Writing in the Guardian
, Melissa Benn describes a meeting with a British education minister who ‘spoke eloquently of the necessity of a highly qualified teaching profession, free university learning and the vital importance of public education as a "societal, not just an individual, good"’.
Unfortunately, it was not Michael Gove but his counterpart in Scotland, Michael Russell.
Melissa writes: “Scotland has deliberately rejected what Russell accurately labels the Germ (Global Education Reform Movement)
approach so beloved of the coalition, with its commitment to privatisation, competition and deregulation.” Instead, Scotland has adopted a consensus approach rejecting the Germ model which is described by Pasi Sahlberg, education change activist and Director General of CIMO in Helsinki, as a virus
which infects education systems.
Scotland’s consensual approach is exemplified by the Curriculum for Excellence
(CfE), launched in 2011 in all Scottish state schools after many years of development involving teachers and practitioners. It took account of existing good practice, research and international evidence. CfE recognises the importance of teacher professionalism in exercising freedom and responsibility within a context of broader guidance.
Compare this more measured approach with Michael Gove’s “three initiatives before breakfast” hyperactivity underpinned by dubious rhetoric and misleading data
English pupils, undergraduates and parents deserve better.