to think this analogy Gove makes is a bit hypocritical?

(109 Posts)
kim147 Sat 19-Oct-13 11:59:18

In the week we have seen 2 free schools fail (with unqualified teachers / heads in charge) and a young unqualified head of an academy quit, he comes out with this:

"Gove defended his decision to introduce more testing for pupils by drawing an analogy between two airlines. "Imagine that you had a choice not of schools, but of airlines. There is Test Airlines, very rigorous, and there is Warm and Fuzzy Airlines. What's the difference between the two? In Test Airlines they actually insist that the pilots have passed a test so that they can fly a plane. How old-fashioned can you get?

"At Warm and Fuzzy Airlines, they don't bother with these tests to see if pilots can fly. They just concentrate on all of the pilots giving the customers a warm and fuzzy feeling as soon as they get on board. Which would you fly with?"

I'd fly with an airline where they had people who knew about flying, had experience in it and were trained and observed in it - rather than an airline where some people had been in a plane, had read a few books on the theory and thought that they knew everything about being a pilot.

BrianWont Sat 19-Oct-13 12:02:50

Gove's a twat. Sadly, many seem to fall for his twattery.

OwlinaTree Sat 19-Oct-13 12:04:14

Hear, hear!!!

Round of applause for Kim.

Imagine having him as an after dinner speaker. Would make you vom up your dinner grin

Halfrek Sat 19-Oct-13 12:06:14

He is an unrepentant arsehole who needs a good slap.

The problem with him saying that it should be harder to get a C is that he will hammer the schools whose results will drop. We get excellent results but I am pretty sure they will drop this year, nothing to do with the teaching or the children just the changing goalposts. But we will be told it is our fault.

They simultaneously only want a few children to achieve a C but tell us we have failed the children who don't.

Don't even get me started on that free school head, what a twat. Don't know what she thought she was doing accepting that job.

lizzzyyliveson Sat 19-Oct-13 12:06:28

But he wants schools where the pilots (teachers and Heads) are not tested in any way. He wants our children to fly with an airline that sacks experienced and qualified pilots in favour of giving the job to the cabin crew on the basis that they have been up in an aeroplane before and watched other pilots and how hard can it be anyway?

noblegiraffe Sat 19-Oct-13 12:06:44

That's utterly idiotic. More tests doesn't mean that there were no tests before.

At Test Airline, the pilots are shattered from spending all their time preparing for tests. Would you fly with them?

gordyslovesheep Sat 19-Oct-13 12:07:09

he is the king of the twatbadgers

hackmum Sat 19-Oct-13 12:12:50

lizzzyyliveson is right - the analogy he uses completely undermines his own arguments. He is allowing people to set up schools who have no qualifications or experience and haven't passed the equivalent of a "flying" test. So wtf is he on about?

annie987 Sat 19-Oct-13 12:19:10

This contradicts everything he has ever said surely??? Knob!

Blissx Sat 19-Oct-13 12:54:32

And this coming from the man who failed his driving test first time. So it is ok for him to re-take tests, but sod everyone else? He went on strikes as a journalist, but sod everyone else? The man is only interested in becoming Prime Minister.

kim147 Sat 19-Oct-13 13:04:36

I just can't see how he can say that and then not realise how this links to his "anyone can teach and run a school" philosophy.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Sat 19-Oct-13 13:08:51

I'd fly on the airline which employed ex sergeant majors who'd never flown a plane before as pilots, obv.


hackmum Sat 19-Oct-13 13:11:53

"I just can't see how he can say that and then not realise how this links to his "anyone can teach and run a school" philosophy."

I agree, I can't see that either. In fact, every time Gove comes out with a new statement or initiative, I think "this man appears to be really thick". Then I tell myself he can't be thick because he has his PPE degree from Oxford, worked for The Times, everyone goes on about how intelligent he is, etc. So if he's not thick, what is he? Perhaps, like Baldrick, he has a cunning plan.

kim147 Sat 19-Oct-13 13:12:24

In that analogy, he seems to be saying the pilots (the teachers) need a test to ensure they can fly a plane (or teach)

But in the other airline, the pilots are giving the customers a fuzzy glow.

I'm not sure he understands his analogy. Surely the first airline should be concentrating on giving the customers the best flight they can and landing them safely. The first airline doesn't even mention customers. Just trained pilots.

Do you think he wrote the analogy?

Cataline Sat 19-Oct-13 13:17:55

He's such a muppet
Some of his arguments are plausible- if you apply them to those in the top 2% or so, attainment wise. Those who will sit in a class, suck up the teachers' knowledge through traditional 'chalk and talk', behave impeccably, never have emotional or social issues or difficulties of any sort or anything else that would distract from their learning and progress.
The other 98% are fucked.

kim147 Sat 19-Oct-13 13:18:42

At the moment, they've found out some pilots can't fly after the metaphorical plane has taken off.

lifeissweet Sat 19-Oct-13 13:26:08

Here's an analogy for you...

Would you prefer to have the country run by experienced professionals who understand the realities of the world and take heed of the advice of esteemed academics and well researched studies


Would you like the country run by clueless fuckwits with staggering arrogance and cotton wool in their ears

Oh..hang on...that's not an analogy, is it? Silly me.

Cataline Sat 19-Oct-13 13:37:33

lifeissweet grin

lljkk Sat 19-Oct-13 14:45:41


cory Sat 19-Oct-13 14:49:09


MamaBear17 Sat 19-Oct-13 15:12:09

I really hate that man. He is ruining my profession.

flumposie Sat 19-Oct-13 15:15:21

He is a knob head of the highest order and I could happily punch him

OwlinaTree Sat 19-Oct-13 15:18:58

i agree with mama and flump

sarine1 Sat 19-Oct-13 15:30:29

Staggering arrogance - spot on life is sweet! He really doesn't give a toss - as long as he's able to pursue his own narrow ideology and sod research, knowledge, experience, morality....
A truly loathsome & repugnant politician

bronya Sat 19-Oct-13 15:34:24

I have to say, in complete seriousness, that if Gove became Prime Minister, I'd emigrate!

butterflyroom Sat 19-Oct-13 15:41:54

I would happily beat him to unconsciousness with a rolled up Phonics Screening Check booklet. Twat!

Blissx Sat 19-Oct-13 18:03:03

I think I quite like you, bronya! grin

Blissx Sat 19-Oct-13 18:03:49

And butterflyroom smile

kim147 Sat 19-Oct-13 18:05:48

I wonder how far we could take this plane analogy grin

What is the outcome of the flight?

lifeissweet Sat 19-Oct-13 18:10:34

Well, Kim. The pilots are well trained, granted. However, the flight attendants were all laid off as they were merely 'support staff' so not making enough impact on the progress of the flight to justify their existence.

Talkinpeace Sat 19-Oct-13 18:15:47

volunteer airline?

greenbananas Sat 19-Oct-13 18:22:50

He's a worry, isn't he?

It is frightening how one man can make such a massive difference to teachers, the education system and the future of our children / society.

changeforthebetter Sat 19-Oct-13 18:23:32

I heart lifeissweet grin

longfingernails Sat 19-Oct-13 18:25:50

Gove is marvellous, but yes, this particular analogy is flawed.

But on the whole, if you introduce competition and allow new experimental ideas to determine teachine philosophy, then some of those new ideas will fail. That is OK, and expected. However, other ideas will succeed, and be copied. A culture of innovation drives up standards, but not necessarily for particular innovators. It's not a point a politician can make, but it is nonetheless true.

However, Gove has single handedly turned around the education of this country, and deserves great praise.

I love the fact that performance will now be the guarantor of promotion for teachers, rather than seniority. I love the fact that school control is being wrested away from the dreaded LEAs. I love the fact that Gove insists on rigour for all, not just those privileged enough to be able to pay for their childrens' education. I love the fact that Gove won't tolerate the bog standard comprehensive model. And I adore the fact that all the NUT/NASUWT blowhards can do is whine listlessly.

claig Sat 19-Oct-13 18:32:49

"I think there's no crime greater than lying to children – and that's why we need to tell them the truth."


"The solution, Gove said, was for the victims of income inequality to be "placed in a great school with a great teacher. There really is no limit to what those children can achieve."

Fine words, but there are not enough great schools with great teachers, so the solution is not as easy as that.

"One of the things I would say to union leaders is: why are you putting the interests of adults ahead of the needs of children?"

This is the usual tactic of placing guilt on the adults. If the adults do not make a stand to protect their terms and conditions, then eventually adults will leave and that will not serve the needs of children.

But Gove's biggest mistake is the following espousal of left wing type rhetoric and quoting Martin luther King etc. It is all great grandstanding stuff but it is socialism and Tory voters won't accept a non-meritocracy where preferential treatment is given to children based on their socio-economic.

"Quoting liberally from the speeches of Martin Luther King, Gove upbraided his American audience for their country's income inequality and the effect it had on the children of the poor.

During the last 20 years in England, social mobility had gone backwards, Gove said. "It's a tragedy for me that in America income inequality has [also] grown, and that despite the efforts of so many it's still the case that if you are a child of colour you are half as likely to graduate from high school as a white child in this country.

"One hundred and fifty years after the Gettysburg address, 50 years after Martin Luther King's speech 'I have a dream', it's still the case that America and Britain are houses divided by inequality and lack of opportunity."

The US and the UK were divided internally by a "common evil" of inequality, Gove said. "Both our countries have great educational institutions of which we can be proud … but in both our countries access to those great educational institutions, those universities and schools, is rationed and restricted, increasingly, to those who live in upscale neighbourhoods, have parents who have access to connections, and are supported by stable families."

This sort of stuff will go down well with Labour voters, but won't go down well with readers of the Daily Mail.

"The solution, Gove said, was for the victims of income inequality to be "placed in a great school with a great teacher."

How is he going to do that? Is he going to restrict the places of more able children just because they come from higher income families.

Gove won't even support academic selection which is what many Tory voters believe in because it is meritocratic, but he seems to want to provide some form of positive discrimination for those who are less advantaged.

If he carries on like that, the Daily Mail reader will not back him and he won't become Prime Minister for the Tories, but he might become Prime Minister and leqader of the Labour Party.

Lara2 Sat 19-Oct-13 18:33:50

I hope you're wearing a hard hat and are very good at ducking quickly longfingernails because you are going to need the equipment and the skill!!!

Gove has single handedly undermined and demoralised all who work in schools and needs to listen to people who really do know what they are talking about. He is monumentally arrogant and sadly will never see the damage he has done.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 19-Oct-13 18:36:58


"However, Gove has single handedly turned around the education of this country"

Evidence please.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 19-Oct-13 18:39:03


"I love the fact that Gove insists on rigour for all"

Can you link or quote gove's definition of rigour?

claig Sat 19-Oct-13 18:41:21

"common evil" of inequality

So inequality is now "evil", and equality is the holy grail. Is Gove a Marxist? Is he a progressive? Did he agree with the speeches of Thatcher or with those of Ralph Miliband?

Gove is all over the place, he has thought nothing through. He holds contradictory positions and tries to play to different galleries at the same time. He has made more u-turns than a joyrider in a hot hatchback. If he wants to lead the Tory Party, he ought to follow Thatcher's advice

"U turn if you want to, the lady's not for turning".

pointyfangs Sat 19-Oct-13 18:41:44

So claig how would you address inequality? Or do you think it is perfectly fine that we have this huge gulf between those who are born into favourable circumstances and those who are not, when other countries seem to manage to narrow this gap rather than widening it? There's nothing meritocratic about enshrining privilege.

I want all children to have the best education for them - and that means dealing with all the things that all governments from both side of the political divide have done wrong over the years.

Yes to selective education - but only if that means selecting into excellent and well respected vocational education as well. All children have talents - we in the UK are dreadful at identifying talent in non-academic areas because we only respect academia. That has to change. All children should have their talents catered for, underpinned by good business English and maths for all. Germany manages it, why can't we? We can't afford to have people leave the education system with nothing - and Gove's policies do nothing whatsoever to address this problem. I haven't heard a single word from him about vocational education.

pointyfangs Sat 19-Oct-13 18:42:45

And I agree with all of those who are asking for a definition of 'rigour' in education. 3 1/2 years and we still haven't had one.

longfingernails Sat 19-Oct-13 18:48:19

BoneyBackJefferson In terms of rigour: examples include the fact that grade inflation is no longer tolerated, and the push to end the 'coasting' culture by not settling for a C at GCSE as a measure of success.

Gove has introduced performance related pay. He has gotten rid of the useless PGCE qualification, venerated by the darlings of the left for indoctrinating its bland socialist homogeneity onto its bland socialist adherents. He has dessicated the power of the NUT/NASUWT. All very worthy achievements.

throckenholt Sat 19-Oct-13 18:52:04

I read it as you would want a pilot that had been through the "test them to within an inch of their lives" because they will have a price of paper to prove what they can do, rather than one who has been to a "touchy feely lets make people feel confident in their abilities and not worry about testing them" approach.

He seems to think it is an either or situation - can't possibly have a combination of both. Can't have a system that builds self esteem and self worth and then at strategic places along the way (like at the end !) test on the big picture and some random details to see if they know what they are doing.

He does have a track record of contradicting himself - at least as education secretary - never seems to have any lasting effect on him though.

If he ever becomes PM I think I will have to emigrate.

longfingernails Sat 19-Oct-13 18:53:03

claig I agree that inequality is a false prospectus.

What we need is equality of opportunity. The way to achieve that is through a competitive, rigourous education system which does not tolerate bad teachers, and insists on high standards. It is this which Gove so rightly strives for.

