Chair of Ofsted, David Hoare, has resigned with immediate effect.
The resignation follows the recent revelation by TES that Mr Hoare – during a speech at a teachers’ conference – incorrectly referred to the Isle of Wight as “a ghetto” with “inbreeding” and a “mass of crime, drug problems, huge unemployment”.
Index of updates
After being asked by the Department for Education to apologise, he later said sorry for any offence caused and admitted his comments were inaccurate.
There’s been quite a few updates on this story, so here’s a quick index for you:
- Calls for resignation
- Isle of Wight council comment: IWC invites successor to visit the Island
- Green Party comment: Resignation “most welcome”
- Labour Party: Welcomes resignation
- NUT: Hoare was “right to resign”
- Isle of Wight MP: Hoare’s comments “Inaccurate, insulting and extremely unhelpful”
- IW UKIP Cllr: Hoare’s comments “Factually wrong and beyond the pale”
Via a statement from Ofsted, David Hoare said today,
“I have today informed the Secretary of State that I will be resigning from my position as Chair with immediate effect.
“It has been a great privilege to chair the Ofsted Board for the past two years. I am pleased that the organisation now has an excellent Board in place with expertise across all of our remit areas, including early years and further education.
“I am also pleased that Ofsted has recruited a strong new Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman, who is due to take over from Sir Michael in January. We have also been able to agree the strategic priorities for Ofsted, focusing on improving the life chances for the disadvantaged children of our country. I will miss working with an excellent team, making a real difference.”
Senior Non-Executive Board member James Kempton has agreed to take on the role of Chair on an interim basis while the Secretary of State starts the process of appointing a permanent successor to Mr Hoare.
Justine Greening, the Secretary of State for Education, said in a statement:
“I have accepted David Hoare’s resignation from the post of Chair of the Board of Ofsted.
“I would like to thank David for his hard work in this role over the past two years.”
IWC invites successor to visit the Island
Councillor Jonathan Bacon, leader of the Isle of Wight Council and Executive member for children’s services, said:
“The Isle of Wight Council had welcomed Sir David Hoare’s offer to assist the Island by making sure that our challenges and problems are fully recognised. The council had been in constructive dialogue with his office to arrange his promised visit the Isle of Wight, and had a date in the diary for this, in order to better understand, recognise and acknowledge these challenges, faced by the Island.
“I extend the same invitation to Mr Hoare’s successor, whomever that may be, to visit the Island in order to learn more about the challenges we face and ensure that Ofsted is playing the fullest possible part, working alongside the other agencies, to support the further improvement of educational outcomes on the Island; so that they too can assist us in ensuring that the challenges and problems are fully recognised.
“I look forward to hosting them as soon as possible, so that we can continue our collective ambition to drive up standards and work constructively together for the benefit of Island children.
“Since entering partnership arrangements with Hampshire County Council in 2013, when Ofsted inspected the Isle of Wight and found 25 per cent of schools to be ‘inadequate’, including four of the six secondary schools; just one primary school is now judged by Ofsted to be inadequate, and that is well on a journey to improvement. There are no longer any secondary schools deemed inadequate. The quality of school improvement was re-inspected by Ofsted and found to be effective; testament to the improvements made and the positive journey that Island education is on.”
Resignation “most welcome”
Green Party education spokesperson and Isle of Wight teacher, Vix Lowthion, said,
“I called for Mr Hoare’s resignation two and a half weeks ago and I acknowledge that he has taken the difficult, but inevitable step of leaving his post as chair of Ofsted. Improving standards in education is central to Ofsted’s mission, but this can only be done through acknowledging and taking action to reduce the inequality of funding and expectations for all school children in England and Wales.
“By describing the people of the Isle of Wight as a ‘white ghetto of inbreeding’ he has done much damage to the Island, and also other coastal towns and schools outside of the inner cities which have struggled to reach the highest standards in education due to geographical isolation, funding cuts and low expectations.
“Mr Hoare’s comments were not worthy of someone in the position of Chair of Ofsted and his resignation is most welcome. The Secretary of State for Education should now take this opportunity to improve the quality of school provision by overhauling Ofsted which time and again has proved to be an inefficient and inadequate way to assess our schools.”
“It is right that he has resigned after his remarks.
“We call on the Council to extend the invitation to visit the Island to the new Chair of Ofsted, when appointed, so that he or she can gain an understanding of the issues facing education in seaside and rural areas such as ours and the need for better funding, without the preconceived notions that the previous Chair exhibited.”
“Clearly David Hoare’s choice of words in his recent comments about the Island’s children were ill-judged. He has now rightly resigned.
“David Hoare had never been a teacher so we would not have expected him to have had a full understanding of educational issues on the Island. However, we do expect people in such positions to have at least some understanding of the complexities we face.
“Where the focus now needs to fall is in ensuring that Island schools do not have their funding cut even further than it has already been. Class sizes will be increasing from September and many GCSE and post-16 courses, particularly in the Arts, are no longer being taught on the Island. Furthermore, a recent survey of NUT members on the Isle of Wight found that 57% of teachers are often using their own money to buy resources for children due to lack of school funds. The current situation is unsustainable. We need to ensure that our schools are properly funded to attract and retain teachers and to provide the resources necessary to support our students.”
Steve Butler, Isle of Wight Trades Union Council spokesperson said,
“Should not stop us pushing for better outcomes for Island children and improve on the gap in funding between areas on the mainland and the Island.”
Hoare’s comments “Inaccurate, insulting and extremely unhelpful”
Isle of Wight Conservative MP, Andrew Turner said,
“Mr Hoare’s comments were inaccurate, insulting and extremely unhelpful. He subsequently apologised for what he said and for offence caused to Islanders. I said at the time that he would never have dared make such remarks about an area with a high ethnic population, and I stand by that view.
“The role of Ofsted is to help improve education, not demoralise teachers, insult parents and pupils and those involved in raising education standards. His resignation, albeit somewhat delayed was probably inevitable and clearly for the best.
“However, the furore has given some Islanders inspiration. The Island has a thriving musical heritage and East Wight band The Alberts penned a song extolling the virtues of the Isle of Wight. I hope it goes as viral as Mr Hoare’s original comments.”
“I am very pleased that David Hoare has done the decent thing and stood down. The comments he made about the Isle of Wight were both factually wrong and beyond the pale. By making them he brought the reputation of Ofsted into disrepute, to restore faith in the organization he had to go.”
Cllr Pitcher continued,
“I am pleased Justine Greening agreed with us that he could not continue and clearly made this point to him during their meeting.
“I feel sure that the letter sent to her by the UKIP Councillor Group of the Isle of Wight Council was shown at the meeting and that the case we made concerning the damage to Ofsted and the depth of feeling on the Island were key to Mr Hoare’s decision. Ofsted can now continue under new leadership and we wish the new Chairman the best of luck for the future.”
Comments from IW Labour party, NUT, Island MP Andrew Turner and council leader Jonathan Bacon added.
6.45am 24th August, UKIP cllr’s comments added
Added comment from people/parties as they came in, then an index