Deafening silence;Diary

11th June 1999 at 01:00
HEADTEACHERS' conferences are serious affairs, given to the great topics facing education. But there was a mysterious absence in Cardiff last week - a phrase missing on delegates' lips. Specifically, the name of our great chief inspector.

The NAHT has taken a peculiarly active role in the strange affair (non-affair actually - legal ed) of the future HMCI and the Somerset sixth-former, referring the case to the Director for Public Prosecutions (who quickly referred it back).

So one might have expected much talk of Chris Woodhead: a report on OFSTED by MPs is out next week, and even Lord Puttnam has put the ermined boot in with a call for his head.

Alas, members seemed gripped by collective amnesia. New president Chris Thatcher mentioned him but once, general sec David Hart not at all, and even during the debate on inspection, Woodhead's name remained unspoken.

Not that he was ignored entirely. Several speakers in said debate referred to "the man we don't mention". The Diary wonders why.

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