Michael Gove

Michael Gove attacks the vested interests in education in the UK

Michael Gove has attacked the vested interests in education in the UK. the same issues are facing us here in New Zealand, especially with teacher unions.

Education standards risk being undermined “by vested interests determined to hold back reform”, Michael Gove has said on the eve of a major national teachers’ strike.

In a swipe at classroom unions, the Education Secretary says attempts to reform schools have “not always been easy” because too many teachers believe “things must stay the same”.

Writing for The Telegraph, Mr Gove says large numbers of pupils across Europe – including England – are facing a bleak future unless extra effort is made to raise standards and create more equal access to good schools.

He says teaching standards must improve because too many children are still attending schools that “aren’t good enough”.

The comments are made in a joint article with education ministers from Spain and Portugal as a major international conference is staged in London on Wednesday – just a day before Britain’s biggest teaching union prepares for a national strike over Coalition education reforms.

Education ministers, teachers and school leaders from seven countries are expected to attend the summit co-hosted by the Department for Education.

It is expected to place renewed focus on a series of Government education policies including the creation of a new generation academies and free schools, more freedom for head teachers, an overhaul of the curriculum and a new-style league tables focusing on achievement in core subjects.

Mr Gove has also introduced a wave of reforms aimed at teachers including raising the bar on entry to the profession and a new system of performance-related pay.

The reforms have been met with furious opposition from classroom unions who claim Mr Gove has turned teaching into one of the worst jobs in the world.

On Thursday, the National Union of Teachers will stage a one-day strike across England and Wales in protest over performance-related pay and escalating workload.

It threatens to shut around a quarter of state schools and lead to the partial closure of many more – forcing millions of parents to take the day off work or seek emergency childcare.

But writing in the Telegraph, Mr Gove said the Coalition’s reforms were typical of those being pursued across Europe and the developed world. Read more »

10 examples of when it’s still OK for a white person to use the “N” word

James Delingpole explores the outrage over Jeremy Clarkson reciting a child’s rhyme that contained the dreaded ‘N-word’…because apparently we can’t be grown up enough to use the word nigger to describe what it is that Jeremey Clarkson actually said with offending people who are easily offended.

He has found 10 examples of the use of the word by white people that doesn’t mean that you are a car carrying member of the Ku Klux Klan or that mob of black shirt wearing pansies who in Christchurch.

1. In a quiz, when they’re asked the name of Guy Gibson’s dog in The Dambusters – or, indeed, X 3, the code phrase used by the Lancaster pilots to signal that the dams had been successfully breached.

2. When you’re quoting the name of an Agatha Christie thriller.

3. If someone asks you what NWA stands for.

4. It’s your Latin class and you’re saying the word for “black”.

5. You’re starring as a nasty white person in a liberal-guilt-porn movie such as Twelve Years A Guardian Reader and you are required to make your character more realistic and unpleasant.

6. You’re recalling a great Clint Eastwood scene from Escape From Alcatraz.

7. You’re talking about the funniest moment in the entire history of South Park, when Randy appears on Wheel Of Fortune and the clue is “People who annoy you” – and the word is “N-GGERS”

8. You have become so immersed in rap culture that you think you are black and start referring affectionately even to your white friends as “Homes”, “bro”, “blud”, or “mah niggah”.

9. You are an outspoken controversialist who loathes the stultifying effects of political correctness and wants to test its boundaries.

10. You are in a kitchen with friends, discussing the Jeremy Clarkson “N-word” “scandal”, trying to remember exactly what decade it was that the “N-word” in Eeny Meeny Minie Mo went off-limits.

Read more »

Perhaps Hekia could implement this here

Michael Gove is by far the best minister of education that has ever lived in modern times.

Unlike Hekia, who like to attend conferences with union hacks, the UK has Gove who is tuned into what parents want and cares not a jot if it upsets the union barons, the politically correct, the right on social set or whoever…he cares about kiddies getting a great education.

On that note he has said that there will be professional consequences for crusading principals who continue to use children as political pawns in their political games.

Headteachers who brainwash children with green propaganda are breaking the law, Michael Gove has suggested.

