Press release

New Chief Inspector to be appointed

Sir Michael Wilshaw is the Secretary of State's preferred choice for the post of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector.

Sir Michael, currently Executive Principal of Mossbourne Academy in London, is expected to take up the post in January 2012. This will follow a pre-appointment hearing in front of the Education Select Committee and approval by the Privy Council.

Sir Michael has a long and distinguished career in education. He has worked as a teacher for 42 years, including 25 years as a headteacher in London secondary schools. He was knighted in 2000 for services to education.

Sir Michael has turned around some of the most challenging schools in some of the poorest parts of London. Under his leadership, Mossbourne Academy - which opened on the site of a failing school - has achieved:

  • 82 per cent of pupils getting five good GCSEs including English and maths this year
  • Ofsted rating it ‘outstanding’ in two consecutive inspections
  • eight pupils being offered places at Oxbridge this year.

Mossbourne has also been approved to open a new academy in Hackney in 2014, to spread its excellent provision further.

Education Secretary Michael Gove said:

I cannot think of a better person to lead Ofsted than Sir Michael Wilshaw. He is one of the best educators of his generation.

Sir Michael has transformed the fortunes of thousands of children during his time as a headteacher. He truly understands what success looks like and knows how to achieve it - even in the most challenging circumstances. This role will allow more heads, teachers and other professionals to be influenced by this talented and inspirational leader.

I have every confidence that his appointment will help to raise standards in education and children’s services in England.

Baroness Sally Morgan, Chair of Ofsted, said:

This is a great appointment. With his commitment to improving the lives of the most disadvantaged young people, Sir Michael will bring exactly the right experience to Ofsted.

I look forward to welcoming Sir Michael to Ofsted once the Education Select Committee has the opportunity to reflect on the appointment.

Sir Michael Wilshaw said:

I am honoured and privileged to be appointed to this most important and influential post.

As HMCI, I will endeavour not only to provide a commentary on educational standards but also to challenge the service to provide consistently high quality provision for young people and adults.

I look forward to working with HMI and inspectors as well as government and other key stakeholders in this great endeavour.

Sir Michael will preside over a new, more targeted and proportionate inspection system for schools, subject to the passage of the Education Bill. He will also be responsible for Ofsted’s wide range of other inspection and regulatory duties.

Notes to editors

  1. The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills regulates and inspects to achieve excellence in the care of children and young people, and in education and skills for learners of all ages. It regulates and inspects childcare and children’s social care, and inspects the Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service (Cafcass), schools, colleges, initial teacher training, work-based learning and skills training, adult and community learning, and education and training in prisons and other secure establishments. It assesses council children’s services, and inspects services for looked after children, safeguarding and child protection.

  2. The appointment process was run in accordance with the Code of Practice issued by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA) and was made on merit: political activity played no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations and the code of practice, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity (if any declared), and other information, to be made public. Sir Michael Wilshaw has declared no political affiliations.

  3. As a result of an open competition process, the Secretary of State has recommended the appointment Sir Michael Wilshaw. The proposed appointee will be subject to a pre-appointment hearing by the Education Select Committee and the final stage in the appointment process is to secure an Order in Council through an application to the Privy Council.

  4. Subject to public appointment requirements, Sir Michael is expected to take up the position from January 2012. He will succeed Miriam Rosen, who was appointed as Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector in July 2011 on an interim basis.

  5. Sir Michael has worked as a teacher for 42 years, including 25 years as a headteacher in London secondary schools. He was knighted in 2000 for services to education.

  6. Sir Michael is also the Director of Education at ARK (Absolute Return for Kids). ARK runs nine academies and two Free Schools. It has a track record of turning around underperforming schools and saw an 11 percentage point increase in its five A* to C (including English and maths) GCSE results this year.

  7. Subject to his appointment, Sir Michael will leave his current posts before starting in his new role at Ofsted.

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