Ofsted

Chris Russell to retire as Ofsted’s national director for education

Senior official will leave at the same time as chief inspector Amanda Spielman in December

Senior official will leave at the same time as chief inspector Amanda Spielman in December

Chris Russell
Exclusive

Ofsted’s national director of education Chris Russell will retire at the end of this year after just over two years in the role, Schools Week has learned.

It means that both Amanda Spielman, the current chief inspector, and one of her most senior officials will depart the inspectorate in December.

Russell has worked at Ofsted since 2006, initially as an inspector and then in various regional director posts before being promoted to national director in September 2021, replacing Sean Harford.

Schools Week understands he had passed retirement age and saw the upcoming change in leadership as a good opportunity to stand down.

Sir Martyn Oliver, currently chief executive of the Outwood Grange Academies Trust, is due to take over as chief inspector in January.

Russell’s departure follows that of strategy director Chris Jones, another one of the five officials that sit below the chief inspector in Ofsted’s management structure. He joined the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities in June.

Ofsted is now advertising for a new national director of education, with a starting salary of £123,500.

The advert states the postholder will be “responsible for the improvement and development of Ofsted’s inspection methodology for all stages of education”.

‘A clear focus on children and students’

They will ensure that Ofsted “maintains a clear focus on children and students and acts as a force for improvement”. They are also responsible for “inspector training and quality assurance of their work”.

Ofsted's chief inspector Amanda Spielman
Amanda Spielman

The job description added that the postholder will “ensure Ofsted maintains a clear focus on children and students and acts as a force for improvement, whilst ensuring the development of high-quality policy, guidance and frameworks across education”.

“As a member of Ofsted’s executive board, you will also be taking a full corporate leadership role influencing our strategic direction, policy and practice and through this, impacting the lives of millions of children and learners.”

Applications close on October 9.

It comes at a time of crisis for the watchdog, which has come under sustained criticism for its handling of the death of headteacher Ruth Perry.

Perry, the headteacher of Caversham Primary School in Berkshire, died in January. Her family said she took her own life before the publication of an inspection report rating the school ‘inadequate’.

Earlier this month, Spielman apologised after Schools Week revealed she told inspectors during a meeting that the inspection of a primary school where the head took her own life had been “reviewed to death”.

Latest education roles from

Chief People Officer

Chief People Officer

Inspiring Futures Through Learning

Work Experience Officer

Work Experience Officer

South Staffordshire College

Teacher of Science

Teacher of Science

Satis Education

EA to the CEO & Senior Directors

EA to the CEO & Senior Directors

Haberdashers’ Academies Trust South

Chief Executive Officer Cornwall Education Learning Trust (CELT)

Chief Executive Officer Cornwall Education Learning Trust (CELT)

Satis Education

Head of Faculty (History and RS)

Head of Faculty (History and RS)

Ark Greenwich Free School

Sponsored posts

Sponsored post

How can we prepare learners for their future in an ever-changing world?

By focusing their curriculums on transferable skills, digital skills, and sustainability, schools and colleges can be confident that learners...

SWAdvertorial
Sponsored post

Inspiring Education Leaders for 10 Years

The 10th Inspiring Leadership Conference is to be held on 13 and 14 June 2024 at the ICC in...

SWAdvertorial
Sponsored post

Inspire creativity in your classroom. Sky Arts’ Access All Arts week is back!

Now in its third year, Access All Arts week is a nationwide celebration of creativity for primary schools (17-21...

SWAdvertorial
Sponsored post

Unleash the Power of Sport in your setting this summer! National School Sports Week is back!

Unleash the Power of Sport this summer with National School Sports Week powered by Monster Kickabout! From 17-23 June,...

SWAdvertorial

More from this theme

Ofsted

Labour’s Ofsted report cards: How they could work, and the hurdles

Party has vowed to 'enhance the inspection regime by replacing a single headline grade with a new report card...

Lucas Cumiskey
Ofsted

Leaders divided over Labour plan for Ofsted trust inspections

Labour wants Ofsted to inspect trusts as well as individual schools

Lucas Cumiskey
Ofsted

Ofsted: Trusts ‘not convinced’ judgments are ‘appropriate or optimal’

CST tells Ofsted's Big Listen that a separate safeguarding judgment may have 'merit', but warns against rushed move to...

Jack Dyson
Ofsted

Big Listen: Ofsted must embrace ‘far-reaching reform’, say leaders

Ofsted 'still has a long way to go to restore credibility', union bosses tell watchdog's consultation

Lucas Cumiskey

Your thoughts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *