Ofsted: an offer we can all refuse

March 17, 2000

How courageous of Chris Woodhead to admit that "most of us accept much of our working lives as given. We stop asking questions and come to take working practices and the values that underpin them for granted".

If he really is suffering from this, he could subject himself to a dose of teaching quality assessment followed by one of the research assessment exercises and then a dose of the Quality Assurance Agency.

On the other hand, it might be simpler if he just learnt to be questioning, reflexive and professional in his approach to his work. That is what most good academics try to do.

But he may have meant to write "you" rather than "us" or "we". An easy mistake for a busy inspector to make, and I suppose the article might have been waffle without such a rhetorical trick.

Angus Erskine Senior lecturer in social policy University of Stirling

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