Threads from three articles in last week's TES can be drawn together and compared: Sir Michael Wilshaw wants every school to be "good"; Mike Kent criticises Ofsted but considers inspection to be essential; Christine Blower ("Good practice is the unions' primary aim") points to differences in Finland without mentioning inspection.
In the early 1990s, when Ofsted was being established here, Finland discontinued its inspection system and decided instead to train teachers well, trusting them to do a good job and become self-regulating as a profession. Perhaps this, among other factors, contributes to the high status enjoyed by teachers in Finland, as well as the low variation between schools and the relatively high performance of its pupils as measured by international tests. We need to question the assumption that inspection is necessary; maybe we, too, would do better without it.
Phil Taylor, Ashbourne, Derbyshire.