Tome raider

21st January 2000 at 00:00
HE MAY have left the country but capitalism's favourite son, James Tooley, has left us a little gift to remember him by while he delivers the market mantra to the Third World with the World Bank.

Reclaiming Education is his latest tome and his renewed attempt to persuade us all to privatise the entire education system. It has won over one reader at least - our favourite chief inspector, Chris Woodhead, to judge from his review in the Sunday Telegraph.

Woodhead praises it as a book that will really get up the nose of Tim Brighouse whom he spends the first third of the review attacking. He also says it should be read "by everyone interested in ho educational standards might be raised, and particularly, perhaps by politicans pondering their next education manifesto".

Woodhead being Woodhead, it can't be all unvarnished praise - he complains about the "cheeky-chappy tone". More seriously, he wonders about "Tooley's eagerness to sweep away regulation".

"There is, as any headteacher will tell you, too much bureaucratic interference in the system at present," he comments. "But parents do value school inspection reports enormously."

So there you have it. Get rid of local authorities and the rest of the rotten system - but keep the Office for Standards in Education. Priceless.

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