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Declaration of independence

Let me reassure John Dunford (Platform, TES, September 22) about the Office for Standards in Education's continuing independence.

Of the four "announcements" in the Prime Minister's education speech, two (less burdensome inspections and more intelligible reports) were the subject of national consultation at the beginning of the year, one (the inner-city literacy study) was announced in my annual report last January and one (reporting to heads aboutindividual teachers) is a response to the call for greater feedback from inspections which we havebeen considering for some time.

The value of OFSTED's advice to Government is enhanced by our independence, which we jealously preserve.

The fact remains, however, that we are a Government department and I would be disappointed if the Prime Minister was either uninformed about our work or uninterested in it.

CHRIS WOODHEAD

Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools

Office for Standards in Education

Alexandra House

33 Kingsway

London WC2

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