Special measures label is a failure

29th November 2002 at 00:00
I AM fascinated by the debate on the Office for Standards in Education's future (TES, November 15). As head of two "special measures" schools and recently supporting another vulnerable one, I am appalled at the collective label which always demoralises staff and makes recovery even more difficult.

Ofsted rarely throws up new things during inspection and in terms of best value it is a colossal waste of money. With self-review, more focussed education authorities and the welter of data flooding out of schools an enormous amount is already known about performance.

The cry from Ofsted is always that "these children have only one chance". Too right! So empower and fund education authorities to take much earlier action so that failing schools are impossible and no children suffer. At the moment this job cannot satisfactorily be done because millions of pounds pour into Ofsted. As a result some children suffer as schools do not have proper regular scrutiny and then they suffer again when the school is labelled and quality staff leave.

Our children deserve better than this!

DR Cragoe

Headteacher, Sheringham community primary school

Cooper Road

Sheringham, Norfolk

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