Gove runs in the opposite direction to other countries – but he says he’s keeping pace with them

Janet Downs's picture
 17
If Michael Gove were a contestant in the Olympics he would run the wrong way round the track and disappear out of the stadium.

Yesterday in Parliament: Emma Reynolds (Wolverhampton North East) (Lab) asked Michael Gove what plans he has for the future of GCSEs and requested a statement.

Gove replied, “The coalition Government will shortly announce their proposals for the future of exams at 16; we hope to ensure that future examinations work in the interests of all young people. We need exams that will keep pace with the best in the world and meet the demands of children, teachers and employers.”

So he (and theoretically the coalition Government) will announce the proposals – no consultation, no debate – just diktat. Gove leaked his proposals to the Daily Mail towards the end of the summer term and says HE will tell pupils, parents and schools what HE has decided. HE’s already said that the exam boards must start preparing for the exams that HE wants.

At the time of the leak, TES reported that Ofqual chief regulator Glenys Stacey had advised the government that attempting to push through too many reforms at once risked “failure” and that a senior exam board official privately thought that the timescale for the changes as “madness”.

It is madness to rush through these changes. The shelved 2004 Tomlinson report on exam reform said it would take ten years of careful development, consultation, testing and evaluation before a new exam system could be devised. Gove wants to do it in a few months. He will inflict his outmoded idea of examinations onto the country’s school children while being completely out-of-step with the rest of the world. Not so much keeping pace as running on a different track altogether.

 
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Comments

Ricky-Tarr's picture
Wed, 05/09/2012 - 10:43

So he (and theoretically the coalition Government) will announce the proposals – no consultation, no debate – just diktat.

Errr....no.

Do you not understand the parliamentary process?

Rebecca Hanson's picture
Wed, 05/09/2012 - 12:43

Yes Ricky. Gove decides to make vast, ignorant, unconsulted changes and rams them through in just a few weeks with the help of the media. Consultations, where they occur, are completely pointless. Changes are which are supposed to be optional are not in fact because Ofsted and general tools of bullying and control are used as weapons to force them through.

It's an abomination of everything I believe British democracy should be.

Janet Downs's picture
Wed, 05/09/2012 - 12:55

Rebecca - TES ran an article a couple of weeks ago (can't find it online) which said Gove had already told the exam boards what he wanted and they thought the time-scale was too tight.

Unfortunately, I can't check the article (not being able to find it) so if anyone has linked evidence to either the article or other information which confirms (or refutes) this, then I'd be grateful.

Rebecca Hanson's picture
Wed, 05/09/2012 - 13:00

Ricky do you know what's going on at the DFE?

Gove stays - that's widely reported.

Hayes has gone - who's in for him?

Truss in for Loughton

Gibb? His wiki make it looks like he's gone?

Oareford still in?

Laws - does he have any responsibility? Is he finishing off the EYFS reforms?

Ricky-Tarr's picture
Wed, 05/09/2012 - 13:47

Matthew Hancock replaces Hayes.
Laws is schools minister, Gibb leaves.
Truss doing early years.

Rebecca Hanson's picture
Wed, 05/09/2012 - 16:40

Liz' wiki says she's in for Tim Loughton. What's happened to Loughton & Oareford's jobs then?

Rebecca Hanson's picture
Wed, 05/09/2012 - 23:00

Can anyone help? There doesn't seem to be anything official which seems crazy.

According to wiki David Laws is now doing both Nick Gibb's and Sarah Teather's jobs with just 1/3 of his time...... Truss in for Loughton, Hill still in. Hancock in for Hayes......

Clearly wiki is dubious but where's the official source?

Rebecca Hanson's picture
Thu, 06/09/2012 - 07:21

Here is a decent source - Truss in for Teather:
http://www.elizabethtruss.com/news/elizabeth-appointed-parliamentary-und...

Not good news for the many obvious benefits of young children having a parent around.

agov's picture
Thu, 06/09/2012 - 09:22

Laws did a lot of work on education in opposition for the LibDems.

