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TOP SCHOOLS POST GOES TO WOODHEAD ADVERSARY

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David Blunkett, the education secretary, has appointed another adversary of Chris Woodhead, the chief inspector of ...
David Blunkett, the education secretary, has appointed another adversary of Chris Woodhead, the chief inspector of schools, to one of the top jobs in the campaign to improve school standards, reports The Guardian (p5).

Mr Blunkett is to announce shortly that David Hargreaves, professor of education at Cambridge University, will succeed Tim Brighouse, the chief education officer at Birmingham City Council, as joint vice-chair of the standards task force.

Mr Woodhead, the other vice-chairman, last month accused Prof Hargreaves of indulging in 'dangerous romanticism' when he argued that teachers should be pioneering new ideas to improve their classroom practice.

Meanwhile, Mr Blunkett yesterday offered an olive branch to the teaching unions when he told MPs that he might slow down the introduction of a new appraisal system - the first step towards performance-related play.

He told a Commons select committee: 'We are looking at how we can discuss with the profession the timescale of how we might deal with that, I am prepared to be flexible.'

Nigel de Gruchy, general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, welcomed the offer of breathing space. But the National Union of Teachers said it could not take away its objection in principle to linking appraisal and pay.

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