Age concerns;Diary

6th August 1999 at 01:00
IS THERE no end to his powers? As Her Majesty's mighty chief inspector bats away the puny challenge of the education select committee with one hand, he sweeps another huge tranche of the education system under his umbrella with the other.

With Chris Woodhead's empire now taking in nurseries and playgroups, having annexed further education last month, the Diary phones the inspectorate to ask if his ambitions know any limits.

Jonathan Lawson, the voice of Mr Woodhead, chooses to chide this organ for some injudicious recent comments about his master's "waning influence". "Didn't have your finger on the pulse there, did you?" he chortles.

We refuse and ask: Jonathan, is it true that OFSTED is going for cradle-to-grave powers and plans to follow up nursery schools by inspecting old people's homes?

"Not yet," says Jonathon, adding tantalisingly: "But watch this space..."

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