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Thursday, 19 July, 2001, 15:22 GMT 16:22 UK
Ofsted chief extends his contract
Mike Tomlinson
Mr Tomlinson was more popular among teachers than Chris Woodhead
Mike Tomlinson, the chief inspector of schools in England, is to step down from the position in April next year - five months later than agreed.

Mr Tomlinson was appointed to the job for one year on 1 December 2000 when his predecessor Chris Woodhead announced his resignation.

Chris Woodhead
Mr Tomlinson stepped into the shoes of the controversial Chris Woodhead
Mr Tomlinson's co-operative approach to Ofsted school inspections made him popular with teachers and their union representatives, many of whom disliked what they saw as the antagonistic approach of Mr Woodhead.

The unions hailed his appointment - on a salary of 105,000, with a performance-related bonus available at the end of his period in the post - as the dawning of a new ethos at Ofsted.

But Mr Woodhead himself was critical of the Tomlinson approach, saying an inspection "had to be rigorous, had to be judgmental".

Recruitment process

The recruitment process for Mr Tomlinson's replacement will begin in September.

The Education Secretary, Estelle Morris said: "I am grateful to Mike Tomlinson for agreeing to extend his one-year appointment by 5 months".

"The extension, until 30 April 2002, will give continuity to the review of the school inspection system in which he will be playing a major part this autumn," Ms Morris said.

"It will also enable him to prepare and publish his annual report for 2000/01," she said.

A former teacher, Mr Tomlinson has been a member of Her Majesty's Inspectorate since 1978 and has been a senior figure in Ofsted since it was established in September 1992.

Mr Tomlinson has been involved in restoring the education system in Kuwait after the Gulf War and has helped develop a school inspection strategy in China and Mexico.

He was awarded the CBE in June 1997.

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See also:

09 Feb 01 | Mike Baker
A new inspector calls
16 Nov 00 | Education
New head of Ofsted confirmed
01 Dec 00 | Education
New Ofsted chief says sorry
02 Nov 00 | Education
The man teachers love to hate
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