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Michael Gove - Conservative Shadow Schools and Families Minister - live on Mumsnet this Thursday 29th, 1-2pm

(271 Posts)
JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 26-Apr-10 12:50:50

Michael Gove is the shadow secretary of state for children, schools and families and a key part of David Cameron's Shadow Cabinet team, responsible for Conservative policy on education and child protection. He is the Tory candidate in Surrey Heath.

One of the centrepiece's of the Conservatives election manifesto is allowing parents and other providers to set up schools with state funding, about which there's been lots of discussion on Mumsnet. Other pledges include 10,000 extra university places, allowing state schools to offer the International Baccalaureate and a moratorium on the closure of special schools.

Born in Edinburgh in 1967 and brought up in Aberdeen. He's married to Times' writer Sarah Vine and they have a son and a daughter, both of primary school age.

Please post advance questions for Michael here (and do please read our webchat guidelines if you're not already aware of them).

Many thanks.

ronshar Mon 26-Apr-10 13:21:49

Welcome Mr Gove.

Thank you for joining us, I wont ask you what your favourite biscuit isgrin

I would like to ask what the Conservative Government would do about the many children who have been let down by the current Government.
I refer to the children who are clever, bright, more able, intelligent or whatever the correct term is for a child who has lots of brains.
I know it has become very unfashionable to say that a child is bright but our children are being failed by a system which makes them learn at the slowest pace of the slowest child in the class.

Why is it ok for a child to be prevented, by a rubbish educational system, from reaching their true potential just to protect the self esteem of the less able children in the class????

Please tell me that you would bring back proper teaching for those children who want to learn and who are able to learn faster than their class mates.

I am frustrated that my child gets used as an extra teaching aid at the expense of her own learning.

Thank you very much and I look forward to your answers.
Good luck.smile

jonicomelately Mon 26-Apr-10 13:41:39

I attended a comprehensive school in the north west in the 1980s.

Why, when you ignored our educational needs then (underpaid teachers, poor state of buildings, lack of resources) should we even consider entrusting you with the job of educating our children?

CaptainNancy Mon 26-Apr-10 13:49:43

Please detail why you think more faith schools is a good thing? [Grr]
Seriously- this has cost you 2 votes in my household.

SethStarkaddersMum Mon 26-Apr-10 13:54:56

Why are the Conservatives currently opposed to academic selection when it is the simplest and fairest way to ensure that academically able children get the academic education that suits them, regardless of where their parents can afford to buy a house? And why, if academic selection is so terrible that us plebs who have to use state schools can't possibly be allowed it (except in a few areas where grammar schools already exist), is it ok for private schools to select by ability? Isn't that a bit hypocritical?

UnquietDad Mon 26-Apr-10 14:14:16

The current Ofsted system is farcical and makes teachers feel very negative. Your proposals to revise Ofsted refer to reporting on schools' setting procedures and reading schemes, but why not have a root and branch review of Ofsted's actual effectiveness? At the moment, if every member of a class is not "fully engaged" at every moment, this is somehow the fault of the teacher, according to Ofsted, and that teacher is duly given "inadequate". I would have hoped a Conservative government, with its emphasis on individual responsibility, would encourage pupils not just to take more responsibility for their own learning but also to acknowledge their own complicity in their lack of progress where this is appropriate.

We've learned that pupils don't progress and improve by being constantly given negative criticism. So why don't we understand the same is also true of teachers?...

(I speak not just as a parent, but as the spouse of a teacher and friend of many more!)

SethStarkaddersMum Mon 26-Apr-10 14:21:33

(agree with UQD's excellent post there. My mother trained as an OFSTED inspector after many years teaching and then never practised for pretty much that reason.)

SuSylvester Mon 26-Apr-10 14:22:47

Michael - when did you last go into a state secondary school and acutally watch a lesson?

cornsilk Mon 26-Apr-10 16:12:05

Michael - your party intends to 'abolish the legal requirement of 24 hours’ notice for detentions'-why is this?

You will also 'reform the exclusion process'
What exactly does this mean?
It is shameful that children with SEN are currently 8 times more likely to be excluded from school than children without SEN.(Lamb enquiry)
Will your reforms help these children or will you make it easier for Heads to exclude such pupils?

Jaquelinehyde Mon 26-Apr-10 16:36:10

Michael I am sure you are more than aware that the Conservative party has a reputation for looking after the better off sections of society. Some people would claim that the current election manifesto highlights this nicely, with proposed cuts to Sure Start, and a nice tax break to the top earners.

