Been quango'd?

21st August 2009 at 01:00

The Centre for Policy Studies has laid a curate's egg with its new report on the abolition and reform of school quangos ("More autonomy and fewer quangos," August 14).

It is right to urge the abolition of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority and give schools freedom over the curriculum. It is wrong to seek public testing by machines at six-plus, eight-plus and 11-plus. Why does it ignore the significance of teacher testing?

It is right to cut back on the inspections of Ofsted and limit them to poorly performing schools with a focus on classroom observation and not paperwork.

It may be right to challenge much of the work of the Training and Development Agency for Schools but it is wrong to urge that theory-based teacher training (of which there is at present too little) should be replaced by subject-based courses only.

It is right that teachers in training should spend a lot of time in schools - as they do now. It is probably right to argue that the Department for Children, Schools and Families should be replaced by a Department of Education solely responsible for schools. It is wrong to urge that the School Teachers' Review Body should be abolished and all schools given the freedom to set teachers' pay rates as they wish.

In all, nine bodies are dismissed in the Alan Sugar style - "X should be abolished". Yes, this report is good and bad in places. So who will eat it?

  • Michael Bassey, Emeritus professor of education, Nottingham Trent University

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