The Spirit Level is ivory tower hocus pocus.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 19-Oct-13 18:53:17

"fact that grade inflation is no longer tolerated, and the push to end the 'coasting' culture by not settling for a C at GCSE as a measure of success."

neither is proof of that gove "single handedly turned around the education of this country" both are number crunching exercises.

and I ask again what is gove's definition of "rigour"

claig Sat 19-Oct-13 18:56:35

'Gove upbraided his American audience for their country's income inequality'

I think Gove has got a cheek to upbraid the Americans and call himself a tory. Gove is not a Tory, he plays at being one, he is a progressive.

There will always be income inequality. That's what America is and always has been about. It is the land of opportunity where the American Dream is to strike it rich. That is why America produces its Steve Jobs and Bill Gates etc. Not everyone can be equal to them. Income inequality does not matter, what matters is that everybody has enough income to live well. What those at the top get in a land of opprtunity and enterprise is irrelevant if those at the bottom get enough to live well.

If Gove really really believes in the "common eveil of inequality" then why doesn't he donate most of his earnings to charity?

He plays to the gallery, he is a good actor, he can deliver funny lines, but I am beginning to wonder if he is a progresive in Tory clothes.

He says
"The solution, Gove said, was for the victims of income inequality to be "placed in a great school with a great teacher."

No it isn't, that will only create injustice and resentment from the middle classes and will increase the divide as middle classes set up private and free schools in order to maintain a meritocratic justice.

The solution is to improve all our schools and to have trained teachers, not ex-soldiers in the classroom to instil discipline. The solution is to work with the unions and teaching profession and together come up with plans to improve education. The solution is not to grandstand, spout socialist nonsense and alienate teachers and unions.

And what is Gove's definition of "a great school with a great teacher"? I hope it is not Al-Madinah.

neverputasockinatoaster Sat 19-Oct-13 19:02:01

Gove is an arse.

I currently work in year 2. I have 12 kids that, based on previous data, are expected to get a level 3.......... They have been given that level because their previous teachers were pushed to meet targets. I am finding that perhaps they are not ready to be at the level they are assessed at. If I don't get them to level 3 I will be slated and put on capability...... I am pushing those kids for all I am worth and I won't lie at the end of the year but I can see how tempting it would be.

The situation I describe is a direct result of the results based system we work in.

I am sick to death of my profession being governed by a man who has a 'bright' idea in the shower one morning and makes it policy by tea time.

Gove is an arse.

BrianWont Sat 19-Oct-13 19:03:17

longfingefnails what are you on about? The PGCE hasn't gone anywhere.

pointyfangs Sat 19-Oct-13 19:04:40

What those at the top get in a land of opprtunity and enterprise is irrelevant if those at the bottom get enough to live well.

But they don't, claig. Not in the US, not in the UK. And I have not heard any solutions from the right for that problem. Because they don't want everyone to live well, they want a pool of desperate people who will do anything - zero hours, no rights - just so that they can have some sort of income.

The people you vilify as socialists see this. You don't.

claig Sat 19-Oct-13 19:05:20

Yet another Gove u-turn.

"Graduates who scrape a third class degree are to be offered bursaries to train as teachers following a U-turn by the Education Secretary"

I can see why he chose the flying analogy, he knows a lot about flying, he is constantly flying by the seat of his pants.

claig Sat 19-Oct-13 19:08:37

'And I have not heard any solutions from the right for that problem.'

The solution is economic growth. Cheaper energy, cheaper fuel, and end to green taxes and subsidies that disincentivise growth and industrial production. We need jobs and work and industry not crappy zero-hour contracts, that will create wealth and allow people to live well and earn a living wage.

englishteacher78 Sat 19-Oct-13 19:08:43

Oh dear lord - how on earth can anyone describe Gove as a progressive or a socialist.

longfingernails Sat 19-Oct-13 19:09:49

BrianWont School Direct has expanded in scope. PGCEs have been deliberately marginalised.

claig Sat 19-Oct-13 19:21:07

This is from one of Gove's speeches

"But two particular individuals have influenced me more than any others.

The Italian Marxist thinker - and father of Euro-Communism – Antonio Gramsci."

Listen to what Gove actually says, not what he does. Because Gove is all over teh place with what he does. He changes his mind and u-turns all the time, so there is no constancy in his actions. But he underlying thought and speeches often remain consistent and with this socialist, progressive nonsense of the "common evil of inequality" he has progressive influences and says that the Marxist Gramsci was one of his greatest influences.

He u-turns in his actions, but even his thoughts are muddled and incoherent, yet the progressive fallacy in them remains constant.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 19-Oct-13 19:21:44

"The way to achieve that is through a competitive, rigourous education system which does not tolerate bad teachers, and insists on high standards"

unless you know what gove means by "rigour" the majority of your sentence is pointless.

pointyfangs Sat 19-Oct-13 19:22:39

Claig those aren't solutions, they're aspirations. Nice ones, but not ones that are being delivered by our current government.