Bearing this in mind could you please explain to me how The Conservative party plan to tackle the link between poverty and low educational attainment? It would be nice to hear of your plans for all age groups, from early years through to higher education mature students. What will you put in place to ensure poverty stricken families can suceed educationally?

gramercy Mon 26-Apr-10 16:37:38

What will the Conservatives do to roll back the ludicrous amount of bureaucracy to which schools are subjected?

And do you have plans to reverse the 'dumbing down' of exams?

Kewcumber Mon 26-Apr-10 16:46:08

I understand that you have a special interest in adoption and would like to know if you are prepared to tackle some of the issues in the adoption area which (in my very humble opinion) result in childrne being in care longer than necessary. I'm thinking in particular of the virtual non-existance of trans-racial adoption in this country despite recent studies showing that transracially adopted children do better on average than non-white children left in care.

(Am very anti more faith schools too but see that has been covered)

Ewe Mon 26-Apr-10 16:50:16

How will your new 'free' schools work and be funded and why isn't this money being invested in improving current schools where the pupils and the infrastructure are already there?

SuSylvester Mon 26-Apr-10 16:52:39

michael - you should have seen the thread about government iniatives in teachign recently. it was very revealing.

read this and imagine this was your job

AngryWasp Mon 26-Apr-10 17:26:58

What are your plans for very challenging but bright children with special needs?

GoingPostal Mon 26-Apr-10 17:52:44

Could you explain exactly what your plans are for Sure Start? By which I mean a specific outline of how your plans will work in practice, not just the headline policies please.

AntoinetteOuradi Mon 26-Apr-10 18:15:31

What happened to the idea of introducing education vouchers which could be used in the same way as the nursery voucher (i.e. they can be put towards independent school fees when children are in Reception). Having just paid two lots of fees that I can't afford (because I wouldn't touch our local state schools with a bargepole), I would be interested to hear more about this...

QuestionAnswered Mon 26-Apr-10 18:16:06

Michael - You are quoted as saying “I’m an unashamed traditionalist when it comes to the curriculum. Most parents would rather see children sitting in rows, learning the kings and queens of England, the great works of literature, proper mental arithmetic, algebra by the age of 11, modern foreign languages. It’s not just about being able to do business in Europe, it’s about access to Goethe and Balzac and Dante.”

I am one parent that would not rather see children sat in rows learning the kings and queens of England and would like to know why you are ignoring reams of research which shows that children learn better through active, hands on learning and critical thinking than an old fashioned style of rote learning, so my question is 'Do you think a Minister for Schools should have some basic training in Educational research and some practical experience in schools before deciding what is best for a generation of children?

TheFallenMadonna Mon 26-Apr-10 18:37:38

What are your thoughts about vocational qualifications? I am a Science teacher and am very much in favour of them in principle, but I am very sceptical about how they are being offered. Because a BTEC First Diploma in Applied Science is "equivalent" to 4 A*-C GCSEs, it is being used as the qualification for any student who is unlikely to achieve a C grade in a GCSE, even when it is not the most appropriate course for them to follow. And schools are increasingly setting "learning pathways" for their students, limiting the options available according to target grades, and making a bit of a mockery of the idea of individualised learning.

I think vocational qualifications are being used in such a way as to make the %A*-C measure by which schools are judged very difficult to interpret. Do you agree? And if you do, what will you do in order to address this?

Bongobaby Mon 26-Apr-10 18:40:52

I don't understand why the government. Let
so many private schools close down without
any thought. Of course it was going to put
added pressure on the state schools. I'm fustrated
that this was allowed to happen but banks were
bailed out!! These schools should of been given
help to keep doors open. And parents given tax
breaks for the huge amount of fees we pay.
After all, we are not taking up a state place.
Labour hasn't left me with much choice but
to go private when you look at the terrible
state the education system is in.

longfingernails Mon 26-Apr-10 18:49:16


Well done on your schools policy - it is the single best reason I can think of for being a Conservative voter.

I also like the pupil premium, and the way it will encourage social mobility.

But I have some questions about the way the pupil premium will work.

How would you go about fairly pricing a quasimarket to genuinely deliver equality of opportunity?

And can you see the Tories extending quasimarkets into other areas of public policy?

Tambajam Mon 26-Apr-10 19:51:42

As a former teacher, my life was made very difficult by a violent and disruptive pupil. He sexual assaulted a classroom assistant, attacked pupils and was finally permanently excluded after trying to attack me. But if even I feel he and his family deserved the right of appeal for his permanent exclusion, why don't you?

