‘Move into the state sector, you’ll enjoy it more’, Wilshaw urges private school teachers

Private school teachers should “move into the state sector as quickly as they can” because they’ll “enjoy it a lot more there”, Ofsted chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw has said.

Sir Michael also urged deputy headteachers reluctant to step up to headship to “have some courage” during a Q&A with the audience following his speech to the Festival of Education at Wellington College today.

Responding to a question from a private sector teacher who said she planned on moving into the state sector when she was in a better financial situation, he said: “Move into the state system as quickly as you can, you’ll enjoy it a lot more there.

“As I said in my speech, it will enrich your soul. Much more than working in the private sector.”

Sir Michael also responded to claims from another audience member that 200 deputy heads did not want to step up because putting up with “pressure from Ofsted” was not worth the salary increase, by telling them to “have some guts”.

He said: “Have some courage, for goodness sake.

“Go into headship in a ‘requires improvement’ or a special measures school and make your name. Have some courage, don’t be so feeble about it, have some guts.”

Sir Michael focused on teacher recruitment issues in his speech, blaming in part the portrayal of the state school sector in the media.

He warned that television programmes like Tough Young Teachers portrayed “idealistic, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed new recruits struggling daily to cope with Jack the Lad and Sally Show Off”, and said the media had a part to play in promoting teaching.

He said: “Quite honestly, it was hard for me to watch without holding my head in my hands.

“Hard to watch young teachers putting up with this sort of nonsense on a daily basis. What was even harder to watch, were senior teachers providing little or no support.

“Indeed, their presence hardly changed the casual and sometimes disorderly atmosphere of the classrooms in which some of these poor young things were teaching. I found this upsetting and a sad commentary on the nature of leadership in a minority of our schools.”

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  1. J Hobson

    At least two of the Tough Young Teachers have given up. Hardly unusual as the rewards are undermined by the data obsessed culture Wilshaw has presided over.