Cheap energy and cheap fuel - how are they going to make that happen, with a growing economical world competing for shrinking reserves of fossil fuels?

Jobs and work - well, we've all seen how letting 'the market' dictate wages has worked , haven't we? The fact is that employers will pay as little as they can get away with paying, and successive governments have let them. The only person speaking out for a living wage in the Tory Party is Boris Johnson. The rest of them just defend zero hours contracts as 'creating a flexible labour force'. and meanwhile they chip away at the few rights employees do have in the UK - the weakest employment rights in Europe, by the way.

I share your aspirations, but the right which you worship will not deliver them. We need a new political movement - let's call it pragmatism.

greenbananas Sat 19-Oct-13 19:30:02

There is good research into how children learn. I have yet to see any evidence that Gove has read any of this research, or listened to anyone who has.

What he is doing is irresponsible. The unions are full of teachers who care about children and have studied (at degree level or higher) how best to teach them. Not listening to teachers is arrogant at best, positively criminal at worst.

The poster who has 12 children whose expected levels have been inflated has a very valid point. Either she loses pay and prestige, or the children get an education which is not suited to them and go through life feeling like failures.

It's a grim situation. I have done some youth work among "school failures" and also worked with young people who have been kicked out of school. Gove is storing is up massive problems for the future.

claig Sat 19-Oct-13 19:30:40

'Cheap energy and cheap fuel - how are they going to make that happen, with a growing economical world competing for shrinking reserves of fossil fuels?'

Shale gas and remove green taxes and other taxes on our fule so that the cost becoes the true cost not the one inflated with all the taxes. Recover lost revenue by reclaiming it from the banks whom we gave billions to.

'The only person speaking out for a living wage in the Tory Party is Boris Johnson'

That is just grandstanding too. The artificial "living wage" is nonsense, how wil they achieve it. in this economic climate, businesses will go bust, they are on the verge already. Real living wage comes from wage inflation which follows on from the creation of more jobs which leads to a labour shortage which leads to employers paying higher wages to attract staff. The way to achieve that is to stimulate the economy.

I'm not saing that what the tories have done is right. I am saying that some of the Tories are actually progressives and think that the greatet problem is "the common evil of inequality". The real greatest problem is employment and stimulating the economy. if teh Tories concentrated on that instead of focusing on progressive nonsense such as artificaily created living wages and inequality, then we would see a recovery.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 19-Oct-13 19:32:07

"School Direct has expanded in scope"

A method by which teachers (qualified) teach people to become teachers. Who will be blamed when (if) it fails?

I do know that it won't be the half baked pillock that brought it in.

sarine1 Sat 19-Oct-13 19:38:46

The trouble is that there IS no simple solution to inequality, under-performance, or even maximising each child's attainment. It's NOT SIMPLE!!
But Gove would have people believe that it IS simple - get rid of evil LAs, under performing teachers, introduce the marketplace, test children within an inch of their lives and 'rank' schools with ever changing criteria and that will bring about the transformation of education. Simples..
I've worked for 40 years in state education (in schools and evil LAs) and I see on a daily basis fantastic child centred education. Of course it's not always perfect - few national systems (health, law etc) are.
I am so glad to be at the end of my career and really fear for this generation of children at the mercy of these appalling policies.

englishteacher78 Sat 19-Oct-13 19:44:14

Gove is not a socialist of any kind - his alleged liking of Gramsci is a red herring. To me he appears to be someone trying to become the next leader of the Tory Party. He's trying to get the old guard on side by going for two perceived Thatcherite techniques - union bashing and privatisation.

pointyfangs Sat 19-Oct-13 19:58:11

Shale gas and remove green taxes and other taxes on our fule so that the cost becoes the true cost not the one inflated with all the taxes. Recover lost revenue by reclaiming it from the banks whom we gave billions to.

claig I don't disagree with that idea, but it's really quite a progressive one, you know. grin

Whathaveiforgottentoday Sat 19-Oct-13 20:15:03

"Gove has introduced performance related pay. He has gotten rid of the useless PGCE qualification, venerated by the darlings of the left for indoctrinating its bland socialist homogeneity onto its bland socialist adherents. He has dessicated the power of the NUT/NASUWT. All very worthy achievements."

I'd better let my 2 PGCE students know that the course they've just started on has been gotten rid of. Performance related pay hasn't come in yet. What power has the unions lost? How many incorrect statements can you cram into 1 paragraph.

