Chips off the old Woodhead

20th May 2005 at 01:00
Shrinking violets don't sell newspapers, which is why journalists rejoice at the renaissance of former Chief Scourge of Schools Chris Woodhead.

Recent Woodheadisms include slagging off most of the national curriculum (partly shaped by himself), buying a chain of private schools and offering a buy-now-save-later deal on fees.

But is he going over the top? He shocked independent schools with last week's tirade on how they should let failing state schools collapse. Not a message the sector - desperate to keep its charitable status - wants aired.

And they're his colleagues, for goodness sake.

Professor Woodhead's orthodoxy-challenging instincts can be useful: remember his outrage at suggestions to rename teachers "learning professionals"? It would be a shame if he became so contrary that we all stop listening.

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