Cameron’s dead hand strikes again.
Another lack of judgement by Cameron. I don’t know of anybody (apart from the unions) who expected Gove to be sacked. ‘Get him out’ the unions said’; so Cameron did.
• He’s enabled more than half of England’s state secondary schools to become academies, freeing them from the dead hand of local authority control
• He’s opened 174 free schools (so far), with 75 per cent of the first wave being ranked “good” or “outstanding” by Ofsted, higher than the national average
• He’s rewritten the national curriculum, with more rigorous, intellectually challenging programmes of study being introduced in English, Maths, Science, Languages, Computing, Geography and History
• He’s raised standards in GCSEs and A-levels, stripping out meaningless BTEC “equivalents” in subjects like Travel and Tourism, removing coursework and ensuring all pupils are assessed on their performance in end-of-course exams
• He’s made it easier for head teachers to enforce discipline, giving them the power to permanently exclude children without the risk that they’ll be reinstated by local authorities
• He’s weakened the grip of Left-wing academics on the teacher training process, making it possible for outstanding schools to train teachers themselves
• He’s made the league tables more transparent, forcing schools and local authorities to make much more information public so parents can make better informed decisions of where to send their children
• He’s introduced new accountability measures that will make it harder for underperforming schools to “game” the league tables
That’s a formidable list of achievements. Provided his successors don’t row back on any of these reforms, Michael Gove will be looked back on by future generations, not as a villain, but as a hero who created one of the best public education systems in the world.