How are the School reforms going?

 

Visiting a school in my constituency on Friday reminded me that we have not talked much about education recently on this site.

Mr Gove is pressing on with his reforms to schools, largely unimpeded by the EU as this remains an area more under domestic control than most.

He has introduced free schools, where the early results are good. They offer parents an additional choice which is especially welcome in neighbourhoods with weaker schools. There are more than 170 of them up and running.

He has accelerated the Labour programme of Academies, giving schools more powers to make their own decisions.

He has continued the introduction and support for synthetic phonics as the best way to teach young children to read.

He has led revisions to what is taught, to seek to ensure that the best of English literature and the basics of our island’s story are taught in English and History.

Several teachers from my area have sent me an identical email saying they are having to work excessive hours, and spending too much time on unnecessary and bureaucratic tasks. I know this is not what the Secretary of State wants, as he has been keen to restore more school level decision taking and to campaign against a bureaucratic approach. I have written back to each offering to take up these worries with the Head of their school, but so far none of the teachers have taken up that offer.

 

 

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91 Comments

  1. Mike Stallard
    Posted March 30, 2014 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    “He has introduced free schools, where the early results are good. They offer parents an additional choice which is especially welcome in neighbourhoods with weaker schools. There are more than 170 of them up and running.”

    Yup – and now he needs to go further. Allowing the companies which provide education in the same way that Morrisons and ASDA provide groceries is what rich people enjoy. Why should’t this privilege be extended to the poor? There are no sensible reasons why Swedish Schools should not be tried here too.

    Good things: our local academy is now working very efficiently. (Is efficiency the aim of a good education though?) Our local College is giving the boys a decent training and education too. Best of all is the visceral hatred shown regularly by the Blob. That is Mr Gove’s greatest compliment.

    Oh- and I wonder why the teachers didn’t respond? Fascinating!

    • Hope
      Posted March 30, 2014 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      In the last week we have newspaper reports on three serious matters that need urgent consideration I suggest. We have one school in Leeds where English is taught as a foreign language, a primary where an alleged trainer for terrorism set it up and we have other schools where hard line Muslims are effectively changing the schools into Islam faith schools. As for academies, it appears to be another name for a failed school.

      Buildings on every piece of land gathers pace without the local authorities having the money to provide infrastructure, and the school classes are at creeking point because of the large number of pupils through continued mass immigration. A lot of jam tomorrow talk, but not much progress I fear. We also have the university tuition fee mess which appears to show that the massive hike in fees is not working; the government getting back less if the charges were reduced. Looks as though the Lib Dems broken promise was for nothing and makes them look stupid. labour planning to reduce fees is a good tactical move, especially as EU students do not pay at some of our best universities.

      Today it appears Tory sleaze is back with avengence. A minister making an enormous profit on a taxpayers’ subsidised house, the commisioner looking weak and effective desspite promises to stop this sort of thing by Cameron, one member in court and another resigning. No need to look at other parties to call them fruitcakes and the like. One line catch phrases by Cameron need to be abandoned for good old thought through policies.

      Reply Mr Gove is reported to be tackling the problems in schools you mention.
      No political party in the UK avoids sleaze – The Lib Dems have seen 2 Cabinet Ministers resign with one going to prison, Labour lost a former Europe Minister, and UKIP has a bad record with its MEPs. Making a capital profit on a home where the taxpayers helped pay the running costs as a second home needed for Parliamentary business has always been permitted under the rules.

    • uanime5
      Posted March 30, 2014 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

      There are no sensible reasons why Swedish Schools should not be tried here too.

      Well other than this scheme failing in Sweden and being discontinued.

      • Richard1
        Posted March 30, 2014 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

        Where do you get your information from? The Swedish system has not failed and is not being discontinued. Parents in Sweden are entitled to choose any school in the country to send their children to. Of course there are good schools and bad schools, including amongst free schools. Private companies can also fail – that’s how capitalism works. Swedish education is sometimes criticized for lax standards by parents – but because Blob-like educational practices have also unfortunately made it to Sweden in recent decades You will not find many Swedish parents who would go to the pre-Gove UK world of local monopoly providers. Choice and competition has made a huge difference.

  2. Old Albion
    Posted March 30, 2014 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    This will be the (dis)UK Government education plans for ENGLAND that we’re discussing John ?

    • Mark
      Posted March 30, 2014 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      I have a relative who is a primary school teacher in Wales. She is very unimpressed with the way that the Welsh government is running education there, and would greatly prefer Gove’s attempts to improve rigour and curriculum.

      • uanime5
        Posted March 30, 2014 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

        I have a relative who is a primary school teacher in Wales. She is very unimpressed with the way that the Welsh government is running education there, and would greatly prefer Gove’s attempts to improve rigour and curriculum.

        Well she’s likely to be disappointed as Gove’s plan involves rote learning (rather than understanding the subject matter), learning dead languages rather than ones being used, and replacing qualified teachers with teaching assistants.

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted March 30, 2014 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

          That is not in the ball park of being correct U5.

          I recently underwent governors training on the new curriculum and most of it is common sense. The real draw back that I could see and consensus among teachers and governors was the means to measure progress. There is no benchmark to be able to tell if pupils in different schools are performing well.

          I am not a great fan of academies, it seems to me that they take oversight away from schools. Our local outstanding secondary now needs improvement since converting.

          It will be interesting to see how the most recent converts do now that the premium per pupil for becoming an academy has been removed. School perform better with more money which is why the overly subsidised academy model was showing improvement. Inner London academies were able to attract the best teachers by paying highest wages. watch this space.

          Huge risk of personal enrichment from the academy model too.

        • Edward2
          Posted March 30, 2014 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

          You have failed to counter Mark’s point Uni, that educational (and health standards) in devolved Labour controlled Wales are falling.
          It seems following the policies you agree with and promote regularly on here leads to declining standards for customers.

        • Mark
          Posted March 30, 2014 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

          Rote learning is an excellent way of mastering some basic skills, both physical and mental. With that foundation it becomes much easier to understand subjects, and to explore them more widely. Musicians learn pieces by rote, which then allows them to concentrate on imbuing their performances with nuances of expression and interpretation.

