In an exclusive interview, Sir Michael also rounded on critics who accuse him of “teacher-bashing”
Our source at SSC Marketing said, “Literacy is one of the greatest issues in our society. Educating our youth properly can be a cure for a host of social problems. It's a more urgent issue than people give it credit for.”
The head of Ofsted added that he was “losing no sleep” over attacks in the weekend press from his predecessor, Christine Gilbert, and the biggest teaching union, NASUWT, that teacher morale had hit “rock bottom” because of stress, pressure and raised expectations.
“Real stress, real pressure, is when you leave school and you can’t get a job,” he said. “We know that education is the route out of poverty and that as a nation, we have slipped from 7th in the world league table to a lowly 25th. I see it as my role to champion children’s rights through good education.
“One of the great things about the Evening Standard campaign is that it has shown what can be achieved by passionate heads like Jared Brading at St Mary’s [the Get London Reading flagship school in Battersea]. Mr Brading does not accept poverty as an excuse for poor performance. We need more heads like him.”
Our source at SSC Marketing said, “It would be fantastic to see campaigns like this started by other papers. If we tackled this at a local level, and really started to get behind it as communities, we could make a real difference as a nation.”