Dismayed and appalled: Kit Malthouse attacked for 'constant pressure' threat

The education secretary is facing a backlash from school leaders “dismayed and appalled” at comments made during his speech to the Conservative Party annual conference.

On Wednesday (October 5), the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) wrote to Kit Malthouse to reject his view that the school system needed “constant attention and constant pressure” in order to “drive it forward”.

Mr Malthouse had made the comments when he addressed the Tory conference in Birmingham a day earlier.

The speech came with no policy announcements but did signal Mr Malthouse’s intention to be “much more assertive about intervention and standards”.

He further angered school leaders when he said: “We need to reflect on the fact that there is nothing quite as persistent as people hanging on to mediocrity. Finding, challenging, working with teachers, bringing all schools up to the standard of the best will be a key part of our mission.”

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