Are you brave enough to say you like the chief inspector?

4th September 1998 at 01:00
To admit that Chris Woodhead might be a good thing for education is a bit like being at a party and admitting to being a tax inspector or a traffic warden - one just doesn't do it.

This tends to leave TES letters to those who repeat the mantra, "Woodhead and the Office for Standards in Education must go".

Yet when we look at what he says and does why is it that he engenders such a knee-jerk reaction, when Byers, Blunkett or Barber can say much the same thing with impunity?

From the outset, Woodhead has stood up for pupils and parents against failing schools; failing teachers and failing heads; poor teaching; low expectations; falling standards; inadequate initial teacher training institutions; local authorities and other agencies that are part of the problem rather than being part of the solution.

Without Chris Woodhead, the depth, intensity and quality of the educational debates of the past few years would be much poorer.

John Haslet Director PPI Group, Hill Street, Bristol

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