Pride or prejudice in inspectors?

14th March 2003 at 00:00
NO doubt teachers will be delighted at the chief inspector's concerns that "an excessive or myopic focus on targets can actually narrow and reduce achievement" (TES, February 28). It may also help restore faith in the Office for Standards in Education. Or will it ?

In the same week David Bell's primary inspectors produced guidance on how teachers "can discover the secrets behind the successful implementation of the national literacy and numeracy strategies". This included endorsing schools which ensure that children as young as six are "made aware" of the levels they are achieving and how to "meet the criteria" for a higher level.

Many teachers will feel that this reinforces the "excessive or myopic focus" which the chief inspector appears to deplore.

Whose guidance should teachers heed - the chief inspector's wise counsel or the pre-Bell pre-prejudices of some inspectors ?

Professor Colin Richards

1 Bobbin Mill

Spark Bridge, Cumbria

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