War of words;Diary

17th December 1999 at 00:00
TOUGH week for our local education authorities, what with scathing inspection reports flying around the country (page 6).

Possibly stung by Chris Woodhead's suggestion that some of them haven't been telling the whole story, the Local Government Association has gone on the attack with a guide to surviving inspections, complete with a 10-point plan for dealing with the pesky media.

"Good media relations is all about rapid rebuttal," it says, adding: "Do not fear the press." Above all, be positive: brief hacks in advance on your achievements, and line up some tame heads to bat for you.

Revealingly, it suggests: "If the report is due to criticise a certain area, start telling the media ... that this area is improving or due to improve."

Thanks for the tip, folks - we'll watch out for that one.

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