Surely, it's what happens in a system that takes exclusion seriously and values the rights of parents and children.

CaptainNancy Mon 26-Apr-10 19:59:29

jonicomelately - Michael Gove was 13 in 1980... I doubt very much he was involved in conservative educational policy at the time hmm

monkeysavingexpertdotcom Mon 26-Apr-10 20:48:54

So - parents/community groups setting up their own schools - this is in addition to existing provision? With additional state funding and not at the expense of existing provision? And will the motives for setting up one's own school be looked into? And isn't it all really just a gimmick because really hardly anyone is going to do it but it looks like you're giving choice when, in fact, only certain types of people with certain levels of education would consider such an option?
That is just one question, honestly, but I heard you discussing it on Today this morning and felt there were questions you didn't answer fully.

BoffinMum Mon 26-Apr-10 20:50:20

Michael - a lot of your policies are to do with school choice, which is great if you live in an urban area, but not so good if you live in a rural area where there's only one school and not enough local children to justify setting up a viable Free School as an alternative. How are you going to help rural parents enjoy the same rights as parents in urban areas? Or will rural families have to like it or lump it, like they do at the moment?

SuSylvester Mon 26-Apr-10 22:22:53

ooh and LOOK at all the new conservative supporting peeps on this thread
welcome to mn wink

seimum Mon 26-Apr-10 22:25:53

Will your 'Community schools' plan allow parents to keep existing schools open when the local authority wants to close them?

e.g in Slough, the council want to close a successful grammar school, merge it with another school and reopen as an academy - despite most existing parents desparately wanting it to stay as it is.

Will we be able to keep our grammar?

NoseyNooNoo Mon 26-Apr-10 22:47:13

SuSylvester - who are 'all the new conservative (sic) supporting peeps on this thread'?

I can only see one new name and I wasn't aware that you could only ask a question if you do not support the Conservatives. Did I misread the OP?

Have you checked whether any new labour supporting peeps are on the Yvette Cooper thread?

Maiakins Tue 27-Apr-10 09:48:48

Hello Michael,

I don't think I will be voting Conservative, as I don't agree with the idea of parent-run schools. I've been on the committees of toddler groups, pre-schools and primary schools, and while they do a wonderful job of raising money, it is really hard to get away from the mentality that parents often make decisions for the benefit of their own children rather than the school as a whole, and particularly hard for parents to think in terms of future children (if they don't have younger children who will be attending the school in the future). I can see it might work in Sweden or other countries which are instinctively more community-minded or concerned about society as a whole, but I cannot see it working here in practice. A nice idea, but unrealistic (and possibly dangerous for future education) to many people who have ever been involved in helping run a school.

(I'm not saying that PTAs do a bad job by the way - but you get good years and bad years, selfish parents and very active parents, parents who work well with teachers and the school and others who obstruct everything - it's this lack of continuity which is a potential problem).

Do you really think parent-run schools could work in the UK and do you really think parents would want to spend the amount of time necessary to properly run a school?

And what do you think will happen to other local schools - can you guarantee it won't affect other schools' budgets?

LilyBolero Tue 27-Apr-10 10:08:41

Michael, welcome to MN.

As a parent of 3 (soon to be 4), with 2 in primary school, 1 to start in September, I have SERIOUS concerns about your education policy. Specifically;

i) The 'return to traditional values' you cite, including 'sitting in rows, learning dates by rote' and 'rewriting the National Curriculum from Day 1'. Surely teachers should be allowed to adopt the methods MOST SUITED to the class AT THE TIME rather than having some edict from Whitehall, constructed on the whim of some 'return to traditional teaching'. For what it's worth, my children (Year 4 and Year 2) spend a good amount of time learning tables/facts etc, but are also INSPIRED by creative and imaginative teaching and cross-curricular work, which would be impossible under your scheme.

ii) The use of so-called 'celebrities' to advise - Carol Vorderman for example is not 'one of the greatest minds of our generation' and I fail to see how she is qualified to advise on the education of our children. It feels like sensationalist headline grabbing, and I would be VERY concerned if this was to happen.

iii) The idea of parents setting up their own schools. Firstly, WHERE are these schools supposed to be? In our area there is a chronic shortage of primary school places, but no sites suitable to set up a school. Also, it would inevitably lead to parents setting up schools specifically aimed at THEIR children, and would not help the neediest in society - as the TOday programme put it, it would help 'middle class parents with the sharpest elbows'.

