Lee Owston appointed as Ofsted’s new National Director, Education

Ofsted has appointed a new National Director, Education with Lee Owston stepping into the role on 1 January 2024

Lee is currently the Deputy Director, Schools and Early Education and will be taking over from current director Chris Russell, who is retiring after 17 years at Ofsted. Lee comes into the role with a wealth of experience, having previously filled the position temporarily for several months earlier this year.  

Since joining Ofsted in 2013 as one of His Majesty’s Inspectors, Lee has taken on various roles and made great contributions to many areas of the organisation and education sector, including early years, schools, teacher development and special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).  

Before joining Ofsted, Lee held senior leadership positions in schools, was Senior Adviser for early education and primary schools in a local authority and was Regional Director for The National Strategies, where he contributed to national publications on English, phonics and assessment. 

His Majesty’s Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman said: 

"I congratulate Lee on his appointment as National Director, Education and I know that this will be a smooth transition given his extensive experience.  

"I also want to thank Chris Russell for his substantial contributions in his time at Ofsted, as National Director, Education, in his leadership of the post-lockdown inspection restart programme, as a regional director and as an inspector."