Trust us to be the inspectors

26th March 2004 at 00:00
I write regarding your article suggesting that active teachers and heads should be inspecting schools (TES, March 12). My initial reaction was one of laughter - for who would want to be a part of a system that places unnecessary stress on so many fellow teachers; where's the solidarity in that?

I then recalled the lay inspector in a friend's school who was caught having a crafty cigarette on the non-smoking school grounds; this being after he had been spotted by several children in different classes nodding off! I suppose active teachers would at least be respectful.

Finally, I concluded that if we are to inspect ourselves, why don't we just hand the whole system to the teachers who are, after all, in the thick of the action.

Teachers are the most qualified to make informed judgments so why not self-evaluate? With the external pressures of the drive for results, it is surely in every school's interests to be in the process of continuous improvement.

I don't know a single teacher who isn't working in the best interests of the pupils, or any school that isn't striving to offer the best educational environment. Maybe it's time to stop treating teachers like mischievous children and start trusting in their work ethic and professionalism?

Ruth Kitch Nuneaton Warwickshire

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