Ofsted Chief rejects return to selective education and outlines the importance of values
February 26, 2016
In a speech to the Catholic Association of Teachers recently, Schools and Colleges (CATCS) Sir Michael Wilshaw (Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector) said that in his view a return to selective education through grammar schools would be “economic suicide”. Sir Michael told the CATCS that he was “a big supporter of comprehensive education. It can work, one size does not have to fit all – if schools have great leadership it can work”. , While Sir Michael did not specifically refer to the Secretary of State’s decision to allow a Kent grammar school to open a “satellite” campus in another location it does seem to place him firmly in the let’s not reinvent grammar schools camp.
Speaking on values in education, Wilshaw acknowledged that early on in inspecting how schools were promoting British values some inspectors had ‘failed to display a touch of common sense’, but that schools with religious character did not need to fear Ofsted inspectors. He is quoted as saying, “It is perfectly legitimate for individuals and faith groups to hold firm to a particular set of values and beliefs, which may run counter to existing social norms. What is not legitimate is to use these beliefs to condone or even encourage intolerance and discrimination”.