Wilshaw's in town, all guns blazing

The latest folly to emerge from Michael Gove's contribution to our "enlightened" education circus is the unveiling of the new Ofsted supremo, a throwback to the days of the unlamented "superheads".

This specimen is variously quoted as espousing the view that "being a headteacher is all about being a lone warrior ... We need headteachers with ego ... We need heads who enjoy power and enjoy exercising that power". Perhaps criteria such as a firm understanding of various types of pedagogy for the differentiated needs of different pupils; of accessing and supporting individual learning trajectories; and the need for all hisher staff to be expert in the essential balancing of affective and cognitive domains for all pupils to be and to feel successful rather than just be measured, don't really count any more in Gove's vision of the future of education.

Professor Bill Boyle, School of Education, University of Manchester.

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