'Championing the rights of children'

Michael Gove risks becoming caricature of himself, says outgoing head of Ofsted

Garry Fri 14 Feb 2014 11:22

Labour peer Sally Morgan says education secretary sacked her as part of 'determined effort from No 10' to appoint more Tories.

The outgoing head of Ofsted has accused the education secretary of becoming a caricature of himself in his efforts to act tough.

Michael Gove last week declined to renew Sally Morgan's contract as chair of the school inspection service. His move has been criticised by Labour and some Liberal Democrats.

Lady Morgan said: "Michael has become a caricature of himself. He has developed this 'I'm tougher than tough' and it's running ahead of him and it's become his public persona and it's really damaging.

"My scars-on-the-back experience of public sector reform is you have got to bring a body of people with you."

Morgan said she was the victim of a "determined effort from Number 10" to appoint more Tories. Morgan is a former aide to Tony Blair.

Her contract ends this month but she will continue until the autumn to allow Gove to find a replacement.

Gove said Morgan had been an effective chairman of Ofsted but he wanted a new person in the role.

Morgan was responding to comments by the former Conservative blogger Tim Montgomerie on the BBC Radio 3 programme Free Thinking broadcast on Thursday.

Montgomerie, who now edits the Times comment section, had suggested that Gove was excessively "pugnacious and confrontational" in his dealings with the teaching profession.

"All the international evidence suggest that teacher quality matters, that's what make the big difference to children's lives.

Read more... (The Guardian - 13 February)