Today interview with the Education Secretary exposes the problems with the White Paper

Francis Gilbert's picture
Michael Gove's interview this morning with the Today programme exposed some serious flaws in the Coalition's education policies. In particular, his obsession with "on the job" training was shown to be deeply problematic. When it was put to him that Ofsted had said that university-based teacher training worked best on the whole, Gove argued that "on the job" training was better if it was in "outstanding" schools. Most PGCEs offer this provision at the moment, they also give students to work in less successful schools, giving those students a valuable insight into the range of schools out there.

His attitudes towards trained teachers are very confusing: only top graduates are allowed in certain circumstances but soldiers, many of whom don't have degrees at all, will have their training paid for. (BTW: The soldiers I've seen go into the classroom have had terrible times because they've wanted blind obedience and often got very wound up!)

Furthermore, untrained teachers are allowed in free schools. The policy on training teachers has no consistency whatsoever.

Gove also admitted that he'd changed his mind about making all schools "academies" or independent, admitting in a rather odd way that he embraces diversity.

Where I do agree with him is the need to have Science, Modern Foreign Languages, and a Humanities added to the GCSE list of required GCSEs. This can only be good news: every child needs to have this. Let's hope he gives schools the resources and time to implement this new policy properly.
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