Gillian Keegan slammed for saying she would have punched 'rude' Ofsted inspectors

Gillian Keegan slammed for saying she would have punched 'rude' Ofsted inspectors
Gillian Keegan says she 'would have punched' Ofsted inspectors

Politicians have long been stereotyped as dodging interview questions and holding back on what they really think, but once again, Education Secretary Gillian Keegan has done well to challenge that perception with yet another senseless comment caught on camera.

Following up on September’s hot mic blunder, where she concluded an ITV News interview and then complained no one has told her she’s “done a f***ing good job”, Keegan delivered some troubling comments about Ofsted inspectors during a Q&A at the annual conference of the Association of School and College Leaders.

She told attendees: “A fantastic school I went into, and they told me how the Ofsted experience had gone, and I was shocked. I mean, I was actually shocked.

“I thought, ‘god, if I’d have met these people, I’d have probably punched them’. They were really rude.”

Sensing the inevitable PR disaster, the moderator interjected: “We’re not filming this, are we?”

Keegan then continued: “You get people who come in and you expect people be rude to you when you’re a politician, you kind of sign up for that, but when you’re trying to run a school and educate children and change lives, you don’t expect somebody to come in and not be respectful.”

Ofsted has come under scrutiny in recent months over how their inspections are carried out, following a coroner concluding an inspection by the schools regulator “likely contributed” to the suicide of headteacher Ruth Perry.

A report published by Public First in December found 42 per cent of parents surveyed said Ofsted should be more transparent when it comes to their decision-making process, 37 per cent said they wanted a greater frequency of inspections, while 34 per cent wanted an end to single-word judgments such as “outstanding” or “inadequate”.

Though, arguably, criticism has not gone as far as someone saying they’d punch an Ofsted inspector over “rude” comments – and so, Keegan has been slammed online for her remarks.

The comments also come a week after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak delivered a speech on extremism outside Downing Street, during which he said the UK is a country “where we love our neighbours”.

He added: “Let us prove these extremists wrong and show them that even when we disagree, we will never be disunited from our common values of decency and respect.

“If we can do that, we can build on our great achievement in creating today’s Britain, a country of kind, decent, tolerant people.”

Great job you’re doing on that front, Gillian!

indy100 understands the education secretary was making a light-hearted comment which was received as such by those in the room, and that she was making the point that while rudeness is expected in politics, it is not expected in the teaching profession.

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