Could you comment on these 3 concerns please?

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 27-Apr-10 10:33:40

Just so you know we've blocked new registrations since Monday evening - so people can just join to post on these threads.

loungelizard Tue 27-Apr-10 10:39:16

This is a very simplistic question but, whilst I accept that your intentions are good and fair for the education system, can you tell me how an education system which allows parents to 'buy' results(and thus places at 'top' universities etc etc) by using the private sector can ever be seen as fair??

For the vast majority of parents (not me personally I may add), scrimping and saving, not having foreign holidays/flat screen tv/drinking/smoking (all the usual suspects) will NOT enable them to pay for a private education and all the advantages that such an education will (wrongly, in my opinion) confer on them.

(Disclaimer I have two older children at top universities and one younger at top state grammar school so have no personal axe to grind)

Also, if one has a voucher scheme, I may be hugely missing the point here, but what happens if everyone wants to go to one school and no-one wants to go to another, as will so surely happen (i.e everyone wanting to go to the nice middle class 'best' school and no-one wants to go to the one with undesirables 'second best').

I do quite like your idea of going back to traditional learning systems though and please could you STOP the dumbing down of exams (as, e.g, my son managed to get an A in Physics which is a bit of a joke really). Make them all harder then only the truly really bright will get the top grades, and it will also have the added effect of stopping those averagely bright children at private schools coming out with strings of As who are no brighter than those at the local comp who don't come out with the same grades. The private sector has got the current exam system down to a tee, and I absolutely refuse to believe that a child whose parent's can pay is somehow naturally more intelligent than those whose parents can't afford to pay (i.e the VAST majority of normal, working people). I am sure you would agree with me as you seem quite a nice chap

furrycat Tue 27-Apr-10 13:08:29

Why on earth do you think it's a good idea for parents to be able to set up their own schools? It's just abdicating responsibility - saying we don't know how to do it, so you have a go!

How do you expect people to find the time?

PinkoLiberal Tue 27-Apr-10 13:26:34

PLease answer Jon's question.

But mine is:

DC has made it very clear he knows how it is to have a child with very severe SN and I appreciate his experience, but there are a great many of us with children in a limbo between Mainstream and Special Ed. I am hoping for my eldest to get access to a specialist Asperger's base in 2011, can you guarantee continued support for those children and that funding will not be diverted away from them to save money whilst ensuring provision only for the most severe % (I also have a more severely autistic child so appreciate what is needed for them- not writing that off at all)? My ds1 has a friend with the same condition thriving in MS, yet ds1 is a danger to others at breaktimes etc and without proper specialist help is likely to become a statistic (he's already under care of eating disorder team and was referred to a team for children at risk of crime (due to aggression levels) but was not accepted- or even contacted.

herbietea Tue 27-Apr-10 15:41:46

I am very lucky as I have the choice of 3 very good schools to send my children.

The school they go to is well led, the children are, in the main, well behaved and eager to learn. I put a lot of this down to the calibre of the teachers and the fact that morale amongst them is very good.

How would a Tory government go about making every school a good school?

It is very unfair that children miss out on a good education just because of where they live.

herbietea Tue 27-Apr-10 15:42:53

I am very lucky as I have the choice of 3 very good schools to send my children.

The school they go to is well led, the children are, in the main, well behaved and eager to learn. I put a lot of this down to the calibre of the teachers and the fact that morale amongst them is very good.

How would a Tory government go about making every school a good school?

It is very unfair that children miss out on a good education just because of where they live.

herbietea Tue 27-Apr-10 15:44:03

blush I only want the one answer, I promise.

NoseyNooNoo Tue 27-Apr-10 17:41:15

I live within 1 mile of 3 good primary schools and yet it is unlikely that my daughter will get a place in Sept 2011. What will the Conservatives do to prevent children having to be driven past decent schools to attend a not so good one some journey away?

Where does the idea of parental choice come in if I cannot choose from my nearest 3 schools?

GoingPostal Tue 27-Apr-10 18:46:12

I could have written NoseyNooNoo's question myself and I live in a Conservative run borough (which you recently visited re new secondary school!) so would welcome a response that acknowledges that this is not a problem necessarily caused by a local Labour or LibDem govt.

