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Sympathy muted for 'hired gun'

So life was tough for Anthony Woollard (Platform, TES, February 23) as a Whitehall "hired gun", suffering "isolation" and "dilemmas" which "drove" him from his career.

Forgive me if my sympathy is muted. My fellow teachers and I have been at the other end of the gun throughout the period he describes.

His "counterbalance" claims that government policies had some good points (TVEI, GCSE, aspects of The Citizens' Charter) weigh little against the massive scapegoating of the teaching profession for the nation's social and economic failings in the past 15 years.

And his idea that the percolation of "serious thinking about management" into the Department for Education and Employment will lead to a recognition and empowerment of "stakeholders" is either sanguine (so why did he leave?) or disingenuous.

"Perceptions of systematic management" are at least as likely to reinforce "command and control" systems as to change them; just look at OFSTED and the BBC.


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