Teachers' views about Ofsted...

15th November 2002 at 00:00
Mike Kent, head of Comber Grove primary, Southwark, south London, who had a complaint about his inspection partially upheld:

"If we got rid of Ofsted entirely, education would be a much better place. It has frightened people, driven them to suicide. It is an utter waste of money. Half the inspectors couldn't teach a class of children. They harass people, and they aren't competent. If this was Spain in the 16th century, they probably would have worked for the Spanish Inquisition ."

Shirley Wellings, deputy head of Redhouse primary, Walsall:

"I've found inspection a positive experience. It has been a platform to move us forward, a really useful tool. We are in charge of children's learning, so there needs to be accountability."

Sue Seifert, head of Montem primary, Islington, north London:

"Chris Woodhead was awful. He was a bully: he was out to prove himself right and us wrong. He cared about himself, not young people. But now you feel there's some hope."

Mary Binns, head of Mansel primary, Sheffield:

"External judgment creates a debate and challenges your thinking, which is helpful, whether or not you agree with it. But going into special measures isn't helpful... It makes it very hard to take forward a school community in terms of morale."

John Cosgrove, deputy head of St Mary's Catholic primary, Cornwall:

"Ofsted has been a thoroughly destructive process in all its incarnations, from being heavy-handed to the current so-called light touch. It's destructive of children's education, destructive of teachers, destructive of schools. It tells you what's wrong, but doesn't give advice on how to put it right."

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