New OFSTED chief criticised for Grammar School comments

Amanda Spielman has come under criticism from the Government for labelling its Grammar schools policy a "distraction" and a “complication”.

New head of OFSTED Amanda Spielman has come under criticism from the Government for labelling its Grammar schools policy a "distraction" and a “complication”.

Spielman, who took over from Sir Michael Wilshaw at the beginning of the year, told the Guardian: “I don’t see it as something that has much to do with making the most of every school, of Ofsted making the most of its work and contributing to system improvement.”

“It’s certainly a complication. I hear stuff anecdotally about how they are going to react, I don’t know what will happen in practice. I hear that some are poised and ready to go, and others who say they won’t actually will, and others will keep themselves distant.”

Spielman continued: “It’s not something I want to get involved with. I’m not sure, from what I hear it’s likely to be a relatively small programme, so my preference is just to proceed with our work.”

The Conservative government plans to overturn the ban on grammar schools introduced by Labour 20 years ago.

Andrew Bridgen, Conservative Member of Parliament for North West Leicestershire, told the Telegraph:

“Once again we are seeing the civil service displaying their ideological beliefs. At the end of the day they are there to implement government policy impartially. It is unproductive of them to dispose their own ideological beliefs”.

Read the Guardian’s interview with Amanda Speilman

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