Gove gets worse

(72 Posts)
Blissx Thu 24-Oct-13 21:01:35

Came across this article:

I am rendered speechless....

ipadquietly Thu 24-Oct-13 21:04:26

After the Annaliese fiasco.

Can you credit it?


ProphetOfDoom Thu 24-Oct-13 21:04:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Elibean Thu 24-Oct-13 21:32:45


Though why I am shocked....hmm

rabbitstew Thu 24-Oct-13 23:18:05

Unbelievable. And unforgiveable.

eddiemairswife Fri 25-Oct-13 00:03:39

Mr. Gove seems slightly unhinged where his pet project is concerned.

straggle Fri 25-Oct-13 09:50:51

He never ever answers questions on matters like these. He is always away from parliament and gets his underlings to answer, always stock phrases. He was away in America during the teachers's strike and Al-Madinah Ofsted car crash. He grandstands to a carefully selected thinktank audience and gets the Daily Mail to publish his meaningless drivel. He is the master of the Big Lie. He is morally bankrupt.

Talkinpeace Fri 25-Oct-13 14:06:38

Gove is just dangerous.

Please, please, please parents - do not send your kids to these Free Schools unless you are happy picking up the pieces when they implode.

pointyfangs Fri 25-Oct-13 17:51:22

I'm horrified, but unfortunately not surprised. This man really is the worst SoS for Education in history. My children will never, never, never, never go to a Free School.

rabbitstew Fri 25-Oct-13 17:55:50

I like the SOS. Definitely the signal we need to send to the powers that be. Not that they give a toss. grin

pointyfangs Fri 25-Oct-13 17:57:25

I just couldn't be bothered to type Secretary of State in full, but you hav a point - it's particularly apt.

creamteas Fri 25-Oct-13 20:26:06

It is totally crap, but suits his logic.

If you don't believe teaching as a profession clearly no one needs to be qualified.

An entire generation of kids lives are being ruined with his half-baked measures angry

ipadquietly Fri 25-Oct-13 20:57:23

And this.

More 'checks' failed.

nennypops Fri 25-Oct-13 22:01:40

It's one disaster after another with free schools, and Gove wants to cut down checks on them? Why on earth is he still in a job?

Bakingnovice Sat 26-Oct-13 07:54:42

Disgusting. But will there be any accountability? No. The free school head should be sacked. And all his family 'employees'.

MadeOfStarDust Sat 26-Oct-13 08:26:03

ermmmmm - funds were mismanaged at our local state primary school 4 years ago... the head was arrested, but nothing came of it .... happens everywhere - I don't get the hysteria...

(mine aren't going to free schools because I don't agree with the principles behind them)

straggle Sat 26-Oct-13 08:47:54

But there are 20,000 primary schools and in the one example you have given the head was arrested. There were 79 free schools open last year which have been given £60 million in 'start-up expenses' and it is just coming to light with at least two of them -God knows how many more - are mismanaging funds AND giving jobs and contracts to relatives. Yet they have no LA to monitor them and the DfE has cut checks on financial oversight. And it's no big deal?!?!?

rabbitstew Sat 26-Oct-13 09:09:50

Ooooh, what a surprise. Get yourself a school and employ friends and family for a nice little profit earner. And on a larger scale, get your business a chain of schools, backed by your mates in government for a nice little profit earner.

meditrina Sat 26-Oct-13 09:27:38

I don't think "attendance at an assessment centre" is the right measure. That's process-driven box-ticking.

What is needed is a proper assessment, based on what the person is actually bringing to the job. You could propose bringing in the greatest ever Scandinavian superhead (or, in a RL example, the former head of Westminster) and have that overturned because of lack of the right attendance.

This change doesn't represent the abandoning of all checks. Just refraining from the enshrining of one course above all others.

Bakingnovice Sat 26-Oct-13 09:42:33

What's particularly disturbing is the apparent cover up by the police and gove. These findings came to light in May (during an absolutely terrible ofsted report). Gove and the police covered it up. And I'm baffled as to how the police decided there was 'no case'?!!

rabbitstew Sat 26-Oct-13 09:58:04

Well, it smacks to me of getting rid of "process-driven box-ticking" and replacing it with, "What the hell, do what you think is right, what do we know about it, anyway? We'll just have Ofsted come in in a couple of years time, when they notice you haven't called them in and whistleblowers have started talking to the police."

BrigitBigKnickers Sat 26-Oct-13 10:00:38

Out of interest-has anyone noticed the OFSTED ratings for most of these schools? And more importantly read the actual reports...

