Inspection can be just the ticket

18th October 1996 at 01:00
My experience as an Office for Standards in Education registered inspector confirms Chris Woodhead's impression (TES, October 4) that the vast majority of headteachers whose schools have been inspected have found the process helpful.

I would go further. On a number of occasions, heads have told me that inspection by OFSTED was just what they needed to support their own awareness of weaknesses, and plans for improvement, previously treated with suspicion by staff and governors. Several have said something like: "Now I can quote OFSTED to get something done."

One of the many strengths of OFSTED is its ability not only to detect weaknesses in schools, but to insist that something be done about them. I have yet to come across a headteacher who does not find that helpful and supportive in the process of raising standards.

Denigration of OFSTED is not surprising because some teachers do not take too kindly to having their inadequacies pointed out. They spend a good deal of their time telling children what to do to improve, but develop paranoia when they find themselves on the receiving end.

They are encouraged in this attitude by your columnist Ted Wragg, whose satire seems to have lost its previous subtlety and become rather coarse. But perhaps it is the destiny of all satirists to lower their standards when they have run out of good ideas. His tasteless joke about Chris Woodhead's surname (TES, October 4) is not the sort of thing one would allow a school pupil to write about a teacher. It is as well we have OFSTED keeping an eye on standards in schools.


OFSTED registered inspector General secretary of the Professional Association of Teachers 1980-92 72 The Ridings Ockbrook, Derby

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