Monitor: The Sunday newspapers on whether sex between teachers and students is `educative'

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CHRIS WOODHEAD, the Chief Inspector of Schools, has always been something of a loose cannon. Indeed, the occasional impetuosity of his attacks on low standards in the classroom is one of his virtues and part of his appeal. But his blundering and misguided comments on sex between teachers and pupils have almost certainly inflicted what could be terminal damage on is own position.

Mail on Sunday

IN THE furore over Glenn Hoddle, the Prime Minister hardly distinguished himself. But this time Tony Blair has the opportunity to look before he leaps. Mr Blair should consider carefully just what critics have popped out of the woodwork to demand Mr Woodhead's resignation. Are they calling for his head because they are guardians of the nation's morals? Or are these people defenders of vested interests, quick to seize their opportunity to deliver the coup de grace to a powerful enemy?

The Sunday Times

THERE IS a duty of care between teacher and pupil that should not be abused, and Chris Woodhead as a public official is a custodian of those values. On the other hand, 16 is the age of consent and affairs at colleges and universities between teachers and taught are as old as the institutions themselves. Woodhead's remarks were ill-considered, but not a hanging offence.

The Observer

IF TEACHERS were allowed to have sex with pupils between 16 and 18, then heaven knows what mega-creeps mightn't be attracted into the sixth- form teaching posts. On-the-make teachers could always say they'd give extra-good marks to those pupils who agreed to have sex with them - and extra-low ones to pupils who didn't. As for the idea that the process might be "educative", as Chris Woodhead said, should sex ever be educative? Educative sex should be left to the pupils themselves, not to groping adults who should be teaching their pupils who won the Battle of Hastings rather than where the erogenous zones are. (Virginia Ironside)

Sunday Mirror