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BLUNKETT BACKS CHIEF INSPECTOR OF SCHOOLS

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Education secretary David Blunkett has refused to discipline chief inspector of schools Chris Woodhead following hi...
Education secretary David Blunkett has refused to discipline chief inspector of schools Chris Woodhead following his comments about education funding, reports The Guardian (p12).

Teacher union leaders called for Mr Woodhead's resignation after he told right-wing think tank Politeia on Tuesday there was 'no inspection evidence to suggest that schools as a whole are underfunded to do the job'.

His comments were described by Nigel de Gruchy, the general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, as 'a stab in the back' for Mr Blunkett during negotiations with the treasury to get a better deal for education in the government's comprehensive spending review.

But Mr Blunkett responded: 'I have no difficulty with what he [Mr Woodhead] said. Being misinterpreted does not warrant an apology... of course I don't expect him to resign, he is perfectly entitled to his views.'

Mr Woodhead said reports of his speech had been given a 'mischievous spin' and added: 'David Blunkett and I are of one mind. We believe that if the government can find more resources for education it will prove possible to solve some deep-seated problems that have frustrated the best intentions of teachers.'
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