Backlash after Ofsted’s ‘muscular liberalism’ push

Ofsted’s Chief Inspector is facing calls to resign following her inflammatory speech about faith schools.

Amanda Spielman had called on schools to promote a “muscular liberalism” to ‘face down’ socially conservative views.

Her speech to a Church of England schools conference has come under fire from those who say such ‘liberalism’ is anything but liberal, and undermines free speech.


Christians in Education’s Gill Robins said Spielman cannot “abuse her role as Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills by imposing her views on society.”

Mrs Robins also noted that Ofsted’s motto is ‘Raising Standards, Improving Lives’, but asserted: “Lives are improved when people have the opportunity to determine their own beliefs, not have them inculcated by aggressive secular dogmatists.”

She added that Ofsted’s position will simply drive the real problems underground “whilst alienating vast tracts of a reasonable and balanced society”.


Dr Tom Rogers, of the Safe at School Campaign, said Spielman’s comments are “very sinister”, and threaten the rights of parents to raise their children as they see fit.

He said: “It is not the role of the state to override parents and decide what is in the best interests of their children.

“She is effectively calling for schools to operate a totalitarian regime where there is no room for the voices of concerned parents to be heard.”


Dr David Landrum of the Evangelical Alliance also spoke out against the Ofsted chief’s speech.

He said: “Amanda Spielman talked about a liberalism strong enough to tolerate dissenting views, but then she goes on to criticise views that dissent from her own and they are not violent in any way”, adding, “that doesn’t seem like liberalism to me”.

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