Damian Thompson

Oftsed’s campaign against Christian schools: now Gove is gone, the Blob is back

Oftsed's campaign against Christian schools: now Gove is gone, the Blob is back
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When Ofsted inspectors allegedy asked primary-age girls at Grindon Hall Christian School, Sunderland, whether they knew what lesbians did in bed, they (apparently) received insufficiently detailed answers. Also, pupils displayed scant knowledge of Hindu festivals. Now the free school has been placed in special measures.

It may be that Grindon Hall is a nest of Christian fundamentalist bigotry. I rather doubt it, though. Likewise, I'm unconvinced – to put it mildly – that St Benedict's Catholic comprehensive, Bury St Edmonds, 'failed to promote British values' by neglecting citizenship classes.

A better explanation comes to mind. Having claimed the scalp of Michael Gove, 'the Blob' is bouncing jubilantly around the Department for Education. Nicky Morgan is promoting this 'British values' stuff, supposedly as a response to the Trojan Horse scandal. In practice, with Gove safely out of the way, it has given the Blobberati of Ofsted an opportunity to harass schools they dislike. Grindon Hall, being both Christian and a free school, didn't stand a chance.

Every time I think that, for all his faults, Dave deserves another term as PM, I remember the most cowardly act of his premiership. He didn't even lay down his friend for his life, as Jeremy Thorpe said of Macmillan after the Night of the Long Knives; he lay down his friend to appease whingeing teachers and their allies in the Civil Service. Then he appointed a jargon-spouting dimwit as Education Secretary to dismantle the only reforms of which this Government could be proud. If you need a reason not to vote Tory, look no further.