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Let's just do it right first time;Letter

THE ROLE of the Office for Standards in Education is already under sharpened focus in 1999. It has become increasingly clear that the whole process of school inspection needs urgent review with emphasis on regular monitoring, advice, discussion and action.

In business and industrial management circles interest continues to be shown in the process of total quality management (elevated by enthusiastic proponents to the status of a philosophy).

One of the virtues claimed for total quality management is its emphasis on seeing that components are correct at source.

Do it "right first time" - according to the jargon - rather than discovering faults by inspection at a late stage of the production process.

Why do we still rely so heavily on such an inflexible, unrealistic and, ultimately, unhelpful form of quality assurance as the school inspection? Build quality into the product in the first place.

Dick Copland 3 Williams Terrace Ryhope, Sunderland

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