The pleasure you can't measure

22nd February 2008 at 00:00
Last week's front page story about government plans to measure creativity reminded me of the time when, as part of measuring spiritual development, Ofsted was keen to identify "awe and wonder" in primary classrooms.

When we realised this was not a spoof, a friend and I came up with a wheeze to market ourselves as Awe and Wonder fairies. Dressed in pink taffeta and carrying our magic wands, for a small fee we would guarantee to arrive in the classroom just before the inspector. We'd sprinkle the children with fairy dust, conjure up a magic rainbow, pull a rabbit out of a hat, nestle a clutch of hatching chicks in the Wendy house, then disappear in a puff of smoke, leaving the children wide-eyed and gasping with amazement. The inspector would tick the awe and wonder box and everyone would be happy. Measuring creativity, when we should be nurturing it, sounds like similar madness.

Sheila Dainton, School governor and former education policy adviser, Petersfield, Hampshire.

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