Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw 'spitting blood' over row with Michael Gove's Education Department

Chief inspector of schools in England accuses Government of right-wing 'intimidation' tactics

The chief inspector of schools in England said he has been left "spitting blood" over right-wing attacks from Michael Gove's Department for Education.

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.

"I am spitting blood over this and I want it to stop," he said in an interview with the Sunday Times.

Sir Michael reportedly angered Mr Gove's administration by insisting upon using the same Ofsted standards for free schools and academies as inspectors do with any other school.

The right-wing think-tank Civitas has since urged the Government to set up a separate body to take over inspections for these schools, which are key elements of the Conservative Party's flagship initiative on education.

At the same time, the think-tank Policy Exchange, set up by Mr Gove in 2002, has asked schools to provide them with evidence on whether or not Ofsted is still "fit for purpose".

Asked whether he though it was time the Education Minister "called off the attack dogs", Sir Michael said: "Absolutely, it does nothing for his drive or our drive to raise standards in schools.

"I was never intimidated as a headteacher and I do not intend to be intimidated as a chief inspector."

He added that he had received "unjust" criticism from both the left and the right since Mr Gove appointed him to the post in 2011.

He also insisted that Ofsted would not be frightened into softening its inspections on free schools.

Recent inspections on free schools have led to the closure of Discovery New School, in West Sussex, while the troubled Al-Madinah school in Derby was labelled inadequate.

"If I see things going wrong in an academy chain I will say so," he told the newspaper.

"If people tied to the free-school movement think I will not do that they have another think coming.

"As long as as we exist and have the job of raising standards we will do the job fairly without fear or favour."

David Green, chief executive of Civitas, said: "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."

Additional reporting by PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £45,000

£18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This market leader in the devel...

AER Teachers: Graduate Primary TA - West London - Autumn

£65 - £75 per day + competitive rates: AER Teachers: The school is seeking gra...

AER Teachers: Graduate Secondary TA - West London

£65 - £75 per day + competitive rates: AER Teachers: The school is seeking gra...

AER Teachers: Early Years Teaching Assistant Newham

Negotiable: AER Teachers: Outstanding East London primary school seeking an Ea...

Day In a Page

A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935