Chief schools inspector 'spitting blood' over Ofsted attacks

The chief inspector of schools said he is "spitting blood" over attacks on Ofsted by two right-wing think tanks. Sir Michael Wilshaw said education secretary Michael Gove risked damaging school standards by undermining his authority.

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Wilshaw 'assured' there are no briefings against Ofsted

Chief Inspector of Schools Sir Michael Wilshaw has said he has been assured by the Education Secretary Michael Gove that there are no briefings against Ofsted from his department and anticipates this is the end of the matter.

I am proud of my team at Ofsted and seek always to defend them from unfair criticism and those setting out to make mischief. I have talked to the Secretary of State today and I know that he is 100 per cent supportive of my leadership.

I was very pleased to be assured by the Secretary of State that there are no briefings against Ofsted from the department or people working for him.

We both therefore hope and anticipate that this is the end of the matter. I am looking forward to continuing to work closely with the Secretary of State to ensure school standards continue to rise.

– Chief Inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw

Gove: Undermining Wilshaw will result in dismissal

Education Secretary Michael Gove has said in a statement that anyone working for him that attempts to undermine the position of the chief inspector of schools, Sir Michael Wilshaw, would be instantly dismissed.

His comments come as Sir Wilshaw said in a newspaper interview that he is "spitting blood" over attacks on Ofsted by two right-wing think tanks.

Sir Michael Wilshaw is a superb professional and an outstanding chief inspector. He is making the changes Ofsted needs to help raise standards further.

No-one working for me has had anything to do with any campaign against him or briefing against him. No one working for me has sought to undermine his position. Anyone who did would be instantly dismissed.

– Education Secretary Michael Gove

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Gove urged to steer clear of Ofsted smear campaign

Shadow Education Secretary Tristam Hunt has urged Michael Gove not to become involved in a smear campaign against Ofsted.

Michael Gove needs to rule out any involvement either personally or through his special advisors in what appears to be a 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. Michael Gove should not seek to discredit Ofsted because Ofsted has given negative judgements to underperfoming free schools. Michael Wilshaw is right that there is a complete lack of local oversight of free schools to prevent the sort of failure Ofsted has identified. But instead of addressing this, Michael Gove appears to be playing politics.

– Shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt

Civitas: Schools 'scared to innovate' because of Ofsted

The head of the right-wing think tank Civitas has said that any suggestion the Education Secretary Michael Gove is directing criticism of Ofsted is misguided:

The idea that Michael Gove is in any way directing our criticism of Ofsted is well wide of the mark.

We have had serious misgivings about Ofsted for many years, driven by the testimony of teachers and their concern for school standards.

The fact is, whatever Sir Michael Wilshaw's intentions, we know schools that would like to innovate are scared to do so because of the misguided notions of many Ofsted inspectors.

It would not be in Michael Gove's power to 'call off' our criticism whether he wanted to or not.

– David Green, chief executive, Civitas

Chief inspector 'spitting blood' over Ofsted attacks

Sir Michael Wilshaw said he was 'spitting blood' over 'attacks' on Ofsted.
Sir Michael Wilshaw said he was 'spitting blood' over 'attacks' on Ofsted. Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire

The chief inspector of schools has said he is "spitting blood" over right-wing attacks on Ofsted.

Sir Michael Wilshaw told The Sunday Times that education secretary Michael Gove risked damaging school standards by undermining his authority and attacking Ofsted's ideology.

It comes after reports that right-wing think tank Civitas has urged the Government to create a new body to inspect free schools and academies.

While the Policy Exchange think tank, which Mr Gove set up in 2002, is calling for evidence from schools about whether the school inspection body is "fit for purpose".

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