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The obstacle course to headship

How well I identify with your article on heads and red tape. After 10 years ensuring a school is popular within its community and is oversubscribed, with well-behaved and motivated pupils achieving the best results ever last year, it is hard when Ofsted decides that the school "requires significant improvement".

The only advice I recall that the HMI left behind was that I, as headteacher, was "too honest" - not much for me to build on really. The fact that my head of English had a stroke mid-year and was sent home never to return was declared to be "simply of no concern to her" by the lead HMI. The mass and variety of letters subsequently sent, the independent analysis of results, the sham of report moderation were rather like shadow-boxing as the heavy blows never even vaguely connected.

When Ofsted is recognised for what it truly is, I doubt if very many of its employees will ever again cope, or indeed be welcomed back into our classrooms.

Headteacher

(Name and address supplied), London.

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