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Silent majority offers support

MPs conducting an inquiry into the work of OFSTED have been told that its efforts to improve standards in schools were supported by a silent majority of teachers, writes Chris Magowan.

Gary Yates, head of Crosshall junior school, Cambridgeshire, said that if OFSTED did not exist it would have to be invented, given the current push for higher standards in schools. He said that the "silent majority" in the profession supported the work of its inspectors.

The head of Two Mile Ash middle school, Milton Keynes, Jim Hudson praised OFSTED professionalism and willingness to engage in dialogue, and Brenda Bigland, head of Lent Rise primary school, Slough, said she believed the attitude of head- teachers to inspection often decided whether OFSTED visits were positive or negative experiences for schools.

Other supportive witnesses included Tom Clark, principal of George Spencer school and technology college, Nottinghamshire; Sir Geoff Hampton, head of Northicote school, Wolverhampton; and Dr Bill Dennison, head of education at the University of Newcastle.

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