down and out?

Andrew Marr, on his programme this morning, alluded to the difficulties the Coalition has found itself in over recent weeks, forced into U-turns and climb-downs on flagship policies such as the Tuition Fee increase, the NHS overhaul and the alterations to the Justice Bill… and then referred to the “quieter revolution” taking place in the Education System.

WHY is this such a so-called “quiet revolution”? How can it come to pass that the Education Secretary is allowed to drive an ideological coach-and-horses through the system, basing his schemes on scant reference to cherry-picked data and the copy-pasting of the (so-called) “Best Of” other countries’ curriculum ideas?

I think any right-minded educator currently working in the UK system would acknowledge that an ongoing process of improvement and development is vital. This is why teachers are appraised (by their peers), and schools draw up School Improvement Plans (based on discussion amongst colleagues and Senior Management teams), which are a way of ensuring continual progress towards a perceived end: the better education of our young people…all of this with a foundation in sound PEDAGOGICAL approaches, themselves constantly improved, tweaked, added to…on a classroom, department, faculty, school level.

But does any of this need a meddling Education Secretary at the helm, incessantly chucking his oar in with (at best) ill-informed contributions to educational debate and (at worst) an apparent – i.e. not very well-hidden! – agenda to implement a two-tier, academy-driven system which will go a long way to ensuring the future cloning of the next generation of Tory voters. (Incidentally, alongside the gerrymandering of electoral boundaries and the reduction of the maximum electoral contribution of individuals or organisations – e.g. unions – to £50,000…)

To take an analogy on a similar scale: Belgium has managed pretty well since “deciding” to cope without a government interfering in the everyday lives of its population. What price an education system in the hands of the educators, removed from the sweaty control of a figure who, increasingly, merely provokes responses ranging from nausea to ridicule…from outrage to downright RAGE…from those he is supposed to support?

Mr Gove says he is presiding over the best ever generation of teachers. Get out of the way, then – let us do our job! The flourishing network of TeachMeets, Educational Forums, Show & Tells – not to mention the blossoming PLNs on Twitter – show quite how healthy the national “conversation” around education is – and you are NOT PRESENT in this arena! If you REALLY have the future of your daughter and the rest of the young people of the UK in mind, and have not simply got over-enamoured with the sound of your own voice, YOU MUST GO!

Please follow the hashtag #govemustgo on Twitter.


One response to “#govemustgo

  • John Connor

    Right on bro! I’ve just come from a training session with primary and secondary colleagues. The amount of bile voiced about #gove was quiite extreme even given my thoughts on the subject. The consensus is that the man is a dangerous ideologue who has no idea about how schools work, who has an agenda driven by a view of education firmly locked into the 1950s, and whose pronouncements are riddled with contradictions. Want to be an academy and teach what you like? Great, but here’s the National Curriculum and the EBacc. Let’s make it more difficult to become a teacher, but if you work in a free school you don’t need to be qualified, and any parent can go into a school as long as it’s to break a strike – forget 1st and 2nd class degrees, CRB checks, and llteracy and numeracy tests. ICT tests are to be dropped because they’re “no longer necessary”. Really? In the 21st century? If he really supports teachers as he claims to do, the LET THEM GET ON WITH THEIR JOBS. Scrap league tables and recognise that colleagues who work in schools that are in categories or challenging circumstances do a phenomenal job. #gove believes that the schools with the best exam results are by definition the best schools. That leaves me speechless with fury. #gove has lost the confidence of the entire teaching profession as a result of these asinine pronouncements delivered without any consideration of the implications. Nothing is thought through, and policies announced on the hoof often clash. The man has no vision, and any school that tries to operate without a vision is pilloried – another contradiction. Add in the U-turns and the judicial reviews and you get a picture of utter incompetence. But why is he still there, when the likes of Lansley and Clarke have been hung out to dry? The worry is that he will cling to his post until he has done untold damage to the life chances of generations of children. The other worry is that if he goes in a cabinet reshuffle, who will we get? Eric Pickles? George Osborne? Teresa May? I wouldn’t piss on any of them if they were on fire.

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