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Time to change?

WHAT does the future hold for the much-loved chief inspector of schools, Chris Woodhead? With another 12 months to run on his five-year contract, Don Foster, the Liberal Democrat education spokesman, believes it's time to advertise his job.

He believes that OFSTED's role has changed considerably since Mr Woodhead was appointed and wrote to the Education Secretary to say so.

Within hours, an enigmatic fax arrived from Mr Blunkett. It said: "I am not in any position to make any announcement immediately, but I will of course bear in mind your letter. Best wishes."

Whatever the outcome, the chief inspector faces an uncomfortable autumn. OFSTED's role is being reviewed by MPs on the education select committee. The only breaks on the horizon are his trips to the seaside. Mr Woodhead has agreed to debate the question of education standards at both Labour and Liberal Democrat conferences.

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