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Ofsted director to quit watchdog for senior academy role

Ofsted’s director of inspection reform, Mike Cladingbowl, is to leave the education watchdog at the end of the year to take up a senior role with an academy trust.

Mr Cladingbowl (pictured) is to become executive principal of Knutsford Multi-Academy Trust in Cheshire, Ofsted announced today. Along with Her Majesty's Chief Inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw, Mr Cladingbowl has been instrumental in drawing up new inspection criteria.

Last week, Mr Cladingbowl told TES that the inspectorate was considering further changes to the inspection criteria in primary schools to move away from a focus on English and maths.

“Mike has played a key role in shaping the future operating model for inspection, as well as the way the routine inspection of good schools will be organised from September 2015,” Sir Michael said.

“He will be much missed, but I know how much he is looking forward to using the experience he has gained at Ofsted to lead an important multi-academy trust in the North West of England to further success.”

Mr Cladingbowl, who was previously Ofsted’s regional director in the North West, has led Ofsted’s response to criticism of its inspection framework, including its focus on teaching styles and grading individual lessons.

He said he was delighted to be returning to his roots in Cheshire to take up his new post. “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my national role with Ofsted and being able to make a real difference to education standards in England over the last 12 years," he added. "I will be leaving an organisation whose standing and influence under Sir Michael’s leadership has never been higher.”

Mr Cladingbowl said before his departure that he intended to continue to work on the arrangements for a forthcoming consultation on the future of education inspection.

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