommendations of the back of it and for the new HMCI’s response in due course.

Appendix 1: Posts which are subject to pre-appointment hearings before the Education Committee

HM Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills

Children’s Commissioner for England

Chief Regulator for Ofqual

Chair of the Office for Students

Appendix 2: Correspondence from the Secretary of State

Letter dated 19 July 2023 from Rt Hon Gillian Keegan MP, Secretary of State for Education, to the Chair of the Education Select Committee, Robin Walker MP

Dear Robin,

We corresponded earlier in the year about our plans to recruit the next His Majesty’s Chief Inspector for Education, Children’s Services and Skills (HMCI), following the conclusion of Amanda Spielman’s tenure on 31 December 2023. We agreed that the Education Select Committee would wish to hold a pre-appointment hearing once we have a preferred Candidate for the role.

I can confirm that the recruitment process has now been completed, and I am writing to invite the Committee to hold a pre-appointment hearing with my preferred Candidate, Sir Martyn Oliver.

In my view, Sir Martyn has emerged as the strongest Candidate suitable for the role from a competitive field and following a recruitment exercise led by an independent Advisory Assessment Panel. This involved applicants passing a rigorous sift, and an interview by the Advisory Assessment Panel. Following the final interviews, the Advisory Assessment Panel met to agree its final assessments for each Candidate and found two Candidates to have met the standard for the role. Having carefully considered the panel’s views and met with the two Candidates, both of whom impressed me, I have chosen Sir Martyn Oliver as my preferred Candidate.

Sir Martyn Oliver has significant experience in education, having held various teaching and headship roles. He is currently CEO of Outwood Grange Academies Trust. He is also a National Leader of Education and Trustee of the Education Endowment Foundation and Office for Students. Sir Martyn has previously been a Trustee of the David Ross Foundation Trust and the Confederation of School Trusts and has mentored many headteachers and trust leaders.

I am aware that the intention is for the hearing with the Committee to be held soon after the summer recess. In advance of that session, I attach for your reference further information about the role, a description of the recruitment process and information on the preferred Candidate, including Sir Martyn’s CV and supporting statement.

I shall look forward to receiving the Committee’s conclusions and advice on the appointment in due course.

Appendix 3: Recruitment information provided by the Department

The preferred Candidate - Sir Martyn Oliver

Sir Martyn Oliver is a conscientious and accomplished leader, who is well respected in the education sector. Sir Martyn has significant experience of school and trust leadership and is currently the Chief Executive of Outwood Grange Academy Trust (OGAT) - a large MAT which has grown under Sir Martyn’s leadership from 17 academies to 41 primary, junior and secondary academies located across the North of England. The MAT includes sponsored academies whose predecessor schools were judged inadequate and where significant cultural, operational and behavioural change was required - the large majority of schools within the Trust are now judged to be Good or Outstanding. He is also a National Leader of Education, and a Trustee of the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and of the Office for Students. Sir Martyn has extensive experience in education, having held various teaching and headship roles, and has also mentored a number of headteachers and CEOs across England.

He was honoured for his services to Education in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2022.

Sir Martyn has indicated no political activities or conflicts of interest as part of this recruitment process.

A copy of Sir Martyn’s CV and supporting statement for the role have been attached as part of the covering email accompanying this document, for your reference.

Role description and person specification

Role remit

His Majesty’s Chief Inspector for Education, Children’s Services and Skills (hereafter referred to as His Majesty’s Chief Inspector or HMCI) has statutory responsibility for OFSTED’s inspection and regulatory services and for the organisation, management and staffing of OFSTED.

HMCI has an important role within the accountability system for schools, Further Education settings, Children’s Social Care, Early Years Education, and Initial Teacher Training.

HMCI is also OFSTED’s Accounting Officer and is responsible for reporting annually to Parliament on matters falling within their remit.

His Majesty’s Chief Inspector is a Crown Appointment, appointed by Order in Council. HMCI is a member of the Office for Standards in Education, Childrens’ Services and Skills (OFSTED). OFSTED is established as a body corporate, and is a non-ministerial department, sponsored by the Department for Education.

His Majesty’s Chief Inspector is bound by the seven guiding principles of public life (Nolan Principles) and is required to account for the public funding allocated to the role.

