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What a school ought to be...

Much is made currently of schools' need to engage in self-evaluation as part of "intelligent accountability".

The Office for Standards in Education and others have provided self-evaluation schedules.

However, none to my knowledge remotely compares in educational value to the following checklist devised more than 50 years ago by Teddy O'Neill, head- teacher of Prestolee elementary school, Lancashire.

Asked what a school should be, he replied:

* a place for lectures and teaching

* a workshop for young and old - of both sexes

* a den of hobbies and indoor; games

* a studio for drawing, painting and plastics

* a music studio

* a hall for song and dance

* an educational shop window

* a reference library

* a picture gallery

* a museum

* a reading room

* a book stall for magazines and newspapers

* a club

* a refreshment bar

* an orchard

* an aquarium

* a vivarium

* a home for pets

* a playing field

* a gymnasium

* a bathing place

* a fair garden

* a kitchen

* a dining place

* a laundry

* a first-aid post

* cleansing department

Asked what a school should be, he replied:

* a place for lectures and teaching

* a workshop for young and old - of both sexes

* a den of hobbies and indoor; games

* a studio for drawing, painting and plastics

* a music studio

* a hall for song and dance

* an educational shop window

* a reference library

* a picture gallery

* a museum

* a reading room

* a book stall for magazines and newspapers

* a club

* a refreshment bar

* an orchard

* an aquarium

* a vivarium

* a home for pets

* a playing field

* a gymnasium

* a bathing place

* a fair garden

* a kitchen

* a dining place

* a laundry

* a first-aid post

* cleansing department

* store sheds for raw materials.

Isn't that better (and more intelligent) than any possible Form S4 ?

Professor Colin Richards

1 Bobbin Mill

Spark Bridge

Cumbria

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