The alternative Gove list

Janet Downs's picture
Education Secretary Michael Gove sent his opposition number a catalogue listing what this Government has done to education. I commented on the inventory here, here and here.

But there were items missing. I’ve given some of them below:

This Government has:

1 Overspent £1 billion on the academies programme.

2 Allocated £1.7 billion to the free schools programme up to 2014/15 (source NAO). But some free schools are being set up in areas where there are already surplus places.

3 Taken £400 million away from funds intended for intervention in underperforming schools (source PAC).

4 Misrepresented international test data to show that England was “plummeting” down league tables. The UK Statistics Watchdog has since censured the Government’s use of the test data.

5 Used dubious surveys to underpin its claim that English teenagers are ignorant of history.

6 Spent nearly half a million on free schools that didn’t open.

7 Said it is reforming exams at 16+ to match the world’s best but most developed countries have graduation at 18. (See faq above: What are the examination systems in other countries?)

8 Said English pupils need to spend more time in school because that’s what happens in far Eastern countries. But this isn’t true.

9 Promoted the fiction that maintained schools are under the “control” of local authorities when this hasn’t been the case since Local Management of Schools was introduced in 1990. And the Academies Commission found that non-academies can do most of the things that academies can do.

10 Encouraged academy chains to grow too quickly.

11 Maintained the fiction that sponsored academies perform better than similar non-academies. Henry Stewart’s research confirmed by academics and cited by the Academies Commission shows this isn’t true.

12 Said sponsored academies were responsible for the success of London schools. Not so – it was the London Challenge.

13 Announced that academy sponsorship turned round more schools than the actual number of academies.

14 Said that free schools would be “shock troops” that would “smash through complacency”. But, if Ofsted* is to be believed, three of the eleven free schools inspected so far require improvement and one is inadequate.

15 Cut all funding for the Children’s Improvement Board without notice and after promising funding for 2013/14.

16 Offered sweeteners to potential sponsors who would take over “failing” schools.

17 Rewritten press releases published some months ago.

18 Faced allegations of intimidation and bullying when forcing schools to become academies. MPs have received complaints about the behaviour of academy “brokers”.

There's other stuff relating to email accounts, unanswered Freedom of Information requests, Grace Brothers and "Yada, Yada"... but the above is enough to be going on with.

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

Be notified by email of each new post.

Add new comment

Already a member? Click here to log in before you comment. Or register with us.