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News

Political row over sacking of Ofsted chief


A political row has erupted over the sacking of Ofsted chief, Baroness Morgan. Baroness Morgan will leave her post as chair of Ofsted in the autumn as she has not had her term renewed.

She told the Today programme, she is the victim of a “determined effort from Number 10” to appoint more Conservatives.

However Education Secretary, Michael Gove has denied she has been ousted from the post of chair of Ofsted because she is a Labour peer and a former political secretary to Tony Blair.

He claimed she has done a “fantastic job” and told the BBC, the Government believes “from time to time you need to refresh the person in charge... to bring fresh perspective”.

Mr Gove said he had taken the decision not No 10. He added that he had appointed her in the first place, knowing full well she was Labour and said the appointment of the person who will replace her will be done on merit.

Education Minister David Laws (Liberal Democrat), echoed Baroness Morgan’s concerns about political bias, and said the decision had “everything to do with Michael Gove's desire to get his own people on board”.

Baroness Morgan hit the headlines at the end of last year when she called for more ‘all through’ schools incorporating nursery, primary, secondary and sixth form to help address the gap in development between disadvantaged children and those from better off families.

Baroness Morgan made the speech at a conference organised by the ARK chain of academy schools, of which she is a board member and said: “I think there needs to be a big bold brave move on the under-fives agenda to target funding heavily on the children who will benefit most and increasingly I think to look to strong providers to go further down the system. We've increasingly got five to 18 schools, why not three?” She later amended this to include two-year-olds.

She said that many disadvantaged young children have a “dire” start with children from low income families being up to a year and a half behind their better-off classmates by the age of five.