'Championing the rights of children'

Michael Gove denies attack on Ofsted chief

Garry Mon 27 Jan 2014 13:28

Education Secretary Michael Gove has denied claims his team briefed against England's chief inspector of schools, saying anyone who did would be sacked.

Sir Michael Wilshaw had earlier said he was "spitting blood" after the Times reported two right-leaning think tanks were to criticise Ofsted.

He had accused the Department for Education of briefing against the body.

Sir Michael later said he was pleased by Mr Gove's assurance but would defend his team against "unfair criticism".

Think tanks Policy Exchange and Civitas both confirmed they were working on reports on Ofsted, but denied their work was being done with encouragement from the Department for Education.

'Superb professional'
On Friday, the Times reported both think tanks were preparing to call for a radical overhaul of the Ofsted inspection regime, claiming it was trapped by 1960s "progressive" approaches to learning.

It said Civitas would say Mr Gove's wish for schools to develop their own approaches to teaching was being held back by child-first orthodoxies among inspectors, who were stifling innovation.

The paper said Policy Exchange, which was set up by the education secretary, would say the current inspection regime placed disproportionate pressure on teachers, while its judgments were too inconsistent.

In a statement on Sunday afternoon, Mr Gove said Sir Michael was a "superb professional and an outstanding chief inspector" who was making the changes Ofsted needed to help raise standards.

Read more... (BBC News - 26 January)