Archives for Michael Gove

Gove Gone….. 7 top tips for the new Secretary of State for Education

Last Friday saw another round of inflationary gifts to teachers in England. As The Independent reported ,Tiffany bracelets, opera┬átickets – even a brace of pheasants – were given to teachers as the academic year drew to a close. But there was no doubting the gift that was most treasured by the vast majority of teachers: the removal of Michael Gove as Secretary of State for Education. His demotion provoked a range of reactions in keeping with the actions of the most divisive head of schooling that I can remember. While Twitter nearly self-combusted with excitement from the rump of educators …

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How To Kill Off Vocational Learning

I had a depressing experience this week. I’ll not name the school or the representative of BTEC that I worked with because, such is the fear surrounding the current culture of compliance, they may well be in trouble if I did so. I worked with a school which continues to offer vocational options for students. It’s been judged ‘outstanding’ by OFSTED but it recognises that a well-rounded offer should include a mix of academic (GCSE) and hands-on (BTEC) experiences. Except perhaps we should now label them ‘hands-off’. I started teaching in formal education through delivering BTEC courses, and I always …

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Do Schools Belong To Communities, Or To Governments?

Although I’ve spent the last 6 weeks working in Australia, I’ve been following the so-called ‘Trojan Horse’ story back home in the UK. This is a deeply disturbing case of political interference, whatever the outcome of current machinations (more below). I’ve written before about the need to take politics out of education, and the catastrophic effects of structures which emphasise accountability over trust. Others with much bigger audiences than I (Pasi Sahlberg, Diane Ravitch) argue along similar lines. The GERM (Global Education Reform Movement) that Pasi describes is wreaking havoc on the patient (public schooling) but, if anything, politicians are …

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