Ofsted chief executive Sir Michael Wilshaw has said it is “nonsense” to suggest schools like Middle Rasen Primary are being marked down by inspectors for being “too white.”
This follows claims such schools are being punished for a lack of multiculturalism when their pupils and neighbouring communities are almost all White British.
“This is not about political correctness,” said Sir Michael, as he announced an Ofsted report which revealed the body had inspected 35 schools without warning.
Much focus about promoting “British values” have been on inner-city muslim-dominated schools, in the wake of the Trojan Horse investigations. Some rural schools have also been criticised by inspectors, particularly Roman Catholic or Jewish schools. But the Ofsted chief has dismissed claims rural schools are being unfairly criticised.
“Ofsted would never criticise or penalise a school just because of its intake or because children of one particular heritage or religion predominate over another,” said Sir Michael.
“It’s nonsense, for example, to suggest we would mark down a school for being “too white.” We simply want to ensure children are receiving a good education and are being prepared for life in modern Britain.”
This was not about “political correctness”, said Sir Michael, but about “being realistic about the diverse society we live in.
“It would be wrong for inspectors to only criticise certain types of schools and not others if we find they are not doing enough to promote respect and tolerance of others and an understanding of the core values that bind us together as a nation,” he said last week.