I was just looking at a few and (with the exception of the Al-Madenha school) they all seem to come out with at least good? Strange as the stated strength and weaknesses for these schools are almost identical to the RI reports on many LA funded schools that I have looked at... (my school included.) hmm

rabbitstew Sat 26-Oct-13 10:05:46

Well, since Ofsted employs all sorts of contractors to do its work for it, I seriously doubt anyone can say its reports are consistent in any way, even if not occasionally ideologically biased. Who inspects the inspectors?

straggle Sat 26-Oct-13 10:16:29

No, this one was 'Needs improvement'

And it was founded by the headteacher who employed his family members. So while the financial director has blamed him, and the DfE may blame the governors, when leadership and governance are intertwined like this there is inevitable room for corruption. The real problem is that they are outside LA control. For the moment converter academies are out of the spotlight but they are established schools. There's no precedent for this much power and money to be given to individuals setting up schools.

ipadquietly Sat 26-Oct-13 10:17:09

How is ofsted getting the all important progress measures when the schools have been open for less than 2 years and don't yet have full intake?

straggle Sat 26-Oct-13 10:24:10

Another deeply worrying thing is that half the Ofsted reports on free schools so far were conducted in the last couple of weeks of July. It's like someone ordered them to be done quickly so Gove could write self-congratulatory triumphalist articles but they knew about Al-Madinah and Kings Science Academy employment practices and financial mismanagement back then

It's a massive attempted cover-up.

Bakingnovice Sat 26-Oct-13 10:55:00

Very disturbing all round. If the head can refurb one of his own properties using school funds and not be prosecuted its obvious that there is a cover up. No doubt the chair of governors (also implicated in financial fraud by accepting payments) will now resign and this will be seen as having dealt with the matter. It's heartbreaking for the kids who attend. Many of whom thought they were being rescued from failing schools in their catchments. The demographic attending the school are mainly from deprived areas. They have been let down terribly. The head should go.

straggle Sat 26-Oct-13 11:11:53

But the head founded the school. He is the academy. There are other free schools in Greenwich, Hounslow, etc. founded by such superheads too and they all got £1-2million in start-up funding too. The government bent over backwards to give Birbalsingh her school after she scratched around in three different boroughs looking for premises and pupils. How do we know this scope for corruption is not to be replicated elsewhere?

rabbitstew Sat 26-Oct-13 11:13:46

Well, I'll bet the "Requires Improvement" rating of Kings Science Academy would have been an "Inadequate" if it weren't a newly set up school. Reading the report, the school sounds pretty hopeless at the moment. Sounds to me like they are being given the benefit of the doubt because they are new - whereas existing schools, even with entirely new leadership, would get hit with a tonne of bricks if they got as many negative comments as those in the Kings Science Academy Ofsted report. No way is that school what used to be considered "satisfactory," if the list of failings in the report are to be believed.

rabbitstew Sat 26-Oct-13 11:19:13

It has the potential to be satisfactory, though...

straggle Sat 26-Oct-13 11:48:28

Teachers haven't even been marking their own pupils' work let alone monitoring progress. Leaders' self assessment 'is not robust'. Governance is 'weak'. The LA has been providing support for training governors more recently and the school has joined a partnership with other local schools. So the LA is picking up the pieces for school improvement anyway. But no one seems to know what is going on with finances.

Arisbottle Sat 26-Oct-13 11:51:39

An inspection in a new secondary school in September is very suspicious. Year 11 and 13 out, possibly 12 as well. Teachers have much more time to cover their tracks if they have not been doing their job as they should , as do the management team

Talkinpeace Sat 26-Oct-13 15:04:27

Having dealt with the police on a fraud case this year - and the results of my labour being plastered all over the press - the police are utterly hopeless when it comes to fraud.
They really, really do not understand finance and controls and record keeping.
They kept changing 'lead officer' each time I confuddled them with what was blindingly obvious to anybody with any financial literacy.

And I suspect that the bright young things at the DfE are rather lacking in the common sense department as well.

Bakingnovice Sat 26-Oct-13 17:58:25

Surely the head has to be charged with fraud?

Talkinpeace Sat 26-Oct-13 20:24:40

you'd think so, but just getting my case to the charging stage (and it ended up front page of the Fail) was a slog - I suspect its only because I had the ear of the commissioner and the head of the council that they did not drag their heels

the police are CRAP at dealing with any sort of financial crime
they do not understand the evidence (invoices produced on word processors) so stick their fingers in their ears and go la la la till the next story comes up

Blissx Sat 26-Oct-13 20:33:34

I just feel that all these millions going into free schools, could have gone into making the existing schools better. I had an INSET last year and the speaker was Scandinavian and he said the free schools over in Sweden have been shown, to have made no improvement over and above the pre-existing schools and the main provider there has folded. Trust Gove to have used inaccurate information to make a decision. It is almost as bad as using a SAGA survey as a reason to push forward his ideologies. Oh, wait. He did that too...