Coldlightofday Sat 19-Oct-13 20:19:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

claig Sat 19-Oct-13 20:21:26

This is from Gove's speech and is about his hero, the Marxist Antonio Gramsci


Destined not merely to perpetuate social differences but to crystallise them.

He could have been describing what has happened in Britain in the last forty years. The nation which invented the concept of meritocracy, where the idea of the career open to talent had propelled social and economic progress has seen social mobility stall. And then move backwards. Wherever you look - Cabinets or Shadow Cabinets - newspaper editorial conferences or FTSE 100 boardrooms - the nation's galleries or bishop's palaces - the positions of power and influence are overwhelmingly held by the privately-educated or the children of middle class professionals. The social differences which existed in our society before the Nineteen-Sixties have - in all too many cases - not just been perpetuated but crystallised.

And it is impossible to reflect on this entrenching of inequality without also reflecting on the educational philosophy which has been so dominant during this period."

He pretends that the reason social mobility has declined is because of progressive education and child-centred learning etc i.e. it is the teachers' fault and the Marxist blob etc. But the real reason that social mobility declined is the scrapping of grammar schools in many areas, so that working class and middle class children like Harold Wilson, Margaret Thatcher, John Major, Alastair Campbell etc who had once been fortunate enough to go to grammar schools and compete with the likes of the privately educated but often less intelligent children like Tony Blair, David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Harriet Harman, could no longer go to grammars amd could no longer compete with the children in the top fee-paying schools.

Gove does not support a return of grammars to help less economically advantaged but far brighter children compete with the children of the moneyed elite.

claig Sat 19-Oct-13 20:25:34

'Throughout the twentieth century - and in particular since 1967 and the publication of the Plowden Report - the new educational orthodoxy was progressive. The role - and authority - of the teacher and traditional subject knowledge was undermined. The teacher was demoted from being "the sage on the stage" to a "guide by the side". Didactic become a pejorative term.'

More rubbish. I went to school in the years after 1967 and I don't recognise this as a picture of what went on in schools.

englishteacher78 Sat 19-Oct-13 20:25:53

John Major was not a grammar boy. He famously has very poor qualifications actually.

claig Sat 19-Oct-13 20:36:04

Gove then quotes another left wing influence of his, E.D. Hirsch and then he quotes from another author

"As Rose points out in his work, housemaids read Dickens and Conrad and kitchen maids saved up money to attend classical music concerts. The servant girl Dorothy Burnham, who grew up in care, "found herself in Keats, Tennyson and Arnold", confessing,"

This is like some rose-tinted scene out of "Upstairs, Downstairs". He is basing policy on a few outliers that were not representative of most peoples' lives.

'In 1940, on average, boys from every background were reading six books a month and girls over seven.'

There was no TV in those days. Does he want us to turn off our TVs, unplug our computers and bin our ipads?

claig Sat 19-Oct-13 20:43:13

The more I read of what Gove says, the more I think that he has one policy for education - turn the clock back to the 1940s before television and before computers. Let the workers in McDonalds read Chaucer and Milton and watch our country's economic performance increase against countries like Singapore who use computers and probably don't read much Chaucer anymore.

The policy is like some Peter Pan flight of fancy, wishing that we could return to bygone days when the workers down the mines read Keats and Britannia ruled the waves.

That's it. Let's see if it successful.

englishteacher78 Sat 19-Oct-13 20:45:09

Gove is NOT left wing. Selective quoting from left wingers doesn't make him left wing.
He gave up any socialist leanings a long time ago!

claig Sat 19-Oct-13 20:49:26

'He gave up any socialist leanings a long time ago!'

I very much hope so, but I'm starting to wonder. He doesn't seem to have mentioned any right wing thinkers to go along with the Marxists that he admires.

englishteacher78 Sat 19-Oct-13 20:52:52

If he was so socialist/Marxist he wouldn't use those as insults when talking to and about the teaching unions.
He is a slimy weasel with no real principles.

There is only one word for Gove


He doesn't want early 20th century education but 19th century (If he could bring back flogging that would be top of the list !).

He has removed the speaking and listening for English GCSE (skills understandable and useful in a workplace with presentation and phone skills needed in business) and instead mandated that all pupils should be able to use a fountain pen! I despair the only time I have ever used a fountain pen since school was in the forces.

Those who fail to see how he is destroying education should be ashamed of allowing their tunnel vision to cloud what little sight they have.

claig Sat 19-Oct-13 21:25:30

'and instead mandated that all pupils should be able to use a fountain pen!'

You are joking, aren't you?

Has Gove got shares in the last remaining British fountain pen company?

Sadly not!

Apparently the email arrived in the last 2 weeks. My friend who teaches in a secondary was not happy ranting.

pointyfangs Sat 19-Oct-13 21:49:03

So instead of actually learning useful things, secondary pupils are doing to have handwriting lessons? In the digital age? Really?

