to think Mr Gove and his wife

(70 Posts)
taratamara Thu 06-Mar-14 18:31:09

.. should send their child to a normal as in not ultra-hard-to-get-into-i.e-selective-but -free state school before they start preaching to other people about how terrible private schools are angry

Finickynotfussy Thu 06-Mar-14 18:32:18


VivaLeBeaver Thu 06-Mar-14 18:38:08

Yanbu. I'd like to see the twats send their dd to a 40% gcse pass rate school.

DangoDays Thu 06-Mar-14 18:40:16

Is it ultra hard to get into? Aren't there places for church goers, catchment places and those on language places at gcg. Seems easier to get a place than some of the primary church schools in westminster...

mummymeister Thu 06-Mar-14 18:42:27

YABU OP. you are expecting the great and powerful Gove to have to manage like we mere mortals do. we need a MNetter who is also a teacher at this school to tell us when he takes them out for a term time holiday. that would be worth its weight in gold imo. I love it when politicians do this "see we are just ordinary like you" Tony Bleurgh did it with his kids.

Gillg57 Thu 06-Mar-14 18:47:38

I rarely (more than likely never) have a good word to say about Gove and the decision to send his daughter to a state school is no doubt cynical and politically motivated. But presumably Greycoat applied their comprehensive academy school admissions policy fairly and in the same way it would to any other application. What would have been interesting is where they would have chosen had the application been rejected smile

DangoDays Thu 06-Mar-14 18:51:35

Yes interesting gillg57. Why not Pimlico - John Nash's school?

Gillg57 Thu 06-Mar-14 18:55:20

Why not Pimlico indeed DanjoDays. I believe the Labour politician Jack Straw sent his children there.

DangoDays Thu 06-Mar-14 19:03:33

Yes. Apparently pimlico has knowledge based curriculum that he is a big fan of so a surprise he hasn't wanted this for his own child...instead he's chosen a school that isn't a reflection of a political trend/whim.

Bue Thu 06-Mar-14 19:14:30

I don't see any problem with Greycoat. It has a huge catchment area and a very diverse population of girls. Just because he is education minister doesn't mean he has to seek out a sink school to make a point.

Bue Thu 06-Mar-14 19:15:37

And I generally can't stand Gove, btw.

ravenAK Thu 06-Mar-14 19:17:28

I just have heartfelt sympathy for next year's Year Seven tutor team, who will currently be drawing straws...bad enough a few years ago when I ended up with our Deputy Head's dd (who to be fair, was a delightful girl...).

lljkk Thu 06-Mar-14 19:21:15


SomethingkindaOod Thu 06-Mar-14 19:21:46

I think politicians' children should be excluded from political point scoring by law tbh. That goes for everyone. The Goves should keep shut about it as should everybody else. This girl is a minor and is unable to defend herself or her parents for their choice of school. They're parents, they send their children to the best school they can. Nobody in their right mind whether left wing right wing or who gives a toss would send their children to a failing or substandard school by choice just to be popular!

iamsoannoyed Thu 06-Mar-14 20:09:49

I agree with SomethingkindaOod

I couldn't really care where they send their child. It's not really any of my business.

I should imagine Greycoats had to apply their admissions policy, and the child got in- so presumably they have not been treated differently from the other families who live in the catchment area and want to send their children there?

Or should they have sought out the worst school available to make some kind of (very stupid) point?

Piscivorus Thu 06-Mar-14 20:13:23

He is entitled to send his daughter wherever he wants, just as any of us can. I presume their decision is based on what they think is best for their child, as an individual, rather than on any ideology.

LizzieVereker Thu 06-Mar-14 20:17:44

Someone MARRIED him? (faints).

(Revives a bit) I spose he can send his child where he wants. (Sulks)

TippiShagpile Thu 06-Mar-14 20:18:49

It's a selective single sex school. Hard to see the difference between that and a private school. Except that they won't be getting a bill for it 3x a year.

Nice to see Sarah Vine slagging off private school kids this week. I'm sure her kids will be a million miles away from that.

