Wilshaw returns to headship with interim role at London school JFS

Wilshaw JFS

The former chief inspector of Ofsted Sir Michael Wilshaw has stepped back into headship after almost a decade, with an interim role at a London Jewish school.

JFS, in Brent, has informed parents that Wilshaw has agreed to serve as its interim executive principal for the “remainder of this term”, following the departure at the end of last month of its previous head Rachel Fink.

According to the Jewish Chronicle, the school was inspected by Ofsted last month and a report is due to be published soon.

Testimonies from school pupils featured on the Everyone’s Invited website, set up earlier this year to shine a light on sex abuse. The testimonies had been shared with authorities to “seek advice as to what further steps we should take to investigate”, the school previously said.

In a letter to parents this week, seen by Schools Week, chair of governors Andrew Moss said Wilshaw would be supported in the role by Dame Joan McVittie, “a former London headteacher, safeguarding expert and a senior Ofsted inspector”.

Dr Oliver Walton and Anna Joseph from the school’s senior leadership team “are also taking lead supporting roles”.

“We appreciate that changes of this nature cause concern. We have full confidence in this team along with the entire staff body to deliver the educational priorities and to maintain the Jewish ethos of the school,” Moss added.

The governors “will outline plans to recruit a permanent successor to Mrs Fink in due course”, he said.

Wilshaw was executive principal of Mossbourne Community Academy in Hackney before being appointed as chief inspector in 2012. He left the Ofsted role in 2016, and was succeeded by Amanda Spielman.

Last year, the 74-year-old returned to the classroom to teach history at St Thomas More Catholic School in north London, urging other retired professionals to do the same as schools grappled with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Wilshaw has been approached for comment.

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  1. richard moore

    I am interested to know what ‘a senior Ofsted Inspector’ means, as there is no such thing? She is either an HMI, a part-time inspector (Ofsted Inspector), a senior HMI managing a team of inspectors in a region, or a Regional Director…

  2. Edmund

    Times magazine described Mossbourne Academy as a ‘glorified boot camp’. Also, see Wilshaw’s critical, even harsh, comments on teachers. Pity the teachers at JFS who now have to sit under him.