Now I've heard it all.

When he says 'fountain pen' please tell me he does not mean the kind where you dip an actual nib into an actual pot of ink... I mean, I like using a proper cartridge pen, it helps improve my crap handwriting because I have arthritis writing, but I think we have bigger things to focus on in UK education.

I've tried to find a reference online but I can't but I do trust my friend. I can also believe anything of Mr Gove

sinpan Sat 19-Oct-13 22:17:11

Based on this thread Gove doesn't have many fans.

Is it possible is whole approach is a massive red herring, designed to appeal to the nostalgic types who worship the past? While actually distracting us from the fact that nothing we do to education will make ourchildren richer in a global market economy where our own local economy is already mature, growth is all in the East and innovation is underfunded

claig Sat 19-Oct-13 22:36:36

I watched Gove's speech at the Tory Conference and I do think that Gove is sincere. He does want to improve education, he wants to make changes, he believes in what he is doing.

Whether he is right in the way he is going about it is another issue. I think that he believes that the unions and teaching establishment are a large part of the problem in not wanting to change and I think he is sincere in wanting to force through change.

He is so confident and sure that he is right, that amazingly enough none of his many u-turns seem to have harmed him. They are all like water off a duck's back.

claig Sat 19-Oct-13 23:05:38

Blimey, I think that Gove really is a progressive. This is how he ends the speech at the Social Market Foundation, which itself sounds like a progressive think tank.


I began tonight by arguing that for those of us who are political progressives it is also necessary to be educational conservatives And there is a sense in which all great education has a conservative element - we wish to pass on - protected and if possible enhanced - the whole repertoire of human accomplishment to our children.

But while I am proud in many ways to be a conservative I think - in a spirit of proper candour - that I should actually come out and accept that this Government's educational philosophy is not really conservative at all - but rather uncompromisingly radical


"And I suspect that even if not every Conservative agrees with me, Jade Goody and Antonio Gramsci would."

Well, that has done it. Now I am sure about it. Gove is not only a progressive, but he is a proud progressive.

When the Daily Mail reader finds out about this, it could be curtains for his chances to become Tory leader. However, there is a good chance he could become Labour leader.

Liberation theology is a political movement in Roman catholic theology that detractors have termed Christianized Marxism.

claig Sat 19-Oct-13 23:09:06

Does Dacre know about this?

What sort of legacy will Dacre think about all of this?

Sparkle9 Sat 19-Oct-13 23:23:22

Longfingernails - may I ask if you work in education or another job/sector/profession? I don't suppose you work in journalism?

claig Sat 19-Oct-13 23:37:16

Dacre is known to swear occasionally in the office, but when he finds out about this, I don't think it will be safe to be in the vicinity. He'll go absolutely bonkers!

Antonio Gramsci? WTAF!
He's having a laugh!

claig Sat 19-Oct-13 23:42:27

Next they'll be telling us that Cameron's heroes are Engels and Eddie Izzard.

Thank God for Osborne is all I can say. He's a real Conservative.

No wonder the country is going to the dogs.

Talkinpeace Sun 20-Oct-13 12:58:36

I suspect Longfingernails recently stopped writing for Murdoch and now writes for Dacre

claig Sun 20-Oct-13 13:14:29

I don't think Longfingernails is a fan of the Mail if I remember rightly from some threads a few years ago.

Sparkle9 Sun 20-Oct-13 14:11:12

Longfingernails - I am a teacher in a repeatedly Outstanding school. We probably have this 'rigour', of which you and Mr Gove speak, coming out of our ears. The children achieve outstanding results and make outstanding progress (including the ones who have SEN, FSM and/or EAL). It is not a selective school in terms of ability or faith. It is not a free school or academy. We do not think the LA is wonderful but we do appreciate being part of it. The teachers are all committed and repeatedly outstanding (with the odd 'good' lesson on a bad day). They are well educated, professional and hardworking. They care about the children and go above and beyond each day. The parents are very appreciative and supportive - they think the school is fantastic.

And yet..... Not one teacher at this school agrees with Gove's policies. Not one of us. Some have previously voted Conservative so it's not a 'party' thing. Ponder that, if you will.....

Oh and most of the teachers have a PGCE....

Sparkle9 Sun 20-Oct-13 14:14:34

Claig - I saw a post from some time ago from her saying that the Times was the best newspaper ("best commentators") and the Mail was the best of the tabloids.

claig Sun 20-Oct-13 14:22:38

Yes, I know she is a fan of the Times. Yes, she probably thinks that the Mail is the best tabloid, but I am not sure she reads it.

kim147 Sun 20-Oct-13 14:23:41

I think Claig likes the Daily Mail.

claig Sun 20-Oct-13 14:24:39

'Some have previously voted Conservative'

Good point, I wonder if they still will or if Gove has actually lost some Tory voters.

claig Sun 20-Oct-13 14:25:38

'I think Claig likes the Daily Mail.'

