Letter: Too many exams

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The Independent Culture
Sir: I am accused by an anonymous critic (letter, 18 June) of simplifying profound problems. I cannot be held responsible for The Independent's headline "Poor schools blamed on headteachers", which does not reflect Ofsted's report on secondary education. Our report in fact states very clearly that standards are rising and that the teachers responsible deserve all possible recognition and praise.

That said, we do not find many failing schools led by strong headteachers and the appointment of a new head is often, of course, the catalyst to progress. When I asked why my critic wanted to remain anonymous I was told that he did not want to prejudice positive developments in the school. He recognises, therefore, that inspection can lead to improvement, even if he himself was unable to deliver.

CHRIS WOODHEAD

HM Chief Inspector of Schools

Office for Standards in Education

London WC2

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