SuSylvester Tue 27-Apr-10 18:47:08

ooh i am not at work that day Mikey boy.
will peek in

jonicomelately Tue 27-Apr-10 20:31:21

CaptainNancy. Let Michael answer the question please hmm

amothersplaceisinthewrong Tue 27-Apr-10 22:44:34

We don't need more choice, we need less. I would like to see EVERY school a good school so that children could go to their local school. Offering parental choice is actually a cop out for improving all schools. And as for parents running schools - well just how will that work.

Pronoia Tue 27-Apr-10 23:14:47

Most parents would NOT like to see their children sitting in rows learning archaic irrelevant factoids. most parents would like their children to have an education that will prepare them for the life they are actually going to lead, and for 99% of children, that is not a life where they will be required to know jingoistic rubbish about the head of the church and her predecessors.

Furthermore, taking children out of the 'sitting in rows' format was probably the best idea anyone has ever had.

this is not 1950, and nobody who isn't a middle aged, middle class white man wants it to be.

edy35 Wed 28-Apr-10 08:26:33

Every ten days in England and Wales, on average, one child is killed at the hands of their parent. An average of 35 a year over the past five years.

The people most likely to die a violent death are babies under 1 year old, who are four times more likely to be killed than the average person in England and Wales.
Michael people really care about it. Are going to do something about it? Thank you.

PinkoLiberal Wed 28-Apr-10 10:26:20

'The use of so-called 'celebrities' to advise ah yes, and whilst it's in a different ept, Brooke Kinsella is an ex Eastenders actress who is mourning the sad loss of her brother and not an expert in anything that can be generalised to the wider community.

The sitting children in rows learning- how wuld you expct children with SN to cope with that? Children (especially those with SN, particularly if they have sensory or movement challenges) learn best when they are engaged. Children learn differently and row based rote teaching would see many chidlren either failing or being shipped off to a special needs education sector that does not have the places available.

luvfamily Wed 28-Apr-10 10:39:57

My DD has been denied a place at our three local schools and instead has been given a place at a school where attainment is 'unsatisfactory' (Ofsted Feb 2010). Furthermore, my child has been earmarked at pre-school as Gifted and Talented - why would I send her to the school which is locally renowned for being rubbish? Where's my choice? Our schools do NOTHING for brighter kids and I'm talking as both a mother and a primary school teacher. So much attention is given to children with special needs and/or English as an additional language that our average/more able kids who have JUST AS MUCH RIGHT TO MAKE PROGRESS AT THEIR OWN LEVEL are often left to their own devices because the teacher is too stretched by a large class and a high proportion of kids who need lots of extra support. I'm not saying SEN and EAL children don't need the support they're getting but what would a Conservative government do to ensure that our brighter kids are given the same opportunities to fulfil THEIR potential as the rest of the kids in the classroom?

foxytocin Wed 28-Apr-10 10:58:40

Dear Mr Gove:

I really hope you respond to edy35's comment.

To expand a bit on that theme:

I've heard quite a few times Mr Cameron saying that the Conservatives would employ more health visitors.

Not lately however, though but he did mention it on MN during his chat and we notice'd lately in the news that the NHS will have to have staff reductions.

What I haven't heard is that how he would make this primary service any better. While the provision of HVs is dire in some areas, (not mine I will add) a lot of Mumsnetters feel that a lot of the staff is poorly trained, many of them recycling outdated guff from giving opinion rather than the NHS's own evidence based information, for example. so many of us feel that while health visiting is an excellent element for safeguarding children and families, increasing the number of health visitors will not in itself make it a better system.

How with the budgetary limitations which we all know is coming, is your party going to make this a better service or is this going to be a promise to get the mummy and family vote.

The 'more health visitors' promise I have heard a few times from DC has really jsut made me snort with cynicism tbh. How will your party actually make this better in especially in light of financial constraints?

Sorry if parts of my posts are garbled but I am not supposed to be on MN right now!

PinkoLiberal Wed 28-Apr-10 11:05:42

'So much attention is given to children with special need'you reckon luvfamily?

I totally agree that chidlren at the toehr end of the spectrum (not discrete BTW) need a lot more too, but as a mum of 2 ASD children full tiem campaigner to getb them anything could be an apt description.

The help isn't there for anyone outside the narrowest range full stop.

slug Wed 28-Apr-10 11:17:14

Hello Mr Gove

We were excluded from applying to five of our six closest primary schools on the basis of religion. Because we could not supply a vicar's/priest's letter of recommendation nor could we, in all honesty, sign a form that said we broadly agreed with the school ethos when the ethos of the religion that supports the school discriminates against my daughter's family members (and herself, since she is female).

