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18-year itch;Jotter

Her Majesty's inspectors have never been a favourite of Brian Boyd, associate director at the Quality in Education Centre at Jordanhill. Not a man for league tables or suchlike, the former heidie and chief adviser in Strathclyde has recently crossed swords with Chris Woodhead, head of the Office for Standards in Education south of the border, after doing research on school effectiveness for the National Union of Teachers.

"He rubbished it in the Guardian so it must be all right," Boyd told the advisers' conference last weekend. "The one thing you can say about inspectors is that they won't be back for 18 years."

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