Head of Ofsted 'monster' spits fire at committee of MPs

November 3, 2000

Ofsted chief inspector Chris Woodhead defended his controversial habit of commenting on education issues when he appeared before MPs this week.

In often heated exchanges with MPs, he told the House of Commons education select committee he would not be censored and would continue to speak out when he felt it necessary.

Mr Woodhead said Ofsted was accountable and joked that it was up to MPs to reform "this monster that Parliament has created" if they thought it necessary.

After Mr Woodhead clashed with Liberal Democrat MP Evan Harris, the committee chairman, Barry Sheerman, told Mr Woodhead that he was being offensive and demanded that he apologise.

Dr Harris had asked Mr Woodhead how it was possible to say that A levels had to get harder and at the same time to insist that they were were not too easy.

Mr Woodhead said: "I'm sorry if you find it too difficult to hold those two propositions in your head."

He attacked the government's approach to degrees as being too concerned with whether they led directly to jobs or not.

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