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Is it worth spending Pounds 200,000 on a school inspection?

Thank God for Ted Wragg's Last Word "Titans' clash forces debate into corners" referring to the Tim Brighouse-Chris Woodhead contretemps (TES, February 6).

Some fundamental precepts about education are at stake. We have a chief education officer who, in four years, has demonstrated that celebrating and supporting (and even trusting) teacher achievement can pay dividends.

On the other hand we have a chief inspector who has demonstrated that pillorying and demanding (and not trusting) teacher achievement can have disastrous consequences for morale and retention. How many headteachers or directors of education or classroom teachers believe that the Pounds 20, 000 spent on a school's Office for Standards in Education inspection could not have been better spent on the school itself? Perhaps we could have a referendum on this question? It is time the assessors were assessed and held accountable for the millions of pounds diverted from schools.

ROGER WHITE Principal lecturer in education Faculty of Education Redland Hill, Bristol

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