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Creative block

We were right. The chief inspector for schools says so. The TES Target Creativity campaign said high standards and creativity go hand in hand, and that creative teaching and learning should not be stifled by unreasonable external demands. Teachers across the country agreed.

Now the Office for Standards in Education's report, Expecting the Unexpected, highlights the importance of creativity in raising confidence and standards (page 9). This does not require any trendy new methods; it boils down to good teaching. Fear and inflexibility were creativity's main enemies - teachers who would not let go, overly-constraining timetables, unwillingness to allow mistakes or unexpected ideas.

Effective teachers saw both success and failure as ways of learning. But as long as the Government maintains its emphasis on high stakes testing, many teachers and heads will continue to be afraid to allow failure, even as a learning tool, or to permit thinking outside the box.

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