I have been reading a collection of intriguing articles entitled What Matters Most by the late Sir Chris Woodhead, a courageous and outspoken defender of real knowledge in a sphere where knowledge is not always given its due. Woodhead was a highly cultivated man, a former teacher of English, who was appointed Chief Inspector of Schools in 1994 during the government of Sir John Major. His appointment inaugurated a period of conflict between the Inspectorate and the collection of leftist educationists that Woodhead called ‘the Blob’ (after the 1958 horror film about an ever-expanding and all-consuming amoeba from outer space). The name, Woodhead writes, ‘captures the inert mindlessness and sullen, rubbery resistance of the professors and quangocrats and officials and consultants who make up the educational establishment’.
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