And as for common sense ...

14th January 2000 at 00:00
THE LAST two decades of the 20th century were pretty low on laughs, so it was very kind of Chris Woodhead to kick off the 21st with a piece so rich in comedy. If his mastery of the absurd is only to be expected, there is a surprising talent for self-parody which verges on the cruel.

What rich irony in the criticism of "The philistine enthusiasms of those...who believe, in their utilitarian zeal, that the challenge is simply to define the competencies needed to manage our lives and work." Wold that be the 120 statements of attainment in the national curriculum mark 1, perhaps? Or even - whisper it not - OFSTED's clipboard-driven mantras?

A real touch of genius is to ask and answer a rhetorical question: "Is it surprising... that good graduates... choose not to enter the teaching profession? No, it is not. They see through the rhetoric..." Marvellous stuff: Ted Wragg will have to look to his laurels.

Philip D Delnon

79, Broomfield Road

Swanscombe, Kent

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