Appeasement for teacher-bashers;Letter

2nd July 1999 at 01:00
Your speculation about "Who could succeed Woodhead?" (TES, June 18) is a chilling indictment of our current state.

Apparently it is important to appease the anti-teacher lobby. The Daily Mail must be kept on-side, with titbits about incompetent teachers and the sanctity of parental choice. That may win votes, but it won't provide solutions. Has any other country taken this route to improve the education of its children?

It is a powerful part of the Woodhead myth that the chief inspector alone has sufficient courage and independence to challenge the educational establishment. The best teachers I know, however, are not only creative and energetic, but also critical, aware of problems and eager to improve their performance.

There is enormous potential there, for improvement and sustained development, but only if the Government has the nerve to look beyond the appeasement of the tabloids.

Total commitment to education need not be uncritical, but it should be responsible and constructive, and a chief inspector who met those criteria would not only be a pleasant change, but would produce better results.

Paul Francis

7 Swan Meadow

Much Wenlock

Shropshire

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