Stings from 'gadfly' Woodhead cause enduring irritation

29th May 2009 at 01:00

In asserting that teachers are no longer in a profession, Chris Woodhead declares: "I don't understand. Why has there not been a widespread rebellion? Riots in teacher training institutions?"

He denigrates government-led initiatives such as Every Child Matters as "vacuous", having sought, he informs us, the opinions of many heads and teachers whom he insightfully states fear for their career prospects if they speak out. Concluding his full-page commentary, he states: "You disagree? Fine, I am delighted ... (W)here is the debate about these issues?"

Is Mr Woodhead serious? This is someone who, on his appointment as chief inspector of schools, locked horns with the trade unions by calling for 15,000 incompetent teachers to be sacked.

Is it not a consequence of such belligerent managerialism that such a culture of quiescence now exists? You can't have it both ways, Mr Woodhead.

Tony Fort, FE Lecturer, Blackburn College.

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