          I do not think that Gove is planning to increase the numbers of teaching assistants – that was something that happened under Labour. He is more concerned to encourage talented teachers who know the subjects they are teaching very well, rather than those who know the theories of Marxist educationalists, but little else.

        • Roy Grainger
          Posted March 31, 2014 at 7:40 am | Permalink

          “Well she’s likely to be disappointed as Gove’s plan involves rote learning (rather than understanding the subject matter)”

          No, you are wrong, probably because you have no direct experience of the matter and only get your information from the Guardian. Grove’s plan is to give free schools and academies more flexibility in the way they teach and emphasise the curriculum, in the academies Labour set up this already means that some follow a more “academic” approach and some don’t – the choice of what school suits their children better is for the parents to make (not you).

          • A different Simon
            Posted March 31, 2014 at 8:38 am | Permalink

            “the choice of what school suits their children better is for the parents to make (not you).”

            Now , now , you know that nanny knows what is best for you .

            The children can’t be trusted with decisions like the UK’s relationship with Europe or how to spend their own money . That’s why we have to take it away from them .

  3. The Prangwizard
    Posted March 30, 2014 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Which nation’s education are you referring to? Are education powers not devolved to Scotland? Are education powers not devolved to Wales? Maybe not all – perhaps you could explain which are retained by the UK government. I would genuinely like to know.
    Could you be clear as some readers might think that as a UK MP you are referring to the whole of the UK?

    But, if Mr Gove has no powers in those nations, which nation are you referring to? Would it be England? But then Unionists do not mention England. Unionists ignore England. You cannot trust a Unionist to speak for England.

    What is his title – ‘Secretary of State for Education’? If he covers only England, should his title not be ‘Secretary of State for England’?

    Reply Yes, I am talking about England, as an English MP. Education powers are devolved to Wales, NI and Scotland

    • Timaction
      Posted March 30, 2014 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      …………..unimpeded by the EU “”…………… Really? A lot of people are starting to have problems with their school of choice because of mass migration and British taxpayers picking up the bill for all this service provision whilst not getting the services.
      When is Westminster going to start looking after the interests of the indigenous population? With the legacy parties, no time soon.
      Health waiting lists and waits for Doctors appointments get ever larger and longer. The cake remains the same size = Reduced services for the indigenous people, free for all newcomers at our expense.
      Westminster claims a housing shortage, the rest of us say we have an out of control migration crisis.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted March 30, 2014 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

        My Local authority is boasting that is has spent £150 million building new school places.

        I applaud them for reacting but why should they need to spend £150 million when we all keep being told that immigrants pay for themselves?

    • Old Albion
      Posted March 30, 2014 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      Reply Yes, I am talking about England, as an English MP. Education powers are devolved to Wales, NI and Scotland

      No your not! You are discussing English education as a UK MP. England does not exist in Westminster.
      We have Scotland, Wales, N.Ireland and Britain.

  4. Andyvan
    Posted March 30, 2014 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    If you want real reform and quality education go completely private sector. No government involvement at all. That would ensure that schools are directly answerable to parents and kids with no know it all bureaucrats and politicians imposing their views.
    I am very aware that this idea causes outrage in our socialist nanny state. The very idea of people paying for their own kids is regarded as outrageous. This attitude suits the establishment as they can then dictate the curriculum to ensure that they get obedient workers that don’t ask too many difficult questions.
    As the idea of a free market is so abhorrent to the majority and most people do not have the money (due to massive taxation) for private education the state could, instead, give vouchers to parents who can then choose whatever school offers the best deal. No restrictions, quotas or regulations on parents or schools. The good ones prosper and the bad ones close. Bad teachers get sacked, good ones get raises. Simple as that.
    This will not happen. It will not happen because thee are too many vested interests in education. Too many time servers and control freaks. So we will continue to get politicians posturing for votes and claiming to be the answer to all the problems caused by the previous politicians. Meanwhile our kids get worse education and teachers strike for more money.

    • uanime5
      Posted March 30, 2014 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      If you want real reform and quality education go completely private sector. No government involvement at all. That would ensure that schools are directly answerable to parents and kids with no know it all bureaucrats and politicians imposing their views.

      The only downside is that it means the poor won’t get an education. You know what happened before state schools were created.

      I am very aware that this idea causes outrage in our socialist nanny state.

      I take it you’re referring to all the countries with better educational systems than the UK because they’ve realised that the private sector isn’t always best.

      This attitude suits the establishment as they can then dictate the curriculum to ensure that they get obedient workers that don’t ask too many difficult questions.

      Such as all those young people who are protesting against the coalition because they’re not obedient workers who don’t ask any difficult questions.

      As the idea of a free market is so abhorrent to the majority and most people do not have the money (due to massive taxation) for private education

      Actually most people don’t have the money due to the low wages paid by private sector companies trying to keep their costs low.

      give vouchers to parents who can then choose whatever school offers the best deal. No restrictions, quotas or regulations on parents or schools.

      Unless each school can educate every pupil in the country there’s going to be quotas on how many children can go to each school.

      The good ones prosper and the bad ones close.

      Care to name some countries where this has happened. Make sure you explain why bad schools in areas with few jobs, where people consider education to be useless, will be closed.

      Your system also doesn’t distinguish between schools that are bad due to poor teaching and schools that are bad because most pupils see no reason to learn.

      Bad teachers get sacked, good ones get raises.

      Nothing in your plan will cause both of these to happen. I guess bad teachers will lose their jobs if a school closes, as will any good teachers trying to help the most disadvantaged, but there’s no reason why good teachers will get a raise.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted March 30, 2014 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

      As the biggest driver for performance in schools is money (followed at some distance by discipline) going private would not bring the results you hope for unless you are going to give schools the right to charge admission fees that they set themselves in which case you would get most people priced out of the
      school.

      Best way to improve standards is discipline, good headship and the performance related pay that is being introduced from September.

  5. Richard1
    Posted March 30, 2014 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Michael Gove’s tenacity in pursuing his excellent educational reforms in the face of implacable opposition from vocal producer interests is an inspiration. We hear a lot (often of nonsense) about class divides. Nothing would close class divides more in the UK than the availability of excellent independent schools for everybody, pursuing rigorous educational standards. A Labour govt with a return to power in education policy by the Blob would be a disaster.

    Gove should be given Universities as well. Cable’s absurd social engineering initiatives threaten to do for UK universities what the Blob has done for schools over the last 50 years. Gove could be a good cure.

    • Mark
      Posted March 30, 2014 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      Unfortunately the Universities minister is Mr Willetts, who seems to think that the way to solve the problems of higher education is to give ever larger loans to pay ever higher fees, knowing that this just means even more will be written off – especially on loans to those who lack the real ability to succeed at degree level. Far from acting as a deterrent to those who do not benefit from degrees, it encourages them to waste time and resources at taxpayers’ expense instead of pursuing a viable career path, while discouraging precisely those who would be more productive.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 30, 2014 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

        Indeed I would hugely restrict fees for University courses that have little merit perhaps 80% of them. People should pay for hobbies and entertainments for themselves. Do we really need more Rowan Williams types studying theology? I think we would get quite enough of them without encouraging them with soft loans for taxpayers.

        It seems 50% of loans will not be repaid especially those give to woman (who take career breaks for children and tend to earn less anyway) and those given to EU non UK students, who often will not repay, cannot be chases up or be unable to repay.

        • uanime5
          Posted March 30, 2014 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

          Do we really need more Rowan Williams types studying theology?

          Well it did help him get a job.

    • uanime5
      Posted March 30, 2014 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

      Michael Gove’s tenacity in pursuing his excellent educational reforms in the face of implacable opposition from vocal producer interests is an inspiration.

      How is forcing through educational reforms that have been shown not to improve the quality of education inspirational? Rote learning was abandoned for a reason and schools without qualified teachers won’t improve education standards.

      Nothing would close class divides more in the UK than the availability of excellent independent schools for everybody, pursuing rigorous educational standards.

      Or better yet state schools for everybody, pursuing rigorous educational standards despite not being able to exclude any pupils who might bring down the overall rating.

      Gove should be given Universities as well.

      Why so he can replace critical thinking and engineering with rote learning and Latin?

      • Richard1
        Posted March 31, 2014 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

        You are wrong to characterize Gove’s reforms as rote learning, they are about rigorous standards,and acting when those are not met.

        The requirement for teacher training ‘qualifications’ is protectionism by the Blob and has nothing to do with ensuring actual excellence in schools. There is no evidence that teachers with training qualifications are any better. Independent school teachers never had this and provided excellent education. There is a need to attract into teaching excellent people who might have had other careers. They wouldn’t go on strike and send round Robbin letters to MPs like the teachers mentioned by JR in this blog.

        The fact that leftists hate Gove with such a vengeance shows the great value of what he is doing.

  6. matthu
    Posted March 30, 2014 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    “He has led revisions to what is taught, to seek to ensure that the best of English literature and the basics of our island’s story are taught in English and History.”

    What are the government’s views on the teaching of climate change alarmism in schools?

    This week we had Professor Richard Tol, an economist at the University of Sussex, saying that fellow UN academics had been exaggerating climate change and comparing it to the ‘apocalypse’ and consequently withdrawing his name from the final report.

    Apparently the UN favours talking about how the coffee bean is being wiped out by climate change in South America, how climate change could wipe out wildlife and UK forests, and displace hundreds of millions of people while at the same time no-one is being allowed to discuss the possible beneficial effects of climate change.

    And this is the sort of rubbish that is being forced into our schools by a Conservative-led coalition government, no doubt also funded by the EU.

    This is government and EU propaganda designed to help governments win over the public to the avowed EU policy of cutting rising greenhouse gas emissions mainly by shifting from fossil fuels to renewable energies and is the sort of tactic you might expect in pre-end-of-apartheid-era South Africa and should not be tolerated today in the UK.

    Why no clearly announced policy on this?

    • uanime5
      Posted March 30, 2014 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

      What are the government’s views on the teaching of climate change alarmism in schools?

      The government teaches science in school, not claims by deniers that aren’t supported by any evidence.

      Apparently the UN favours talking about how the coffee bean is being wiped out by climate change in South America, how climate change could wipe out wildlife and UK forests, and displace hundreds of millions of people

      All of which have been proven to be real.

      while at the same time no-one is being allowed to discuss the possible beneficial effects of climate change.

      Of which very few have been proven to be real. I doubt that being able to grow strawberries in Scotland will be much comfort to the millions displaced by climate change.

      • Edward2
        Posted March 31, 2014 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

        Two degrees extra over the next hundred years will not see “strawberries being sccessfully grown in Scotland Uni.

  7. sm
    Posted March 30, 2014 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    ‘Identical emails’, good heavens, one couldn’t possibly imagine that some unknown outfit is organising a campaign designed to derail educational reforms…..could one?

  8. Lifelogic
    Posted March 30, 2014 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    What would put me off teaching is the thought of all that drivel one is now expected to teach, all the unscientific greencrap, the lefty right on agenda, the maths and physics A levels that are below the standard of O levels set in the 70s. Also all the pointless paperwork and absurdly constraining red tape.

    I would teach spoken foreign languages while the children are far younger. Young enough to take them in easily and naturally, but perhaps teach written English rather later than is done currently.

    Clearly every parent should have education vouchers they can largely use as they wish and there should be a huge variety schools and real parental choice. Local authorities should have little input (or costly overhead) at all to the system. Cut out the pointless middle men.

    You also need to be able to get rid of disruptive students to special schools as they damage other’s education if you do not.

    One could of course rationalise the absurdly irrational English spelling system and use the vast amount time saved to teach them something more sensible instead. Spelling is mere notation the equivalent of accent to the spoken work. The more efficient and rational the notation the better.

    Costs could actually be cut hugely with much bigger classes and internet lectures, computer and technology but there is a need to separate out ability ranges, interests and aptitudes. Particularly and A level and university level.

    Clearly if you want good maths and physics teachers you need to pay them more than French and English teachers. It is just supply and demand.

    Teach people how to think not largely pointless memorisation of “facts”.

    Four day a week and slightly longer days is quite enough school for most children. The enjoyment of music, art, drama, literature and similar can give huge pleasure to people for a lifetime and very inexpensively too.

    Why on earth should it cost say £50K to teach someone maths at University. All you need is a computer the internet some paper, a few exams and a bit a guidance. One lecture at Cambridge say could be broadcast to the whole world’s maths students for almost nothing? The same is true at school.

    Get all the lefty, green crap, state sector, BBC think out of schools and indeed out of life in general.

    Teach the children compound interest, the damaging effects of taxation, why green energy if too expensive, why buying lottery ticket is dumb, probability, risk and reward and how to cook.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 30, 2014 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      Perhaps how to put up a shelf, clear a drain, fix a roof, plum a sink, and build a house too.

      • Max Dunbar
        Posted March 30, 2014 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

        Well said, and once we have the teachers doing something useful for a change we can then move on to the pupils.

        • Max Dunbar
          Posted March 30, 2014 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

          In reply to Lifelogic.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 30, 2014 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      And of course the ability to get rid of poor teachers quickly which so rarely happens.

    • uanime5
      Posted March 30, 2014 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

      Local authorities should have little input (or costly overhead) at all to the system.

      So no oversight by the local authorities, even though this lack of oversight is resulting in free schools being able to hide poor performance.

      You also need to be able to get rid of disruptive students to special schools as they damage other’s education if you do not.

      How many such schools will be needed in each area? I doubt they’ll be popular if there’s a long travel distance to get to them.

      One could of course rationalise the absurdly irrational English spelling system and use the vast amount time saved to teach them something more sensible instead.

      This will make it impossible for children to read anything written before the spelling system was changes, or anything written in countries where they didn’t change their English spelling.

      Costs could actually be cut hugely with much bigger classes and internet lectures, computer and technology

      So you’re going to improve standards by doing the opposite of what they do in countries with a better educational system than the UK. Expect this to result in the UK’s educational system getting worse.

      but there is a need to separate out ability ranges, interests and aptitudes. Particularly and A level and university level.

      Why would you do this at A level or university level? People chose their A levels and university degrees so they’re already doing something they want to do. There’s also minimum requirements for most of these courses so all the pupils are at a certain ability range.

      Teach people how to think not largely pointless memorisation of “facts”.

      That’s the opposite of what Gove wants as he’s promoting rote learning.

      Four day a week and slightly longer days is quite enough school for most children.

      Well that does work in France; though it results in many women in France not working on Wednesdays because they have to look after their children on the weekday when they’re not in school.

      Why on earth should it cost say £50K to teach someone maths at University.

      Well it does require someone who understands maths and this person won’t be able to teach if they don’t earn enough to live on.

      All you need is a computer the internet some paper, a few exams and a bit a guidance. One lecture at Cambridge say could be broadcast to the whole world’s maths students for almost nothing? The same is true at school.

      Well why don’t you create some videos on youtube and try to teach people this way. You’ll soon find out that this doesn’t work because people don’t learn effectively in a passive environment.

    • Kenneth R Moore
      Posted March 30, 2014 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

      Lottery tickets are a tax on stupid people. Quite appropriate that they were introduced by John Major.

    • Mark
      Posted March 30, 2014 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

      Teaching is not just preaching via a screen. It’s an interactive process that requires the teacher to react to pupils. A good teacher will spot the student with MEGO (my eyes glaze over) syndrome, or will recognise when the tempo is too slow and boring for the class, and change lesson content on the fly.

    • A different Simon
      Posted March 31, 2014 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      Had no idea maths and physics A-Levels had been dumbed down .

      The limiting factors in my state education were :-

      - the huge gap between O-levels and A-Levels thirty years ago . Some schools in the area were aware of this gap and prepared their pupils for it with bridging lessons , mine didn’t .

      - gaps in knowledge . I had a blind spot for matrices in maths and never understood the point or what they are for . Eventually in engineering and scientific subjects the parts of the curriculum you don’t grasp catch up with you as you don’t have the foundation for further studies . Once you start to fall behind you never catch up !!!!

      - Appalling teaching at A-Level and beyond . We had to complain to the head about our A-Level chemistry teacher who lost interest and the physics teacher was useless . Consequently I got bad A-Level grades .

      - No history of going to university in the family disadvantages you because you don’t know the rules of the game .
      I became the guinea pig for my younger brother and the same mistakes were not repeated .
      Firstly I resorted to taking a place at a second rate polytechnic when I should have redone my A-Levels and tried to get somewhere decent . Secondly my family impressed upon me that I was at Poly to learn – they didn’t understand that there was much more to going to Uni/Poly than learning the subject . Consequently I was chronically under funded , had no social life , living in awful accommodation .

      I am not trying to blame my situation on other people .

      Would be interested to hear other people say what limited their educational achievement .

      Reply I was the first person from my family to go to University but did not encounter the same difficulties as you did. I found the full maintenance grant I received from the state sufficient, and was able to supplement it from academic prize money and a scholarship. I had got used to reading, thinking and writing for myself at school so did not find the step up too high.

      • A different Simon
        Posted March 31, 2014 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

        Two friends of mine also got poor A-level grades from the same sixth form but took a third year and went somewhere decent and got first year accommodation in halls of residence .

        I suppose the state comprehensive school spoiled me a bit as the teaching was very good for most pupils .

        For me though , secondary school was my last experience of good education .

        Of the three teachers I had at A-level and four lecturers at poly only one of them was any good at all .

        15 years later I bumped into him at Twickenham station . He had left the teaching profession .

  9. Alan Wheatley
    Posted March 30, 2014 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    There are major developments already taking place with the use of computer based technologies to provide education. I do not think this will lead to humans being replaced by machines, but machines do have some advantages over humans.

    What should result is an effective balance between human and machine teaching. This will enable the humans to better apply themselves to where they can be most effective.

