Controversy over removal of Ofsted chair

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Political debate has surrounded Baroness Morgan’s removal as chair of Ofsted. Her contract ends in October and will not be renewed.

Education Secretary, Michael Gove, has had to defend the decision that Sally Morgan will not be re-appointed at the end of her three year term. He has accepted responsibility for the decision, which has come at an unfortunate time for the coalition, who are set to make some key announcements on education this week.

The debate began when suggestions arose that the Conservatives were trying to position their own supporters in major public bodies. Mr Gove has countered by pointing out that he appointed Baroness Morgan originally. He went as far as to praise her, saying she had done a “fantastic job”, adding that it was just time for a fresh face in the position.

It was also noted by the opposition that a number of women had been removed from senior positions, including Dame Leather from the Charity Commission, Dame Forgan from the Arts Council and Baroness Andrews from English Heritage. All three were replaced by men. Again, Mr Gove denied claims that the Conservatives are anti-women, saying “We don’t believe in tokenism. We believe in meritocracy.” It’s his feeling that the best person for the job be appointed for the role.

The news has even sparked rows within the coalition government and the Liberal Democrat education minister, David Laws has voiced his anger.

At the moment, it has been suggested that  Theodore Agnew, chairman of the government’s academies board, and a Conservative donor, will step into the position. However, this is still unconfirmed.

What are your thoughts on this? Taking politics out of the equation, is it time for a change at Ofsted or has Baroness Morgan got more to offer? Post your thoughts below.

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