Michael Gove warned not to surround himself with 'yes men'

Education Secretary Michael Gove should not surround himself with "yes men" or "believe his own hype", former Ofsted chief inspector Sir David Bell said. Sir David made the comments after Mr Gove decided to replace the head of Ofsted.

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No. 10 knew of Gove's decision to replace Ofsted chief

Prime Minister David Cameron's official spokesman has said No.10 was informed of the Education Secretary's decision not to renew Lady Morgan's appointment as head of school watchdog Ofsted.

As the Secretary of State was very clear yesterday, it was his decision. No. 10 was informed of it.

– Prime Minister David Cameron's official spokesman

The appointment of a successor will follow the normal public appointments processes, said the spokesman.

Read: Michael Gove defends his decision to replace Ofsted chief

Gove: My department is not full of 'nodding dogs'

Michael Gove has insisted that his department is not a "gallery of nodding dogs" amid a warning that he should not surround himself with "yes men".

Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove
Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove Credit: oe Giddens/PA Archive

Civil servants at the Department for Education (DfE) are skilled at saying "yes, no, maybe or just sucking their teeth if they want to let me know it's a bad idea," the Education Secretary said.

His comments follow a public row with Labour and Lib Dem MPs following the decision to replace the chair of Ofsted, Labour's Baroness Sally Morgan.

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Gove: UK state education is no longer 'bog standard'

Education Secretary Michael Gove has said state education in the UK was "bog standard" for decades, but a "relentess" focus on teacher quality has improved schools.

Education Secretary Michael Gove
Education Secretary Michael Gove Credit: PA/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Gove, who has made no secret of his desire to see state schools run more like independents, said

"tectonic plates" have started to shift in this "historic period in state education" as the schools have improved more last year than at any time in Ofsted's history.

"We need to thank the nations teachers. We have the best generation of English teachers ever working in English classrooms," he said.

Gove's speech comes amid a public row with Labour and Lib Dem MPs following the decision to replace the chair of Ofsted, Labour's Baroness Sally Morgan

Read: Gove vows to break down education's 'Berlin Wall'

Michael Gove should not 'believe his own hype'

Education Secretary Michael Gove should not surround himself with "yes men" or "believe his own hype", a former Ofsted chief inspector said.

Education Secretary Michael Gove. Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

Sir David Bell made the comments on website The Conversation after Mr Gove decided to replace the head of Ofsted Baroness Sally Morgan.

Mr Gove claimed removing the Labour peer was not a politically motivated decision but the move was a way to "refresh" the leadership.

Writing for the education website, Sir David said: "The row over Ofsted's leadership shows the importance of retaining and being seen to retain independent voices near the top - not simply 'yes men'."

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Harriet Harman: It's like raining men in the Tory party

Labour's deputy leader Harriet Harman has accused the Conservative party of having a "problem with women" after claiming there was a pattern of replacing senior women in public positions with men.

"My concern is that we're having a sort of cull of senior, authoritative women and they're all being replaced by men," she told BBC 1's Andrew Marr Show.

Michael Gove replied: "We don't have a problem with women in Tory party, we made one Prime Minister".

Although he admitted there was a broader problem of attracting women into public life.

More: It’s Raining Men storms charts after councillor's remarks

Gove: Ofsted chair replaced 'to bring new eyes to bear'

Education Secretary Michael Gove has insisted that the government is "perfectly happy to appoint people whatever their political background to important jobs".

Speaking of the outgoing chair of Ofsted Baroness Morgan, who has accused No 10 of trying to fill public bodies with Tory supporters, Mr Gove said "she's done a really good job".

But he told BBC 1's Andrew Marr Show that he felt it was necessary to replace her "in order to bring new eyes to bear".

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