    It could also result in fewer human teachers being needed. This could be a very good thing if the better teachers are better rewarded and the least good leave the profession, though no doubt the luddites will want to have their protest!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 30, 2014 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      Well designed machines and programs can indeed have huge advantages over people in education for many aspects.

  10. Lifelogic
    Posted March 30, 2014 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Does Dr (of theology) Rowan Williams (now of Christian Aid) really think that the way to help the poor of the world is to (very expensively) reduce CO2 emissions. This rather than spend the money on sensible things we know actually work like clean water, inoculations, basic medical care, nutrition, sewage systems and the likes.

    More C02 and a little warmer is rather better anyway for crop growth. When will these people grow up a little, think a little & study some real science rather than their blind belief in all this greencrap?

    • Edward2
      Posted March 30, 2014 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      Indeed Lifelogic
      I am waiting for the first person from the liberal wealthy elite, who like to busy themselves telling us the modern Western way of living is wrong, to set an example to us all by living a CO2 free lifestyle.
      No fossil fuels use, no modern transport, purchase only local produce, etc

      I would take a guess and say my carbon footprint is considerably smaller than Rowan Williams.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 30, 2014 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

        Indeed and almost everyone’s CO2 footprint must be lower that of Prince Charles.

    • uanime5
      Posted March 30, 2014 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

      This rather than spend the money on sensible things we know actually work like clean water, inoculations, basic medical care, nutrition, sewage systems and the likes.

      Well because of climate change there’s more droughts so there’s less water available, malaria is moving into new areas because these areas are now warm enough for the mosquitoes to live in, and the increased crop failure is resulting in more famines.

      So as long as the average global temperature keeps rising all the things you recommend will be ineffective.

      More C02 and a little warmer is rather better anyway for crop growth.

      Not when it causes droughts and makes it too hot for the crops to grow.

      When will these people grow up a little, think a little & study some real science rather than their blind belief in all this greencrap?

      That’s a funny way to describe the people on the front line who’ve seen the famines caused by global warming and know that it doesn’t result in increase crop yields.

      • Edward2
        Posted March 31, 2014 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

        Care to provide proof that there actually are more droughts and that they are caused only by globall warming.

    • A different Simon
      Posted March 31, 2014 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      As a lapsed member of the C of E , I was happy to make a financial contribution to the running of my local church and the diocese .

      I don’t mind vicars who are a bit lefty or a bit naive on some matters so long as they are genuine and concentrate on getting the message about Jesus Christ across .

      Rowan Williams on the other hand does not strike me as genuine or naive , just another unpleasant NWO type (running? ed) an organisation .

  11. Bert Young
    Posted March 30, 2014 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    I still have hopes that Michael Gove will promote the re-introduction of Grammar Schools . Having facilities in most communities to appeal to and to educate the more gifted pupils is , in my book , a necessity . This nation has thrived on the achievements of talent and experience and it ought to be nurtured from an early age . Streaming in schools is not a solution to deal with the discrepancies of intelligence and talent – the whole school must have the ethos and the qualified staff in its approach . Secondary Modern schools have been a mistake ; introduced to overcome the malaise of social distinction , they have dragged down standards to an abysmal level and provided employment opportunity for poorly qualified teachers . A drastic re-think of how we deal with education is now necessary .

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 30, 2014 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      I do not think Cameron’s heart and soul is in Grammar Schools. Fine if you are good at music, ballet, art, sport ….. but clearly maths, science & history we cannot select on ability.

      Mind you if we did have more Grammar schools there should certainly be movement into and out of them at all ages not just at 11 after one test.

      • Bert Young
        Posted March 30, 2014 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

        I was a Headmaster for a number of years in my 20′s and , during this time a number of very credible and accurate tests of general ability , numeracy , literacy and intelligence were used in my school . The results aided the approach to teaching and fostered the development of children . The tests commenced at age 11 years and proved a reliable way of pointing the choice of subjects afterwards . Opportunities remained for a further two years for certain later developing children to transfer to a higher demanding curriculum . This selection system proved to be worthwhile and very motivating .

    • uanime5
      Posted March 30, 2014 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

      I still have hopes that Michael Gove will promote the re-introduction of Grammar Schools .

      Unless he can remove the stigma attached to not attending a grammar school they won’t ever be viable.

  12. ralphmalph
    Posted March 30, 2014 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    This is one area where credit needs to be given and a top job Mr Gove is doing.

    Here is a link to the JCB academy. http://www.jcbacademy.com/

    From age 14 educating children for a career in business and engineering, school uniforms are jackets and clip on ties, boiler suits and work boots. School hours are business hours so no homework (how do the teachers manage to work normal business hours?)

    I bet there is not an NUT rep in sight.

    You should be shouting this from the rooftops and making sure that other businesses are setting their own schools up as well.

  13. Terry
    Posted March 30, 2014 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    “I have written back to each offering to take up these worries with the Head of their school, but so far none of the teachers have taken up that offer”.

    Could it be that these teachers are worried about losing their jobs, for being identified as whistle blowers?

    Can they remain anonymous in your discussions with their respective Heads?

    • Mark
      Posted March 30, 2014 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Could it be that they do not think for themselves, but simply agreed to forward a text drafted by a left wing union official?

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted March 30, 2014 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      No, it’s just the usual rather sinister response from a ‘profession’ that is a bastion of far-left activism.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 30, 2014 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

        Indeed lost of lefty teachers (and the BBC, many charities, the government, the EU, quangos etc.) all indoctrinating the next generation of children in green crap and lefty, big state, high tax, right on dogma.

  14. Antisthenes
    Posted March 30, 2014 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    I am not sure how free schools and academies work but suspect there is less government and union involvement than other state schools. If these schools are performing better than them then surly that points out that society will work much better in other areas if only the heavy hand of the state is removed. In today,s world it also shows that no longer is the state needed to be providers of the nations education and most of that burden should now be transferred to the private sector and also some of the funding should come directly from the parents where they can afford it. And would not the NHS be a much better service if it was given the same treatment. The left like to call themselves progressive but the evidence points to them being the opposite as they stifle and discourage new and better ways of doing things because of their statist socialist ideology. There are so many roles that the government undertake now because the left has so much influence over society that if they had not the UK would be a more prosperous and democratic country than it currently is. Of course as much as the Conservatives strive to change the way things are done by less involvement of the state and greater involvement of the individual and the private sector the left in the end manage to undo all the good that has been achieved. RedEd in no 10 come 2015 will once again see precisely that happening in practice.

