Radicalise the tick list

15th November 2013 at 00:00

As one of Her Majesty's Inspectors of schools, I was very aware of the truism: "Teachers don't do what you expect; they do what you inspect". The current inspection and testing regime fosters conformity and compliance, not the risky testing out of new ideas or radical solutions ("With delegated power comes great innovation, Editorial, 8 November).

Words such as "innovation" or "experimentation" simply don't appear in the inspection handbook. They aren't something that inspectors look out for; in consequence, they aren't something they encounter. If we are to "(protect) an ever greater right to innovate", we need as a precondition a radical change to the inspection and testing mindset. With the majority of schools now deemed "good" or "outstanding", this could be an apt time to make that change.

Colin Richards, Spark Bridge, Cumbria.

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