Sir Michael Wilshaw said he was “displeased, shocked, angry and outraged” by what he claimed were attempts from the Government to brief against the school inspection body Ofsted. Sir Michael was angry that that two think tanks were preparing to back a radical overhaul of the schools watchdog.
However, the Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, has denied that his aides have briefed against the Ofsted chief. Gove insisted anybody engaging in such activity would be “instantly dismissed” and praised the work being done by Sir Michael.
Gary from PSI: This row comes as a surprise because Education Secretary Michael Gove and Sir Michael Wilshaw were seen to be close allies. Gove once described the inspector as his “hero” following his work as head teacher of Mossbourne Academy in Hackney. If this row continues that it will certainly go some way to undermine the Government’s radical education reforms.
It is important to note that the two think tanks involved have also been keen to distance themselves from Sir Michael’s claims with David Green, Chief Executive of Civitas, saying: “The idea that Michael Gove is in any way directing our criticism of Ofsted is well wide of the mark.”
Olly from PSI: Perhaps the respective think tanks will feel under pressure to draw more moderate conclusions about Ofsted now…