Primary strategy chief quits

22nd December 2006 at 00:00
Paul Wagstaff, director of the national primary strategy, is to leave after only a year. Mr Wagstaff, 47, says he is keen to work nearer his wife and two sons, who live in Yorkshire. Having completed the primary framework, launched in October, he said it was time to move on.

"I think I've set the next stage of development in motion," he said. "I'm convinced the changes we've introduced are really going to make a difference, a life-changing difference, for children."

He is proud of the introduction of synthetic phonics for all five-year-olds, which has had a mixed response in schools.

"I've no doubt that the phonics approach is right," he said. "I feel we've provided teachers with clear guidance and support."

Mr Wagstaff joined the strategy in January, having worked as senior manager in Ofsted's curriculum division. His new job as deputy director of inspections at Nord Anglia, Manchester, will draw on this experience.

He will be replaced by Pete Dudley, regional director for the East and East Midlands. Mr Wagstaff hopes his successor will continue his policies. "All children, no matter what their background, deserve excellent teaching at all times. We need to ensure they leave primary school with a thirst for learning."

Mr Dudley will act as director until August, in which time he will promote collaboration between primaries. "Individual teachers come up with innovations that work fantastically," he said. "It may just be small things, little ways to engage the children. But if the whole school does it, and other schools do it, it becomes part of our professional knowledge."

He believes his time as a primary teacher in east London, and as primary adviser in Essex, will allow him to keep in touch with what matters most: the pupils.

"By the ages of three or four, children have developed a sense of whether they are an achiever or a failure," he said. "I think that's appalling. The more we can tackle that, the more children will be able to make a contribution. And then the stronger society will grow."

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now