Legislative Framework

The legislative basis for the office of His Majesty’s Chief Inspector is in Part 8 and Schedule 12 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 (as amended). This establishes the independence of the office and the five-year tenure of the post holder Education and Inspections Act 2006 (legislation.gov.uk)

The legislation relating to His Majesty’s Chief Inspector also sets out how the Office (the board) of OFSTED must be formed, and the circumstances in which His Majesty’s Chief Inspector may be removed from office. The legislation sets out the wide scope of the role in its list of functions:

(1) The Chief Inspector has the general duty of keeping the Secretary of State informed about—

a)the quality of activities within the Chief Inspector’s remit and (where appropriate) the standards achieved by those for whose benefit such activities are carried on,

b)improvements in the quality of such activities and in any such standards,

c)the extent to which such activities are being carried on as user-focused activities, and

d)the efficient and effective use of resources in the carrying on of such activities and services.

(2) If requested to do so by the Secretary of State, the Chief Inspector must provide the Secretary of State with information or advice on such matters relating to activities within the Chief Inspector’s remit as are specified in the request.

(3) The Chief Inspector may at any time give advice to the Secretary of State on any matter connected with any activities within his remit, including advice relating to a particular establishment, institution or agency.

(4) The Chief Inspector is to have such other functions in connection with activities within his remit as may be assigned to him by the Secretary of State.

(5) Subsection (6) applies where the Chief Inspector is requested under subsection (2) to provide the Secretary of State with information or advice on matters relating to activities within the Chief Inspector’s remit.

(6) Any enactment by virtue of which—

e)an inspection may be conducted by the Chief Inspector in relation to the activities in question (whether or not in pursuance of any duty), or

f)any power of entry is exercisable by him in relation to those activities,

is to have effect, with any necessary modifications, so as to enable him to conduct an inspection, or exercise any such power, for the purpose of complying with the request.

In subsection (6) any reference to a power of entry includes a reference to a power to inspect documents or a power conferred in connection with the inspection of documents.

(8) Nothing in this section prejudices the operation of any other enactment relating to functions of the Chief Inspector.

Person Specification

As outlined in the job advertisement, the successful Candidate must be able to demonstrate the following seven essential criteria. This is what the panel assessed against:

  • Significant experience at a senior level in schools or trusts, including substantial organisational leadership skills and proven experience in leading and managing change in complex organisations.
  • Strong communication and relationship skills in order to build partnerships across a system to raise standards.
  • Excellent judgement under pressure and a high degree of personal integrity, including experience of taking difficult, independent, calls in a senior position with high profile.
  • 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 across England. Specifically, they will need to demonstrate the ability to take forward, build on and improve the Education Inspection Framework (EIF) but also be able to adapt to the changing education and care landscape, such as the increasing importance of Trusts and social care reform.
  • Understanding of the current political landscape.
  • Sound financial judgement and a clear understanding of value for money, in order to operate effectively as Accounting Officer, managing the OFSTED budget in a way which maximises benefit to the taxpayer.
  • A sound understanding of, and commitment to, equal opportunities.

Candidates were also expected to be able to demonstrate the following desirable criteria:

  • Understanding of the direction of government policy and experience in at least one of the other areas within OFSTED’s inspection and regulatory remit e.g., Further Education, Early Years and Children’s Social Care.

Term Dates (length of tenure): 01 January 2024–31 December 2028 (5 years)

Remuneration The post affords remuneration of £165,000 pa.

Time Commitment Full time position

His Majesty’s Chief Inspector Recruitment Process

Campaign launch date

13 March 2023

Campaign closing date

6 April 2023

Number of applicants

29

Number of Candidates invited to interview

4

Number of Candidates found appointable

2

Advertisement

The competition was launched on the public appointments section of Gov.UK on 13 March 2023 for a period of just under four weeks, closing on 6 April. The job advertisement can be found here: Role details – His Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills – Apply for a public appointment – GOV.UK (apply-for-public-appointment.service.gov.uk)

Advisory Assessment Panel

As outlined in the Governance Code for Public Appointments, the purpose of the Advisory Assessment Panel is to assist the Secretary of State in her decision-making for the role of the next His Majesty’s Chief Inspector.22

The panel comprised of:

  • Juliet Chua, Panel Chair (Director General, Schools Group, DfE)
  • Dr Jo Saxton, Senior Independent Panel Member (Chief Regulator, Ofqual)
  • Dame Christine Ryan, OFSTED representative (Chair of Board, OFSTED)
  • Leora Cruddas CBE, other panel member (Chief Executive of the Confederation of Schools Trust).
Sifting of applications

A total of 29 applications were received when the competition closed. One Candidate withdrew before the sift.