TippiShagpile Thu 06-Mar-14 20:20:28

Of course they can send their kids where they like. But please would they stop being so effing worthy about it, as if it's a failing inner city school.

bigTillyMint Thu 06-Mar-14 20:21:00

Yes Lizzie!shock Sarah Vine

5OBalesofHay Thu 06-Mar-14 20:22:50

Like them both, why the vitriol? Is greycoats not s good school then?

diabolo Thu 06-Mar-14 20:26:47

I vote Tory, have no problem with Gove, but those comments by Mrs Gove are some of the most hypocritical I've ever had the misfortune of reading. It's like she's trying desperately to endear herself to the masses by bashing private schools, when we all know the Goves would have chosen a private school had Dad not been Education Secretary.


meditrina Thu 06-Mar-14 20:36:23

Well, as his constituencies outside M25 (and clearly family home/schooling not taking place there) his London home must be near the HofP, then Greycoats is the nearest state school admitting girls.

diabolo Thu 06-Mar-14 20:45:28

I've no problem with their chosen school, just with the self- congratulating, pompous and hypocritical crap his wife seems to have written in the last couple of days.

I don't for one minute think she believes any if what she's written, it has only been said to try and win voters over.

Bloody politicians are all the same.

bigTillyMint Thu 06-Mar-14 20:45:48

Well, it will be interesting to see whether she got in on faith/language aptitude/proximity.

bigTillyMint Thu 06-Mar-14 20:49:25

Ah, just found this

"my daughter and son are at a faith school and it's a great school - over-subscribed, with great methods, great head and socially comprehensive intake." from his MN webchat!

I guess that answers the question.

taratamara Thu 06-Mar-14 20:52:14

I agree that it's Mrs G's comments which really got my back up - obviously Blair, Clegg & others have done the 'state school' thing - all getting in very fairly no doubt, but at least they didn't then start slagging off private school pupils, bit rich coming from a Tory anyway IMO

taratamara Thu 06-Mar-14 20:53:30

Ah thank God for that bigtilly - quite literally in fact wink

I didn't realise until just now that Gove was married and had children - I'm struggling to comprehend that someone had sex with him, several times.

annabelcaramel Thu 06-Mar-14 20:59:32

She has made a career out of the phrase 'smokey eye'. How strange life is.

taratamara Thu 06-Mar-14 21:05:24


meditrina Thu 06-Mar-14 21:05:55

"Why not Pimlico indeed DanjoDays. I believe the Labour politician Jack Straw sent his children there."

Which must mean he swerved several schools to pick that one. From his address (street identifiable at time of an arrest in his family) his nearest school was the (about then 2nd lowest performing in all London) Lillian Bayliss. Same hypocrisy all round?

Fusedog Thu 06-Mar-14 21:07:21

Op I think your post is a bit shit the twat that is the labour education minster is not just sending his kids to private school he's sending them to boarding school funny you missed that op

I wonder how many labour MPs children go to normal comps

AgaPanthers Thu 06-Mar-14 21:09:43

DangoDays there are 1050 applicants for 151 places.

108 of the places are allocated on the basis of how many points the parent and child score in a religious piety test. 15 more are allocated on language aptitude, which is a test that is an extremely effective proxy for an IQ test (which as a supposed comprehensive, they aren't allowed to use ).

The last 28 places are reserved for girls at three named primary schools, two of which are religiously selective.

Since the selection is done on the basis of a clergy reference, if Mr. Gove got a friendly vicar to write him a reference scoring max points, then he would be very confident of his daughter getting in.

Conversely if he had no such reference, unless she was at a feeder school, she had no chance at all of getting in.

PrincessScrumpy Thu 06-Mar-14 21:10:05

I believe his kids are at a state boarding school not single sex if it's the one I was told. Which are you all referring to? Must have missed it becoming public knowledge.

diabolo Thu 06-Mar-14 21:10:37

It's total hypocrisy.

At least say "well you know, we had the chance to get her into one of the best state schools in the country so we'd be mad not to".

Instead we get " blah blah, comprehensive education is best for everyone".

Rubbish. They wouldn't be sending her to my old comp where barely 20% met nationally expected levels.

If you are going to choose either a private school or a very, very good, selective, state school, at least have the balls to say "I'm doing it because I want my child to have the best I can give them".

AgaPanthers Thu 06-Mar-14 21:14:04

Fusedog, Tristram Hunt said he would CONSIDER private school for his kids. His oldest I believe is in y1 state primary. Not boarding school.

