Error divined

29th November 1996 at 00:00
The Office for Standards in Education was naturally concerned at your illustration of an inspection report which clearly had many blemishes (TES, October 18). This situation is sufficiently uncommon for us to follow up instances of reports which "do not make the grade" and we now have a full account of this incident.

We also write, as part of our quality assurance procedures, to the headteacher and the chair of governors of every school after they have received their inspection report, and 92 per cent consider their report to be of a high standard. Some of those who do not are reacting to their disappointment at receiving a critical report. But there is, regrettably, a small residue of poor reports.

In the case of Heartsease high school, delivery of a flawed report was all the more surprising since the headteacher is on record as thanking the registered inspector for the feedback report and "the obvious professional reflection and concern for accuracy which you showed". Senior management and governors "felt comfortable with what was said and recognised our school".

In this case, we have received an apology from the inspection contractor who published - by mistake - the uncorrected final draft while deleting the version which had remedied errors identified during proof-reading. The contractor has taken steps to ensure that similar problems cannot happen with future inspection reports.

PETER MATTHEWS Head of inspection quality OFSTED 33 Kingsway London WC2

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