Former Ofsted head accuses government of misleading the public

The previous head of Ofsted, who stepped down in 2016, has stated that the government is misleading the public regarding how much money it is really giving to schools

The former chief inspector of Ofsted, Sir Michael Wilshaw, has stated that the government is ‘misleading’ the public with claims that it is giving schools record amounts of money, according to The Guardian.

He added that, proportionately, fewer children in the north of England make it to university than pupils in the south, highlighting the fact that geography (as well as ethnicity) impact educational success.

Wilshaw went on to say that any progress made in improving standards was at risk of meaning very little unless “funding goes into schools”.

He told Sky that, quite simply, more money is needed. He said: “I know what it’s like to be a headteacher in east London when there was money, and I could raise standards because I did have money, but since I left office I have been in a number of schools up and down the country, particularly in the north of England, and they are struggling for funding. There is no question about that and it’s sad to see.

“It is very worrying that the great progress that we made in schools and the educational standards over the last 20, 30 years – standards had improved remarkably – it’s worrying that there could be a slowdown.

“Talk to headteachers, as I do all the time, and they will say funding is an issue. And it is particularly an issue when they can’t attract good enough people into our schools to raise standards, and unless we can do that and pay teachers enough money to come into the profession and stay in the profession – and retention is probably the more important than recruitment – then we’ll see a decline in standards.”

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“The big challenge for our country is huge regional performance and I’ve constantly banged on about standards in the north of England and in some parts of the Midlands.

“In my last year as chief inspector, not one youngster on free school meals got into Oxbridge from the whole of the north-east of England, Yorkshire and Humberside. And in that same region, three times less children go to university than they do in the south. Now that’s not good enough.”

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