Who could succeed Woodhead?

18th June 1999 at 01:00
MINISTERS are privately trawling for names of people to succeed Chris Woodhead, the beleaguered chief inspector of schools.

But they are becoming increasingly frustrated by their search for someone who could play a conciliatory role without being too identified with teachers' interests.

Although there are no plans to sack Mr Woodhead - and no action will be taken against him following the allegation that he had an affair with a pupil while she was still at school - he is expected to be eased out before the end of his second term in 2003.

Ministers say he had a useful role when first appointed but is now seen as too provocative to take the education agenda forward.

Mr Woodhead was severely criticised this week by the all-party education select committee who urged him to steer clear of intemperate statements.

Ministers want a chief inspector who can help get teachers on side. One name suggested, but then apparently discarded was Peter Mortimore, director of the Institute of Education, University of London.

Professor Mortimore is well-regarded by Tessa Blackstone, the further and higher education minister. He has been a consistent and vocal critic of OFSTED. He has also questioned some of Labour's education policies, especially plans to measure rising standards in schools. Ironically, the previous Tory government also ruled him out of a top university job because they did not like his views.

Another name being canvassed is Professor David Hargreaves, the vice-chair of the Government's standards task force. But he is seen as being too close to the educational establishment.

Ministers are now looking outside the education world, into the business community. They want to end the polarisation between pro and anti-teacher lobbies.

Select committee report, 6

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now