Amanda Spielman

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Amanda Spielman
Amanda Spielman HMCI from Ofsted website.jpg
Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills
Assumed office
1 January 2017
Prime MinisterTheresa May
MinisterDamian Hinds
Preceded bySir Michael Wilshaw
Personal details
Born (1961-05-22) May 22, 1961 (age 58)
United Kingdom

Amanda Spielman (born 22 May 1961) has been HM Chief Inspector of Education, Children's Services and Skills since January 2017.[1] She was one of the founders of the Ark academy chain, and worked in the senior leadership team at Ark from 2005. From 2011 to 2016 she was Chair of Ofqual, the exam regulator.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

She attended primary school in Glasgow, but moved to a small school in Dorset when she was ten, she went to a private day school in London for sixth form[3]. Spielman studied maths at Clare College, Cambridge.

She is married, with two children, she is a child of “a mixed marriage” – Anglican-Catholic. Her husband is Jewish.[4]

Financial industry career[edit]

Spielman was with KMG Thomson McLintock from 1982 to 1986 then Kleinwort Benson from 1986 to 1992, she was a director of Newstead Capital from 1992 to 1994 and of Bridgewater Business Analysis from 1994 to 1995. She was a principal at Mercer Management Consulting, Boston from 1995 to 1997 and then at Nomura Principal Finance from 1997 to 2004.

Education career[edit]

In 2000, she left finance, and studied for master's degree in comparative education from the Institute of Education, University of London.[5]

From 2005 onwards Spielman was part of the founding management team at Ark Schools.[6][7][8] From 2011 to 2016 she was chair of Ofqual, the exam regulator.

Ofsted appointment[edit]

In June 2016, Spielman was selected by Education Secretary Nicky Morgan to take over as chief inspector of Ofsted, the schools and children's services inspection body in England, to replace Sir Michael Wilshaw. Following a pre-appointment hearing, Spielman's nomination was rejected by the Education Select Committee which expressed concerns about her suitability, citing her lack of teaching experience and her failure to show "passion" and supposed failure to show understanding of the "complex role";[9] however their objections were overridden by the minister who wrote to the Select Committee chair dismissing their arguments and confirming her intention to appoint Spielman.[10]

Notable incidents under Spielman's stewardship included Almondbury Community School, where a video emerged showing an assault on Syrian refugee, who had his arm in a cast, being dragged to the floor by his neck, before attached poured water to simulate waterboarding.[11]

Policy positions[edit]

In 2018, Spielman supported a primary school headteacher's right to set a uniform policy that did not permit hijab for children in Key Stage 1 (ages 4–7); the UK's National Education Union derided this as “naked racism dressed up as liberalism.”[12]

In December 2018 Spielman argued that basic parenting tasks should not be outsourced to schools. For instance she said potty training was “a normal part of parenting in every other country” and it was “startling” that some UK parents were letting their children continue to wear nappies for years.[13]


  1. ^ Adams, Richard; Weale, Sally (9 January 2017). "New Ofsted chief: 'I want everyone to see us as a force for improvement'". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
  2. ^ "Amanda Spielman - GOV.UK". Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  3. ^ McInerney, Laura (23 December 2014). "Who is Amanda Spielman?". Schools Week. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  4. ^ Rocker, Simon (28 July 2018). "Ofsted Chief Amanda Spielman: we don't want to make life difficult for Charedi community". The Jewish Chronicle.
  5. ^ ‘SPIELMAN, Amanda Mary Victoria’, Who's Who 2017, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2017; online edn, Oxford University Press, 2016 ; online edn, Nov 2016 accessed 11 March 2017
  6. ^ "Exclusive: Amanda Spielman gets nod as next Ofsted chief inspector". TES magazine. 10 June 2016.
  7. ^ Espinoza, Javier (10 June 2016). "Amanda Spielman to become new Ofsted head". The Daily Telegraph.
  8. ^ Adams, Richard (10 June 2016). "Amanda Spielman named as next Ofsted chief inspector". The Guardian.
  9. ^ Sellgren, Katherine (7 July 2016). "Ofsted's next head, Amanda Spielman, rejected by MPs". BBC News.
  10. ^ Morgan, Nicky. "Letter to Neil Carmichael".
  11. ^ Griffiths, Sam (2 December 2018). "Almondbury, the school in Jamal bully video, faces Ofsted inspection". The Times. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  12. ^ "The Guardian".
  13. ^ "The Times".