Let's hear the voices of inspectors;Letter

13th March 1998 at 00:00
Roger White is typically under the illusion that the pound;20,000 spent on a school's Office for Standards in Education inspection was previously part of school budgets which it was not (TES, Letters, February 20) . It was effectively spent on those "necessary support services" identified by Graham Lane of the Local Government Association. These services have been shrunk by the funding of OFSTED.

This Government wishes to see all those involved in education grow up and take on their responsibilities to raise standards. I support this approach wholeheartedly and believe that it has to be clear to all partners what funding is available for this difficult exercise. In this period when we are all expected to accept responsibility I feel sure that it can be agreed what money is retained for OFSTED, what money is needed centrally for each LEA to monitor, advise and support, and what should be spent by schools.

Carrying on the previous government's approach of "schools alone know best"is not the answer and I feel sure that Graham Lane is right to remind us that "there is no body of independent academic research which shows that GM schools have used this money to achieve higher standards". As both a registered inspector and LEA inspector I have not found a predominance of best value for money in one kind of school rather than another.

I think it is time for the voice of those who carry out OFSTED inspections and provide advice, support and consultancy throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland to be heard.

ERIC BLAIRE

Vice-president National Association of Educational Inspectors Advisers and Consultants 16 Woodland Drive Watford, Hertfordshire

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