Take Chris to task

21st July 2000 at 01:00
HALLELUJAH! Chris Woodhead has finally attended a meeting of the Standards Task Force.

Colleagues on the Government's key advisory group had almost forgotten he was still their vice-chair. Now, after more than a year's absence, missing half-a-dozen quarterly meetings, Chris has returned. The problem is many on the task force can't decide which is more disgraceful: his absence or his presence.

Woodhead has already seen off his first co-vice chair Tim Brighouse (Cambridge prof and new QCA chief David Hargreaves, filled his shoes). Tim might as well have stayed - Chris has barely been seen since. And, unlike other members, he doesn't do sub-committees either. No time, you see. Too busy reviewing Harry Potter books for the Sunday Telegraph.

On hisgrand return, the Diary gathers, the man dubbed the saviour of education by William Hague appeared openly contemptuous of Government policy, huffing and puffing his way through the meeting, drumming his fingers and sighing deeply.

Twice, he had to be put down by ministers Estelle Morris and Jacqui Smith for interrupting, and when Estelle attempted to sum up by saying that the group seemed to agree on various policies, Woodhead piped up in dissent.

Not even Michael Barber, head of the standards and effectiveness unit, escaped his withering ridicule. When Barber mentioned a novel concept he'd picked up in the States of, er, praising teachers (you never know, it might catch on), Woodhead's despair was complete. "Oh, pur-leeze," he groaned.


Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now