Gove: Lying or Deluded

Michael Gove at Chantry High School

Michael Gove at Chantry High School (Photo credit: Regional Cabinet)

 

This article was brought to brought to my attention this morning. In it Michael Gove some of the most self-deluded nonsense i have ever read (he also fails somewhat by spelling Massachusetts wrong!).

 

Gove tries to compare his private school education to that of high school children in Merseyside. He  complains the type of education he got at the fee paying, selection by exam Robert Gordon College is not what England’s state schools offer. Of course if he means that they do not offer an elite few an advantage over poorer or less able students, he’s right. The concept of Equality of Opportunity for all regardless of background is the foundation of state education and a total anathema to the private schools industry that Gove loves so much.

 

The Minister paints a picture that education in state schools is blighted by teachers, unions and local authorities that are striving to deprive state pupils of a good education.  He states that his government is ensuring that, “Every child can succeed” whilst at the same time setting up inflexible processes that will ensure that every child will not succeed.

 

He claims that he is recruiting more highly qualified teachers by which he means he is freeing up academies and free schools to employ non-qualified staff as teachers.

 

As far as the exam system is concerned Gove tells us he has restored “rigour” when in actual fact he means he’s rigged them, He’s devalued subjects like technology, drama, art and music. He has really show his ignorance over the new OFSTED inspection regime. In order to be graded better than “requires improvement” schools must now be above the national average. Now Mr Gove, I know I’m a maths teacher and you are, well an idiot really, but surely you understand that at anytime half of schools will be below average because that’s the nature of an average! Nothing will change that never, it’s a mathematical fact. Imagine if driving tests were judged in the same way. A student would take their test then wait until the end of the year to find out if they passed by being in the top half of candidates. Lunacy. Gove says he wants all schools to be good or outstanding but then sets up a system to ensure that can never happen. Why?

 

Gove complains about our country being held back internationally by low marks while at the same time his government  has withdrawn from international competition in everything except the financial sector. The very sector that destroyed our economy!

 

Performance-related pay is one of the biggest obstacles to improving standards yet. Teaching improves when teachers identify areas they need to develop and work with other to improve. That results in an improvement across a school.

 

Gove has built himself a legacy of destruction of education. He spouts on about liberty and cites Blair who talked about freeing schools from political interference. The truth is he interferes constantly for political gain and harks back  to an old system that failed the many and advanced the few.

 

At the start of this article I asked whether Michael Gove was Lying or Deluded, I think he’s both.

 

 

 


Bob Blizzard, Labour Candidate for Waveney Open Letter on Lowestoft Gridlock

Labour Candidate for Waveney, Bob Blizzard has spoken out about the ridiculous traffic situation in Lowestoft that is harming businesses and making residents lives a misery. Bob’s comments were made in an an open letter to The Lowestoft Journal, which is reproduced in full here from www.backbob.org with kind permission from Bob.

Dear Sir

Once again, everyday life in Lowestoft is being heavily disrupted by road works causing traffic chaos.
Business suffers and people are put off from coming to the town. We already know that many
residents of south Lowestoft shop in Beccles instead.

However, I can’t see the point in blaming Anglian water. We need and want our sewers to be
repaired so that people don’t suffer from flooding and foul sewage overflows. I remember, as
Waveney’s MP, on more than one occasion, pressing for work to be done to help residents in central
Lowestoft whose homes were regularly affected.

The gridlock caused by the current road works is further evidence of Lowestoft’s hopelessly
inadequate road network. Because traffic from all over town has to funnel into the harbour bridge,
any road works anywhere near it will bring the town to a standstill, when the only alternative bridge
is three miles away. It doesn’t have to be a bridge breakdown for us all to suffer.

The problem is that there is ONLY one place in Lowestoft to cross the river, except for the Oulton
Broad alternative with its railway gates. It’s not that there’s too much traffic wanting to get into the
town centre. If that were the case the shops wouldn’t be struggling. It’s simply that it’s all too often
a pain to get into town. That’s why fewer people are bothering and shops are suffering.

During my time as MP, the road infrastructure was improved by the South Lowestoft Relief Road
and the Northern Spine Road. A feasibility study was completed which showed that a third crossing
would meet the government’s benefit cost criteria and it designated the best location. But our
representative on the region’s transport prioritisation committee (Suffolk County Council) never put
the scheme forward.

Now we hear little about a third crossing. Instead, we are being fobbed off with a £6 million
footbridge. I fail to see how such a folly would help us overcome the disruption we are currently
suffering. Lowestoft will continue to struggle unless we get a third crossing.


Gove Accuses Schools Of Being, “Happy With Failure”

English: Michael Gove speaking at the Conserva...

Image via Wikipedia

Education Secretary Michael Gove has stepped up the Tory’s attack on teachers and state schools today by accusing anybody who opposes his academies programme of being, “enemies of promise” who are, “happy with failure”.

The government wants all schools to become academies saying that it will cut bureaucracy, free-up Head Teachers and improve standards. England’s worst performing 200 schools are set to be forced into academy status under powers granted the government in The Academies Act 2010.

At a speech at a London academy Mr Gove said: “The same ideologues who are happy with failure – the enemies of promise – also say you can’t get the same results in the inner cities as the leafy suburbs so it’s wrong to stigmatise these schools.

“Let’s be clear what these people mean. Let’s hold their prejudices up to the light. What are they saying?

“If you’re poor, if you’re Turkish, if you’re Somali, then we don’t expect you to succeed. You will always be second class and it’s no surprise your schools are second class.

“I utterly reject that attitude.”

Union Response

One union leader has described his comments as insult to teachers.

Logo of the NUT

Image via Wikipedia

Another, Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: “The assertion that the opponents of the government’s forced academy programme are ‘happy with failure’ is an insult to all the hard-working and dedicated teachers, school leaders, support staff and governors in our schools.

“If academy status brought the benefits claimed by the government why have so few of England’s schools opted to convert?

“The forced academy programme is about bullying schools into academy status against the wishes of school communities and their local authorities who are best placed to judge what support any particular school may need, not an external sponsor with an eye to the future profits to be made out of the government’s programme of privatising England’s schools.”

While Brian Lightman, the general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “It is not the act of academy conversion which raises standards in schools and ASCL strongly refutes the suggestion that all those who have not opted for conversion are ‘ideologues who are happy with failure’.

“There are many highly successful schools working with their local authority and partner schools; they are not the “enemies of promise” but professionals dedicated to improving the lives of young people.

“The keys to school improvement are excellent teaching and leadership and a relentless determination to stamp out failure.”