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Return of HMIs

JOHN Dunford (TES, September 22) berated Tony Blair for his "out-of-date view" of comprehensives. But why has the Prime Minister come to this view?

Partly, because he is advised by those with a vested interest in New Labour orthodoxy and with no first-hand information as to what is happening in real schools.

What is needed is a cadre of independenteducational advisers with access to up-to-date evidence - HM inspectors.

HMIs would be far better employed away from the Office for Standards in Education and back in the Department for Education and Employment giving advice based on informed and independent judgment.

Professor Colin Richards

1 Bobbin Mill

Spark Bridge, Cumbria

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