Michael Gove’s advisers asked civil servants at the Department for Education (DfE) to create a database containing names of head teachers who supported Government policies, the Guardian
reports. The Stakeholder Advocacy Group (SAG) was set up last year but later disbanded when civil servants became worried that they could be breaking the Civil Servants’ Code which requires political impartiality. There was also unease about how names on the database were chosen.
It’s likely that most of the head teachers chosen were at schools judged Outstanding. There were hundreds to choose from – 20% of English schools were Outstanding
according to Ofsted. However, being a head of an outstanding school alone would have been insufficient. Heads would need to be willing to act as advocates in DfE PR campaigns.
It’s not likely that any head teacher would be listed if s/he opposed Coalition policies. There might even be a second database called, say, Heads Opposing Policies in Education (HOPE), containing names of heads who vocally contest these strategies – such heads would be singled out for punishment, not praise.
Let’s hope that those who would be on the HOPE database speak louder so everyone can hear.