Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT teaching union: “The measure of any chief inspector is the extent to which they have contributed to championing high standards of education and how well they have acted to ensure the integrity and independence, trust and confidence in the work of Ofsted. On these measures, teachers and headteachers, parents and the general public will no doubt have mixed views about what has been achieved during the period of Sir Michael Wilshaw’s tenure.”
Sir Tim Brighouse, former schools commissioner for London: “I knew Michael as an outstanding head of two schools and that experience and a life in the classroom gave him credibility with the profession. At first [the profession] thought him too close to politicians but in the end he found his ‘no-nonsense-tell-it-like-it-is-voice’ and called them out whenever they indulged their many prejudices. They’ll be glad to see him retire. I just hope his successor has the same courage to speak the truth and offer comments based on evidence.”
Geoff Barton, head of the King Edward VI School in Suffolk: “No one could doubt Sir Michael’s commitment to raising standards. But I think, as chief inspector, he will be judged as only partially successful.
“While his track record as a school leader gave him some credibility, too often he gave the impression of treating us all like delinquent members of his staffroom, too eager to pontificate, too reluctant to listen.
“As a result, it felt as though he recognised only one type of school (urban, preferably in London) and only one form of leadership (high-profile and preferably macho). The result has been a tone that often seemed unnecessarily provocative, overstated and unsympathetic. Where that same tone was picked up by inspectors on the ground, the result has been disastrous for some schools.”