Sir Chris Woodhead dies at 68

Published: Tuesday 23rd June 2015 by The News Editor

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Former chief inspector of schools Sir Chris Woodhead, who had motor neurone disease, has died, friends said today.

The 68-year-old, who was the top schools watchdog for six years until 2000 and had some fierce clashes with teaching unions, was diagnosed with the disease in 2006.

He resigned as chief schools inspector after a series of rows with then-education secretary David Blunkett.

Sir Chris said in 2009 that he would rather kill himself than die in agony from the disease.

He told the Sunday Times then that, as a former keen hiker who now walks with a stick and has trouble dressing himself, “the quality of one’s life is more important than its quantity”.

He said he had ruled out travelling to an assisted suicide clinic like Dignitas in Switzerland.

“The truth is, I would be more likely to drive myself in a wheelchair off a cliff in Cornwall than go to Dignitas and speak to a bearded social worker,” he said.

“I have no immediate plans to kill myself. The progress of the disease has been mercifully gradual. I hope that I have several years of reasonable life left.”

Sir Chris once said 4.2% of the teaching profession was not up to the job, earning him angry attacks from teaching unions.

Published: Tuesday 23rd June 2015 by The News Editor

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