* Support for Chris Woodhead has come from an unlikely quarter - a critic who a year ago was calling for the chief inspector to be removed. David Mallen, retired as East Sussex's county education officer last week, but vowed to continue to oppose Mr Woodhead's professional values.
"I think it would be terrible if he were driven from office on the back of something that happened 25 years ago," he told the ACEO.
Mr Mallen, who is now working for the Department for Education and Employment, said: "I draw parallels with Clinton and the religious Right who couldn't get him at the election so tried to do it another way.
"I think as fellow professionals we ought to be careful about dragging these sort of things into arguments as a reason for people being in office or not."
A year ago, Mr Mallen claimed Mr Woodhead was out to undermine authorities and questioned the evidence base used by the chief inspector to make his judgments.