Positive oracle

21st April 2000 at 01:00
ONE ORACLE the Education Secretary might wish to consult over easing inspection-induced stress (see above) is his new chief curriculum adviser, David Hargreaves.

Writing in The TES just before the last election, Professor Hargreaves set out his personal manifesto for education. He proposed that inspection teams which identify a school as under-performing should stay with the staff for eight weeks to help them raise their game.

Other items on his "shopping list" included sabbaticals for long-serving teachers and giving classroom professionals a key role in school-based research. More pertinent, given his new role,was his number-one concern: securing a slimmer compulsory curriculum at 14-plus to allow more specialisation and student choice - including vocational options for the disaffected. So watch this space.

For almost two decades, Professor Hargreaves has been an influential voice. His seminal report on the state of innerLondon secondary schools in the mid-1980s made him a pioneer of the modern standards agenda.

But, while he is tough on standards, his ideas are also underpinned by a belief that teachers are creative professionals, who deserve proper support. He is now in a position to make that view count.

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