David Hoare resigns from Ofsted after nonsense Isle of Wight ‘Ghetto’ comments (Update 4)

Less than a month after referring to the Isle of Wight as a ghetto with a mass of crime and inbreeding, the chair of Ofsted has resigned from his post.

david hoare

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
Many on the Isle of Wight and around the country have called for his resignation, saying his position is now untenable.

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.”

Labour Party welcomed the resignation
Ed Gouge, Isle of Wight Labour Secretary said,

“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.”

NUT: Hoare was “right to resign”
Commenting on the resignation, Dominic Coughlin, Isle of Wight NUT Secretary said,

“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.”

Cllr Daryll Pitcher added his response to the news,

“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.”

Article edits
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

Tuesday, 23rd August, 2016 11:11am


ShortURL: http://wig.ht/2euu

Filed under: Education, Island-wide, Top story

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44 Comments on "David Hoare resigns from Ofsted after nonsense Isle of Wight ‘Ghetto’ comments (Update 4)"

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It is doubtful that a new inspector will be appointed.No doubt also that the advocates of resignation of Hoare will be jumping up and down claiming victory. Yet this does nothing for improving the disadvantages of children on the Isle of Wight. The opportunity was missed by the various local politicians at the time of the notorious comments.They did not show sufficient leadership or intervention to highlight… Read more »

Education Funding Spending per child
Tower Hamlets £8,595
Isle of Wight £4,489
From Channel 4 News

.Ali Hayden.
Every single Councillor on the Isle Of Wight should have united together + demanded more funding for our school children. Every Councillor on the Isle Of Wight knows how much less we are allocated per child compared to the rest of the country. They should have all defended their local schools within their areas. The remarks this man has made were absolutely disgusting to our children, teachers… Read more »
You should notice how much money IS being invested into a variety of IOW schools from central government as the rebuild of Ryde High, Carisbrooke College and Christ the King College demonstrate. Look at Barton Primary School as a beacon of success plus all of these schools and others continue to improve through hard work and determination from the staff pupils and parents. Much assistance has come… Read more »
Rod Manley

What fiery words of wisdom will the leader of the Council make now that everyone else has made their point clear?

There has been massive investment in Island schools from central government, Look at the new school at RYDE High, new Carisbrooke college and Christ the king to be built, all from central government, look at the likes of Barton primary and other primary schools who are have had or are getting either complete new builds or rebuilds. I have no doubt that every councillor defended schools within… Read more »
Julia Baker-Smith

In an interview alongside the the times education supplement editor on Lbc today I made this exact point about funding for the Island and coastal areas.

Patrick McKay

I wonder what his next dinner party conversation will be about? Perhaps ” Infamy,Infamy,those Islanders had it Infamy!”.

Rod Manley

The fact that funding we are allocated is far less per child compared to the rest of the country, or even in parts of Hampshire, is scandalous and should be highlighted immediately.

Education funding spending per child.

Tower Hamlets £8,595 Isle of Wight £4,489.

Rupert Besley
I’m not sure you’re entirely right on this. Without having checked current figures, my understanding is that there is, as you point out, a huge disparity in funding per pupil between the IW and some parts of London, notably the City of London and Tower Hamlets. But that doesn’t mean that ‘we are allocated far less per child compared to the rest of the country’. On basic… Read more »
Rupert Besley
Whoops – I’d better be the first to correct an error in my figures… the Island’s £4,488 was £62 – not £2 – short of the national average, a significant amount, but my point remains (ie it’s not right to suggest that it is far less than the rest of the country – a great many other areas are in the same boat). Apologies for my maths… Read more »
Rod Manley

Channel 4 figures showed the discrepancy but County Press’s design is disorientation. I’m sure that they can produce figures anytime from their resources to suit their purposes.

There is a discrepancy and that is why Channel 4 released their figures.

This is a fight for funding, how about some help?

