Ofsted head would send own child to faith school, hailing their ‘many strengths’

Ofsted head would send own child to faith school, hailing their ‘many strengths’

Amanda Spielman tells LBC radio that religious schools are an 'intrinsic part of our system' as she speaks about faith-based education

Amanda Spielman
Amanda Spielman

The head of Ofsted has said she would send her own child to a faith school, heralding their “many strengths”.

Appearing on LBC Radio and answering callers’ questions, Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman said: “It’s not for me to like or dislike faith schools. They’re an intrinsic part of our system and most of them do a really excellent job. Ours inspectors inspect faith schools and non-faith schools in exactly the same way and have the same expectations for all.”

LBC host Nick Ferrari then asked her if she would put her own children into a faith school, and Spielman replied: “I would… I went to a faith primary school myself in Scotland, not in England, and there are many strengths.”

The chief inspector, whose senior team has held a series of meetings with Orthodox Jewish representatives in recent months, has been vilified by some Charedi leaders for a number of recent Ofsted downgrades at schools in areas like Stamford Hill.

At the core of the issue is the legal requirement for teachers to teach children about protected characteristics including gender and sexuality, which Orthodox schools say runs counter to the values of the Torah.

Spielman was also grilled on the new GCSE reforms, with the introduction of a new 1-9 scale replacing the old eight-grade numerical scale, with what was once an A or A* now being split into three grades (7-9) to improve result differentiation.

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