Ofsted chairman: Academy group trustee David Hoare appointed to head school inspections

'He is a proven business leader' says Education Secretary Nicky Morgan

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The Independent Online

Businessman David Hoare has been selected as the new chairman of schools regulator Ofsted, finally ending a furious Coalition row over the appointment.

Mr Hoare - until recently chairman of mail company DX Group and a trustee of AET, the largest academy group in the UK - will take up his new role in September.

Announcing the appointment, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said: "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.

"He is also passionate about education and his work with academies across the country shows he shares my commitment to ever higher standards in our schools, for all children but particularly the most disadvantaged."

Mr Hoare said he was looking forward to working closely with the Chief Inspector of Schools, Sir Michael Wilshaw, 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.

The new Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, says David Hoare is 'a proven business leader'

The move comes after a bitter battle within the Coalition - with accusations by the Liberal Democrats that former education secretary Michael Gove was trying to politicise the job.

Lib Dem Schools Minister David Laws was said to have been furious when Mr Gove announced in February that current Ofsted chair Baroness Morgan - a former senior aide to Tony Blair - would not have her contract extended.

The Lib Dems were further enraged by reports that Mr Gove was lining up multi-millionaire Tory donor and Carphone Warehouse co-founder David Ross to take over the position.

However Mr Gove's demotion to Chief Whip in David Cameron's reshuffle earlier this month and his replacement by Ms Morgan appears to have cleared the way for the dispute to be settled.

Mr Hoare - who has been chairman of a number of companies including Virgin Express, Paragon Group and Laura Ashley and is chairman of the Teenage Cancer Trust - is likely to be seen as a far less contentious choice.