In choppy waters over Plymouth

7th April 2000 at 01:00
TO USE a sailing analogy when describing the Office for Standards in Education report on Plymouth is, given the location of the city, very apt. What is not sensible is using the description of being "on the rocks" (TES, March 24) .

A much more fitting comparison would be "full steam ahead". It is some while since education in Plymouth has felt so dynamic and school governors feel that the education directorate is setting an exciting agenda.

We have been fully consulted since day one and there was nothing in the OFSTED report which was new or even current. Indeed there were matters reported on which were already history before the report saw the light of day. In fact, if there were any issues to be immediately addressed, then a three-month wait for the report was less than courteous.

How much more interesting would have been an article, informed by those involved, describing how Plymouth, with al the problems that modern cities have, is setting a lifelong learning and social inclusion agenda of which any city would be proud.

Our children and parents are being challenged and encouraged to take advantage of every opportunity that is available under the umbrella of a forward thinking, pro-active directorate which is open and responsive, creating an holistic aspect to education.

What was missing from the OFSTED report, perhaps because it is less tangible and hard to quantify, was the relationship, trust and mutual respect which has been built up by the new directorate between all those involved in the education processes.

We are at last able to shrug off our feudal yoke and instead of sharing blame, take our turn at the helm and guide HMS Plymouth into successful waters.

Karen Russell

Chair of Plymouth Association of Governors

193 Stuart Road

Stoke, Plymouth

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