How many more are left in despair?

28th April 2000 at 01:00
CHRIS Woodhead, the chief inspector, told Radio 4's Today programme that Pamela Relf was unable to accept what the inspectors said to her and that an inspection tells the truth about a teacher. (TES, April 14).

Who is to say that the inspection told the truth? This was the opinion of that particular inspection team. One of the team had previously been de-registered by the Office for Standards in Education.

We know that arriving at a judgment of teaching is an inexact science and that this particular inspector's judgment had been questioned on a number of occasions.

He was the registered inspector when my own school had an OFSTED inspection in 1998. We received a good report, but I was so concerned about his conduct, that I wrote to alert my teaching union.

I was lso contacted during 1998 by another head who had complained about the inspector's conduct and who knew of other schools who had done so.

Isn't it time Mr Woodhead acknowledged "the truth" about the competency and professionalism of some of his inspectors? Some questions need to be answered:

Why was a de-registered inspector allowed to continue?

Why can't inspectors be employed by the Government rather than by private contractors?

Why can't practising members of the teaching profession, whose teaching skills have gained recognition and respect, inspect us?

How many more dedicated, caring teachers like Miss Relf are going to be driven to despair and suicide by OFSTED inspections in the future?

Teresa McGregor



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