The Education Secretary has read ‘with concern’ a report which accused ‘activist’ teaching staff of trying to turn pupils into ‘foot soldiers of the green movement’.

It found the marks children were awarded in exams depended on  ‘parroting’ the green agenda. And many widely-used textbooks included inaccurate examples.

A spokesman for Mr Gove said: ‘The Secretary of State read this report with concern.

‘Schools should not teach that a particular political or ideological point of view is right – indeed it is against the law for them to do so.’

The study, by a think-tank set up by former Tory Chancellor Lord Lawson, warned that ‘eco-activists’ in the education system were urging  children to use ‘pester power’ to ensure parents are forced to adopt lifestyle choices dictated in schools.

‘We find instances of eco-activism being given a free rein within schools and at the events schools encourage their pupils to attend,’ it said.

‘In every case of concern, the slant is on scares, on raising fears, followed by the promotion of detailed guidance on how pupils should live, as well as on what they should think.’

The Global Warming Policy Foundation report, by Andrew Montford and John Shade, described the teaching of climate science in British schools as ‘disturbing’.  Read more »

Shock! Labour gets stuck into teachers

Alas, only in the UK.

It seems Labour in Britain is aware that Michael Gove is a hero to many with his education reforms, and they want a bit of the action.

Teachers would have to be licensed and could face the sack if they fail to meet tough new standards, the shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt has pledged.

In a sign of how Labour hopes to outflank education secretary Michael Gove on teaching standards, Hunt is to revive a plan the last government abandoned on the eve of the 2010 general election.

Teachers would have to show they are meeting the high standards and would be required to undergo training to update their skills.

Under Hunt’s plans, teachers would have their lessons assessed by other teachers in a system overseen by a new Royal College of Teaching.    Read more »

Bludging teacher ratbags

Michael Gove has finally pushed the teacher unions into strike action.

Teacher unions are the same the world over. no matter the results they claim they have a world-renowned system, refuse all changes, and oppose any competition to their entrenched old school ways of protecting mediocrity and rewarding tenure.

Moreover they always claim their work load is high yet enjoy the longest holidays of any “profession”. In short they are bludging ratbags.

The two big teaching unions in England and Wales confirm more walkouts over pay, pensions and workload.

Teachers are to stage a one-day national walkout in the autumn in a continuing row over pay, pensions and workload, it was announced today.

Every region in England and Wales will be affected by regional strikes in the first and third week of October, the NASUWT and the National Union of Teachers (NUT) said.

This will be followed by a national strike later in the term.

The announcement comes just weeks after the two unions staged a regional walkout in the north west.

The Government has condemned the action.   Read more »

Michael Gove goes totally gay

Miichael Gove has done wonders in education in the UK, but he has finally made a silly mistake.

He has gone totally gay banning the word gay. If he has his way I would be able to say Craig Foss has a gay ute.

Michael Gove, the impressive Secretary of State for Education, has just decreed that the term “gay” cannot be used as an insult. It’s “outrageous and medieval” to do so.

I wonder what he’d have done at the fabulous wedding we attended, last Saturday. A young guest in morning suit used his iPhone to snap a friend in similar attire. He peered at the result: “Oooooooh you look sooooooo gay!” The word, clearly, was interchangeable with “naff” and “chav”: but henceforth, if Mr Gove gets his way, would it land the boy on a sinister register of “hate speakers” – disqualifying him as an applicant for just about any job?

Only the day before, as he faced UK immigration officials, Mr Tony Miano had been afraid of precisely that: was his name on a secret register, and would he be stopped from leaving the country? The American street preacher had been arrested outside Centre Court shopping centre in Wimbledon on July 1. He had been reading from St Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians, which condemns homosexuality. A passer-by called the police. Three officers arrived and arrested Mr Miano, a retired deputy sheriff from California, for disorderly conduct.   Read more »

If you listen very closely, you can hear the UK teachers squealing from here

Michael Gove has struck again and the industrial strength whining and howling you can hear is the teacher unions in the UK.

The traditional six-week summer holiday could be axed after all state schools were given new powers to set their own term dates, it emerged today.

Schools across England will be given complete freedom to dictate the shape of the academic year as part of a Government drive to devolve more powers to head teachers.

