Chalkdust lust

1st December 2000 at 00:00
OBSESSIVE OFSTED inspector falls for the sex-goddess head of a failing school. A familiar scenario? No, thought not.

But who cares? The Inspector and the Superhead - perhaps the first of a new literary genre, the mortarboard-ripper - will probably find its way into all sorts of Christmas stockings.

It's certainly got novelty value: it has to be the first romance to mention the Schools Inspection Act anywhere, let alone on page 13. There's the inventive (but probably not OFSTED-approved) use of a ruler. There's the fun of spotting the rather unsubtle similarities between the fictional school from hell and it real-life predecessor, The Ridings. Any pupils who fork out pound;10.99 will giggle themselves silly.

But more is needed to recruit and retain heads than an inspector with a glint in his (or her) eye. Researchers want more funding for school support staff after discovering heads so overloaded with administration that they spend just four minutes a day with pupils. Even Warwickshire principals treated to a stress-busting break knew they'd have to make up the time later.

The fictional Superhead's secret is her excellent support staff. It shouldn't be fiction. Every hard-working head deserves the same.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today