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Targets on literacy miss the mark

The recent Ofsted report is supplemented on its website by a copy of Sir Michael Wilshaw's speech summarising his intended responses to the report.

As a school that chose to reject over the past 10 years most government initiatives related to literacy, we welcome the emphasis on oracy and depth in learning.

Would Sir Michael now have the grace to acknowledge that the tailing off of improvement nationally is in part due to the limitations of the national initiatives. The "myths" about what makes a good lesson were created by the unsound practice of successive ministers and a generation of school leaders developed in a heavy-handed culture of compliance, leading to the devaluing of the kind of curriculum leadership the education secretary hopes will underpin his proposed revisions.

In the absence of balanced commentary from Ofsted, it is no surprise that schools will assume that recent pronouncements are business as usual - all stick and no carrots.

Christopher Tay, Headteacher, Longden CofE Primary School, Shropshire.

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