I know nothing

20th November 1998 at 00:00
no doubt Chris Woodhead saves his most erudite comments for The TES (above). But confirmation arrives that the chief inspector of schools is also not above winding people up and spouting off on things he knows nothing about.

Chris Woodhead's diary in OFSTED's in-house journal offers a revealing insight into the life of the man least loved in the nation's staffrooms.

We begin en route to an Any Questions-style debate at Bournemouth University, where our Chris plans "to pontificate on a subject that I know next to nothing about: personnel practices in higher education".

Such professed ignorance proves no obstacle to the OFSTED boss who admits:

"I did not allow my lack of knowledge to constrain me in any way." Indeed, he says, many in the audience agreed with him that we have too many universities, media studies is rubbish and academic contracts should be dragged "into the 19th century".

After this triumph, HMCI heads north to Leeds for a conference on pupil performance. Down to speak last, he pondersin an M1 traffic jam what he can add to previous speakers.

"I came to the conclusion I could add nothing," he tells us. "I decided, therefore, to do what I always do on such occasions and pose a few provocative questions to inspire impassioned debate. The tactic worked well."

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