Ofsted

OGAT boss Martyn Oliver set for Ofsted chief inspector role

Sir Martyn Oliver runs leading turnaround trust, but has been criticised over exclusion rates and use of isolation

Sir Martyn Oliver runs leading turnaround trust, but has been criticised over exclusion rates and use of isolation

Sir Martyn Oliver

Academy trust boss Sir Martyn Oliver is set to be named the next chief inspector of Ofsted, it is understood.

Oliver, who leads Outwood Grange Academies Trust, has been named the preferred candidate by education secretary Gillian Keegan, but his appointment is still to be ratified by Number 10, the Sunday Times reported.

Oliver had been the frontrunner for the role alongside fellow trust boss Sir Ian Bauckham.

Oliver leads one of the country’s most successful trusts in turning around failing schools in deprived areas, many of which are now ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ – some for the first time in their history.

The trust has also led on helping schools become more efficient and is one of four that founded the flagship National Institute of Teaching.

Exclusion rate and isolation use criticised

However, the appointment is also likely to prove controversial.

OGAT’s zero-tolerance approach to education has been criticised: from its schools high exclusion rates to facing a legal challenge over its use of isolation booths. A pupil claimed they had spent almost a third of their time at school in isolation.

Schools Week also first revealed the trust had run “flattening the grass” assemblies where ex teachers said pupils were shouted at and humiliated.

Oliver himself also sat on the government commission on race, led by Sir Tony Sewell, which was widely criticised for underplaying racism.

OGAT boss criticised curriculum-focus inspections

Oliver, who was knighted for services to education last year, was also highly critical of current chief inspector Amanda Spielman’s new inspections.

He was one of a handful of leading CEOs who said the switch in focus from exam results to curriculum would favour middle-class children.

Schools Week revealed in 2019 many schools under the new inspections had been criticised for starting GCSEs in year 9.

Oliver said at the time that inspectors were taking a “far too simplistic a view on when GCSE teaching should begin. Many of the children in our schools need a three-year run up.

“They don’t have books at home and space for homework. All that has to happen in school time and disproportionately their life chances come from qualifications.”

‘Schools transformed by OGAT’

Once the government has named its preferred candidate, they will appear before the education committee which makes its own reccommendation on the appointment.

A spokesperson for OGAT said: “In our trust are schools in areas of high deprivation which had been under-performing for years and were some of the most challenging in the system when we took them on.

“These schools have been transformed by OGAT. They now provide students with a great education and the best chance to lead successful lives. Our schools have never been so popular with parents and local authorities have expanded several of them so they can take even more students.”

A spokesman for the DfE told the Sunday Times: “No final decisions have yet been made on the new chief inspector of Ofsted.”

Ofsted has been widely criticised following the death of headteacher Ruth Perry. Labour has pledged to ditch one-word grades for a report card, should it form the next government.

More from this theme

Ofsted

School wasn’t gaming as it can do ‘pretty much anything’, court hears

High court judge criticises Ofsted for 'entirely erroneous understanding' of 'gaming' as city technical college downgraded to ‘good’

Lucas Cumiskey
Ofsted

Ofsted to examine how SEND pupils are prepared for adulthood

Inspectors will visit a 'small number of areas' to look at a 'particular aspect of SEND in-depth'

Lucas Cumiskey
Ofsted

Ruth Perry: Reading council to survey heads’ wellbeing and challenge rogue Ofsted inspections

Actions follow coroner report into the death of headteacher Ruth Perry, but sister says it shows council has ‘not...

Lucas Cumiskey
Ofsted

Ofsted orders review into wiped evidence claims

Schools Week revealed how technical glitches force inspectors to re-record inspection evidence, sometimes from memory

Freddie Whittaker
Ofsted

Ofsted’s digital inspection system glitch revealed

Electronic evidence gathering system has faced technical issues since it was launched in 2019

Freddie Whittaker
Ofsted

Ofsted: MPs want ‘nuanced’ alternative to ‘totemic’ judgments

Parliament's education committee also also calls for less frequent, more 'in-depth' inspections

Lucas Cumiskey

Your thoughts

Leave a Reply

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