The panel met to sift the applications and recommended four Candidates be invited to interview as they were deemed to have met the bar.

Diversity information for the 4 shortlisted Candidates has not been included, as to do so would breach ONS guidance on statistical disclosure control, which sets out that where there are fewer than 5 Candidates in any given category individuals could be identifiable.

Interview stage

As part of the interview, Candidates were asked to give a five-minute presentation on the topic: What do you see as the main challenges and opportunities facing OFSTED in the next five years and what is your vision for how your leadership, communication and relationship skills will contribute to responding positively to them?

The remainder of the interview related to questions based on the Candidates’ experience and strengths, assessed against each of the essential criteria (as set out in Annex A).

Following the final interviews, the advisory assessment panel met to agree its final assessments for each Candidate and deemed two Candidates to be appointable.

The outcomes of the interview stage were presented to the Secretary of State, who agreed to meet the two Candidates who were deemed appointable before making her decision on the preferred Candidate. Following the meetings, the Secretary of State deemed Sir Martyn Oliver as her preferred Candidate for the role of His Majesty’s Chief Inspector. This has been approved by the Prime Minister, and as such, the Education Select Committee has been invited to hold a pre-appointment hearing with him and report on its conclusions.

Diversity data for all applicants

We have not provided a diversity data breakdown of shortlisted Candidates, as the data would breach ONS guidance on statistical disclosure control.23

The data provided is for the full longlist of applicants. Not all applicants chose to provide responses to the questions on diversity. For those that did, data is as follows.

Table A: Gender

Percent Male

Percent Female

Applicants

72

28

Table B: Ethnicity

Percent White

Percent Mixed / multiple ethnic group

Percent Asian/ Asian British

Percent Black/ Black British

Percent Other Ethnicity

Applicants

92

4

4

Table C: Disability

Percent Disability declared

Percent Disability not declared

Applicants

0

100

Appendix 4: Candidate’s CV

Curriculum Vitae

Sir Martyn Ellis Oliver

Education:
  • 2023 The London School of Economics & Political Sci.: Regulation Strategy
  • 2008 University of Leicester - Postgraduate Certificate in Ed. Mang.
  • 2006 University of Newcastle - NPQH - Nat. Col. for Sch. Ldrshp.
  • 2002 University of Leicester - Advanced Certificate in Ed. Mang.
  • 1995 University of Wales, Cardiff Institute of Higher Education
  • Post Graduate Certificate of Education–Art & Design 11–18
  • 1991 University of Wolverhampton - BA (Hons) Fine Art
Employment history:
  • 2009 - Current: Outwood Grange Academies Trust - includes:
  • 2015 - Current: CEO of Outwood Grange Academies Trust
    Potovens Lane, Outwood, Wakefield
    West Yorkshire. WF1 2PF
  • 2015: Regional Executive Principal
    Responsible for Outwood Grange Academy, Outwood Academy Adwick, Outwood Academy Foxhills, Outwood Academy Brumby and delivering the Humber UTC (free school)
  • 2013: Associate Executive Principal
    Responsible for Outwood Grange Academy and Outwood Academy Ripon (both OFSTED Outstanding)
  • 2010: Principal, Outwood Grange Academy.OFSTED outstanding s5 inspection February, 2012
    OFSTED outstanding s8 monitoring inspection January, 2011.
  • 2003–2009: Woodham Community Technology College,
    Washington Crescent, Newton Aycliffe, Co. Durham.
    DL5 4AX
  • 2006–2009: Deputy Headteacher.
  • 2005–2006: Assistant Headteacher.
  • 2003–2005: Head of Sixth Form and Curriculum 14–19 Manager.
  • 1996–2002: St. George’s College of Technology,
    Westholme, Westgate, Sleaford, Lincolnshire. NG34 7PS.
    N.o.R. 1351, No. in Sixth Form 215.
  • Appointed Dec. ’00 Assistant Head of Sixth Form
  • Appointed July ‘99 Assistant Head of Sixth Form.
  • 1996–2002: Teacher of Art and Acting Head of Art
Notable Achievements:
  • Trustee of the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), 2022
  • Trustee of the Office for Students (OfS), 2023
  • Trustee of the David Ross Education Trust - supporting the large Trust in the appointment of a new CEO and delivering improved outcomes (resigned 2022)
  • Director/Trustee of the Confederation of School Trusts (CST) (resigned 2022)
  • 2020–2021 Cabinet Office/Number 10 appointed Commissioner for the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities
  • Advisor on the DfE Covid Recovery Advisory Group (RAG) (2020–2022), North East Opportunity Area and regular advisor to the DfE on a number of groups
  • As CEO of OGAT, successfully grew the Trust from 17 academies in 2016 to 41 academies in 2022 (and continues to grow, including starting academies in a new region, North West, to provide a step-change in outcomes in a ‘left-behind’ area). Lead the sponsorship of 25 academies, the vast majority of which were in an OFSTED category of need or had been failed by a Trust - including sponsorship of 6 academies from the now closed WCAT (Wakefield City Academies Trust). Every OGAT academy with the exception of three is OFSTED Good or Outstanding
  • Director of School-led Development Trust (SLDT): a unique educational charitable company by Outwood, Harris, Star and Oasis Trusts to support system CPD which won the DfE contract to establish the National Institute of Teaching
  • A National Leader of Education (NLE)
  • Secured a Free School secondary in Middlesbrough and registered a new independent Alternative Provision academy in Redcar & Cleveland (OFSTED Good at first inspection)
  • Overseen the development of the Outwood Institute of Education (OIE) which has supported 10,000s of teachers and 1,000s of schools across the country and includes the Yorkshire & Humber Maths Hub, Outwood English Hub and Ed Tech.
  • Regularly delivered national and regional key note addresses
  • Mentor to a number of headteachers/CEOs across England and supported through advice, guidance and secondment of staff to both Delta, NET and FalconTrust

