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Gove v Wilshaw – Round 2?

17 March 2014

Whilst Policy Exchange is today calling for evolution rather than revolution in the way schools in England are inspected, their recommendations do contain some controversial elements.

The think-tank’s main recommendation for a two tier form of inspection (with lighter, more regular inspections and less emphasis on examining teaching methods) will generally garner much support, particularly both from head teachers and the teaching profession as a whole.

The report also calls for the grade of “outstanding” only to be given to those schools which have a proven track record of supporting struggling schools, pleasing those who are calling for the government to do more to force top tier schools to sponsor struggling schools.

However, it is the call for Ofsted to have the power to inspect academy chains which is the most controversial, having the potential to reignite the simmering tensions between Sir Michael Wilshaw and Michael Gove in connection with this subject. Policy Exchange's recommendations may give Sir Michael the confidence to come out fighting.

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