Gove heckled by headteachers

Michael Gove has been heckled by delegates at the National Association of Head Teachers conference who are mainly opposed to the drive to turn schools into academies, SATS and difficult OFSTED inspections.

It’s right that schools should face tough OFSTED inspections.  We send our kids to school for a decent education – they don’t get a second chance.  The quality of their education determines their prospects in adult life, of course we should demand high standards.  I don’t want my childrens’ teachers burdened with unnecessary targets but I want them to be under constant pressure to achieve because the better they are, the better my childrens’ education will be.

I do agree that SATS are a bad idea though, as are exams as a whole.  Continual assessments are a much better way of assessing ability than performance under stressful exam conditions at a certain point in time.  The worst thing about SATS, though, is that they’re essentially useless – SATS are taken after secondary schools have made decided which kids they’re going to offer places to which negates their only real use which is to stream children into grammar schools.

Academies are a different matter entirely – they are absolutely the right way to go.  Headteachers are better at running schools than local council officers.  It takes years to the right qualifications and experience to be a headteacher, a council officer doesn’t.  It’s no co-incidence that the top performing schools in the country are outside of local authority control.  Headteachers who don’t have the ambition or competence to run a school without administrators at the local council telling them what to do should stand aside for someone who does.

3 comments

  1. J.Gasper (1 comments) says:

    Gove is a wash-out isn’t he? It would take a better man than that to turn around British education. It has gone downhill steeply in my lifetime. There are appallingly high figures for illiteracy and young people are ignorant, lacking in basic skills.

    • Geoff, England (22 comments) says:

      Gove’s only responsible for education in England (and Cornwall, before any Cornish readers complain). Education is a devolved matter, but even in the pre-devolution days, there was no single pan-UK education system. I don’t know how England’s system compares to the rest of the Divided Kingdom, but we’ve certainly, for several years, been reaping what we’ve sown. I’ve seen plenty of youngsters coming into the workplace with shocking levels of literacy and numeracy, not to mention a lack of handwriting and other skills. To my mind, leaving a couple of generations of children with such a poor education is state-sponsored child abuse on an industrial scale.

      • Ðave (21 comments) says:

        Ditto

        Working in a jobcentre I see at 1st hand the state of young people coming onto the job market. Frequently the first thing we do is refer them to basic literacy and numeracy courses to bring them up to speed.

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