In light of this, could you tell me how the Conservative Party can justify their continued support for religious and Special Interest schools? All I want for my child is a good, local, state funded school. I don't want to set my own one up. I don't want my child taught myths as truth and I don't want my child to be ghettoised on the basis of her parents lack of religion. I want her to be able to go to school with all members of the community. As it stands at the moment, she knows very few Christian children,as they have all been siphoned off by the local religious schools.

Do you think the Conservative Party have got their schools policy drastically wrong?

preggersplayspop Wed 28-Apr-10 11:35:08

I'm very concerned about the proposal that parents can set up their own schools and I haven't heard or read anything that sets out in clear detail how this will be achieved. I just don't understand how this can work and I think its a crazy idea.

Please could you explain further how funding will be allocated to these schools, how control of the schools will pass (most parents are surely only interested for the period when their children attend that school), what will be the role of profit making third parties and what the basic rationale for this concept is.

I don't really understand why the business of running schools shouldn't be left to full time education professionals?

singalongamumum Wed 28-Apr-10 12:39:04

Building on what foxytocin said-

I have read that you will pay for extra health visitors by taking money from the Early Years budget, particularly sure start. I also hear that you are refusing to guarantee free early years childcare for 3/4 year olds. Is this true? And if so, do you realise how much harder it will make it for mothers/ fathers to return to work and how you are putting many more children at risk of starting school below national expectations?

ALSO I am extremely concerned re your proposals to allow people to set up their own schools, which is going to leave the schools in the most challenging circumstances in the most financially precarious situation, just when they need extra money to attract quality staff etc. How will these 'new' schools be able to afford quality buildings and resources, and how will the 'old' ones be helped if they lose significant funding at a time when they need it?

ladyjaja Wed 28-Apr-10 14:26:43

Re: Your proposal to enable parents to set up their own schools.

What are your plans regarding any negative impact on the nearest existing schools?

I've heard it said the new policy would force those nearby "unpopular" schools to "raise their game" - how would this be achieved?

If they're already vaguely unpopular, how would having a shiny new school nearby improve their chances of attracting pupils? Would the existing schools get any additional funding to compensate for loss of funding based on pupil numbers?

ChoChoSan Wed 28-Apr-10 16:06:37

Mr Gove,

Your party has positioned itself as the party of 'the family' in its recent campaigning, and believes that "the relationships [families] foster are the bedrock on which society is built."

In his speech on 8th October 2009 David Cameron stated:
"If you want to raise a family, we’ll support you."

In the light of that quote, as Secretary of State for Families, please could you make clear your party's policy on the funding of IVF on the NHS for those people suffering from conditions leading to infertility and sub-fertility?

JustAnotherMum2b Wed 28-Apr-10 17:56:22

To echo a point made by singalongmumum above...

Is it true that you are proposing to allow nursery schools to charge 'top up fees' for free part time places for 3 and 4 year olds?

Without a free nursery entitlement that is genuinely FREE, hundreds of thousands of mums like me will find that it makes not financial sense to go back to work. And many 3 and 4 year olds from less well off background will be denied the chance to learn and play in nursery.

The papers say that you are thinking of doing this because you have been lobbied by nurseries who want to charge more than government currently pays. But many get on just fine on government rates so that sounds to me like provider capture at its worst. If you are serious about supporting families, and about improving social mobility please show us by pledging to protect the free nursery entitlement.

redwhiteandblue Wed 28-Apr-10 20:38:35

I'd like to add to Slug's post

I am not questioning your faith, but I do know you and Mr Cameron send your children to a very sought-after CofE school which happens to be nowhere near Mr Cameron's house.I don't know where you live but I'd be very interested to know if it is the closest school to your house and if not, why you feel it is applicable in 21st-century Britain for families who profess a faith to have access to a superior system than those who do not.

Thank you

Lostinherts Wed 28-Apr-10 21:08:36

Can you comment on the conservative policy to CUT free nursery places and places for 3 year olds?? This is a crucial piece of policy that seems to have slid past the majority of the mumsnet public.

Lostinherts Wed 28-Apr-10 21:21:44

Dear Michael, I think you may by now have realised that the idea of setting up one's own school is a no-no, no matter how loud Toby Young shouts in your ear about it. I am a school governor (umpteen hours a year, terrifically unsociable hours, very complex, legally liable - unpaid!!) and would be unwilling to even contemplate such a thing. How much less someone who has never tangled with the system? It's a typical patchwork borrow-from-here-borrow-from-there, don't-do any-of-it-properly British political solution. Give up the pseudo big ideas and just run stuff properly.
Also, I think all MPs should have to use the services that they are ultimately responsible for, that means your local state school...Maybe that would mean real improvement.