Appendix 5: Sir Martyn Oliver - Supporting Statement - HMCI OFSTED

Thank you for the opportunity to apply for the position of His Majesty’s Chief Inspector (HMCI), to the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (OFSTED).

I start this statement with an admission: This was not a role I have ever proactively considered. I am enormously fulfilled in my job as a headteacher and as the chief executive of Outwood Grange Academies Trust (OGAT), an organisation I have been with since the inception of the school-sponsored trust system back in 2009. Working to the original values of the trust-wide system, supporting and transforming the most difficult schools, while allowing the best to flourish, has been and remains my passion.

The vision we aspire to at OGAT is simple: raising standards and transforming lives - children first. This vision is one which I would carry with me at OFSTED as it seeks to improve lives by raising standards in education and children’s social care. As the Secretary of State makes clear in the Candidate pack: “All children and young people, regardless of their background, deserve a world-class education, and high-quality social care services.”

So, why have I applied? It is, essentially, because many system leaders have asked me to and, after reflecting on this for some time, I am now determined to make my best effort to secure this role and secure a strong future for OFSTED in raising standards for children everywhere. I strongly believe that this is a role which one should not aspire to but which should be undertaken if asked to serve by a number of one’s peers.

I am a resilient leader with vast experience. This is crucial, especially now as we face a number of very significant challenges within the sector. I am credible and can carry large parts of the profession with me. Whilst I could present any number of ideas about the future direction of OFSTED here, I will be clear in that I think any one individual who presented this picture would fail to grasp the challenge the system is facing and they would not show the proper respect that the Board of OFSTED must be afforded. Any future development of the inspection framework or of OFSTED as a whole must be done through careful consultation with all of the relevant stakeholders to gain much-needed credibility for the inspectorate whilst always fulfilling the duties of the Education Act, 2006.

The greatest duty, however, is to be a force for good for children. OFSTED has, in my opinion, gone from an organisation seen as combative to one now viewed as cold. We require a caring and compassionate inspectorate and regulator who never loses sight of the need to support increasingly high outcomes for children. OFSTED should be the children’s champion and particularly champion those who are most vulnerable and access almost all of the areas OFSTED regulates and inspects. Whilst championing children, we must also respect that it is the workforce on the ground, those who lead and work in schools, care homes and children’s services, who are the individual champions of children too. And we must inspect with empathy and understanding, supporting those to improve - I know from my experience with OGAT and in other areas that this is the most effective way to get the best from people, and to take people with you. OFSTED should provide the framework which measures the system’s effectiveness and promotes best practice, sharing the evidence of this for the system to continuously improve.

There is huge power in the framework acting to ‘nudge’ the system before a single inspection takes place. In respecting the workforce, there should never be a change made to the framework without a workload impact assessment; no change should be made without clearly ensuring the team of inspectors is capable of judging to the required standard; and no change should be made which doesn’t properly reflect the increasingly trust-led and autonomous system which is raising outcomes for children in England’s schools.

