Labour warns Gove over Ofsted 'smear campaign'

Chief inspector of schools Sir Michael Wilshaw. Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The shadow education secretary has weighed into the row between the Department for Education and the chief inspector of schools, Sir Michael Wilshaw.

It follows a newspaper interview in which Sir Michael alleged supporters of Education Secretary Michael Gove were waging a dirty tricks campaign to undermine the work of Ofsted.

Sir Michael told The Sunday Times he was "spitting blood" over the issue. "I want it to stop," he said.

Ofsted, the schools watchdog, has recently published highly critical reports on two Free Schools - Mr Gove's flagship policy.

Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt has weighed into the row. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Labour's Tristram Hunt told ITV News:

Michael Gove needs to rule out any involvement, either personally or through his special advisors, in this smear campaign against Her Majesty's Chief Inspector.

Such antics are below the office of a Secretary of State. Ofsted plays a crucial role in upholding standards in our schools.

A report last week suggested two right-wing think tanks, Civitas and Policy Exchange, are pushing for Ofsted to be reformed or scrapped.

So far there's been no response from the Department for Education.