Like it? I bloomin' well luffs it!

soul2000 Sun 20-Oct-13 14:35:51

Claig you will be aware that speech sounds similar to the speech that
Keith Joseph gave at the "IDEAL HOME EXHIBITION" 1977, Gove i think
is a bit cuckoo like "JOSEPH".

claig Sun 20-Oct-13 14:44:41

No, soul2000, I didn't realise that.
That is fascinating. I will try to find that article.
It doesn't surprise me.
How many real Conservatives actually are there? Is everyone apart from the Daily Mail a progressive?

Thanks for that fascinating info.

soul2000 Sun 20-Oct-13 15:32:48

sorry Craig. 1975 not 1977 Camping show at Olympia. Joseph went on about the
country needing change from Marxist subversion in front of kids and parents . Page 235 SEASONS IN THE SUN D SANBROOK.

englishteacher78 Sun 20-Oct-13 15:38:06

If by Conservative, you mean the pre-Maggie type. Then no, there aren't any. And yet the inherently conservative types keep voting for these Conservatives who love change for change's sake. I wouldn't necessarily call them progressives though. Monetarist prats maybe.

claig Sun 20-Oct-13 15:44:12

Thanks for that soul2000.

I have read Dominic Sandbrook's articles in the Daily Mail and they are very good. I think it is about time that I learnt a bit more about it all by getting hold of his book. Thanks for the good reminder.

englishteacher78, I think you are probably right. I read the Daily Mail in the hope that they will be able to influence them to carry out true conservative policies rather than these radical changes for change's sake ones.

englishteacher78 Sun 20-Oct-13 15:46:36

The daily mail is poisonous, scientifically illiterate, misogynistic rubbish. But it makes for good General Studies lessons.
Of course, feel free to disagree, but I hate that paper for several objectionable articles over a number of years.

claig Sun 20-Oct-13 16:00:11

englishteacher78, you were right on what you said before, but on this one we shall have to agree to disagree most vehemently!

Morgause Sun 20-Oct-13 16:05:33

Gove won't be around much longer. He's made so many mistakes and had to back down so often that he's already a laughing stock.

I shan't weep when he's sacked. He's a bit of a sad case, really.

Talkinpeace Sun 20-Oct-13 16:08:26

When he stops being Education Secretary he will run for Prime Minister.
Be careful what you wish for.

The only way that Gove makes sense is to realise that he isn't talking to you. If you aren't his intended audience then what he is saying sounds like poorly thought out rubbish. I'm sure that he is aware that it doesn't make sense and this analogy is one example of him talking rubbish aimed at his desired audience.

Similarly in the US he wasn't really aiming his speech at the audience in the room but at the British public via the British press who would cover it more than the US press.

soul2000 Sun 20-Oct-13 16:36:08

Talkinpeace. the Conservative party know Gove as leader would probably
lose 1 million votes. They may think he may attract 95% of the UKIP vote
but even UKIP voters have kids at school . I think it would be more likely
he would become Home secretary than leader... Think about that, he could
bring back "PUBLIC HANGINGS, FLOGGINGS, TRANSPORTATION, CHAIN GANGS" and be seen as an hero for stopping the decline in the standards
of punishment.

nennypops Sun 20-Oct-13 16:36:52

Gove is much more interested in his own career than in children's education. All of his initiatives are directed at what he thinks will play well with the electorate rather than at what will actually work. I'm just hoping that now that Labour has got rid of Twigg, who was as much use in opposition as a chocolate teapot, they might actually be able to show Gove up for the objectionable idiot that he is.

Talkinpeace Sun 20-Oct-13 16:38:51

soul2000 you just made me spit my coffee!

Then again the Police Commissioner I was talking to is all in favour of abolishing most short prison sentences as they do not work and are too expensive - he's all in favour of 'peer courts' and 'payback' schemes. Gove would have kittens.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 20-Oct-13 16:40:29

"be seen as an hero for stopping the decline in the standards
of punishment."

Only if he could do it by moving the goalposts and playing with the numbers.

Morgause Sun 20-Oct-13 16:42:50

He always remind me of the unpopular creepy kid who used to crawl to the teachers and tell tales.


Talkinpeace Sun 20-Oct-13 16:44:51

Boney No, the badgers are still carrying the goalposts around with them

soul2000 Sun 20-Oct-13 17:16:59







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