There is so much good in the current framework, with the substance of education now front and centre. But there are also many problems with it which were entirely foreseeable. Indeed I and others made this clear at the time. The problems now facing the validity of some judgments can be overcome by creating an OFSTED workforce consisting of far more current serving leaders. This would be a key priority for me as I seek to make OFSTED much more of a system-led, system co-designed inspector and regulator: a modern and progressive inspectorate which is fit for purpose. I often hear about how good the inspector training is and it seems to me to be entirely sensible that this professional development of serving leaders should not only support inspections but also be used to raise standards in those leaders’ own institutions. A joined up, sophisticated approach which supports system leaders to carry out this work is now required. The challenges we face will lead to increasingly negative headlines for OFSTED and only an HMCI who has sufficient experience can navigate this, with the help, support and challenge of the OFSTED Board. As an example of my experience, I have attended over 65 OFSTED inspections myself with at least another 31 supported through my work as a trustee or mentor.

I wish to be clear - the system does not need a new framework imposed upon it at this time. Instead, the next HMCI should embed what is good but seek to address the rapidly changing context that education is facing to ensure that inspections are not only valid and, crucially, fair but also reliable, objective and empathetic. For example, inspections should stand up to the increasing scrutiny of trusts who have multiple schools and therefore multiple inspections to compare and contrast.

Alongside this work to secure valid judgements of schools, I would ensure that there is a focus on skills within further education, and work closely with other bodies, including CQC and HMICFRS to carry out joint targeted area inspections of multi-agency responses to children and their families who need help and use my experience of Initial Teacher Training (ITT) to ensure that providers are equipping entrants into the profession with the relevant knowledge and skills to be highly effective. I have the experience to manage the change required to accommodate this work and, as a trust accounting officer with an annual budget of c. £220 million, the experience and expertise to manage finances ensuring resources are deployed appropriately and provide value to the taxpayer.

I hope that you will agree that I fully meet the person specification essential and desirable criteria. I am a Board member of the regulator for higher education, The Office for Students (OfS). To support both that role and to strengthen this application, I enrolled upon and am nearing the completion of the LSE’s renowned regulation strategy course which has given me even greater clarity of the role of OFSTED as a regulator. I have always been a champion of the use of evidence and now serve as a trustee of the Education Endowment Foundation and, as mentioned, I have great experience of the ITT sector and continuous professional qualifications: Most recently co-creating the National Institute of Teaching and delivering on the reformed NPQs myself. My experience of the schools sector is not only through leading an academy trust of 13 primary schools, 28 secondary schools and seven post-16 schools - I also previously served as a trustee of the sector body the Confederation of School Trusts.

In summary, I will be a champion of children using evidence to support my practice, I will be empathetic to those working in our schools and will oversee supportive, proportionate and sensible inspections, I will work closely with the Board and chair in particular to ensure that children and parents can rely upon the judgements of OFSTED, I will continuously seek to use the Office to promote the raising of standards across the whole system, and I will provide the best advice possible to the Secretary of State and Ministers at all times. Achieving this, whilst raising the validity of the inspectorate within the system will be a challenge but one which I have the experience and determination to overcome. I look forward to having the opportunity to discuss this application with you - and to together securing the future of OFSTED, making it a modern, strong and confident organisation that is a force for good at all times.

Appendix 6: Candidate Questionnaire

Sir Martyn Oliver, response to Education Select Committee questions

Motivation:

1. What motivated you to apply for this role, and what specific experiences would you bring to it?

I was motivated to apply for the role of HMCI because I see every day in schools the significant strains and challenges that our children and young people are facing, and I want to use all my skills and experience in schools and the wider system to support all children, particularly the most disadvantaged, on a national scale. I will bring my experience in schools and communities to support and lead Ofsted to ensure that all children and young people receive the high standards of education and care that they are entitled to.

Throughout my 28 years in education, 14 years within maintained schools and 14 years within an academy trust, Outwood Grange Academies Trust, I have sought to provide children and young people, regardless of their background, with the best education possible. I have chosen to dedicate my career to working in schools that are often in areas that have economical challenges and schools which are in categories of concern; including some which have the greatest attainment, progress, behaviour, attendance and recruitment challenges. I am particularly keen to develop and promote the work of Ofsted and its unique position of reporting on the experiences of all children and young people, especially those who are the most vulnerable in the system, across all sectors and phases: early years and childcare, schools, SEND and alternative provision, teacher development, further education and skills, and social care.