OhBuggerandArse Sat 26-Oct-13 20:41:39

Here's a lovely story about some recent outright lies of Gove's in speeches and policy making (and a subsequent cover up)

Blissx Sat 26-Oct-13 20:51:40

I am very grateful for the research carried out in that article, OhBuggerandArse. Seriously, we need to find some 'dirt' on this guy to remove him from his position. We need a Govegate.

OhBuggerandArse Sat 26-Oct-13 20:54:56

Every day is Govegate. It's just that no one in the government is listening.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 26-Oct-13 21:03:03

I feel so sorry for teachers, I really do.
It isn't just the parents who will have to pick up the pieces here.
So glad we went into H.ed
Gove is a huge incompetent ass.

Bakingnovice Sat 26-Oct-13 21:14:23

Talkin I'm shocked. You'd think the police would be all over this. The head has admitted that invoices were completely fabricated. The police wouldn't even have to base a conviction on finding evidence based on this confession.

Talkinpeace Sat 26-Oct-13 21:19:25

baking you have mail

Talkinpeace Sat 26-Oct-13 22:09:19
straggle Sat 26-Oct-13 22:44:05

Their lies get bigger.

'All free school inspections have been under Ofsted's new tougher framework. Figures referring to all schools inspected – under both the old regime and the new tougher framework – do not provide a true comparison.'

Only 24 out of 79 free schools had been inspected by end of July, a third of them in July and without any reliable external testing or progress data. A small sample, and not including Al-Madinah.

Most inspections under the new framework have been reinspections of schools previously 'Satisfactory' or 'Inadequate' whereas 'Outstanding' schools only need an inspection every five years unless they are new schools. So it's not a true representative sample to look only at those inspected in the last year.

They're desperate aren't they?

straggle Sat 26-Oct-13 22:53:43
daphnedill Sun 27-Oct-13 11:24:30

The sad thing about incompetent government ministers is that they tend to hang on to their jobs, however useless they are.

However, if there were a hint of a sex scandal, they'd be given their marching orders.

I often wonder why we should worry more about MPs' personal lives than what they do to affect the whole country.

PS. Not suggesting that Gove is involved in a scandal - just considering priorities as part of my Sunday morning ponder.wink

daphnedill Sun 27-Oct-13 11:29:27


Unfortunately, the myths make it to the headlines, which everybody reads. How many people bother to follow up the sources or even read the next day when headlines/myths are debunked? The headlines stay in people's minds and get repeated ad infinitum as if they are truths and to justify other myths. As a journalist, Gove must know how it works.

straggle Sun 27-Oct-13 11:52:04

You are absolutely right. Which is why in the last couple of years instead of taking media reports at face value, I have been looking at specialist blogs, written by people who do know what they are talking about, and looking at original sources. And I don't know whether to despair or get angry.

The thing is, I can't be alone in feelng this. There are often conversations on Mumsnet that are more enlightening than Newsnight interviews. I don't think his strategy fools all the people all of the time.

lalsy Sun 27-Oct-13 12:21:28

straggle, you are not alone.

I have switched to specialist blogs and checking the sources too - it is surprising how many common assumptions are simply not borne out by the facts.

And I then email the BBC with my findings, pointing out that opening a pdf or two would have shown the lies holes in someone's statement - and they reply saying they need to make the subject understandable shock.

I don't know what the mainstream media is for on issues like education any more. The original sources and huge amounts of data are often publicly available nowadays, so we can check them ourselves. And yet the mainstream media often seem content with swapping set lines from the main players, pointless when the devil is in the detail of a complex policy area.

straggle Sun 27-Oct-13 12:42:35

Newspapers are going down the pan - but online news pieces at least have comment threads below. The best reports on the Guardian are by Warwick Mansell but they are tucked away in the Education in Brief section and never on the front page. Instead we get Clegg wringing his hands about whether to send his child to the Oratory or Westminster. When the subjective opinionated handwringing comes from journalists themselves, who live in a middle class bubble, it's unforgivable that they should be paid for unresearched and subjective articles that lack balance.

Talkinpeace Sun 27-Oct-13 15:42:42

In the case I was involved with, all of the press coverage was a C&P from the police report - which spelled my name wrong.
A simple check on linkedin would have shown the error
newspapers are too busy paying megabucks to "commentators" like la Toynbee
and making all true journalism and investigation be in the hands of unpaid interns
I had a hoo hah with one paper because I refused to send them a photo - I'm an accountant FFS, not a model.

discussion forums are better than papers every time

lalsy Sun 27-Oct-13 17:01:58

Hear hear. And I rate WM too. He has a clear angle politically - but he digs deep, does his research and backs up his assertions.

