Education & Family

'US search' for next Ofsted head

Girl taking school exam Image copyright PA

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan is understood to be looking to the US for the next head of England's schools inspectorate Ofsted.

It is thought several Americans are to be approached about replacing Sir Michael Wilshaw, who will stand down as chief inspector in December.

The Sunday Times says a figure working in the publicly funded US Charter schools system could be appointed.

The schools have been credited with boosting attainment in deprived areas.

They have been expanding across the US in recent years, with supporters seeing them as a way of re-energising standards in state education.

Charter schools, like free schools and academies in England, are independent of local authority control.

Or look to Finland?

Government sources have told the BBC that leading educationalists in the US have had to face similar issues to their contemporaries in England, not just in raising standards but in responding to the demands of teaching unions.

A number of British candidates are also reported to be in the running for the Ofsted post.

Christine Blower, the general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: "If the government is scouring the world for a new head of Ofsted, they should look to Finland.

"It is universally agreed to have an excellent education system characterised by co-operation, collaboration and trust - a far cry from the Charter School ethos of the US."

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