Dinosaursareextinct Thu 06-Mar-14 21:19:55

Why is everyone so sure that there was no bias involved in the decision to take the daughter? I don't think we should assume that, as if our officials and school management staff are totally beyond suspicion.

taratamara Thu 06-Mar-14 21:54:14

There does seem to be a common theme dinosaurs of politicians getting their children into schools which mere mortals find extremely hard to get their children into. Its annoying that we're then supposed to be grateful for that.

The fact that there's so many hoops to jump through to get in would suggest it's not going to have the widest social mix/ baked beans openers

Gillg57 Thu 06-Mar-14 22:50:15

Meditrina - just coming back on your post earlier. I have no idea what the Straw family address was at the time they applied for a place at Pimlico school which is the relevant reference point. The problem his son had later in life isn't relevant at all and disappointing to see dragged up. Aside from that, even if on the other side of London, Pimlico School has always accepted children from far and wide. It is not uncommon in London for your child to attend a secondary school that is one or more council boundaries away from your home. Indeed that was the case for my children and for their friends, and for that matter for myself very many years ago smile

kim147 Thu 06-Mar-14 22:53:23

I'd think I'd find it hard doing parents' evening without staying professional grin

meditrina Thu 06-Mar-14 23:08:32

Apologies - I deliberately did not mention the precise issue as I intended only to point out that his address during his DCs secondary years was publicly known, and from that it's clear he did no use his nearest state school, but one he liked better further away. And that was the only point I wanted to make.

I don't know the Gove address - but it will be close to Westminster. Greycoats is quite possibly his nearest secondary school (and with geographic feeders, the Govette could have also gone to closest primary to Westminster home and got a place on distance). So in terms of 'just go to your local school' it's possible that, unlike Straw, the Goves have done exactly that.

Other than schools with lotteries, or a few faith schools, it is exceptionally rare for London school to have an admissions footprint these days of over a mile, maybe two. So yes, pupils go over one borough boundary all the time, but over, but the days of 'one or more' are long gone.

Gillg57 Thu 06-Mar-14 23:28:40

Sorry meditrina, my current experience of children I know at school in London does not suggest that the twice a day shift of children from one side of London to the other to go to secondary school is anything other than very much alive and well. I think we'll have to agree to disagree on that one.

meditrina Fri 07-Mar-14 00:40:50

I think you might be in a brilliant position, come next CAF round, to help MNetters by sharing your knowledge of London secondaries with admissions footprints that wide.

WooWooOwl Fri 07-Mar-14 00:44:39


Like any other parent, he should send his child to the best school he has access to that he thinks is right for her.

His daughter does not exist to score him and his government political points just because of his job.

GarthsUncle Fri 07-Mar-14 00:47:11

Sarah Vine isn't called Mrs Gove, is she?

Gillg57 Fri 07-Mar-14 01:06:42

Meditrina - I'm sure MNetters will be mindful that there is more to choosing a school for your child than distance and do their own research.

Lazyjaney Fri 07-Mar-14 06:18:26

"Nice to see Sarah Vine slagging off private school kids this week"

Par for the course for parents who get theirs into vair naice state schools iME.

I think her making those comments puts the Govette (love that term) issue in play.

TamerB Fri 07-Mar-14 06:25:42

They will do what we all do- try and get their child the best possible school.

KepekCrumbs Fri 07-Mar-14 06:27:50

Gove is in a stronger position than most to know for sure that public schools can harvest some utter arses. They are all around him.

fairylightsintheloft Fri 07-Mar-14 06:54:08

I think it is pretty unlikely that anything untoward occurred to get the girl in - he'd have to resign if it ever came out and it would be too easy to prove given the forensic approach people take (even just on this thread) to checking over the rules. Also, has anyone raised the idea that the girl my have expressed preference? If she wanted to go to this place and got in, fine.

meditrina Fri 07-Mar-14 07:30:22

Gyllg57: Asking information about admissions footprints is a pretty frequent thing at CAF time, and the expert posters in Education share the information they have. I'll look forward to seeing you join in at the next round. I don't think you need to worry about MNetters being silly enough to put undue weight on any one source of advice, but as finding wider London catchments is so rare now (and so sought after) then anything you can say (by PM to enquirers if you prefer) would be so helpful.

