Michael Gove

Our ideologically driven curriculum fails the test | Letters | Education

No one who knows anything about education – a category that rarely includes government ministers – could disagree with the main thrust of your editorial (The gap between rich and poor pupils is not the only thing wrong with GCSEs, 12 February). In particular, you are right to point out “the inadequacy of a whole mode of thinking about education, according to which anything that cannot be audited can appear virtually without meaning”. However, it is simplistic to imply that…

Read More

Schools should brace for five years of upheaval from a triumphant party with Gove at its heart | Melissa Benn | Education

The election campaign is now in a bygone decade but we are still not much clearer about what the Tories have in store for education over the next five years. The relevant section of the Conservative manifesto was, at just 646 words, deliberately vague, and seemed oriented towards perceived Labour policy weaknesses – on Ofsted and discipline – rather than on any real plans for education. Not a word on the future use of the pupil premium, nor the burden…

Read More

Dear Sir, I’m sorry: letters of apology to former teachers | Education

Tim Dowling Brien McMahon High School, Norwalk, Connecticut Dear Ms Papastathis,I would like to apologise for my behaviour in 10th-grade Language Arts, fifth period, specifically on that afternoon when I point-blank refused to offer a view about the use of symbolism in The House of the Seven Gables. It must have seemed strange the way I just stared at my folded hands, allowing an uncomfortable silence to ripen, especially after my friend Pete, who was sitting two rows in front…

Read More

Technical schools lavished with Gove funding criticised by watchdog | Education

Technical schools set up with lavish public funds by Michael Gove are half full and often score lower results than other secondaries, Whitehall’s spending watchdog has found. University technical colleges (UTCs), a type of free school focusing on teaching students who are usually aged between 14 and 19, were also less likely to be rated as good or outstanding by Ofsted, a report by the National Audit Office said. The UTC programme has cost £792m since it was launched in…

Read More

Where will our working-class playwrights come from, now the arts have been sidelined? | Selina Todd | Education

The playwright Shelagh Delaney shot to fame when her debut work, A Taste of Honey, first performed in 1958, turned into a runaway success. She was just 19. The play told the story of a single mother, Helen, and her teenage daughter, Jo, who wanted more from life than marriage and motherhood in the slums. It has rarely been off the stage since and is currently being revived in a National Theatre tour. Fascinated by the work and its Salford-born…

Read More

Politically literate citizens seem to be a problem for Michael Gove | Laura McInerney | Education

From the vast compendium of Michael Gove’s arrogant moments as education secretary one has been on my mind these last few weeks. He was never a fan of citizenship as a subject – the one that teaches children the rules of democracy – and, once in office, set out to slim the curriculum and get rid of “political fads”. You know, such as teaching young people the rules politicians must follow even when their plans are fading in front of…

Read More

Teaching workload: requires improvement | Letters | Education

Your editorial (19 September) begins to unpick some of the reasons why retention and, in some areas, recruitment are such a problem in this beleaguered and overwhelmed profession. Successive attempts to address this problem have failed to grasp the true causes which are, depressingly, characterised by the report of the leaked government document advocating swapping “workload-inducing practices for evidence-based approaches”. This, like all the other initiatives, is an attempt to shift the responsibility for this matter on to schools, thereby…

Read More

Michael Gove’s legacy and his No 10 destiny | Brief letters | Education

Last week we witnessed one of the saddest responses from a primary school child (aged seven) that we’ve ever heard. The class was involved in a philosophy for children session when they were asked: “What is a feeling?” A hand shot up and immediately came the answer: “It’s an abstract noun!” All around nodded in agreement. Gove’s legacy?David NattrassKings Meaburn, Cumbria • Visitors to Mulhouse (Letters, 27 May) should not miss the Musée du Papier Peint (Wallpaper History Museum) in…

Read More