‘The new chief inspector of schools has described Theresa May’s proposals to create more grammar schools as “a distraction” and questioned how they would improve the school system.
Amanda Spielman, who took over at Ofsted this month, said she was struck by the pressure inspections placed on schools, which suggested that she might move to a lighter touch system.
Her appointment was opposed last year by MPs on the education select committee, who pointed out that she had no experience as a teacher or social worker. It also said that she did not appear to be motivated by raising standards or improving children’s lives.
Asked about the proposals, Ms Spielman told The Guardian: “For me it’s a distraction from our work. I don’t see it as something that has much to do with making the most of every school, of Ofsted making the most of its work and contributing to system improvement.” ‘ - The Times
‘Mrs Spielman also used her interview yesterday to voice concerns over the impact of the Brexit debate on education policy, although Ofsted sources stressed she was ‘not expressing a view’ on the merits of Brexit itself.
‘The next few years are not going to be an easy time in any of our remits,’ she said. ‘Brexit is obviously a huge, huge – distraction’s the wrong word – national preoccupation. In terms of government thinking and government action, it’s something that’s going to be absorbing so much time and attention that it may be harder to get the focus sometimes that we need.’
Asked if she thought education could be neglected, Mrs Spielman said: ‘Neglected may be putting it too strongly but it may slide a bit further down the priority list.’ ‘ - Daily Mail
‘But Spielman is determined not to allow “the political stuff, the media narrative” to pull her towards schools alone. “In getting to understand all the remits, I’ve been thinking about the kinds of risks they pose, how much of my attention I need to be giving, and something I’ve been making very clear is that I’m going to spread my time across all of them.”
She says she wants an Ofsted that manages risk intelligently and puts its resources in the right place. “I want to get to a point where people just can’t imagine not seeing Ofsted as a force for improvement in any of its remits. That, for me, would be a big success after five years.” ‘ - The Guardian