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WOODHEAD BACKS TORY EDUCATION PLANS

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Chris Woodhead, the chief inspector of schools, has backed Conservative leader William Hague's policies for educati...
Chris Woodhead, the chief inspector of schools, has backed Conservative leader William Hague's policies for education, reports The Financial Times (p4).

The Ofsted chief said the Tory proposals - to give headteachers more power and to promote firmer discipline in schools - had 'struck a chord' with teachers.

Interviewed on GMTV, Mr Woodhead said: 'The teacher unions were supportive of the emphasis the Conservatives are putting on discipline and uniform. Serious discussion about education is being rescused for party political knockabout and that can only be a good thing.

'Good headteachers should be given the freedom to manage their own destiny and the final right to exclude, or not exclude, pupipls, and the interests of the majority must be kept right at the front.'

He added that he was pleased to see 'an emerging consensus across the parties' on the education system Britain wanted.

Meanwhile, The Guardian (p1,6&7) begins the third part of its series of articles focusing on education, with a look at the problem of truancy.

According to the Audit Commission, some 12,000 children a year are permanently excluded from school and a further 150,000 are excluded temporarily.

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