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The positive power of inspections;Letter

Regarding the continuing controversy over the perceptions of Professor Tim Brighouse and Chris Woodhead, the chief inspector of schools, may I suggest that they both represent two essential elements of an effective approach to raising standards of education.

There is no doubt that we need to encourage teachers but this needs to go hand in hand with public scrutiny of the effectiveness of schools and performance of teachers. Office for Standards in Education inspections have been a very effective instrument in pulling many schools back from the abyss.

Strong, effective and successful schools feel pride in their inspection reports and are glad to see public acknowledgement of their continuing hard work and purposeful direction.

The much-rehearsed cost of inspections is minimal, on average less than 0.5 per cent of the cumulative budget of a school over four years.

VIMAL SHARMA

Former assistant director Birmingham education authority.

241 Yardley Wood Road Birmingham

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