'Romeo and Juliet' row head becomes a school inspector

The primary school head who banned her pupils from seeing Romeo and Juliet because it was a "blatantly heterosexual love story" has become a schools inspector, writes Sophie Goodchild.

Jane Brown, the head of Kingsmead Primary School in Hackney, east London, will take up her post in September as an additional inspector of primary schools for the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted).

Ms Brown could be sent to inspect any school in the country and will be responsible for reporting on children's "spiritual, moral, social and cultural development".

Two years ago, she sparked a furious row when she rejected free tickets for a performance of Romeo and Juliet. Conservative politicians and press presented her decision as a typical example of "loony leftiness" in a Labour-run authority. John Major called it "a deplorable example of political correctness".

Gus John, director of education for Hackney, recommended Ms Brown's suspension, but governors and parents resisted.

An Ofsted spokesman said last night that Ms Brown's past would not affect her new role, and that she could not bring "ideological baggage" to the position. He said: "I don't see that what may or may not have happened in the past will affect her judgement. Clearly she is a highly experienced teacher, and that is why she was appointed."

Inspectors, he said, could not change anything in the schools they inspected. "They can only report back."

Ms Brown was one of 174 inspectors taken on by Ofsted because it was falling behind government demands for more frequent school inspections.

The body has caused much resentment among teachers, who accuse it of following a government-led agenda to denigrate teachers and force a return to traditional teaching methods.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
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 General

Recruitment Genius: Creative Web and UI Designer

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An experienced creative web and...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - PHP

£17000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity is now ...

Recruitment Genius: Account Executive - Graduate / Entry Level

£22000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital advertising infras...

Recruitment Genius: European Sales Director - Aerospace Cable & Wire

£100000 - £125000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a top tier supplier to the...

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral