Thursday, 12 January 2012

"Twas brillig and the slithy Gove did gyre and gimble in the schools" [with apologies to Lewis Caroll]

The Sunday papers were full of Education Secretary Michael Gove's bullying of parents, staff & governors of Downhills primary school all of whom overwhelmingly reject Gove's determination to force the school to become an Academy.

The Observer reports [8th January]: In January last year 92% of Downhills parents who returned a questionnaire said: "I am happy with my child's experience at this school." Yet the Secretary of State, using one of 50 powers he has awarded himself under new legislation since the coalition came to power, claims to know better and is involved in a battle to force it to do as he says and submit. The school has now called in lawyers and is accusing the Secretary of State of acting illegally. Downhills is just one example. David Wolfe, the barrister acting for the school, is also representing three others in similar disputes with Gove over attempts to force them to become academies.

This should come as no surprise - just as a huge warning. On the BBC about a year ago he said " -- we are taking [an approach] which is different. We trust teachers and we trust Heads" Oh yeah? Talking to the Policy Exchange before the General Election [17th March 2010] he said that if CfBIT, SERCO and anyone else wanted to set up a new school they will be allowed to. He has always intended to bring the profit motive into education.

Commenting on the story 'Shoutfromthebows', attended a speech by Gove at Haberdashers Aske & noted that that schools curriculum was " a straightforward description of the primary curriculum which I see week in week out in maintained schools" So there's a 'nil' difference to ponder. There may or may not be anything inherently wrong with academies - that is a separate argument. What is scary is the Ve haf vays of making you OBEY adopted by this man who belongs to a Party which pretends to believe in giving to ordinary people some control over their lives. Big Society - big joke - big con.

Gove's success in driving through change is fast making him a darling of the Conservative Right and the party's grassroots. He was recently awarded the title of politician of the year by ConservativeHome website, based on a poll of its readers. The one thing the Tory Right is afraid of is that Gove might have a big beast LibDem put alongside him. Be afraid, be very afraid & desert the LibDems for Tories at your peril.

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