Rupert Besley
The difference in funding between the Island and Tower Hamlets is as you say and what I agreed with above. Tower Hamlets is not ‘the rest of the country’. We can agree, too, that Island education is in real need of more funding. But it would be wrong to suggest that the IW lags far behind all the rest on money allocated when that isn’t quite the… Read more »

Be interesting to see how Ofsted rated the City of London Schools seeing as they high up,on funding per pupil.

Mason Watch

Natural justice for the prat but surely the legacy of the Boy Pugh remains at the heart of this issue?

It should never have taken this long for him to go, and he should have been sacked immediately. For once Turner has said something sensible and true in his first paragraph, but he and the rest of our local leaders have missed an opportunity to highlight and deal with the real problems on this Island by their dithering and spewing out the usual soundbites we’ve become so… Read more »

On any occasion that OFSTED inspectors criticise an establishment for ‘poor leadership’ they have first hand knowledge of what it means.
In spite of his words Mr Hoare appeared as unrepentant as he is ignorant.
He should never have been allowed to resign but should have ignominiously dismissed.
But, hey, what do I know?
I’m just an inbred from a stud fuelled criminal ghetto!

martin william wareham

Carthago Delenda Est or as we say on the I.O.W. bye bye nipper what took you so long to go.

Sadly, the damage was done because the Council and others (not just the Councillors in charge but the Council officers, Tories, etc.) didn’t kill the story on the first day by DENYING the accusations outright. Unfortunately, the Mail, Sun, etc. don’t run big secondary follow up stories with massive headlines, so you only have one chance to get it right. So instead everyone perpetuated the story instead… Read more »
On the R4 news at 6pm today, there was a clip of Mr Hoare saying at the time what he did. I was taken aback by the seemingly vindictive way he said it. Anyone might have thought his tone more appropriate to condemning ISIS. All the money, and now less money and even more hard work, that goes into drawing people to the Island and raising education… Read more »
Oveneer sick of the xenophobia and ignorance here

Ostriches with their heads hurried in the sand. Too quick to take offence. So many non islanders completely get where he’s coming from. Greed. Laziness and stupidity ain’t going to improve this mafia run island. Feel free to troll but this is what so many consider the island to be. Back to the mainland for me.

Retired hack

‘Bye ‘bye.

I understand your comments,Overner. During my stay here I have made many friends, some Islanders others overners like me. Most of my overner friends have similar sentiments as follows. The utter incompetence of councillors of all political colours to administer the Island properly. Whether it be roads, schools, tourism or anything you care to mention, there is always some cock up appearing in the press. Given the… Read more »
Contented Overner
Lets here it from the contented Overners – I’ll start the ball rolling…..I made the Island my home some twenty plus years ago and have found nothing but kindness and acceptance from the Island community. I love this place with a passion for that and all the wonderful things that are on offer to me. I most certainly wouldn’t dream of ever living anywhere else. I hope… Read more »
Contented Overner


“I made the Island my home some twenty plus years ago and have found nothing but kindness and acceptance from the Island community.” I wager you don’t hail from the Midlands. I have Welsh, Scottish, Yorkshire, Island and London friends here. When they speak they are not asked if they are a Boyo, Jock, Northerner, Caulkhead or Cockney. As soon as i finish the first sentence “are… Read more »

That must be awful for you.

All of those people hearing you speak, noticing your accent and enquiring about your life.

How dreadful. It must be a desperate trial.

Here’s an idea, if you don’t like people asking about your Brum intonation, try living in Brum. No one asks about it there!

