Thanks to Steve Bell
Shit governance, shit administration and shit values - welcome to the world of Gove. As Sec of State for Education he has done his damnedest to denigrate ‘hardworking teachers’ in the state sector while lauding the loony and the plain daft in his ‘free school’ scheme. A few more chickens have squawked back to the coop recently. A Headteacher for a free school in London has resigned this week. So what the cry goes up - heads resign all the time. Ah well - this one had not been trained as a teacher and was appointed as a head without being a teacher. 47% of free schools have unqualified staff. That bodes well for further down the line
The muslim free school in Derby continues to send shudders through Whitehall. Will Gove the Dogmatic see sense and close it down? Watch this space.
It is when it comes to state schools that Gove really takes the biscuit. As Min of Ed he is supposed to nourish and cherish our young people in schools across the nation. Not Gove. He cares about the 7% in private education and derides the 93% in state education.
“whatever the schools are really like, there is an overriding perception that they are terrible – and this has come straight from Michael Gove. The secretary of state for education has denigrated schools relentlessly, in word and in deed.
In his telling, local authorities know no standard except bog standard. Pupils consigned to their system will be lucky if they come out literate. Improvements in GCSE grades have no meaning, since they are the result of deflation in quality rather than hard work on the part of the students. School architecture is just more highfalutin liberal claptrap, governors are "local worthies seeking a badge of status and the chance to waffle about faddy issues", the national curriculum is a ball and chain, and teachers are part of a leftwing conspiracy. Indeed, dynamism will only be returned to the education system when schools are allowed to employ people without teaching qualifications, which 47% of free schools have duly done.
It is a vision so paranoid and destructive, so superstitious and vitriolic, that if he said it all in one speech you'd think you were listening to a guy in a sandwich board outside a tube station.” Zoe Williams, Guardian 10/10/13
Also for your delectation there is the matter of Gove’s Special Adviser - a certain Dominic Cummings, an alumni from the Malcolm Tucker school of advisers. This is what the Independent had to say about this creep:
“ He quickly gained a reputation as a ruthless and passionate advocate of Mr Gove’s education reforms, crossing swords with those who have criticised the plans, suggesting that journalists scrutinising policy are either lying or insane.” Independent. Who needs values and ideals when numpties like Cummings command such a presence?
What does all this mean? Ever since Jim Callaghan opened up the ‘secret garden’ to political interference things have been going from bad to worse.
“England is the only country in the developed world where the generation approaching retirement is more literate and numerate than the youngest adults, according to the first skills survey by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
In a stark assessment of the success and failure of the 720-million-strong adult workforce across the wealthier economies, the economic thinktank warns that in England, adults aged 55 to 65 perform better than 16- to 24-year-olds at foundation levels of literacy and numeracy.
...When the results within age groups are compared across participating countries, older adults in England score higher in literacy and numeracy than the average among their peers, while younger adults show some of the lowest scores for their age group.’ Guardian 8/10/13
There are observers who have put their finger on the issue:
‘It's such a shame that you haven't noticed the start of the decline started with the Tories 1988 Education Act. If you wish to note the start of the serial cock-ups you could check on the first national curriculum (Tory, binned within 2 years), followed by the second Tory national curriculum (binned after a further 2 years), or the third Tory National curriculum (binned after 3 years). These cock-ups each required schools to rewrite loads of in-depth documents (in teachers own time, whilst still doing the "day job").
Now let's think how old the pupils affected by this purely Tory car crash will be now ..... oh yes, less than 20, up to 27. Ring any bells, about a recent report?”The Great Ron Rafferty.