    • uanime5
      Posted March 30, 2014 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

      The left like to call themselves progressive but the evidence points to them being the opposite as they stifle and discourage new and better ways of doing things because of their statist socialist ideology.

      Remind me again how much better the energy, water, and rail companies became after they were privatised. Why do you thing education and healthcare will be any different?

      There are so many roles that the government undertake now because the left has so much influence over society that if they had not the UK would be a more prosperous and democratic country than it currently is.

      If it wasn’t for the left the UK would have even more income inequality and even less democracy as the wealthy would have more power.

      • Edward2
        Posted March 31, 2014 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

        I would remind you Uni that energy companies, car companies, steel companies, airlines, phone companies and especially rail companies are far better run and less of a drain on the public purse than they were when State owned.

  15. Max Dunbar
    Posted March 30, 2014 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    A headmaster and part time schools inspector was interviewed on BBC Radio 4 a couple of weeks ago. He used the word ‘less’ rather than the word ‘fewer’ when referring to numbers of pupils. Every sentence was punctuated with glottal stops. With such low standards of spoken English amongst the ‘teaching profession’ it’s no surprise that our children are put at a disadvantage for life.
    Foreigners have a better grasp of English in many instances.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 30, 2014 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps he cannot afford to shop are Waitrose and endlessly sees all those “8 items or less” signs at all the other supermarkets.

  16. Iain Gill
    Posted March 30, 2014 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Well I have a four year old. He starts school this September. The state will be allocating them a school at the moment, and will get round to telling me in the next few months. I was asked to express a preference from a list of 3 schools to help them take our preferences into account, of which 2 of those schools already openly proclaim they will do everything they can do to prevent anyone not fitting their religious preconceptions gain entry, actively don’t want my child for those reasons, so not much choice there. Plenty of other schools are within realistic distance, but the state has decided to allocate according to catchment areas and that restricts the schools you are asked to express a preference about. And of course the state can and will allocate the school it decides and the parents will realistically have no way of doing anything about it other than moving address. A large expensive state bureaucracy is dictating to parents which schools they can use. This whole system stinks. It is open knowledge that the system where a priests signature is needed to gain entry to the best schools is full of abuses, and middle class corruption (although they would be horrified to hear it described as such), and so many people are lying about their religious views to get their child into a better school the whole system has fallen into disrepute.
    Please please please give parents buying power in the school selection process. Let parents take their school spending where they like. Let schools select on ability. Get the state out of school allocation entirely. Force commercial dynamics into the schools so that they have to keep the parents happy.
    I move address frequently for work too, so no doubt my child will end up in the worst school in town when I have to move next. Apparently the children of military folk who move address frequently have special arrangements to allow them into the better state schools when they move, err why do you expect me to be happy with this? I contribute to the economy as much as anyone.
    Complete shambles. The acceptance of the status quo by the political elite of all the parties needs a big kick up the bum.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 30, 2014 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

      It is a racket that churches can get access to public for education and divert it to certain students of faiths they approve of. Surely it is racist too.

    • uanime5
      Posted March 30, 2014 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

      Please please please give parents buying power in the school selection process. Let parents take their school spending where they like.

      How will this fix your problem? The religious schools will still only chose pupils that belong to their religion and once they have enough pupils to be financial viable they’ll refuse to admit more.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted March 31, 2014 at 8:29 am | Permalink

        I know some church run fee paying (not state) schools. I know the families that send their children to them. I can tell you these schools readily accept children of any religion. So your objection does not stand. You see when they need money to pay their bills they face commercial reality and accept anyone with the cash. There is no need for parents to lie about their views, or indeed pretend to be a different religion or hold religious views that they do not. On the other hand the schools do turn down the most disruptive children, which state schools are not officially allowed to do. I want those of us paying for schools via our taxes to have access to schools on the same terms.

  17. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 30, 2014 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Off-topic but topical, JR: now that an anonymous government minister has thrown even more doubt on the determination of the government and Parliament not to agree to a currency union with an independent Scotland, shouldn’t Parliament immediately pass an Act guaranteeing that any such proposal would be put to a referendum in the rest of the UK? Not only to make it absolutely clear to the Scots that it would never happen, but also to reassure those of us in the UK outside of Scotland that we would have our say, for a change, and that we would have the final word and could stop it?

    Reply There will be no currency union if Scotland quits.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 30, 2014 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      “There will be no currency union if Scotland quits.”

      That will surely be for Miliband and Labour to decide!

      Reply It could be for the Conservatives or for Labour, and both have ruled out any currency union.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 30, 2014 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

        It clearly will all be in the negotiation pot if they do vote out.

      • William Long
        Posted March 31, 2014 at 8:42 am | Permalink

        The fact that both Labour and the Conservatives have ruled out a Currency Union makes me certain there will be one!

    • Alan Wheatley
      Posted March 30, 2014 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      Re reply – GOOD!

      And on the linked issue, there have been nuclear submarines based at Devonport for decades. I expect the good people of Plymouth would be content with a few more of the ICBN type, especially with the associated influx of government money to the area.

      Oh yes, and if the UK does have to relocate our submarines I think Scotland should be charged with the consequential costs.

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted March 30, 2014 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

      I’m not so sure. Why would a minister put it about that it may happen? There is no doubt in my mind that we cannot rely the denial put out by Osborne and Alexander. Unionists are so desperate to maintain a ‘union’ that they will be prepared, I believe, to agree to any sort of deal to ‘keep’ Scotland, even with a vote for independence. And with a ‘no’ vote they will keep passing on rights, so that Scotland will get the best of both worlds in either case.

      Unionists have no respect for England as a nation or for the people of England, they have no courage or principles to defend it, so they will sacrifice our best interests, plus defence and security, to do it. They are completely incapable of putting England first.

