The chairman of education watchdog Ofsted has pledged to visit the Isle of Wight after being criticised for calling it a "ghetto suffering from inbreeding".
David Hoare, a former city banker, issued an apology after his comments were reported by the TES which prompted calls for his resignation.
Mr Hoare made a telephone call to the leader of the Isle of Wight Council, Jonathan Bacon, to make a personal apology during which he offered to visit the island.
After the call, which took place during the weekend, Mr Hoare said: "I have offered Councillor Bacon a full and unreserved apology for my recent comments. I would like to publicly extend this apology to everyone on the Isle of Wight.
"I understand that some of my specific comments were offensive as well as being unfounded. For this I am truly sorry.
"I now also recognise that my comments regarding crime, drug-use and unemployment on the island were factually inaccurate and I therefore formally retract them here.
"As I made clear in the statement I issued on Friday, my intention had been to highlight the problem of poor educational outcomes in many of our coastal communities, especially among low-income white British children. I was using the Isle of Wight as an example to illustrate this point because of the concerns Ofsted has raised in the past about low schools standards on the island.
"I would like to formally acknowledge that while there is much more still to do, school standards on the Isle of Wight are rising. The overall performance of both secondary and primary schools has been improving steadily over the past few years and the quality of the school improvement support provided by the council was found to be effective when last inspected by Ofsted."
Mr Bacon said he welcomed Mr Hoare's offer to visit the island.
He said: "If Mr Hoare had been describing an inner-city area in the terms he had there would likely be significant levels of government intervention and funding to turn around the 'causes' of poor educational performance.
"But, because the causes are less easy to define for an island or indeed a coastal community, and because in general terms we get bracketed with the prosperous south east of England, the Isle of Wight always seems to get overlooked for the help and assistance it deserves.
"Nevertheless, we have delivered the needed improvements in educational performance as identified by Ofsted in 2013.
"We are a strong, proud and resourceful community and have had, in partnership with Hampshire County Council, an unrelenting focus on the things that really matter in education - improving the quality of learning and teaching, making the curriculum more relevant, challenging, stimulating and developing leadership and management at all levels.
"But I am concerned that our rate of progress will be slowed as government continues to reduce our levels of funding to support education and public services in general, unless it recognises our unique challenges as an island.
"I am very pleased that Mr Hoare has agreed to come to the Isle of Wight to learn more about the challenges we face and ensure that Ofsted is playing the fullest possible part, working alongside the other agencies, to support the further improvement of educational outcomes on the island.
"I am therefore content to accept the unreserved apology made by Mr Hoare on behalf of the Isle of Wight Council and look forward to welcoming him to the island in due course."
Mr Hoare's comments were reported in the TES as: "Most people go there for sailing for two weeks a year. There's a sailing club that is one of the best in the world, where there's champagne.
"But just within inches, there are people who live in a ghetto and we've allowed it to happen."
He added: "They think of it as holiday land. But it is shocking. It's a ghetto; there has been inbreeding."