MagicMountain Wed 28-Apr-10 22:04:50

Mr Grove,

How are you going to fund those extra 10,000 university places for 2010? Oh, and the 100,000 college places over two years?

Didn't see any calculations in the manifesto ...

smugmumofboys Wed 28-Apr-10 22:08:18

Hello Michael.

I teach MFL and have seen it sidelined enormously in the last few years since this government decided to allow schools to opt out of it as a compulsory KS4 subject. Do you have any plans to remedy this situation?

Thank you.

Katisha Wed 28-Apr-10 22:30:16

How on earth do you expect me to find the time and expertise to set up a school if I don't think my children are being educated properly?

Frankly it's as much as I can do to make a cake for the fete.

The idea of sitting on endless committees in endless meetings, trying to decipher endless paperwork makes me despair and I am one of your overeducated Mumsnetters.

It's really not the answer to our education system.

foxytocin Thu 29-Apr-10 06:00:29

Will be keeping my beady eyes open for Mr Gove's response to smugmumofboys. State pupils are being put at a disadvantage because the majority of schools have dropped languages at GCSE.


and here

and with a google search, you can find something similar in that odious the daily mail.

loungelizard Thu 29-Apr-10 09:15:58

Yes, state school pupils are being put at a disadvantage in the university application system in lots of subtle ways. No foreign langs, media studies instead of English, lower level science courses,diplomas 'worth' so many GCSEs,

Many top universities ask for a MFL at GCSE before they will even consider an applicant. So many pupils are ruled out of applying for certain courses (before they may even know they want to study Medicine/Law or another highly over subscribed course) because of the school they attend (and remember most people cannot afford to pay fees or live in a grammar school area.)

MinaTannenbaum Thu 29-Apr-10 09:34:27

and following on from smugmumofboys MFL at secondary level issues, do you have any workable plans to resolve the amateurish and piecemeal provision of KS2 MFL? Are you prepared to commit funds to enable all primary schools to employ peripatetic qualified MFL teachers, instead of using non-specialists a few pages ahead in the textbook?

lottiejenkins Thu 29-Apr-10 10:05:01

Do you think British Sign Language should be added to The National Curriculum as a language option for students??

FiveStar Thu 29-Apr-10 10:30:19

Hello Mr Gove.

Please can you state the Conservative policy on allocation of school places to multiple birth children i.e. can you confirm that the Conservatives will not enact a policy that means that multiple birth siblings will be allocated places in different schools? Having multiple birth siblings in different schools is impossible for parents logistically (how can you do 2 school runs in different places at the same time) and research has shown that it can cause long term damaging effects on the children themselves.

This allocation of places in different schools to twins, triplets and higher order multiples has happened under the current government. After a campaign by TAMBA (Twins and Multiple Births Association) on behalf of multiple birth families, and an investigation by the Schools Adjudicator, Ed Balls has confirmed that a change to the primary school admissions code will be made so that multiple birth siblings will not be split across different schools, even where this means an exception has to be made to the class size rule to enable all multiple birth siblings to be given a place at the same school. He has also indicated that primary schools and local authorities should already be taking this indication into account in allocations. Please confirm that the conservatives if elected will honour this pledge and the School Adjudicator's recommendations.

In addition, once school places are allocated, please confirm that a Tory government would support parents of multiple birth children (and the children themselves) being allowed to choose whether their children are split into separate classes or remain together at school. At present some schools enforce a policy either always to separate multiple birth siblings or always to keep them together, even where this may not be in the interests of the individual children concerned. TAMBA and its members have campaigned for each family's needs in this respect to be dealt with on an individual basis.

A further issue for parents with multiple birth children is that many experience an inequality of access to services. For instance, getting onto public transport such as buses is more difficult and sometimes impossible with a double or triple buggy. Allocation of places in playgroups and pre-schools, and finding sufficient childcare places, are issues. Swimming is also very problematic meaning that these children are denied access to learning a life skill whigh is very important (especially if like us you live in a town with 3 rivers and a canal so there is open water all around).

I look forward to hearing your policies on these issues.

