I have been working on the Andrew Marr interview
with Nicky Morgan from 1st February since the text was made available, and it is very disturbing - I would welcome other comments on what was said. Given that this was the former Political correspondent of the BBC, in a key spot for opinion formers, then this is bound to have had influence. And what it showed clearly was that Marr had not read recent documentation in the public domain, and given that the interview was before the Cameron statement on the 2nd and the Clegg-Morgan statement on workload, the latter not mentioned at all, it was a curious timing.
The interview,downloadable here
, was both dismissive of the statement by SIr Andrew Dilnot on Morgan's disturbing use of statistics, and completely unaware of the criticism of academies by the Public Accounts Committee, the National Audit Office and particularly the select committee finding which was that academies did not improve performance.
These are specialist reports, but widely reported. Marr also accepted the claims made for the Tory project on primary schools without showing any sign of the comments made in the OFSTED annual report, that Primary Schools are doing well but the problems are now in secondary - largely academised - and accepted the concept of poor performance on literacy and numeracy which had been heavily criticized by Dilnot. Had Marr any idea what Dilnot had said?
It was striking that the debate on what had happened to performance tables in January totally passed Marr by, and his only comment was that some schools had gone down and this was unfair. Even the BBC news had changed this story on the day to note that the schools which fell were mainly high performing HMC schools doing the IGCSE. None of this came over.
It was an achievement getting the select committee and other bodies to note the academy problem, and there are important debates taking place over issues like league tables. They have all passed Andrew Marr by in my view, and this is reflected in the broadcast media overall.
I would appreciate observations from other LSN users, as the Public Accounts Committee is again in the news today, and we are placing a lot of store on these investigations. IF the BBC ignores them and other broadcast media also erect a stone wall around the facts, then we cannot hope to succeed.