Should he stay orshould he go now?;What the papers say

16th April 1999 at 01:00
THE Woodhead controversy has produced an unlikely alliance among columnists: The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph tell him to stay; the Mirror and the Independent to go.

Polly Toynbee in The Guardian defends Mr Woodhead. She wrote: "People have a right to lie about things no one has the right to know I he committed no crime or anything that affects his present job. He's not a moral model for teachers or pupils, he's an inspector."

David Aaronovitch in the Independent says: "I would not, were I Mr Blunkett, sack Chris Woodhead for lying about his private life. If, however, back in the mid-Seventies, Mr Woodhead did indeed sleep with a pupil when he was in loco parentis, then he was not fit to be a teacher then, and cannot possibly be a creditable adjudicator of professional standards now. Unless, of course, he repents."

John Clare in the Daily Telegraph asks: "Is public life so richly endowed with gifted men that we can afford to dispense with this one so casually? Whether or not Mr Woodhead lied, the answer must be no."

The Times reports that a "trio of left-wing activists wants the chief inspector of schools out", the day after columnist Libby Purves had called for an inquiry.

Richard Garner, in The Daily Mirror, throws down the gauntlet to Mr Woodhead saying he should sue those who have accused him of lying ... or resign.

Diane Spencer

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