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Share all this expertise, Ms Gilbert

I was dismayed, like a great many others I suspect, to read Christine Gilbert, the chief inspector's proposals (TES, December 14) to visit schools without prior notice.

We, in the education system, have come so far over the past 12 years to the point where self-evaluation by the school is deemed appropriate. To renege now on that agreement and revert to a more confrontational style is a backward step.

What the lady should be debating with government is a re-evaluation of Ofsted's role in education in the 21st-century. The remit should be working together with schools to improve our children's education. If she is right when she says there is all this expertise among inspectors with regards to high quality teaching and learning, then pray share it with the practitioners.

Poor teachers will not become excellent teachers overnight because they know there is an impending inspection. Poor teachers are poor teachers and should by now have been rooted out under the present inspection system. If this is still not the case then I am afraid the days of Ofsted in its present form must be numbered and consideration should be given to disbanding it. Might I suggest, on a parting note, that early morning swoops is one sure way of further alienating schools from Ofsted and as such, are best left to the Flying Squad!

Bob Miller, Educational consultant, Chelmsford, Essex.

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