The contrariness of Christopher W

11th March 2005 at 00:00
In 1966 Chris Woodhead was a student at Bristol university.

In 1997 he attacked universities which run "Noddy courses", giving the example of equine studies, taught at Bristol university.

In the 1970s he was a secondary-school English teacher.

In 1993 he lambasted the "trendy" progressive teaching methods he supported while working as a teacher.

In the early 1980s he was a PGCE tutor at Oxford university and gave out apples to pupils to inspire creative writing.

By 2002 he was attacking non-traditional teacher training as "dangerous nonsense".

He served as a deputy chief education officer of Devon, then Cornwall, between 1988 and 1991.

In 1996 he questioned the point of education authorities, warning they can create "a dependency culture".

In 1991 he was chief executive of the National Curriculum Council.

This week he criticised the national curriculum, saying that it emphasises political correctness and downplays English history.

In 1993 he became chief executive of the School Curriculum and Assessment Authority.

Nine years later, he complained that exams were easier, standards were falling and we were "in an education cloud-cuckoo-land".

In 1994 he became chief inspector.

In 2001 he warned that the integrity of Ofsted was in danger of being "sacrificed on the altar of teachers' morale", adding: "Ofsted might as well be abolished now."

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now