Sound start

24th January 1997 at 00:00
Nick Ross's Radio 4 phone-in programme discussed homework, with the chief inspector. It was a good programme, with even Mr Woodhead saying one or two encouraging things about schools and teachers.

When, inevitably, the question of resources was raised, Nick Ross asked him how much more money was needed to resource schools properly. Mr Woodhead replied that the question was impossible to answer because he could not extrapolate across the country from the schools identified in inspections as having resource problems.

I seem to remember him having no difficulty at all with a similar extrapolation on the subject of incompetent teachers.

Is the explanation that lack of competence can be blamed on teachers, whereas lack of resources is the fault of government?

JOHN McNICHOLAS

Former president, National Association of Head Teachers Orchard House Rolston Road Hornsea

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