No surprises from the bunker

18th August 2000 at 01:00
OF COURSE Chris Woodhead opines from his increasingly deserted bunker that he "remains to be convinced" that a later school start is in children's best interests, and that early formal schooling is actually harmful (TES, July 28).

This is hardly surprising, as any such admission by him would leave the rationale for much of his "standards" regime in tatters - and would also comprehensively derail the Government's scarcely hidden agenda of "social-engineering" women (read mothers) into he workforce.

More generally, the new research on extreme pupil stress and ill-health by the Professional Association of Teachers only reinforces the conclusion that obsessive testing and over-formalised education is bad for your health.

And it's a tragedy in the making for a generation of children that Messrs Woodhead and Blunkett seem to be the very last to get the message.

Dr Richard House

Norwich Steiner Education Initiative

13 Denbigh Road, Norwich

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