Amanda Spielman

Amanda wears our Oxford dress in Navy, £198 (above)



What does it mean to be HM’s Chief Inspector of Ofsted, in a nutshell?
My job is much broader than most people realise – Ofsted inspects schools but also covers most kinds of education from early years through to apprenticeships and adult learning, as well as social care for children. What we do has a huge influence, so we have a heavy responsibility to do it well.
What are your strongest memories of your own childhood and education?
We moved from London to Glasgow just after I started school, and so I went to schools in London, Glasgow and Dorset. I liked my local primary school in Glasgow and it taught us lovely italic handwriting. Only my sixth form was at all academic.

You switched from working in banking to education – how did that change come about? 

Back in 2000 when I still worked in the City, I just realised one day that I was ready for a new challenge, and that education was the thing that I had always been interested in. So I left my job, signed myself up for a masters’ course, and one thing led to another.

Amanda is wearing our Winchester jacket in Navy, £198, and Stirling trousers in Navy, £130 (right)


What does your typical working day look like?

My working day can be anywhere: my own office is in London but I spend a lot of time on trains going out with inspection teams, visiting nurseries, schools, colleges and childrens’ homes, and meeting our staff who are scattered around the country. 

What keeps you busy when you’re not in the office? 

I have a very normal life outside work: I like to cook for friends, and play tennis most weekends. 

Have you mastered a good work-life balance?

Thanks to my excellent private office, who plan my time with great skill, my work-life balance feels about right. It helps that I love my job.

What are your weaknesses?

My biggest weakness is probably cutting things a bit fine on deadlines.

Amanda wears our Oxford dress in Plum, £119 (left) 

What’s one key piece of career advice that you have/ want to instil in your daughters?

To persist: if at first you don’t succeed, try again.

As you’ve watched your own two daughters go through the school system, are there any areas you’ve noticed where we could do better to help and encourage young girls?

It does seem to be so easy for girls to lose confidence in themselves and their abilities, no matter how talented they are.

What is your go-to workwear style?

A dress and jacket – I generally need to be fairly formal. I get around on a Brompton bicycle so my dresses need to be able to cope with that. I like interesting cuts – I still remember being fascinated by Issey Miyake patterns in particular when I used to make some of my own clothes – the fabric was cut and draped in extraordinary ways.

Amanda wears our Sackville dress in Navy, £198 (right)

What is your favourite Libby outfit at the moment?

My Oxford dresses – I now have three.

Amanda is wearing our Winchester jacket in Rosehip, £198, and Stirling trousers in Navy, £130 (left)


Interview: Lilli Brant

Photographer: Mafalda Silva

Accessories: Amanda's own

Location: Amanda's home in London


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