We should all respond to the BBC News consultation by asking them to put links to sources whenever they are publicly available - they often don't, even for stories based on a blog post or academic paper for example. The only reason I can think of is it would show up how little analysis or investigation has gone into the story. That is one reason specialist blogs are so great I think- you get a rich and varied range of sources to boot.

straggle Sun 27-Oct-13 17:55:14

I don't think the BBC breaks many stories any more. The exception seemed to be the Kings Science Academy story on Newsnight.

The other thing is that so many stories about schools are reported locally but not nationally unless there is some sort of run of similar stories - Pimlico Academy + Al-Madinah + Kings Science Academy - and a politician makes some comment about it. They're rarely joined up though - it's a sort of divide and rule tactic. The root cause of the problem is never properly debated, and instead it turns very personal - 'ooh look, a Muslim/woman who can't manage a school properly!'

BoffinMum Sun 27-Oct-13 18:46:29

Warwick really, really does his job properly. He's worth paying attention to, especially in relation to exam and assessment stories.

BoffinMum Sun 27-Oct-13 18:54:34

You realise one of us is going to have to take a fall for the team and shag the ugly bastard, don't you? Or else he'll stay in post and keep giving the education budget away to his mates wink Volunteers form an orderly queue around the back of the Garrick Club, if you please. grin

Talkinpeace Sun 27-Oct-13 19:11:12

well since you thought of it and offered grin

Argolis Sun 27-Oct-13 19:32:39

I think I'm going to be sick.

straggle Sun 27-Oct-13 22:20:39

Take a look at his 'sex face' (number 6):

lalsy Sun 27-Oct-13 23:03:49

Before anyone makes the ultimate sacrifice, I don't think a sex scandal will finish off politicians nowadays. Have not plucked up courage to click on that link.

ipadquietly Sun 27-Oct-13 23:21:34

boke [urgh] scandal with Gove.

ravenAnyKucker Sun 27-Oct-13 23:30:34

We did this, didn't we? There was definitely a thread where a brave MNer prepared to take one for the team, & y'know, try to stop him fucking all of us. As it were.

BoffinMum Mon 28-Oct-13 06:54:31

That link is funny. I think I may have to change my sexual predilections if you are expecting me to do him though. Someone else will have to step up to the mark, as it were.

BoffinMum Mon 28-Oct-13 07:30:51

Laisy, perhaps one of us should say he called us plebs?

Or surely there is someone on MN who can find some proper dirt in a long forgotten file? Expenses scandal? (Oh yes, that actually happened, he did the taxpayer for £7000 and had to pay it back). Taking backhanders from a media magnate? (Well, apparently there are all those lunches with Murdoch we see him photographed at, and apparently he was on his payroll whilst being an MP). hmm

lalsy Mon 28-Oct-13 09:27:55

Boffin, I think no-one would believe us.......racism would still bring a politician down I reckon, but far too ugly to mess with.

We'll just have to use force of argument and rational thinking (weeps).

Blissx Mon 28-Oct-13 12:27:29

How about, "being caught in the DofE stationery cupboard doing unspeakable things to Pob, shocker" (the puppet I swear was Gove in a past life!)

pointyfangs Mon 28-Oct-13 13:13:16

After pondering the merits of taking one for the team and instigating a sex scandal involving Michael Gove and applying copious amounts of bleach to my brain, I have decided I'd rather shag Warwick Mansell instead. Not helpful, I know. Sorry.

BoffinMum Mon 28-Oct-13 13:31:38

I think there's a queue for Warwick, but I believe he is spoken for, with offspring.

BoffinMum Mon 28-Oct-13 13:32:22

Blissx has the answer, I think. It's ripe for the cover of the Sunday Sport. grin

lalsy Mon 28-Oct-13 14:57:46

Great, sorted, what next? World peace by the end of the day? smile

straggle Mon 28-Oct-13 22:56:57

Here's the latest from Warwick Mansell:

So, they resort to poisoning the 'enemies of promise' now? Coud we do something along the lines of arsenic in Gove's wallpaper or whatever it was Napoleon died of?

BoffinMum Tue 29-Oct-13 18:31:24

Great saving that. The salaries of two civil servants (presumably to pay for a couple of frothing SPADs in their place).

Have no teachers sued re: asbestosis?

straggle Tue 29-Oct-13 23:45:01

But in Warwick's report he mentions Snarebrook school and it sounds like parent power - backed by the Tory council - may have prevailed. I am so glad I have heard some good news about democracy today...

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