2. If appointed are there specific areas within your new responsibilities where you will need to acquire new skills or knowledge?

I have significant experience within schools and communities. I currently lead an organisation which includes 41 schools (primary, including EYFS, junior, secondary, post 16 and alternative provision) with more than 30,000 children and 4,000 staff, and which has an annual budget of approximately £220m. I also have significant experience of teacher development. However, I recognise that my knowledge of children’s services and some aspects of the skills sector is as a stakeholder user of these areas for the benefit of the children and young people in my care. Therefore prior to application and interview I have engaged with children’s service providers to further develop my knowledge and I would continue to do this throughout my period of employment as HMCI in all areas of Ofsted’s work.

As an experienced leader of a very large organisation I recognise that no one individual can bring an equal level of skills and knowledge in every aspect of such a diverse operation and will use my ability to recruit and retain relevant sector experience and expertise, challenging and supporting them to supply the best provision possible.

As there is only one HMCI Ofsted, clearly this is a role that no one has experience in prior to appointment. However, I believe that my self-recognition of my own strengths and areas for development and my ability to work with and through others, including Ofsted’s board, will provide me with the necessary skills and knowledge to manage the organisation effectively.

3. How were you recruited? Were you encouraged to apply, and if so, by whom?

I applied to the nationally advertised position through the Civil Service Jobs site.

No one individual encouraged me to apply.

Personal Background

4. Do you currently or potentially have any business, financial or other non-pecuniary interests or commitments, that might give rise to the perception of a conflict of interest if you are appointed?
How do you intend to resolve any potential conflicts of interests if you are appointed?

I have no personal business, financial or other non-pecuniary interests or commitments that might give rise to actual or perceived conflicts of interest if appointed.

In my professional career I have supported very many education providers and will ensure that anywhere I have had a close relationship with are declared. Furthermore, I have undertaken, currently and in the past, voluntary board and trustee roles including one paid role as a board member (current) of the Office for Students (OfS). I will declare all of these roles and recuse myself appropriately. I also anticipate resigning from some or all of these board positions, after taking appropriate advice, if appointed. Furthermore, I will naturally cease to have any direct conflict with my current role upon resignation i.e. in an ex-officio position as CEO of Outwood I am on the board of the National Institute of Teaching (NIoT).

5. If appointed what professional or voluntary work commitments will you continue to undertake, or do you intend to take on, alongside your new role?
How will you reconcile these with your new role?

I have no firm commitments to continue with any additional roles that I currently have and will seek the advice of the Ofsted Board and as appropriate the Cabinet Office Public Appointments team which, if any, of the roles will be useful for me to continue.

6. Have you ever held any post or undertaken any activity that might cast doubt on your political impartiality?
If so, how will you demonstrate your political impartiality in the role if appointed?

No posts held that would cast doubt on this. I have very deliberately never expressed any political preferences taking my duty to act and promote impartial education seriously. I have only supported the governments of the day to advance education for the public benefit. This includes supporting the then Labour government in the creation of Outwood Grange Academies Trust and sponsoring schools in need of support, a model to which Outwood still ascribes to today, through to the current government in the opening of a free school where the local authority had a shortfall in pupil place planning.

7. Do you intend to serve your full term of office?

Yes

Ofsted

8. If appointed what will be your main priorities on taking up the role?

To be a force for good for the benefit of all those whom Ofsted is there to serve.

I wish to be clear that until you take up a role and have the responsibilities of delivering against targets, working to statutory responsibilities, managing the financial pressures and the workforce it is premature to be specific about the priorities. Furthermore, I do not believe that it serves the system, especially at this challenging time, to have a new HMCI change everything: it is arrogant and inappropriate of an individual to assume this much power and responsibility.

Within Ofsted and across the wider system, which I hope to formally engage with and listen to carefully, there is great expertise. I also must take into account the timing of my possible appointment - it would not serve the system to make major changes and then be required to consider further changes within a short timeframe. The system needs stability: constancy as well as consistency.

Ultimately, I recognise that I will need to manage change carefully.

There are, however, a number of broad priorities which I would seek opinions on through consultation and communication. I seek to ensure that Ofsted inspects and regulates with rigour and empathy, showing respect for the workforces delivering on the ground whilst keeping the best interests of children and young people as our primary duty.

In summary, my priorities are simple: I will be a champion of children using evidence to support my practice, I will be empathetic to those working in the education and care systems, will oversee supportive, proportionate and sensible inspections and intelligent regulation. I will work closely with the Board, and chair in particular, to ensure that children and parents can rely upon the judgements of Ofsted, continuously seeking to use the Office to promote the raising of standards across the whole system and fully meet the statutory duties of the Office.

