Sir Michael Wilshaw congratulates three ‘exceptional’ headteachers under new Ofsted approach

Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw has written to three “exceptional” school leaders as part of a new initiative by the watchdog.

The three headteachers all took on roles at nearby underperforming schools, helping to lift them up from low Ofsted ratings. They were nominated by Ofsted inspectors.

Sir Michael said: “I’m very pleased to celebrate the achievements of these three exceptional leaders.

“They have all taken risks, put themselves out there and spread good practice beyond their own schools. They are reformers who have turned their ambitions for success into reality, and raised standards for children not only at their own schools, but at other schools nearby.

“We need more great leaders in our education system. By recognising these three people, I hope others will be inspired to follow their example and take every step necessary to improve the prospects and life chances of children in their own schools and in others.”

Ofsted announced the new initiative in June last year – although it recieved a nervous reaction from headteachers. A copy of the letter will also go to the secretary of tate and the leaders will be highlighted in Ofsted’s Annual Report.

Sir Michael will write to more leaders throughout the year.

The three leaders are:

Dr Tom Canning OBE, executive head at Tollgate Primary School in east London. He also took on the role of executive head at nearby Cleves Primary School, where the school moved from requires improvement in 2013 to outstanding last November

Bradley Taylor, headteacher at Chiltern Gate School, Buckinghamshire. He also took on the role of interim headteacher at nearby Maplewood School. Maplewood moved from inadequate in 2014 to be judged good last November.

Kerrie Lewis, headteacher at Condover Church of England Primary School in Shropshire. She also took on the role of acting headteacher at nearby Shrewsbury Cathedral Catholic School, which was rated as good in November, after being told it was inadequate in July 2014.


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  1. It’s going to take Sir M a long time if he’s only going to congratulate three at a time. 90 primaries and 5 special schools had the same level of improvement in Ofsted grades in 2015. And Sir M has omitted the significant contribution of LAs to this improvement. I name the 30 primaries which were upgraded from RI to Outstanding, and the 5 special schools upgraded from Inadequate to Good here: