Forcing opt outs

13th October 1995 at 01:00
Teachers are not frightened of accountability or inspection by genuinely independent Office for Standards in Education teams. As teachers with nothing to hide, we may believe we have nothing to fear from the decision of Chris Woodhead, the chief inspector, to send inspection teams into all schools in Waltham Forest and Lambeth starting in January as announced on October 6.

On the same day The TES revealed that the statutory four-year cycle of inspection cannot be adhered to. Are registered teams to be diverted from other areas in order to concentrate on the 134 schools which remain uninspected in the two boroughs concerned? Has Mr Woodhead considered the negative effects of compressing a four-year cycle into seven months? If the aim is to promote improvements in schools, his method seems to set them up to fail.

A school in Waltham Forest, inspected 13 months ago, has suddenly been identified as requiring "special measures" based upon new OFSTED guidelines.

Coming so close to the Conservative party conference, such action can be construed as politically motivated. Is Mr Major now planning to see schools forced to opt out by teams of inspectors who have just been instructed to be harder on schools and teachers?

The Government seems determined to destroy local education authorities. Teachers, parents and pupils all over the country have everything to fear from this cynical intervention under the guise of improving educational standards.

Chris Jenkin Deputy general secretary - Waltham Forest National Union of Teachers London E17

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