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Ofsted restructure sees departure of Nick Hudson

Nick Hudson, Ofsted’s director of early education, has stepped down from the post as the inspectorate announces a new structure.

Mr Hudson, who leaves the post as of 1 September, will remain in his role as regional director of the North East, Yorkshire and Humber.

The move comes as Ofsted introduces major changes to inspection, notably the common inspection framework, which aims to align the inspection of early years with that of schools and further education.

To this end, Sean Harford has been appointed national director for education, taking overall responsibility for early education inspection policy supported by Gill Jones, who remains in her role as deputy director, early education.

A spokesperson from Ofsted said: “With the introduction of the common inspection framework covering early education, schools and further education, it is right that we encompass all of this work under one senior director — a national director for education.”

In a blog post announcing his appointment, Mr Harford added: “This is the right moment to draw together all that Ofsted does in these areas and to ensure comparability and consistency across Ofsted’s inspection of these sectors.”

On his departure, Mr Hudson stated: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as national director, early education and have appreciated the professional dialogue, which has informed the changes we have introduced over the last 18 months.

“I am particularly grateful to colleagues on our National Consultative Forum for their contribution and support during this time.”

As the new structure is introduced, concerns have been expressed within the early years sector around the implications of a broad directorate that absorbs early years.

Alliance chief executive Neil Leitch said: “No single individual has done more to listen and act upon sector recommendations than Nick Hudson, so it’s hard to see this as anything more than a regressive step.”