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Chris Woodhead. Legacy for our children? Discuss.

(15 Posts)
TalkinPeace Tue 23-Jun-15 19:17:59

I think what he did was needed but he did not pay enough attention to evidence.

prh47bridge Tue 23-Jun-15 22:35:24

I used to advise Chris on admissions matters for his "Answer the Question" column in the Sunday Times. I contacted him after he published an answer based on advice from a lawyer that was spectacularly wrong. Unfortunately I never met him - his illness meant he was never able to fulfil his promise to meet me over lunch some time. Our last contact was less than a month ago. I shall miss his occasional emails.

I agree that what he did was necessary. I don't know whether he would have achieved as much with a less confrontational style. But he took on vested interests and changed things. Sadly I think Ofsted is less effective now than it was during his tenure. Some inspectors seem to promote teaching methods that Chris abhorred.

CamelHump Tue 23-Jun-15 23:23:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cressetmama Wed 24-Jun-15 02:40:58

has he died?

CamelHump Wed 24-Jun-15 05:08:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

prh47bridge Wed 24-Jun-15 05:14:42

Inspectors are not supposed to support or reject any teaching methods

True but a study by Civitas last year found extensive evidence of schools being criticised for failing to prioritise "progressive" teaching methods and found many reports explicitly marking down structured, teacher-led lessons. They found that the number of references to "progressive" methods in reports dropped in 2014 but concluded that reports had simply been redrafted to remove signs of bias rather than there being any real change in approach.

CamelHump Wed 24-Jun-15 05:32:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

prh47bridge Wed 24-Jun-15 05:59:19

The report can be found here.

Feenie Wed 24-Jun-15 07:01:14

His affair with a sixth former as a married teacher would have seen him in prison for two years under current laws.

Feenie Wed 24-Jun-15 07:03:00

kesstrel Wed 24-Jun-15 14:46:34

I believe he was very keen for David Blunkett to introduce phonics teaching, or at least to introduce a trial of it in a limited area. Instead we got the National Literacy Strategy, officially embedding look and guess multi-cueing strategies that had no evidence to support them. Given the improvement in literacy scores at Key Stage 1 since phonics was introduced, especially for children with SEN, I suspect that 10 year gap accounted for a hell of a lot of children with unnecessarily poor reading and spelling skills. And there appear to still be large numbers of teachers who continue to tell children to use multi-cueing strategies.

KrispyKremeYumYum Wed 24-Jun-15 15:24:37

I am no expert but his Sunday Times column always seems to strike a note of common sense to me.

thankgoditsover Wed 24-Jun-15 16:14:54

I used to find his Sunday Times column given to rather breathtaking generalisations along the lines of 'children in private primaries are working far ahead those in state schools' or 'if you are lucky enough to live in a grammar school area'. These thoughts were presented as fact

Sometimes his connection to Cognita, a group of profit-making private schools that I personally would give a wide berth, was overt.

saintlyjimjams Thu 25-Jun-15 00:16:46

I met him very briefly a couple of times & was surprised to like him (as he sort of started everything I hate about education in the UK today). He came across as warm & caring with a good sense of humour (all of which was a bit of a surprise). Horrible illness, I hope the end was peaceful.

Pepperpot99 Sun 28-Jun-15 09:02:34

The only thing I will remember him for was having sex with one of his sixth formers. Not the greatest legacy.

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