Friday, 27 August 2010

The Gove that Dare not Speak Its Name

Gove’s at it again . . . his favourite hobby of obfuscation.

I was just thinking, this morning, that we’ve been free of Mr Gove for some time - and then up he popped.

It’s to do with a debate about whether young people from poorer backgrounds are being excluded from successful schools because of application processes that are too complicated. There is some evidence from the free school meals indicator (a broad brush) that this is true. One strategy to overcome this, it is being suggested, is that successful schools should be required to band pupil entry - in other words, take a fair percentage of students from each attainment band.

Gove answered this by pointing out that when failing schools become successful academies, more higher attaining pupils wish to attend. Yes, you can spot it; he answers the question by turning the question into the answer and thus avoiding the question. He also stated that the government are to introduce the ‘pupil premium‘ - a strategy whereby schools in more deprived areas receive a higher sum of money for lower attaining students - he stated that it is the government’s job to hand out the money ‘but the Headteachers’ job to spend it as they see fit.‘ (Free market coming in here.)

But here’s the killer . . .

He also states that ‘England has one of the most unequal education systems in the world.‘ But, as ever, Gove will not mention the private (in the UK called ‘public’) school system; he dare not speak its name, although it’s the element that skews our system more than any other.

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