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Academy trustee appointed new Ofsted chair

David Hoare, a businessman and trustee of the Academies Enterprise Trust (AET), has been appointed the new chair of Ofsted.

Hoare, who joined the struggling AET chain in January, will take up his new post in September. He will replace Baroness Sally Morgan, after former education secretary Michael Gove decided not to re-appoint her.

The new Ofsted chairman was brought in to help large AET, which has received recent criticism for the way it has run several schools.

In fact, AET, which runs about 70 of these state-funded schools was warned in March last year that it could not take over any more schools.

New education secretary Nicky Morgan MP, in her first major move since taking up the role, said: “I am delighted to appoint David to this important role.

“He is a proven business leader who has the expertise in leadership and governance crucial to helping Ofsted through a significant period of change and reform.”

Hoare added that he is looking forward to “working closely with Sir Michael Wilshaw to raise quality in children’s services and standards in our schools and colleges - especially for disadvantaged pupils”.

But the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, was not as buoyed by the news. Deputy general secretary Kevin Courtney said: “David Hoare is a trustee of the AET, one of the largest academy chains.

“Teachers will view the appointment as further evidence of the government's politicisation of school inspection.  This could further widen the credibility gap between Ofsted and schools, and the new chair will need to demonstrate his competence to chair the school inspectorate in an impartial manner with regard to all academy and community schools.”

Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, added that Hoare was taking on a difficult role. She added that he needs to remember that schools are not businesses, and shouldn’t become businesses. “We hope Mr Hoare will meet soon with teacher union representatives to talk about the urgent reform of Ofsted.”

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