Brit schools are on the verge of becoming Tesco-style identikits in which teachers are prevented from showing flair, warned a head-teachers' leader.
John Dunford, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, claims that the education system has become "over-centralized and over-bureaucratic" in recent years, with staff spending more time complying with new Government edicts than educating children
Speaking at the ASCL annual conference in Birmingham, Dunford revealed that schools were forced to deal with almost 80 new policy documents last year.
Also, local authority children's departments faced visits from Government advisers and inspectors up to 300 times in just 12 months.
Dunford said that it was "ironic" that ministers were trying to bring diversity into the education system by creating different types of schools, such as academies, and imposing more regulation at the same time.
"The truth is that diversity is a political pretense, a paper-thin cover for a system that has become over-centralized and over-bureaucratic," the Telegraph quoted him as saying.
"In this Tesco management model of England Schools plc, heads are the branch managers, teachers the shelf fillers and bursars the account technicians, part of a 'delivery chain' that is about as far from my vision of school leadership as it is possible to get, all summed up in that dreadful word 'compliance'.
"Compliance, I used to read in management books, is the lowest form of commitment, to be encouraged in those who have no job flexibility, no initiative and limited intelligence. Is this what ministers really want of their school leaders? I sincerely hope not. Yet that's how it sometimes feels," he added.