I look forward to having the opportunity to reform and enhance the reputation and future of Ofsted, making it a modern, strong and confident organisation that is a force for good at all times.

9. What criteria should the Committee use to judge your/Ofsted’s performance over your term of office?

The functions, statutory responsibilities and role of Ofsted as set out in the Education Act 2006 - general duties and provisions - link to a summary of these is provided here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ofsteds-corporate-governance-frameare the collective criteria which I and, in turn, Ofsted should be judged against.

I commit to providing Parliament with the required information to assess my performance against these areas and working with others to ensure that Ofsted is a transparent and highly effective organisation.

I will work to ensure that Ofsted provides value to the taxpayer as it delivers inspection and regulation of the system and under my leadership this will be done by including the system fully in the process for the ultimate benefit of all children and young people and their parents who use the system.

The annual appraisal of the HMCI by the chair of board will also be a key performance indicator.

10. How will you protect and enhance your personal independence and the institutional independence of Ofsted from the Government/ministers?

The Education and Inspections Act (2006) sets out that the Chief Inspector should keep the Secretary of State informed about and have regard to government policy. Without fear or favour, I will seek to give the best advice I possibly can.

I will keep Parliament informed through sharing Ofsted’s insights across its remits.

I will avail myself of this committee and others in both Houses, as necessary, and as stated in the Education Act.

I will keep my duty to those of whom Ofsted is there to serve as my focus should any individual or organisation seek to undermine that independence.

11. How do you assess the public profile and reputation of Ofsted?#

There is no doubt that many of the services, and all public sectors, are facing a challenging period and within this context of challenge Ofsted is perceived negatively by some. That is not unexpected for any regulator or inspectorate. However, I am also strongly aware that very many of those who are regulated and inspected by Ofsted have given positive feedback to Ofsted.

Ultimately, I believe that Ofsted’s duty is to the children, young people and their parents and it is the opinion of these groups which is the ultimate test of Ofsted’s effectiveness: are we doing our part to help children be safe, cared for and well educated and are we providing value for money - a test which this committee of Parliament will help to ascertain along with Ofsted’s own board. I look forward to receiving the outcome of this Committee’s current review of Ofsted and responding to it.

12. What risks do you think Ofsted will face over your term of office?
How do you intend to manage them?

There are many risks facing the system at the moment and Ofsted needs to continue to be alive to these issues and consider how we work within this context. The main headings, I believe, which are immediate and acute:

  • financial pressures - delivering more for less;
  • inspecting with empathy in a post-Covid era which has heightened the challenges of attendance, behaviour and regional variations in outcomes;
  • the cost of living crisis and its impact on all providers and users of education and care;
  • the workforce demands from flexible working, workload, recruitment and retention both within Ofsted’s own workforce and within the sectors we report on;
  • the mental health of not only children and young people but also our own workforce and the workforce of those we regulate and inspect;
  • making sure inspection is responsive to evolving education and service models of delivery - multi-academy trust inspections, care homes owned by groups etc; and
  • anticipating change - keeping an eye on the horizon to plan for and manage any change carefully.

I intend to manage risks by being informed of them through good communication with stakeholders, creating ‘three INs’ into Ofsted:

  • Information - what Ofsted thinks we need to know from the sectors and explaining why we do what we do;
  • Insight - ascertaining from the sectors what they think Ofsted needs to know and hear our replies; and
  • Input - what the ultimate beneficiaries of Ofsted’s work, children, young people and parents think Ofsted needs to know about their experiences of the sectors in which we work.

Good risk management: identifying risks, putting in place mitigations to manage the risks and revisiting these constantly and being scrutinised by the Board, and parliament, will be the practice that sees us deliver the best value for money.

Formal minutes

Wednesday 6 September 2023

Members present

Robin Walker, in the Chair

Miriam Cates

Flick Drummond

Anna Firth

Kim Johnson

Ian Mearns

Draft Report (Appointment of His Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Service and Skills), proposed by the Chair, brought up and read.

Ordered, That the draft Report be read a second time, paragraph by paragraph.

Paragraphs 1 to 29 read and agreed to.

Papers were appended to the Report as Appendices 1 to 6.

Motion made and Question put, That the Report be the Sixth Report of the Committee to the House.

