Ofsted chief `should resign'

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PRESSURE MOUNTED on the Government to suspend the Chief Inspector of Schools yesterday and launch a formal inquiry into claims that he had an affair with a pupil while a teacher at her school.

Labour MP Alice Mahon tabled a Commons motion accusing Chris Woodhead of lying and calling for him to resign.

The motion said Mr Woodhead "attempted to cover up an earlier relationship with a pupil when he was a teacher." And claims: "This renders him unfit to head Ofsted and calls for his immediate resignation."

Teachers' leaders responded by calling on David Blunkett, the Secretary of State for Education, to launch an inquiry.

Ms Mahon said: "I am not sure [Mr Woodhead] is fit to head Ofsted under the circumstances, not because of the affair but because of the attempt to mislead and cover up."

Mr Woodhead has consistently denied having an affair with Amanda Johnston in the Seventies while she was a sixth-form pupil at Gordano School near Bristol. Both Mr Woodhead and Ms Johnston insist their relationship only began after they had both left the school.

Yesterday, Nigel de Gruchy, general secretary of the National Association of School Masters Union of Women Teachers,said: "Any teacher subjected to such reports would immediately be suspended pending a proper investigation."

Mr Blunkett said: "Nothing has changed from my statement of the 7 February. Both Amanda Johnston and Chris Woodhead have previous sworn statements which refute these allegations." Mr Woodhead said: "There is nothing in these stories that has not been brought up before. I have nothing to add to the statement I have already made."