On Tuesday morning cheers were heard in every school staffroom in England when the Prime Minister’s sacking of his best friend as Secretary of State for Education was announced.
What Michael did - by Dr Jon Berry - Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Hertfordshire neatly explains everything we hate about Mr Gove, and why he leaves us with the deserved reputation as one of the most vilified and derided of Secretaries of State in living memory.
A few more sample quotes from this excellent piece:
What Gove failed to tell us was that this so-called freedom and autonomy could only be enjoyed on a ‘comply or die’ basis.
For Gove to have pretended that he considered teachers and their profession as ‘noble’ is a grotesque lie. Nothing illustrates this more clearly than the insult implicit in the notion that a well-meaning amateur can get on with the job of teaching as well as a trained professional.
we have the best generation of teachers ever, largely trained through Higher Education providers, but we’ll make matters so much better by opening up the market to allow any old cheapskate to train our teachers
in a document dealing with the training of these outstanding teachers, amongst all the talk of financial incentives, open markets for providers and the value of in-house training (‘justified’, incidentally, by some of the shoddiest research and sources it has ever been my misfortune to investigate) the term ‘pedagogy’ is not used at any point.
Gove was either stupidly loyal to some overly colourful characters or a touch careless in his choice of companions
All of the above would be good knockabout stuff if it weren’t for the fact that the utter commitment of Gove and his party to the free market as the driver for our children’s education has led to the daylight robbery of assets, taxes and funding - money that should be in the public purse - being siphoned off to a ragbag of vainglorious profiteers and ideologues.
Gove has sent the message to them that unless they’re good at a narrow band of subjects (the ones which he and his chums so enjoyed in their halcyon school days) their achievements count for nothing.
He has told them that if, by dint of their hard work and commitment, they have done well in examinations, that those examinations are too easy and their certificates worthless. He has raised the stakes on the need to pass examinations at one final sitting, removed a range of skills such as speaking and listening and, in a way that utterly typifies his time in office, has consistently ignored the advice and experience of teachers and academics.
As he spends his days in the Chief Whip’s office, whispering sweet policy nothings into the ear of his leader, Gove will not be giving us a further thought. Like the dangerous driver who has left a trail of devastation in his wake and is oblivious to his actions as he ploughs merrily onwards, the young people and teachers whose lives he has so damaged will cause him not one moment of concern.
So, now we have to start again….