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Saturday, 11 November, 2000, 00:13 GMT
Woodhead delivers parting shot
Chris Woodhead
Chris Woodhead: Outspoken on education
The outgoing Chief Inspector of Schools in England, Chris Woodhead, has attacked the government for overloading schools with bureaucracy.

Mr Woodhead, who announced his resignation from his post as head of the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) last week, said morale in the teaching profession would rise when schools had the freedom to teach better.

I don't think actually that teacher morale will rise through people being nice to teachers

Chris Woodhead
He hit out at the "red tape" schools were made to deal with, adding that schools could only pursue so many initiatives at once.

Giving schools freedom and autonomy was "vitally important", he added.

Mr Woodhead is leaving Ofsted to become a consultant to The Daily Telegraph and others on education matters.

He said last week that he wanted to be able to speak out on education matters on behalf of head teachers who "want the freedom to manage their own schools".

He wanted the opportunity to say what he thought on education and a range of cultural and social issues, he said.

'Cut paperwork'

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Any Questions programme, on Friday, he said: "I don't think, actually, that teacher morale will rise through people being nice to teachers.

"I think it will rise when the amount of paperwork is cut down, when politicians recognise that, in primary schools in particular, only so many things can be done at once, only so many initiatives can be pursued. "

Mr Woodhead said teachers needed to have the autonomy to do things that they thought were right.

But he added: "Teacher morale really will rise when teachers teach better, because when teachers teach better children will learn more."

'Honest' reporting

Mr Woodhead said the implication of the government's reaction to his resignation was that the government wanted a "different relationship" between teachers and Ofsted.

"The implication is that the government wants a chief inspector who has a different relationship with schools, who sets out to encourage schools rather than what I've tried to do.

"What have I tried to do? Report honestly on what we find."

He insisted that Ofsted inspectors had "contributed to improvements in teaching".

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See also:

03 Nov 00 | Education
Woodhead wants freedom to speak out
03 Nov 00 | UK Politics
Woodhead a political time bomb
02 Nov 00 | Education
The man teachers love to hate
02 Nov 00 | Education
Schools watchdog Woodhead resigns
01 Nov 00 | Education
Woodhead spars with MPs
14 Sep 00 | Education
Heads join red tape boycott
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