Airy-fairy HMI

It was different in the sixties. The inspectorate, now basking in semi-autonomy, was the subject of a 1968 inquiry by MPs. A rather less than well known report, unearthed from our shelves, includes a sterling defence of its full integration into the government machine.

Its then head, David Dickson, declared: "I would not like my people to be sitting on the sidelines making airy-fairy pronouncements. I would much rather have them in the middle of the battle helping and prodding the administrators."

It was ever thus: "I'm an inspector and I'm here to help you."

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