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Ofsted boss defends decision to ask Christian schools about gay people

Joseph McCormick February 6, 2015
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The head of Ofsted has defended the watchdog against suggestions that inspectors used “inappropriate” questions about LGBT issues.

Questions were  used in schools to determine whether there were problems with homophobic bullying, and whether anything was being done to tackle it.

Grindon Hall Christian School in Sunderland and The Durham Free School have both complained of inappropriate questioning and undue criticism by Ofsted inspectors.

The full list of questions relayed to teachers by pupils following Ofsted’s visit included:

  • “Do you know anybody in the school who is gay?”
  • “What would you do if someone gay came to this school?”
  • “Have you ever met anybody who is gay/bisexual?”
  • “Have you had ‘The Talk’?”
  • “How have you learned how to make a baby?”

Writing in The Independent Sir Michael Wilshaw said: “Inspectors had to couch questions using age-appropriate language that the children would understand in order to get to find out what was happening – and, crucially, to determine what the schools were doing about it.

“The idea that this constitutes harassment of unsuspecting 10-year-olds or a sinister attempt to force a particular metro-liberal politically correct orthodoxy on the nation’s schools couldn’t be more wrong.”

Although parents of children at both schools have voiced strong opposition to Ofsted’s findings, the Education Secretary said she was “unapologetic”.

The Education Secretary last week strongly defended the decision of Ofsted inspectors to ask children in Christian schools about their knowledge of same-sex relationships.

Sir Michael Wilshaw, the Chief Inspector of Schools previously defended the inspection process at Durham Free, telling MPs that several students had displayed homophobic behaviour.

An Ofsted spokesperson said: “We judged this school to be inadequate across all criteria and the government has withdrawn its funding”.

Staff and several parents at Grindon Hall and Durham Free have rejected Ofsted’s criticism.





Related topics: Ofsted, Sir Michael Wilshaw

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