Monday, 9 June 2014

Fear, Hypocrisy and Ofsted

Ofsted Chief Sir Michael Wilshaw’s claim that inspectors have uncovered “a culture of fear and intimidation” in some Birmingham schools is breathtaking in its hypocrisy. Schools right across England operate under exactly that kind of culture – but through fear of an Ofsted regime that is being used as a political tool to force schools into becoming academies.

Wilshaw complains that inspectors have found schools with “high levels of staff turbulence, low staff morale”. This from the man infamous for saying that “if anyone says to you that ‘staff morale is at an all-time low’ you will know you are doing something right.” ! 

The provocative response to the supposed “Trojan Horse” threat will only have increased that fear. Now David Cameron is threatening ‘no-notice’ inspections which will further ratchet up the already intolerable pressures on staff. 

If politicians are serious about improving morale – and about encouraging local accountability – then they should bring academies back into democratic local control and support the demand raised in my General Secretary campaign – to abolish Ofsted.

This DfE publication today didn't get quite the same attention - with the irony pointed out by @miss_mcinerney

UPDATE: I have contributed to a longer feature discussing the broader implications of the 'Trojan Horse' affair, published on

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