The Committee divided:

Ayes, 4

Noes, 1

Miriam Cates

Kim Johnson

Flick Drummond

Anna Firth

Ian Mearns

Question accordingly agreed to.

Resolved, That the Report be the Sixth Report of the Committee to the House.

Ordered, That the Chair make the Report to the House.

Adjourned till Tuesday 12 September 2023 at 9.30 am


Witnesses

The following witnesses gave evidence. Transcripts can be viewed on the inquiry publications page of the Committee’s website.

Tuesday 05 September 2023

Sir Martyn Oliver, Government’s preferred Candidate.


List of Reports from the Committee during the current Parliament

All publications from the Committee are available on the publications page of the Committee’s website.

Session 2022–23

Number

Title

Reference

1st Report

Not just another brick in the wall: why prisoners need an education to climb the ladder of opportunity

HC 56

2nd Report

Educational poverty: how children in residential care have been let down and what to do about it

HC 57

3rd Report

The future of post-16 qualifications

HC 55

4th Report

Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance

HC 54

5th Report

Support for childcare and the early years

HC 969

1st Special

Is the Catch-up Programme fit for purpose?: Government response to the Committee’s Fourth Report of Session 2021–22

HC 273

2nd Special

Not just another brick in the wall: why prisoners need an education to climb the ladder of opportunity: Government response to the Committee’s First Report

HC 645

3rd Special

Educational poverty: how children in residential care have been let down and what to do about it: Government response to the Committee’s Second Report

HC 854

4th Special

The future of post-16 qualifications: Government response to the Committee’s Third Report of Session 2022–23

HC 1673

Session 2021–22

Number

Title

Reference

1st Report

The forgotten: how White working-class pupils have been let down, and how to change it

HC 85

2nd Report

Appointment of the Chief Regulator of Ofqual

HC 512

3rd Report

Strengthening Home Education

HC 84

4th Report

Is the Catch-up Programme fit for purpose?

HC 940

1st Special Report

Strengthening Home Education: Government Response to the Committee’s Third Report

HC 823

Session 2019–21

Number

Title

Reference

1st Report

Getting the grades they’ve earned: Covid-19: the cancellation of exams and ‘calculated’ grades

HC 617

2nd Report

Appointment of the Children’s Commissioner for England

HC 1030

3rd Report

A plan for an adult skills and lifelong learning revolution

HC 278

4th Report

Appointment of the Chair of the Office for Students

HC 1143

1st Special Report

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities: Government Response to the Committee’s First Report of Session 2019

HC 668

2nd Special Report

Getting the grades they’ve earned: COVID-19: the cancellation of exams and ‘calculated’ grades: Response to the Committee’s First Report

HC 812

3rd Special Report

A plan for an adult skills and lifelong learning revolution: Government Response to the Committee’s Third Report

HC 1310


Footnotes

1 OFSTED strategy 2022–27, April 2022

2 Appendix 1: Posts which are subject to pre-appointment hearings before the Education Committee

3 Appendix 2: Correspondence from the Secretary of State

4 Liaison Committee, Pre-appointment Hearings, Third Report of Session 2017–19, HC 2307, 19 June 2019, paragraph 17

5 Appendix 6: Candidate Questionnaire

6 Appendix 3: Recruitment information provided by the Department

7 Appendix 3: Recruitment information provided by the Department

8 Appendix 3: Recruitment information provided by the Department

9 Appendix 3: Recruitment information provided by the Department

10 Appendix 4 Candidate’s CV; Appendix 5: Sir Martyn Oliver - Supporting Statement - HMCI OFSTED

11 Appendix 2: Correspondence from the Secretary of State

12 Liaison Committee, Pre-appointment Hearings, Third Report of Session 2017–19, HC 2307, 19 June 2019, paragraph 1

13 Appendix 4: Candidate’s CV

14 Appendix 5: Sir Martyn Oliver - Supporting Statement - HMCI OFSTED

15 Q1

16 Appendix 6: Candidate Questionnaire

17 Q4; Qq19-20

18 Q16

19 Appendix 5: Sir Martyn Oliver - Supporting Statement - HMCI OFSTED; Oral evidence taken on 5 September 2023

20 Q22

21 Q34

22 Cabinet Office, Governance Code for Public Appointments, December 2016

23 Departments should follow ONS guidance on statistical disclosure control to meet this requirement. Where there are fewer than 5 Candidates in any given category, diversity data must not be shared as this is potentially identifiable. For example, if you have six women and four men on a shortlist - you should not give any gender information.