Journal opinion: What Ofsted asks our children

The Journal's opinion column for Friday, January 23, on the row over Ofsted inspections at two North East schools

Joe Giddens/PA Wire Secretary of State for Education Nicky Morgan
Secretary of State for Education Nicky Morgan

Leaders of Durham Free School and Grindon Hall School in Sunderland have both complained bitterly this week about Ofsted inspections.

Grindon Hall’s inspection found it did not adequately prepare its pupils for life in modern Britain.

The inspection at Durham was so negative that Education Secretary Nicky Morgan pulled the plug on the whole school.

Read more: Second North East free school falls into special measures in less than 24 hours 

In both cases, school leaders complained that children were asked about their attitudes to other faiths and to homosexuality.

They were clearly of the opinion that such questioning of the children was inappropriate.

It was not.

It is part of Ofsted’s remit to find out if schools are promoting British values of democracy and tolerance. Sensitive questioning of pupils is one way they can find this out.

It’s not “political correctness gone mad” to turn out children who possess a rounded and tolerant view of the world. It’s what we owe them.


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer