EXPERT COMMENT: response to Greater Manchester schools comments


In response to comments by Sir Michael Wilshaw, Ofsted's chief inspector of schools, today, experts at The University of Manchester's Institute of Education are available for interview.

Professor Mel Ainscow CBE, the government's chief advisor for the £50m Greater Manchester Challenge to improve educational outcomes for the region's young people (2008-2011), said: "The analysis provided by the chief inspector is particularly disappointing given the significant progress made during the period of the Greater Manchester Challenge. Independent evaluations concluded that this progress was achieved through the strengthening of collaboration between schools across the city region. Since then, national policies have fragmented our education system in ways that have set it back."

Professor Alan Dyson added: "Sir Michael’s comments are likely to do more harm than good. Unfortunately he has fallen into the habit of stating the obvious – that outcomes are low – without any proper analysis of why this might be the case or what could be done about it. Manchester is by no means the only place to have been targeted in this way. The bad news is that things are likely to get worse if the Secretary of State goes ahead and appoints an American chief inspector in Sir Michael’s place."

Sir Michael was giving a speech to the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) think tank today.