Frank Norris MBE FCCT

Education advisor

Adviser to The Northern Powerhouse Partnership on education matters through a secondment from The Co-op.

Independent chair of the Blackpool Education Improvement Board.

Trustee and chair of finance at Great Academies Education Trust

Vice Chair of Liverpool Education Board

Advisory Board member of InnovateHer

Former senior HMI manager responsible for school, early years and initial teacher education including Framework Development

About me

Former Headteacher at Lower Park Primary School, Poynton and Millbank Junior School, Partington.

Seconded as an Additional Inspector to Ofsted 1995-1996.

Appointed Her Majesty’s Inspector in 2001.

  • Led project that saw all school HMI lead inspections
  • Joined small School Framework Development Team and contributed to the update in 2003 and the significant changes introduced in 2005. Responsible for development of online self evaluation form, contextual value added and creation of the term ‘Outstanding’. Something I now regret!
  • In 2006 appointed Lead Manager for implementation of local authority Joint Area Reviews by nine other inspectorates and undertook review of inspection process to make it less burdensome for local authorities and inspectors
  • 2009 appointed Assistant to Director for Schools with responsibility for quality assuring national inspection programmes undertaken by outsourced inspection providers
  • In 2010 appointed as Divisional Manager for Schools, Early Years and Initial Teacher Education.
  • Led development and implementation of school inspection framework introduced in January 2012 by Miriam Rosen HMCI and developed revisions introduced by Sir Michael Wilshaw in September 2012

Joined Stockport MBC as Senior School Adviser in September 2012.

Approached by The Co-op in March 2013 to become their Education Adviser.

Joined in September 2013 and appointed as CEO of Co-op Academies Trust in March 2014.

  • Successfully merged three trusts run by The Co-op into one responsible body
  • Improved academic performance so that the Trust was judged as above average for GCSE and end of Key Stage 2 performance by DfE, Sutton Trust and EPI
  • Gained financial support from The Co-op for £3.6m to assist in the growth of the Trust from 6 to 40 by end of 2022.
  • Improved Ofsted outcomes with only one long established school not judged as at least Good (Stuck at RI despite leadership and management and other areas judged as Good)
  • Appointed MBE in summer 2019 for services to education
  • Stood down as CEO in September 2019

Appointed as Adviser to The Co-op on education and schools matters in September 2019

Recent blog posts

A personal journey as HMI and how it affects my views today (Part 1)

I have been commenting quite a lot recently on the decision of Ofsted to continue inspecting while the pandemic is still with us. I have been deeply concerned by recent inspection reports I have read where the evidence doesn’t appear to support the judgement or where a slither of evidence is used to make quite damning overall judgements on effectiveness.

Nothing wrong in raising expectations but…..

There has been much comment in the past few days regarding Ofsted’s expectation that around half of existing Grade 1 schools will be downgraded when they are next inspected. I am unsure how accurate the estimation is because I am hearing that significantly more than half are being downgraded. Time will tell.

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