Education - Letter: `Unfair' inspection

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The Independent Culture
Your timely article "Council challenges Ofsted report" (The Independent, 23 September) demands reply.

My wife is a governor at Christchurch School, Sparbrook, which was recently declared a "failing school". I am chair of governors at the nearby LEA secondary school, of which Christchurch is a feeder school.

Christchurch School, in the most deprived ward in Birmingham is, as Tim Brighouse states and its SATS improvement testifies, a wonderful school. Your article quotes an Ofsted spokeswoman saying, "Ofsted is about more than just test results for a particular year". So it should be! But alas in this case (and others too?) inspection has been conducted and used in a way which is totally counter-productive to the raising of standards.

In disgust at the unfairness of this inspection, Christchurch's sole male teacher (and don't we need more of them?) has left the profession. A staff who, like most inner city teachers, slog their guts out to achieve modest "results' against heavy odds, are demoralised. Is the school now to have a judicial review, as the spokeswoman suggests? An apology from Chris Woodhead would be more fitting.

The Rev John Ray

Hall Green

Birmingham

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