Gove's Ofsted exemption risks shifting 'outstanding' schools into reverse gear

4th June 2010 at 01:00

Your interview with Michael Gove, the new Education Secretary, was headlined "No dawdling, there is work to be done" (May 28). Dawdling is one thing, but running at breakneck speed before you can walk is another.

Instead of learning from his predecessors' mistakes, Mr Gove is rushing ahead with reckless speed, bringing in hasty legislation on academies and writing to schools before the bill has been debated.

Any Government should be keen to get started, but needs to implement its programme within a practical and fair timescale. A new title - be it "free school" or "academy" - does not guarantee success. There must be proper and rigorous consultation with staff, parents and local communities. We are now in the summer term and with the long vacation to come, it is impractical and foolish to try for a change of status by September.

Exempting certain schools from inspection is reckless. It's like giving a car that has passed its MOT exemption from further tests unless someone reports it for going through a red light. As the head, staff and pupils change, so will the school. "Success" is about more than exam results and league tables.

Philip Parkin, General secretary, Voice, Derby.

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