Heading out of the profession

30th September 2005 at 01:00
I was saddened but not surprised by "Heads forced to quit" (TES, September 9). This article mentioned only Ofsted. Sometimes the responsibility for a head being driven out of the profession rests with a local education authority. Anyone who doubts that this happens should read Justine Williams's excellent book Tilting at Windmills, which evoked painful memories of my experience as a chair of governors.

Many schools genuinely do fall short of standards as these become ever more demanding. I believe that most heads do the best that they can to meet the constant call for improvement.

Readers will recall Lord Acton's famous statement about the possession of absolute power. Ofsted and the local education authorities are endowed with a great deal of power, and their activities are not subject to the same level of public domain scrutiny as those of schools.

Once an education authority - whether Ofsted or an LEA - has set its sights on a headteacher, he or she may have difficulty in maintaining their position.

RC Bell 26 Grenaby Avenue Croydon

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