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.