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NEW SCHOOLS CHIEF INSPECTOR IS LONDON BOROUGH CHIEF EXEC

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Tower Hamlets LBC chief executive Christine Gilbert will be the new chief inspector of schools....
Tower Hamlets LBC chief executive Christine Gilbert will be the new chief inspector of schools.

She will take up the appointment on 1 October.

Ms Gilbert will succeed Maurice Smith who has held the post on an interim basis following David Bell's move to become permanent secretary at the Department for Education and Skills last December.

Ms Gilbert said:

'I am delighted to have a chance to fulfil such an interesting and challenging national role, especially as Ofsted moves towards a new single inspectorate covering education, children's services and skills.

'I am committed to transforming public services so they are better able to

improve the quality of life for individuals and communities, especially

children and learners, and am ready to use my experience on the bigger

national stage.

'However, I will be sorry to give up my current role which I have enjoyed

enormously. Tower Hamlets is a very special place and I have been

privileged to work here for over nine years.

'Great opportunities to make such a significant contribution to the

development of high quality public services, and the drive to improve

standards, are simply too good to miss. Yet I will find it hard to say goodbye to the many Tower Hamlets' residents, stakeholders, staff and partners I have worked with.

'We have made enormous progress over recent years and I am proud to have

contributed to the strong and sustained improvements being made both within

the council, and right across the borough'.

Tower Hamlets LBC leader Denise Jones said: 'Christine has

served the council with great distinction. She has played a major part in

making the council a model for the successful delivery of public services.

I very much regret she is leaving but wish her well for the future'.

Ian Wilson, corporate director social services and deputy chief executive

will act as interim chief executive and will work along side Ms Gilbert to

ensure a smooth transition pending the permanent appointment.

Education and skills secretary Alan Johnson said:

'I am delighted that Christine Gilbert has been appointed to this crucial and demanding position, and wish her every success. Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools plays a vital role in helping to raise standards and tackle failure in education and childcare, and will in the future take on an enhanced range of responsibilities for inspecting children's social care and adult learning. I would also like to pay tribute to Maurice Smith for all his work as HMCI.'

Ms Gilbert has extensive background in and knowledge of education, having spent 18 years in teaching, eight of these as headteacher of Whitmore High School, Harrow. She joined Tower Hamlets LBC in April 1997 as corporate director (education), having previously been director of education at Harrow LBC for five years. During 1999/2000 she was chair of the Association of Chief Education Officers.

She has been chief executive at Tower Hamlets for six years.

Ms Gilbert is also chair of the government's review team looking

into personalised learning, reporting to the secretary of state for

education and skills and chair of the London Child Protection Committee.

Ms Gilbert applied for the position of chief inspector through an open competition. She was recommended by the secretary of state, on behalf of the government, and appointed by Her Majesty in Council on 7 June 2006. Mr Smith will continue as chief inspector until 30 September 2006.

Subject to the passage of the Education and Inspections Bill which is currently before parliament, it is intended that the person holding the office of HM Chief Inspector of Schools in England will become HM Chief Inspector of Education, Children's Services and Skills.

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