The move – contained in the newly published Deregulation Bill – will signal the end of local authority control over term times.

It paves the way for individual schools to introduce longer terms and cut the length of holidays.

The reforms come just months after Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, called for schools to open for longer and reduce the six-week summer break, warning that the education system was being “handicapped” by a 19th century timetable.

He claimed that pupil performance dipped over the long holiday in July and August, damaging their education and leaving them lagging behind peers in the Far East.   Read more »

Children want to be led by talent and enthusiasm, not union hacks with a certificate

The teacher unions and their flunkies in the Labour party hate charter schools. One of their arguments is that there isn’t a requirement for trained teachers to be in charge of classrooms. They are taking their lead from the same battle that is happening in the UK.

Labour in the UK are running the exact same lines, lines that are without merit.

What makes a great school? It’s a question that obsesses parents, professionals and politicians alike, and there are all manner of theories bandied about. But, really, it’s rather simple: you must put your students first. And in order to do that, you must hire only the very best people to teach them.

At our Academy school, we don’t mind whether or not our staff is QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) trained – a basic freedom that private schools have long enjoyed. We have trained dozens of high-quality, enthusiastic men and women over the past few years and retained the best ones, qualified or not.

During this time our school, despite being based in the disadvantaged seaside town of Weston-super-Mare, has become one of the best in the UK. Our GCSE results have eclipsed those of schools in more leafy suburbs and placed us in the top few per cent nationally.

So it came as quite a shock to learn this week that if Labour wins the next election, some of our staff will be among the 5,000 untrained teachers to be told they must gain a formal qualification or face the sack.   Read more »

Wish this would happen here!

Michael Gove is pushing ahead with his education reforms despite the squealing of the teacher unions. I guess he feels they will moan no matter what and go to war over anything so he may as well have a big donny-brook just like Thatcher.

Well, he is winning the battle.

Michael Gove gave a seminal though little-reported speech last Thursday, his clearest statement yet of his aim for politicians to hand back the education system to the professionals, as long as they maintain the highest academic standards and prove worthy of the trust placed in them. The national curriculum he is introducing should perhaps be the last imposed from the centre; thereafter he wants schools themselves to develop a variety of high grade curricula.

Mr Gove is going way beyond anything Margaret Thatcher achieved in her 11 years of devolving power from government at the centre. No education secretary in the modern era has matched his vision of a largely autonomous education system in which individual schools, heads and teachers are given back their independence and creativity. Only by releasing dynamism in this way does he believe that British schools will be able to compete with the best in Shanghai, Singapore and Scandinavia.

As Mr Gove told his audience in Nottingham, he wants to sweep away the whole structure that has underpinned schools since the war. Schools themselves should conduct research into what produces great teaching and learning, rather than leaving such studies to universities, which he believes have offered little of practical value in terms of improving schools. Leaders should be trained within schools rather than being sent away to acquire abstract diplomas. Teachers should equally be trained within the schools themselves, rather than learning how to teach in university education departments. He wants schools to help each other to raise standards rather than rely on local authorities. All of this is to be achieved by schools becoming “teaching schools”, a system he conceived and which he sees as akin to teaching hospitals. He was in Nottingham to address the latest cohort of heads whose schools had been accepted on to the programme.   Read more »

Here Piggy, pig, pig

Pommy politicians are the best troughers in the world. Check out Ed Balls gold medal troughing effort:

Ed Balls’ ministerial office spent thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money on fine-dining at smart hotels and restaurants, £150-worth of takeaways from Domino’s pizza and shopping at department store chain John Lewis.

Spending on Mr Balls’ office credit card has been released covering the period when he was Schools secretary from 28 June 2007 to 11 May 2010.

The lavish spending has echoes of the credit card bill run by the private office of Lord Prescott when he was deputy Prime Minister.

The details of the spending on the government procurement card were released following a Freedom of Information request from Tom Watson MP, the Labour party’s deputy chairman.

Mr Watson had asked for the spending for the past two years – covering Michael Gove’s time as education secretary – however the Coalition decided to release credit card spending figures going back to April 2006.

In all the disclosures showed that Mr Balls’ office spent around £9,000 during his three years in office, with most of the cash going on travel receipts.  Read more »