New Ofsted boss embarrassed by problems at his own academy chain

 

Political Editor

The new chairman of Ofsted faces the embarrassing prospect of seeing the struggling chain of academies at which he currently plays a key role criticised by the school standards body.

Businessman David Hoare, who was appointed to the Ofsted post today, is a director at the AET Academy Trust, which the Government has banned from taking on new schools due to concerns about its performance.

Mr Hoare will leave AET to take up the Ofsted job in September. At around the same time, Ofsted will issue a report that is expected to criticise some of AET’s schools following inspections carried out just before their summer break.

Ministers wrote to five schools in the chain about “unacceptable standards” last November. Ofsted’s verdict was due to be published this week but was delayed. Whitehall sources insisted this was due to staff holidays at Ofsted and not to spare Mr Hoare’s embarrassment. They argued that it would have been less embarrassing to “get it out of the way” before his new job was announced. Oftsed’s report is now expected at the end of August or in early September.

The appointment surprised Labour and teaching unions due to the problems at AET, the country’s largest academy chain. The Department for Education said last year it was “concerned” about the group’s performance, and that some of its schools were “not making the necessary improvements”.

The DfE said Mr Hoare had been brought in to help AET with its difficulties because of his business experience. He will step down as a trustee of AET to take up the Ofsted post.

Mr Hoare, until recently chairman of mail company DX Group, was educated privately at Marlborough College. He said he was looking forward to working closely with Sir Michael Wilshaw, the Chief Inspector of Schools, to raise standards - particularly for disadvantaged pupils.

“Ofsted has a key role helping to improve the leadership of our schools and the performance of our pupils. I look forward to being part of the team," he said.

Nicky Morgan, the Education Secretary, said Mr Hoare “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. He is also passionate about education.”

Mr Hoare will succeed the Labour peer Sally Morgan. The Independent revealed in January that Michael Gove, the then-Education Secretary, had decided to deny her a second three-year term. This angered the Liberal Democrats, and he was accused of politicising Ofsted.

David Ross, co-founder of the Carphone Warehouse high street chain and founder of a chain of 25 academies, was on a shortlist of four names for the Ofsted job drawn up by an independent panel. But the multi-millionaire was dropped after Lib Dem objections because he has donated about £220,000 to the Conservative Party. This happened before Mr Gove was demoted to Government Chief Whip in last month’s reshuffle.

Mr Hoare, who is not a Tory donor, is seen as a less controversial choice. But some Conservative MPs are unhappy. One senior backbencher said: “David Ross was the best man for the job. His academy chain is brilliant. Nicky Morgan has bottled it to avoid headlines about a Tory donor. We should have taken a one-day row and done the right thing.”

Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), said: “David Hoare has already shown a positive interest in the development of children through his recent work. He quickly needs to address the pressure placed on teachers from the current Ofsted regime, which is in disarray with questionable quality control processes. He also needs to remember that schools are not businesses, and shouldn’t become businesses.”

Tristram Hunt, the shadow Education Secretary, said: “The Tories have shown they cannot be trusted with Ofsted. They first undermined its independence by sacking Sally Morgan and trying to appoint cronies in her place. Playing politics with children's education by filling posts with the Tories' nearest and dearest is not acceptable.”

Profile: David Hoare

David Hoare’s experience of the state-education system appears relatively limited. Marlborough, where he was educated, is one of the UK’s most expensive public schools. From there, he studied engineering at Birmingham University, then business at Stanford.

In 1977, he started work at the European arm of the US consultancy Bain & Company. Ten years later, he co-founded Talisman Management, which advises firms in need of restructuring. He has led numerous underperforming firms, including Laura Ashley and Radio Rentals. This year, he became a trustee of the country’s largest chain of academies. He joined at a time when the trust had run into heavy criticism. He will now stand down as a trustee.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

SEN Teaching Assistant

£45 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Supply SEN Support Jobs in Bris...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£45 - £60 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Supply SEN Support Jobs in Glou...

Humanities and Economics Teacher - January 2015 - Malaysia

£18000 - £20400 per annum + Accommodation, Flights, Medical Cover: Randstad Ed...

SEN Teaching Assistant needed for long term assignment

£45 - £55 per day: Randstad Education Preston: We are looking for an experienc...

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain