Chris Woodhead

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Sir Chris Woodhead
Born
Christopher Anthony Woodhead

(1946-10-20)20 October 1946
Cockfosters, London, England
Died23 June 2015(2015-06-23) (aged 68)
Cockfosters, London, England
Cause of deathMotor neurone disease
NationalityBritish
Known forChief Inspector of Schools

Sir Christopher Anthony Woodhead (20 October 1946 – 23 June 2015) was a British educator. He was head of Ofsted, the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills, from 1994 to 2000. Ofsted is a non-ministerial department of the UK government. The head of Ofsted is also Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools in England, which is a crown appointment.[1]

Career[change | change source]

Woodhead graduated in English at the University of Bristol, where he also took a PGCE.[2] He obtained a Master of Arts in English from Keele University in 1974.

In 1976, he left teaching, allegedly as the result of an affair with a sixth-form pupil, something he always denied.[3] Later, he moved into teacher education.

Woodhead was one of the most controversial figures in debates on the direction of English education policy.[4] Woodhead advocated "traditional teaching methods". He took a scornful view of "progressive educational theories" introduced into English schools from the 1960s onwards.

He was Chairman of Cognita, a company dedicated to fostering private education, from 2004 to 2013.[5]

Death[change | change source]

Woodhead died after a nine-year battle with motor neurone disease, aged 68.

Books[change | change source]

  • 1984. Nineteenth and twentieth century verse: an anthology of sixteen poets. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198312475
  • 2002. Class War: the state of British education. Little, Brown. ISBN 9780316859974
  • 2009. A desolation of learning: is this the education our children deserve?. Harriman House. ISBN 9780956257307

References[change | change source]

  1. The Chief Inspector is appointed by royal decree.
  2. PGCE = Postgraduate Certificate of Education
  3. Bright, Martin (2 May 1999). "Woodhead feels the heat". The Observer. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
  4. The Times 3 February 1997 Valerie Grove interview
  5. "Executive Team". Cognita. Retrieved 14 April 2011.

Other websites[change | change source]