On one TV interview, I think just before the election, Gove was asked whether he would be prepared to stand aside to allow Laws to become SoS for education to assist the formation of a possible coalition government. Gove said he would be happy to do so as they agreed on so much. I'm kinda guessing he know feels more possessive.

Laws was in fact appointed as Chief Secretary to the Treasury. From todays 'Daily Record':

"SMIRKING for the camera, disgraced MP David Laws took his seat back in the cabinet yesterday to a chorus of outrage.

Laws is back in the fold as an education minister two years after leaving the Cabinet for wrongly claiming £50,000 for accommodation expenses.

Laws was the first ministerial casualty of the coalition Government, resigning after just 17 days when it emerged he claimed allowances to pay his partner James Lundie rent for the London flat where they lived."

Rebecca Hanson's picture
Thu, 06/09/2012 - 07:25

No she's not is she? It's a new job title which is to do with children who are not yet 3 isn't it? It's EY not EYFS. So she won't be dealing with finishing off the FS reforms. Who's going to be doing that?

Rebecca Hanson's picture
Thu, 06/09/2012 - 07:27

+ it's a more junior role than Teather had - Sarah Teather was a minister and Truss is one level junior to that.

Rebecca Hanson's picture
Thu, 06/09/2012 - 07:31

This article seems good:
http://www.nurseryworld.co.uk/news/1148617/Elizabeth-Truss-appointed-ear...

I hear Gove is not happy with Laws in (radio 4 this morning). What does anyone know about Laws? I don't know him.

Rebecca Hanson's picture
Thu, 06/09/2012 - 12:04

Thanks agov.

Let's hope the difference between then is that Laws was actually serious about professional freedom in education rather than only being serious about using it as a media strapline while doing precisely the opposite.

I'm trying to be optimistic there. It's not a partisan thing, I just trying to clutch at any straw in the dark. If I'm wrong as I very well might be it'll become obvious soon enough.

Ricky why do you think Gove doesn't want Laws in?

Ricky-Tarr's picture
Thu, 06/09/2012 - 12:35

Gove really liked working with Teather and the Gibb/Loughton/Teather/Hill team became like a remarkably close family. It was all broken up brutally for reasons that had nothing to do with the performance of the individuals concerned or of the department. But that's politics: not fair and no gratitude.

As agov hints at - quite a lot of Tories still regard Laws as a crook who should have been prosecuted, not rehabilitated. (Too severe a judgment IMHO).

Laws is fairly sound on the big stuff - academies, free schools. Probably less so on exam reform. And with a foolish residual regard for LAs (though whether LibDem enthusiasm for LAs will survive the wipe out of its councillors isn't yet clear).

Laws may be closer to being a Tory than any other LibDem except Clegg, but if the second half of this period of coalition government is to be characterized by LibDems needing to emphasize their differences, then he could become a pain in the backside.

I expect he'll be kept very busy with visits and speeches.

Rebecca Hanson's picture
Fri, 07/09/2012 - 20:13

"Gove really liked working with Teather and the Gibb/Loughton/Teather/Hill team became like a remarkably close family."
I notice you're not suggesting that the love was reciprocated Ricky. Eyes give people away.

"It was all broken up brutally for reasons that had nothing to do with the performance of the individuals concerned or of the department. But that’s politics: not fair and no gratitude."
So Nick Gibb's excruciating track record had no link to his departure? Shame. To find it had would have given me some hope that someone in authority had some ability.

"Quite a lot of Tories still regard Laws as a crook who should have been prosecuted, not rehabilitated."
Are there any who actually believe Laws is worse than the Tories or is that just a line they're choosing/being persuaded to take for party political purposes Ricky?

"if the second half of this period of coalition government is to be characterized by LibDems needing to emphasize their differences, then he could become a pain in the backside."
I would replace 'emphasize' with 'less actively suffocate' Ricky - just for the purpose of engaging with reality which is, of course, the difference between your perspective and mine.

Thanks for the opinion anyway :-)

Ricky-Tarr's picture
Thu, 06/09/2012 - 09:02

There's also Edward Timpson.

Ricky-Tarr's picture
Thu, 06/09/2012 - 09:02

.... and Lord Hill stays.

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