Michael Gove

Wrong for human rights

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The appointment of the loathsome Michael Gove as justice secretary bodes ill for human rights in Britain. Solicitor Madeleine Corr seeks inspiration from teachers who ousted him from the education department.

“It is of course a while ago now but let’s just enjoy again, for a moment, the departure of Michael Gove from the Department for Education…and all those ‘Gove Must Go’ badges now take their place with all the other campaign memorabilia.”

Those were the words of Christine Blower addressing this year’s National Union of Teachers conference.

It is a victory for teachers that Gove is no longer spearheading the demise of state schools; it is a disaster for those working in legal aided law that he is now spearheading the demise of access to justice.

Academies fail the grade

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The government's plans to privatise education are mired in financial scandal and under pressure from campaigns by teaching staff, parents and local authorities.

Michael Gove has put the Academies and free schools at the heart of his education strategy. A programme started under the last Labour government, and opposed by all trade unions and by many parents and communities, has expanded so that now half of all secondary schools are Academies and primaries are converting at a worrying pace.

But Gove has met much more resistance to the project than he expected from parents and increasingly from local authorities, heads, teachers, support staff and school governors.

The Tory education nightmare

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Tory education secretary Michael Gove has set out to destroy progressive education. But he is meeting increasing resistance, and even falling out with some of his friends.

On 3 February this year Michael Gove gave a speech about his vision for education at the London Academy of Excellence. Gove painted himself and his project as a historic crusade against "failing schools".

Gove and his government have been reforming education at breakneck speed. From the break up of the state system in the form of Free Schools and Academies to the overhaul of the curriculum, Gove has left no aspect untouched.

Bad science, worse politics

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The new policy briefing on children's education by Michael Gove's top advisor is a justification for inequality

A leaked policy document from Michael Gove's top adviser, Dominic Cummings, shows the vision underpinning educational policy in England. The claim that intelligence is mainly inherited attracted most attention, and is used to justify closing hundreds of Sure Start children's centres for the most disadvantaged.

According to Cummings, these parents are poor because they are stupid, and pass on stupidity genes to their children, so it is futile to provide nurseries.

History in the making?

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After provoking even headteachers to heckle him, Michael Gove's plans for a new curriculum for school history look to be in trouble. Andrew Stone looks at the growing campaign against them

It is quite an achievement to provoke a conference of headteachers to heckle you, but education minister Michael Gove has never been short of personal ambition. The high-handed arrogance which has characterised his treatment of teachers and schools, and which prompted the backlash from the recent NAHT conference, is equally evident in his plans for school history.

GCSEs: Gove rigs the system

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The crisis in the marking of this year's GCSEs should give us one reason to be grateful: it has exposed the farce that is at the heart of our education system.

Bizarrely but predictably, the coalition has used this crisis to produce a dog's dinner of a "reform" which does nothing more than buttress up a faulty apparatus. As usual, the real motor that drives educational underachievement is hidden from view.

It is quite reasonable for teachers and learners to have a method of assessing what is being understood and what skills are being acquired. It is quite another to create a system which pits pupils, teachers and schools against each other that makes a fact-accumulating approach dominate education entirely.

Growing up in Goveland: how politicians are wrecking schools

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The leaking of Michael Gove's plans to return to O-levels in place of GCSEs reignited a row about "falling standards" in British schools. Here Terry Wrigley argues it is not enough for the left to simply dismiss such claims - instead we must argue that the root of the problem lies in the marketisation of education

Right wing politicians like nothing better than a good disaster. Disasters give them an excuse to intervene and make matters worse. If there wasn't a financial crisis, Cameron's gang would have to invent one. Now education secretary Michael Gove is using supposed "falling standards" to destroy comprehensive education and condemn most working class pupils to a second rate education. By abolishing GCSEs and restoring the old "O-level", he is trying to return to the days when only a minority of 16 year olds took a school-leaving exam.

A Class Inquiry

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The Leveson Inquiry into phone hacking ended in June, no doubt to collective relief in establishment circles. We must wait until the autumn for Lord Justice Leveson to submit his findings to David Cameron. The knowledge that a Lord Justice will report to a Tory prime minister is enough to know not to hold our breath.

The 86 days of hearings have been tedious on one level and extraordinary on another. The prime minister and chancellor, chief constables, billionaire newspaper owners and their editors have been called to account, laying bare a world not just of corruption and cover up but of routine collusion, of "country suppers" and "Yes we Cam" (former News International boss Rebekah Brooks' congratulatory text to Cameron). We now know, for example, how many times Cameron met executives at News International over a period (59).

The Sun isn't shining

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The wheels continue to come off at News International. James Murdoch's resignation as executive chairman is the latest blow. It came a few days after Metropolitan police deputy-assistant commissioner Sue Akers' explosive account to the Leveson Inquiry of a "culture of illegal payments" to a "network of corrupt officials" by the Sun

Ackers' broadside came a day after Rupert Murdoch launched the first Sun on Sunday, replacing the News of the World which was shut last July. His abrupt move followed the dawn arrests of ten Sun journalists - an eleventh is wanted for questioning - sparking such discontent among Murdoch's loyal hacks that Rupert himself descended on Wapping to reassure them.

Get Gove

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Michael Gove, the education secretary, has launched a new wave of academies expansion - forced academies. After the last election Gove rushed the Academies Act through parliament. Last November, almost unnoticed in the wider crisis, he extended his powers to directly intervene in local schools and convert them into academies. The justification is that these are "underperforming" schools.

Gove claims he is a champion of "social justice," and that academies are about helping the neediest. Nothing could be further from the truth. By 2015 Gove will have overseen a 15 percent cut in school budgets in real terms. Programmes such as one to one tuition, behaviour improvement and ethnic minority support programmes are being sacrificed, while Gove now has more centralised power than any previous secretary of state.

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