Woodhead's curriculum attack draws unfriendly fire

22nd January 2010 at 00:00

It is good to hear from an independent thinker on education such as Chris Woodhead when politicians start to vie with each other in the build up to an election.

But, incisive as Mr Woodhead is, he is also stuck in the belief that all parents know what is best for their children and that market forces should rule. "Free schools" and his own Cognita institutions are for parents who want to take control of how schools are run. And the devil take the rest?

The majority of parents want a good school, nearby which they can trust to take a professional approach to an all-round education for their child. They recognise that teachers, well led and properly trained, are the people to rely on for this.

This is what we need to do to improve educational provision for ever: 1) Insist on a four-year BEd degree for all primary teachers; 2) Insist that secondary teachers are recruited only from good degrees in their subject plus a two-year PGCE; 3) Bring HMI out of the shadows as the body entrusted to maintain standards on a national scale; 4) Retain the National College to develop leadership skills and oversee staff development nationally; 5) Draw the line much further back on where politicians stop interfering in professional matters. 6) Sack the rest of the corporate leeches who make a living out of telling teachers how to teach.

Barbara Curry, Educational consultant and former primary headteacher, Winchcombe, Gloucestershire.

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