I’m an overner too. In fact with under 5 years since I became an “immigrant”, I’m probably still considered a tourist by some! But I’m not going back to England. I love the pace of Island life. I find the more you put in to the community, the richer the rewards. Some people would rather sit and whinge than try to make a positive difference, but that’s… Read more »
All of those people hearing you speak, noticing your accent and enquiring about your life. That’s exactly my point. people who are enquiring say “which part of the Midlands are you from?” The reason being there is a follow up like “I have relatives in X, Y or Z. Do you know … whatever. There is a point to the question. That I have no problem with.… Read more »
To all those who celebrate Mr Hoare’s demise may I point out that, although his opinion was very poorly expressed, basically his comments on the abysmal state of education here were correct. I have taught in inner London boroughs as well as here and I can assure you teaching in Haringey is a lot tougher but results are a lot better. Please people stop believing the island’s… Read more »
I agree, Minniebirdy. It’s how he said what he said that was wrong, not necessarily what he said (barring the inexcusable inbreeding comment etc.) Putting the pressure on him to resign was a bad tactic ultimately. He would have felt the heat to have tried to help as long as he was in post. We should have killed the story and tried to keep him on side,… Read more »
phil jordan
The Independent administration (or the Local Authority) has not called for the resignation of David Hoare. It was apparent, however, that his position might become untenable. There are other ‘political commentators’ who have done so but this administration did not…. just to clarify any inferred (or other) misunderstanding. We pushed and asked for not only an apology but a retraction of his comments and sought no “short… Read more »
Jonathan Bacon said that he should resign when asked the question on television. If you look at the other comment I made above, you will see that this is not only about the Council in charge, but also about other parties who made comments not just about the Independent Councillors. It was Chris Whitehouse and Vix asking for his resignation, but Jonathan also confirmed that when he… Read more »
Jonathan Bacon

I did not ask for his resignation. The press were baying for it and goading interviewees to demand his resignation. I sought the full retraction that we got, the correction of the false statements, which we got, plus the promise of engagement and assistance to deal with the problems we do have which I am confident will still happen.


You may have misspoke, Jonathan, but on the TV they said should he resign, and you agreed that he should. That’s not calling for his resignation, but you did answer the question asked by the reporter.

Phil, I was not actually blaming the Council; rather all those close allies of the Parisian Tricoteuses who were baying for this man’s blood. Recently, my sister, who is Headteacher of a primary school in Cyprus, (another island) visited me and took interest in the academic prowess of my grandsons, both of whom are measured as above the 90th centile for ability. She estimated from their work… Read more »
Minnyb, indeed. Once one could get past how Hoare said what he did and put our emotions to one side, it was clear that Hoare did recognise some of the unique challenges that the Isle of Wight faces, and could have been brought onboard as part of his ‘apology’ to facilitate conversations with the DfE as part of his penitence, and speaking out as a strong advocate… Read more »
Jonathan Bacon
See my post above. I did not simply attack him but had a long conversation and put him right – hence the retraction and statement recognising the reality of the Island and the Island’s position – and have since been working to bring to fruition undertakings to look into the Island and work to address the issues we do have. That continues and will, I hope, bear… Read more »

Jonathan,I hope you are right.Remembering about Cllr Stubbings at Shanklin Theatre on Island Line.

Perception is reality with the press, Jonathan. That’s why the press have to be handled correctly at the beginning, otherwise they will create their own stories in absence of a firm lead and killing the story. As you will see from the other comments, no one is blaming just the Council, but all of the people who spoke out and made this about David Hoare, not about… Read more »
I think it was entirely right that it was all about David Hoare. If you heard the tape of his comments, you’ll have been amazed by his dramatic, vindictive tone. He spoke with such confidence. When someone makes as big a splash as that when talking to an audience, you don’t ask them nicely to change their mind. That would make no counterbalancing impression on the public.… Read more »

Oh dear. A panellist on this week’s R4 News Quiz got a big laugh by saying “The largest constituency is the Isle of Wight, but with only 3 surnames”.

As anticipated, looks like we will have to put up with this sort of thing.


I hope they were deducted a point, the largest constituency is Ross, Skye and Lochaber!

The Island is the constituency with the greatest population.

But pedantry aside, at least by bearing the brunt of the inbreeding jokes, we’re giving the good people of Norfolk a break from it.

It must be nice for them to be able to sit down, relax and put their (webbed) feet up…


No, noone noticed.

Not all the consequences of prejudice are trackable, measurable or amusing, unfortunately.