Sir Michael Wilshaw hits back at ‘faceless’ schools commissioners

The TES is reporting that Sir Michael Wilshaw has hit back at regional schools commissioners, referring to them as “faceless” government agents, lacking in independence.

The Ofsted chief inspector’s comments to the Commons education select committee this morning are the latest sally in what is developing into a war of words between two of the most powerful figures in England’s schools system.

Last week Sir David Carter, the new national school commissioner, told TES that his regional commissioners had a “more signicant”, “all-encompassing role”, and a “broader picture” of schools, than Ofsted’s most senior inspectors.

But today, asked whether his inspectors would work with regional schools commissioners (RSCs) across the country, Sir Michael said: “I’m not clear what the regional schools commissioners do, other than rebroker failing academies…

“If a school is coasting, unless we intervene quickly, they will decline.”…

“We need Ofsted, which is independent,” Sir Michael said. “That’s the most important thing about our organisation: it’s an independent inspectorate.

“The RSCs are not independent. Their job is to champion academies. Our job is to say: it doesn’t matter if it’s an academy or a local-authority school, whether it’s a primary or secondary or free school. We’re only interested in standards.

“And we provide you, Parliament, with a national picture of standards. RSCs won’t be able to do that.”…

More at Sir Michael Wilshaw hits back at ‘faceless’ schools commissioners

 

What do you make of this apparent spat between Sir Michael and Sir David about who (or which group) is more important?

And what of Sir Michael’s comments on the lack of independence of RSCs?

Please give us your feedback and reactions in the comments or via Twitter…

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Comments

  1. The turf war between Ofsted and RSCs is hotting up.  The Education and Adoption Bill allows RSCs to ignore Ofsted reports if an RSC judges a school to be ‘coasting’.  The RSC for South East has already issued warning letters to 7 academies.  None was Inadequate: 3 were RI and 4 were Good.  http://www.localschoolsnetwork.org.uk/2015/11/if-results-alone-are-all-that-matters-why-bother-with-ofsted

    That raises the question, ‘Why Ofsted?’

  2. Sir M’s right about the role of RSCs – the Ed Select Committee said the RSC system was confusing, inconsistent and opaque.  The chair said it was an example of the DfE’s approach to education reform: ‘Acting first; thinking later’.  http://www.localschoolsnetwork.org.uk/2016/01/confusing-inconsistent-opaque-unclear-select-committees-verdict-on-regional-schools-commissioners

  3. Sir M’s right about the role of RSCs – the Ed Select Committee said the RSC system was confusing, inconsistent and opaque.  The chair said it was an example of the DfE’s approach to education reform: ‘Acting first; thinking later’.  http://www.localschoolsnetwork.org.uk/2016/01/confusing-inconsistent-opaque-unclear-select-committees-verdict-on-regional-schools-commissioners

  4. neilayates

    SchoolsImprove Don’t you just love it when highly-paid professionals indulge in a bout of childish eye-scratching

  5. Nairb1

    Goodness me, will Sir Michael last until Christmas. Can Morgan tolerate a Chief Inpector who isn’t just a government mouthpiece?

  6. TW

    Because it’s not like Ofsted ever produced a school inspection report, and soon after produced another one saying the opposite, after the government said the school was bad and should be privatised, oops, academised.

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