      For my part I dearly hope the Scots vote ‘yes’. I want attention to turn to the future of England, also as an independent nation, it is the only way to get the British off our backs.

      • Max Dunbar
        Posted March 30, 2014 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

        Who do you mean when you refer to ‘the British’?
        I thought we were all British with England accounting for the vast majority of the British population. I certainly do not want the nation torn apart and, as a Scot with some sense of self preservation, thrown to the wolves up here. This reference to ‘the British’ is exactly the sort of language that has been used by the SNP and Irish Republicans for years. Surely you would not want to be included with that lot.
        There seems to be a tendency amongst some patrician English MPs that talk of nationalism and identity is distasteful and demeaning, and that this kind of grubby flag waving is the preserve of chippy provincial types and white working class Englishmen. There is nothing wrong with asserting ones national identity but the fact remains that England is the largest and most powerful member of the Union and therefore seems to be constrained from entering separatist territory for that very reason.
        Your hope of getting the British off your back is a forlorn one. You will always have the Scots, Irish and Welsh to contend with for better or worse. History has shown that they are safer within than without the sphere of English power and influence.
        Maintain the Union, destroy the SNP.

        • The PrangWizard
          Posted March 31, 2014 at 8:30 am | Permalink

          I include in my definition of ‘British’ the many English too in authority in our political and cultural institutions who do not wish to recognise that England is a nation like any other, and say the people of England should not have the opportunity to exercise their rights to self-determination, because they are part of Britain and somehow have a responsibility to preserve the Union. They say in the same breath that Scotland can have a parliament of its own and even the right to secede, but the English can’t. I could use other words to describe that kind of thinking. They contend we, the people of England, should sacrifice our rights and identity for the ‘greater good’, while allowing others to enjoy freedoms denied to us.

          The British are thus on our English backs.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted March 31, 2014 at 9:54 am | Permalink

            I consider myself both “English” and “British”, and I don’t believe any of the things you attribute to “the British”!

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted March 31, 2014 at 7:41 am | Permalink

        That is why voters in the rest of the UK should be able to veto any proposal for a currency union in a referendum, and a law guaranteeing that they would have that referendum should be put in place as soon as possible.

        As all three of the main Westminster parties presently say that they are opposed to a currency union there should be no problem getting that Bill through Parliament, unlike Wharton’s Bill for an EU referendum in 2017.

        Reply Yes, it should be easy, but doing so might give the impression that a later date one or more of the 3 main parties will change their mind on a currency union for an independent Scotland. As far as I know all 3 main parties are fixed and united in their view that there cannot be a currency union so the Bill you propose would be a waste of time as well as offering faint hope to Mr Salmond.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted March 31, 2014 at 9:51 am | Permalink

          Well, apparently 45% of Scots didn’t believe that the Westminster politicians meant what they were saying about it BEFORE this idiot(?) minister created more doubt; and as for those of us in the rest of the UK, there is also widespread disbelief and a strong suspicion that the Westminster parties will end up agreeing to it and will not allow us to stop it.

          Reply I am suspicious of an “unnamed” Minister. I don’t know any Minister going round trying to undermine the sensible policy of no currency union

        • Lindsay McDougall
          Posted March 31, 2014 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

          The real objection to Scotland sharing sterling is not monetary, at least in the short term, but fiscal. The left leaning SNP want to have higher expenditure per capita than Conservative England. They have tax raising powers in Scotland but they will prefer to blackmail the English for money, taxation being unpopular.

          The slogan ‘It’s Scotland’s oil’ covers up a multitude of issues to be resolved:
          - The compensation due to England for the sunk cost of its past investments
          - The loyalty of the Shetland Islands, with their Viking history, is first to Norway, second to England and third to Scotland. So should oil and gas fields in the Shetlands’ territorial waters be assigned to Scotland?
          - Where is the North Sea border between Scotland and England. Is it (1) An extrapolation of the land border to the north east?
          (2) A line of latitude drawn from the eastern extremity of the land border?
          (3) A line of latitude drawn from the mid-point of the land border?
          (4) A wiggly line designed to ensure that each oil and gas field lies on one side or the other?

          What about the debt issue? George Osborne has said that, in extremis, England, Wales and Northern Ireland will pick up the tab for the current UK government’s debts. However, that was to calm the markets. Scotland is expected to contribute.

          Will Scotland attempt to levy a fee for the rest of UK to have military bases in Scotland?

          There are more questions than answers. A divorce with full Scottish independence is preferable to this bastardised devomax. Incidentally, who gave the Prime Minister the authority to promise, on our behalf, the granting of additional powers to Holyrood in the event of a ‘No’ vote? It wasn’t in the last Conservative manifesto, was it?

  18. forthurst
    Posted March 30, 2014 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    “He has continued the introduction and support for synthetic phonics as the best way to teach young children to read.”

    What is the difference between this and the way reading was taught half a century ago, at which time it was simply referred to as ‘learning to read’?

    As to history teaching, there may be need for a specific act of parliament to the effect that the history taught in schools will be 100% the history of the British Isles, irrespective of how many people from (other ed) cultures or their implausible tales of woe, which they wish to inflict on us in order to groom us into feeling sorry for them or guilty for something we didn’t actually do, try to sharp elbow their way in.

    In order to focus resources on schools, it would be better to shut down the department of education and close university departments of education. We do not need people who invent inferior teaching methods and inflict them on children without even a pilot scheme, nor do we want marxist educationalists inventing new racial groups, such as ‘poor whites’ when they are simply referring to working class English, at the bottom of their respective Bell curve, who are probably beached in areas full of children for whom English is not their first language. etc ed

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 30, 2014 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      Exactly.

      “What is the difference between this and the way reading was taught half a century ago, at which time it was simply referred to as ‘learning to read’?” Nothing much really but it sells lost of books and training courses.

      No to mention chunking!

      But perhaps we do not (any longer) need absurd spellings like yacht, ghost, write, maneuver – let them evolve as languages always should. They waste a lot of time pointlessly.

