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

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
News
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
News
people
Life and Style
techApp to start sending headlines, TV clips and ads to your phone
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift crawls through the legs of twerking dancers in her 'Shake It Off' music video
musicEarl Sweatshirt thinks so
Life and Style
tech
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Network Manager - Oldham area - Up to £30,000

£26000 - £30000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Working with an exciting ...

Teacher of special needs required for Burton on Trent

£100 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Nottingham: Exciting Opportunity, Rand...

Behaviour Support Assistant

£50 - £60 per day: Randstad Education Nottingham: Behaviour Support Worker Th...

Youth Worker / Teaching Assistant - Nottingham

£50 - £60 per day: Randstad Education Nottingham: Randstad Education are looki...

Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment