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Ofsted chief: Child's grades 'not about poverty'

Sir Michael Wilshaw suggested that if parents love their children they should support them in schools. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Poverty is being used as an excuse for failure by white working-class families, Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw argued in an interview to The Times (£).

Sir Wilshaw was commenting on a government report into extending school hours for poorer children, where extended school hours would give children somewhere to do their homework.

He said: "It's not about income or poverty. Where families believe in education they do well. If they love their children they should support them in schools."

More: White working-class children 'performing worst at school'

Ofsted chief: End the 'all must have prizes' culture

Ofsted chief executive Sir Michael Wilshaw will criticise state schools for failing to provide competitive sport and call for an end to the "all-must-have-prizes" culture in comprehensive schools, which some say discourages competition.

The Queen's granddaughter Zara Tindall won a medal in 2012 Olympics. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

In a speech on Friday, Sir Michael will urge state schools to push competitive sports to create more medalist like Jessica Ennis-Hill.

More than 40% of Team GB in London 2012 attended private school, compared to just 7% of the general population.

The Ofsted chief will also highlight the connection between participation in competitive sports and academic success.

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Ofsted chief agrees to meet 'Trojan Horse' parents

The head of Ofsted, Sir Michael Wilshaw, has agreed to meet parents of pupils whose schools were involved in the Trojan Horse investigation in Birmingham.

Chief Inspector of Schools in England and Head of Ofsted Sir Michael Wilshaw. Credit: PA

Sir Michael made the pledge after a meeting with local MPs to discuss concerns in the community about the regulator's recent reports, which saw several schools placed into special measures.

"He agreed to consider how best to meet a request from some MPs for him to address the concerns of some of their constituents, including the suggestion of meeting with a small representative group of parents."

The schools themselves claim that Ofsted ignored evidence that showed governors were actively trying to protect children from the risk of exposure to extremism.

Read: 'Trojan Horse' school claims Ofsted ignored crucial evidence

Implication Gove blocked no-notice inspections 'wrong'

Graphic with Michael Gove.
A source at the Department for Education has dismissed the Ofsted chief's claims. Credit: ITV News

A senior Department for Education source has dismissed Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw's "implication" that Michael Gove blocked the idea of no-notice schools inspections two years ago.

Watch: Sir Michael Wilshaw's interview with Political Correspondent Libby Wiener

Ofsted: Council failed to support 'Trojan' schools

File photo of Birmingham City Council sign.
Schools regulator Ofsted has condemned Birmingham City Council. Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Ofsted has also condemned Birmingham City Council for failing to support a number of schools in their efforts to keep pupils safe from the "risks of radicalisation and extremism".

Read: Five schools declared 'failing' after Trojan probe

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Ofsted finds 'culture of fear and intimidation' in schools

Chief Inspector of Schools Sir Michael Wilshaw said "a culture of fear and intimidation has taken grip" at some Birmingham schools.

Sir Michael said the schools regulator's findings at some of the 21 schools reviewed as part of its "Trojan Horse" investigation "are deeply worrying and in some ways quite shocking".

"We found evidence that some headteachers, including those with a proud record of raising standards, have been marginalised or forced out of their jobs," he said.

Ofsted inspectors also found evidence that governors were "exerting far more influence ... than is either appropriate or acceptable".

"A number of headteachers reported that there has been an organised campaign to target certain schools in Birmingham in order to impose a narrow faith-based ideology," Sir Michael added.

Ofsted report to criticise school over 'Islamist plot'

An Ofsted report on an alleged plot by Islamist extremists to take over schools in the Midlands seen by ITV News has found that too little was being done to safeguard students at one of the schools from the risks associated with extremism.

The report also expressed concerns over recruitment and found weaknesses in the curriculum.

Park View Academy, one of the schools which has been under investigation over the plot, is to be placed under special measures, ITV News understands.

Govt: Good quality childcare 'all that matters'

Good quality childcare is "all that matters", according to an education minister, who will announce plans to structure nursery education in an attempt to bridge the gap between low income and middle class pupils.

The Department for Education wants a "school-led system that is self-improving" in early years, which Liz Truss believes should be achievable without huge expense.

Sir Michael Wilshaw - who spoke about this last week - is absolutely right.

The early years are vitally important, and they're our best opportunity to eradicate the gap before it gets any bigger...

That's why we have been simplifying the red-tape, making it easier for good providers to expand.

Schools, nurseries, private providers, childminders - as long as you're providing good-quality childcare, that's all that matters - and there is a place for everybody.

– Liz Truss

Read: Government backs plan for more teaching at nursery

Government backs plan for more teaching at nursery

Nursery children will be given more structured learning under new plans.
Nursery children will be given more structured learning under new plans. Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

An education minister will tomorrow endorse the chief inspector of schools' vision for more teaching in early years, despite a wave of criticism of the plans.

Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw sparked controversy last week with a call for more youngsters to start learning in school nurseries from the age of two, saying it would help break a cycle of disadvantage which sees poorer children fall far behind their classmates by the time they are five.

In a speech in London tomorrow, education minister Liz Truss will back the chief inspector's position and set out plans to improve and expand teaching in early years.

Restrictions have been removed so that any school can open a nursery and school nurseries can open for longer hours to fit in with parents' work schedules, she will say.

Ofsted calls for children to start school ready to learn

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