  19. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted March 30, 2014 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    I would imagine that those working outside the profession do not fully understand what it is to be teaching these days.For example in my profession , we see the media , talking about progress and how things have dramatically changed for the better and how much more advanced things are for Nurses and health…frankly it is a lot of rubbish and much more extra paperwork takes time off from the job.
    I have heard teachers I know saying similar.Where they were working well , there has been interference to substantiate that they are working well. These academic exercises , which degree like ( due to emphasis and negation of certain aspects which are hand picked to make a case) make unnecessary work , cause more stress and take time out from things like lesson planning which help children learn . It is a case of providing written evidence as well as the achievements which are self evidential.
    I am a teacher qualified for higher education only and I have done very little didactic teaching, but many would agree that a teachers personality has a significant impact on the performance of their pupils. If teaching staff are stressed with too much paper work then the children must surely pick this up too.

  20. Grasshopper
    Posted March 30, 2014 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Reference that leftie prat Rowan Williams and his comments regarding so called Climate change. Is he aware that there has been no Global Warming for the last 17 years and before that only 0.7 degrees c. This has been described as a “pause”, not a halt in warming. As regards blaming the West as the main cause of CO2, what about China/ India and Brazil? As regards the effects of CO2, apparently this has created a 16% in greening of the planet, surely the lefties should be in favour of this!

    • uanime5
      Posted March 30, 2014 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

      Is he aware that there has been no Global Warming for the last 17 years and before that only 0.7 degrees c

      There has been global warming over the past 17 years, that’s why 12 of the warmest years on record occurred in the last 14 years. Also the increase have been over 1 degree Celsius; which has resulted in more droughts, famines, and more violent storms.

      This has been described as a “pause”, not a halt in warming.

      Technically it’s a slow down as the earth has been warming at a slower rate.

      As regards the effects of CO2, apparently this has created a 16% in greening of the planet, surely the lefties should be in favour of this!

      Just one problem; it hasn’t done this. What it’s actually done is turn large parts of Africa into a desert.

      • Mark
        Posted March 31, 2014 at 10:32 am | Permalink

        Why is it that these days those who deny the facts about current climate are those who believe that the climate will change catastrophically? Is it because these facts are inconvenient for their theories?

        • Edward2
          Posted March 31, 2014 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

          Indeed Mark,
          It is for them, a religion not a science.
          Any contrary evidence staring them in the face is met as if it were a heresy.

          I have led Uni towards the Met Office figures on post 2000 temperature rises (or lack of them) but alas like Al Gore who is now persona non grata of the movement, these figures are not to be mentioned.
          They are having to measure in tenths of degrees averaged out over a decade to get to their disengenuous statement of some years post 2000 being the “hottest on record”
          Ask them to tell you the actual total rise since 1998 (or 2000 if preferred) and there is a stony silence.

          Also remember that Al Gore, just 20 years ago, warned us that post 2000 would see accelerating doomsday level rises. There was no mention of any pause.

  21. bigneil
    Posted March 30, 2014 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Recently read that ONE county has to build TEN more primary schools -just due to immigration. stupid, absolutely stupid, to get the country in this situation. Thank you politicians.

  22. uanime5
    Posted March 30, 2014 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    He has introduced free schools, where the early results are good.

    No they’re not. Many free schools have been undersubscribed because they’re in areas where there’s already enough school places. When Ofcom defied Gove and inspected these free schools (Gove opted free schools out of these inspections) they found that many of them performed poorly compared to state schools.

    He has accelerated the Labour programme of Academies, giving schools more powers to make their own decisions.

    Unfortunately one of the decisions academies can make is to not have any qualified teachers, resulting in their teaching quality being poor. Perhaps the government should tighten up the rules on how academies operate.

    He has continued the introduction and support for synthetic phonics as the best way to teach young children to read.

    Gove also required that students be tested on phonics using made up words, even though evidence shows that this disadvantages children who know how to read properly.

    He has led revisions to what is taught, to seek to ensure that the best of English literature and the basics of our island’s story are taught in English and History.

    Gove attempted to turn history into a propaganda lesson, something that was opposed by academics as it was little more than white-washing British history.

    I have written back to each offering to take up these worries with the Head of their school, but so far none of the teachers have taken up that offer.

    Well due to Gove’s plan to allow heads of schools to decide how much teachers are paid it’s understandable why they don’t want to be seen as problematic. Yet another consequences of poorly thought out plans.

    Alternatively the teachers may have realised that the headteacher isn’t able to influence how much paperwork the government makes them do.

    • Edward2
      Posted March 31, 2014 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      “Many free schools have been undersubscribed….”

      A major reason for this is because they deliberately planned it to be this way.
      Two excellent acadamies near me only allowed approx 200 students in year one but aim to build up to 1000 in a few years.
      The figures for percentage occupancy are being used by many on the left to make the incorrect assertion that they are not needed or poplular.

  23. Trevor Butler
    Posted March 30, 2014 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    Did my 18 months in hell when I first arrived in this country teaching in comps in Kent – The teachers were all labour/green loving lefties – Never again! It was never about equipping children it was a political agenda – May Mr. Gove live long and prosper and get more radical to the point of bringing back grammars and really rubbing the left’s nose in it!

    • Iain Gill
      Posted March 31, 2014 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      There needs to be a decent way for the most disruptive pupils to be handled in the school system. Just putting them in the class with the mainstream majority does not help them and it hurts the majority. This is one of those obvious things that the state just had not addressed properly.

  24. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted March 31, 2014 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    Some teachers in your area are working on unnecessary and bureaucratic tasks. Are these tasks imposed on them by their headmasters / headmistresses or are they effectively imposed upon them by the Secretary of State or people working for him? I think that you should be curious as to which applies.

    Reply I suspect the former and have asked the teachers to tell me which tasks they think are inappropriate. So far none have responded.

  25. Posted April 19, 2014 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    The English Bulldog -As the title implies, this breed is native to England.

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  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood has been the Member of Parliament for Wokingham since 1987. First attending Kent College, Canterbury, he graduated from Magdalen College, and has a DPhil from All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.
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