Time to do the honourable thing;Letter

14th August 1998 at 01:00
You ask your readers whether Chris Woodhead should have his contract renewed. The answer has to be an unequivocal "no". It seems indisputable that the holder of this post should have the confidence of those on whom he has to report. In the case of Mr Woodhead, this is quite plainly not the case.

The morale of the teaching profession cannot be described as high, and for this Mr Woodhead must accept some responsibility. He finds it impossible to utter anything but negatives about the profession: it is thus hardly surprising that recruitment is low .

However, Mr Woodhead must accept responsibility not only for his own failings but also for the failings of the organisation which he leads - the Office for Standards in Education - which has created a climate of fear which reduces the possibility of schools raising issues with it.

The education system needs an independent inspection service which is widely accepted and respected and not subject to the vilification to which OFSTED is. A new beginning is needed - Mr Woodhead cannot provide it, and should do the honourable thing and declare his unavailability for reappointment. Failing that, David Blunkett should make the decision for him.

RC Moses. Parkleigh Drive, New Moston, Manchester

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