New school improvement partners who are to work with every head in England are in danger of becoming a second Ofsted, the inspectors' union has warned.
The partners, usually headteachers but increasingly local authority advisers, are supposed to offer schools support as "critical friends". They were introduced in 27 pilot authorities this month and will be assigned to every secondary school next year and every primary school in 2007.
But John Chowcat, general secretary of the Association of Professionals in Education and Children's Trusts, told the Trades Union Congress annual conference in Brighton: "From the training being given to the new school improvement partners, the role looks increasingly like an inspectorial one.
There is a check-list mentality to it. It's creating a totally unnecessary Ofsted Mk II."