Michael Gove will go down as ‘one of the greatest education secretaries’ - Sir Michael Wilshaw

Posted On: 
30th October 2016

Michael Gove will go down as "one of the great" education secretaries, the outgoing head of Ofsted has said.

Sir Michael Wilshaw is leaving his post as the chief inspector of schools
Credit: 
PA Images

Sir Michael Wilshaw said he was “broadly on the same page” as Mr Gove, despite the professional disagreements they had during his tenure at the Department for Education.

Sir Michael backed reforms which allowed “greater autonomy for people on the frontline” and toughened up a “wishy-washy” curriculum.

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"He'll go down as one of the great secretaries of state for education," he told the Andrew Marr Show. 

The school inspectors chief also shared in Mr Gove's criticism of “the blob” – a term by critics of the education establishment.

“People who are resistant to change and reform, you have got to challenge and fight. I think I’ve done that at Ofsted.”

Sir Michael also renewed his attack on Theresa May’s plans to bring back grammar schools.

He said the system only worked for 20% of pupils, when the comprehensive system harnessed “their excellence” to drive up standards among less-able pupils.

“If you have grammar schools you take away the most able children from the all-ability comprehensive set up.

“And I speak as an ex-head of a successful, inner-city comprehensive school – an academy in Hackney. I needed those top 20% to lift everyone up and it was my ambition to get 70, 80, 90% of youngsters through their GCSEs.

“I wouldn’t have been able to do it if those top, most able youngsters went to a grammar school. It was their ambition, their excellence, which affected the rest of the community.”