'Championing the rights of children'

Ofsted row deepens as Laws 'furious'

Garry Sun 02 Feb 2014 09:16

The row over the removal of the head of Ofsted has intensified with Lib Dem minister David Laws accusing his boss, Education Secretary Michael Gove, of doing it for political reasons.

It comes after Baroness Morgan said she was the victim of a "determined effort from Number 10" to appoint more Tories.

A source close to Mr Laws said he was "furious" at "attempts to politicise" the schools inspectorate for England.

Tory Mr Gove has not commented on claims he dismissed the Labour peer.

Downing Street, which said the decision not to reappoint Baroness Morgan for a second three-year term had been made by Mr Gove, insisted the government "appoints people on merit".

The outgoing chairwoman, who was appointed by the coalition in 2010 as chair of the education inspectorate for England, told BBC News her removal was part of a pattern which had seen a series of non-Conservative supporters on bodies like the Arts Council and the Charity Commission replaced with loyal Tories.

"I really do think it's just I am the latest of a fairly long list of people now who are non-Conservative supporters who are not being reappointed," she said.

"Often they are people who have been working really well with their organisations and, indeed, with their host departments, so I do think this is coming from Number 10.

"I don't think it is coming from individual departments."

A source close to Mr Laws told the BBC: "David is absolutely furious at the blatant attempts by the Tories to politicise Ofsted.

"The decision to get rid of Sally Morgan had absolutely nothing to do with her abilities, or even education policy, and everything to do with Michael Gove's desire to get his own people on board.

Read more... (BBC News - 02 February)