IME those who travel are those who have moved since admissions, or those who cannot be offered any place at all in the main rounds and the next nearest school is out of borough. I would be interested to know which London schools have had greater distance admitted over a borough away (10+ miles?). Even the super selectives rarely go out that far.

fairylightsintheloft good points.

goshhhhhh Fri 07-Mar-14 07:53:00

So....I really don't like Gove....& he is entitled to send his. child to the best school he can get her into. It sousounds like my daughter's school & she is travels toget to it. Apart from the fact it is a great school, it is more truly comprehensive in terms of society then any of our very local schools & is one of the reasons we chose it.
Although I think he is an arse, I would probably think he is more of an arse if he chose to make a point rather than what is best for his child. He can't win really, can he?

hackmum Fri 07-Mar-14 08:18:15

I despise Gove, but I don't blame him for sending his kids to the school he thinks is best for them. Of course, he will try to make political capital out of it, and, worse, use his wife to do it for him, but I suppose that's what politicians are like.

Dinosaursareextinct Fri 07-Mar-14 11:29:32

Gove went to private school himself, and seems to be very very keen on them in his policy decisions.

tethersend Fri 07-Mar-14 11:32:35

Parents evening is going to be quite tense grin

Retropear Fri 07-Mar-14 11:37:50

Soooo don't envy the teachers.

kim147 Fri 07-Mar-14 11:39:01

Your child wants to do arts, media and film studies at GCSE.

Wait a moment, you've got rid of those.

Beavie Fri 07-Mar-14 11:41:36

This is interesting.

I live in somerset and the word on the street in my town is that gove bought a house here in order to get his child into the excellent state school that we have here. It's a state boarding school but they do give 25 day pupils a year a place, but they have to live within 2km of the school.

Apparently, gove's house was just out of the catchment zone and they wouldn't give his dd a place. That last update I heard literally within the last fortnight.

squoosh Fri 07-Mar-14 11:42:49

Interesting Beavie!

FreckledLeopard Fri 07-Mar-14 12:04:08

I like Gove and what he's trying to do. I would have no qualms if he had sent his child to a private school.

I'm afraid I can't get het up about parents doing their best for their children. Sharp-elbowed middle-classes I do not have a problem with. I will play whatever system I can to get my child into the best school I can and fail to see why a politician should do anything less, simply because he's a politician.

AgaPanthers Fri 07-Mar-14 12:12:03

Because, FreckledLeopard, the politicians are in CHARGE of the system.

The parents are completely powerless over it.

Gove is not.

FreckledLeopard Fri 07-Mar-14 12:17:03

But I suppose I don't accept that what Mr Gove does with his own family is relevant to his job. The two can be separated. Like no-one bats an eyelid in France when the President has an affair or a love-child. What they do in their own time with their own families should not be judged.

squoosh Fri 07-Mar-14 12:22:24

A bit different when you're the Minister fro Education. Of course, people are going to analyse the educational choices you make for your children.

Wannabestepfordwife Fri 07-Mar-14 12:22:49

Tbh if I was in a position where I could easily afford private school and the local good secondary was oversubscribed I would send my dd private- I would hate feeling like a took a really good education away from another child but that's just me.

Having said that I do quite like Gove and Vine.

AgaPanthers Fri 07-Mar-14 12:31:49

Yes there aren't really any good social reasons for Govette to go to the super-posh state school where the DDs are all learning Latin and such like. Some people say MC parents should support state schools rather than brain draining to private, but that only really applies when your local state school is not already massively oversupplied with the brightest due to its discriminatory selection policies. In this case all that is happening is she is keeping out another, probably less privileged, girl.

Dinosaursareextinct Fri 07-Mar-14 13:50:45

Where he sends his daughter to school IS related to his job. If he wants to have an affair, then that's not - no problem. Gove doesn't speak out against private schools, so could go private without hypocrisy.

taratamara Fri 07-Mar-14 17:51:14

I totally agree with you agapanthers
also, if they make that choice, why the need to accompany it with slagging off private schools, as if taking up that place also makes them superior

lambbone Fri 07-Mar-14 18:45:52

Ooh Beavie is that Sexey's?

Beavie Fri 07-Mar-14 21:10:32

Yes lambbone

<outs self> grin

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