FiveStar Thu 29-Apr-10 10:44:40

sorry just seen how long my question ended up, apologies Mumsnet as realise it should be brief blush

admission Thu 29-Apr-10 11:02:21

Mr Gove,
The first crisis you will have in education, assuming you are given the appropriate role to dow ith education, is that of the SATs boycott, the week after the election.
The DCSF, via Ed Balls have put out a wholely unacceptable document that effectively just drops the problem in the laps of the school governors, without giving clear direction. The outcome is likely to be a shambles the week after the election.
What do you intend to do if the conservatives are elected to resolve this before SATs week starts?

kittykitty Thu 29-Apr-10 11:02:45

Hi Michael,

Both the Guardian and Independent have had articles recently about the conspicuous absence of women MPs on the election trail and I wanted to know why the Tories have so few female MPs. Aren't you just cosying up to the women vote by appearing on Mumsnet, without actually walking the walk and including more women candidates so we're more equally represented in parliament.

goldenticket Thu 29-Apr-10 11:22:05

Hello Mr Gove, thank you for coming to answer our questions

My oldest child is in Y6 and therefore taking SATS in a couple of weeks. He has been doing revision work since Christmas and since the Easter holidays has been doing 3 practice papers a day and 2 more pieces of homework each night. This is because the school have been put under huge pressure to raise their standing in the league tables i.e. this is nothing to do with the children themselves (indeed, all our local secondary schools completely ignore the SATS results and retest the children as soon as they arrive). Please tell me that a Conservative Govt would address this issue and make the final year of primary school as fun, engaging and downright interesting as it used to be.

westwingfan Thu 29-Apr-10 11:54:27

Free schools sound like a very dodgy idea to me. If you don't like the state system then you should pay for an alternative. Public resources should be spent on making the state system the best it can be and making it open to everyone ( comprehensive in fact). Free schools reek of people trying to set up little clubs full of 'people like us' ( or as D Cameron says 'people who do the right thing'). How on earth are we meant to encourage diversity and mobility if this drawbridge building mentality is going on?

As for faith schools ? Again,if you want it - pay for it but don't expect the taxpayer to fund it.

MichaelGove Thu 29-Apr-10 12:19:24


LadyBlaBlah Thu 29-Apr-10 12:28:18

Following on from David Cameron's encounter with Mr Bartley, the father with a special needs child the other day - could you please confirm or deny (and make very very clear) what the Tory position is on inclusion of special needs students in mainstream school.

As was made very clear by that encounter and the manifesto, the Tories are more biased towards special needs school and exclusion. DC wanted Ivan to be in Special Needs education and it seems presumed that others do also.

Would you please clarify the position. Many many many parents do not want their children excluded from mainstream school and there to exist a culture of bias towards exclusion (which eventually leads there to be prejudice in mainstream schools and hence reinforcing the exclusion from mainstream), and many many parents want the important and valuable work that has begun with inclusion to continue.

Will the Tories continue to provide funding for inclusion into mainstream schools at the current levels?

Is there a cultural bias in the Tories of exclusion to special schools?

LadyBlaBlah Thu 29-Apr-10 12:40:49

Also - would you like to comment on bigot-gate.

Would you say the lady in question was a bigot?

If Nick Griffin uttered the words about flocks of immigrants, would you consider him to be a bigot, or just a 'normal middle aged man'?

Ivykaty44 Thu 29-Apr-10 12:41:21

Please detail why you think more faith schools is a good thing? Captin Nancy's question

Why more faith schools? What happens when you don't do faith and don't want to do faith but want a good education for child?

slug Thu 29-Apr-10 12:44:08

Actually IvyKate has a point. Why do we think that an education based on something unprovable is inherently 'better' than one where the basis is logic and science?

SethStarkaddersMum Thu 29-Apr-10 12:57:06

welcome to Mumsnet Mr Gove (why am I feeling the need to call you that instead of Michael? Does this happen a lot?)

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 29-Apr-10 12:59:24

Hello all, Michael is in the building and ready to go, so watch this space...

Oracle Thu 29-Apr-10 13:00:16

One of the biggest issues that parents who have autistic children who are attending mainstream schools have is that both the diagnosis and the extent to which the child is disabled by their autism is questioned by individual teachers, SENCOs and schools. Just because an autistic child is in a mainstream school does not mean that their autism can be sidelined and the child can be made to conform and normalised.

*What would you do to make sure that teachers, SENCOs and schools recognise and accept a diagnosis of autism that has been made by a clinician, and that they stop trying to make an autistic child behave just like their neuro-typical peers?*

MichaelGove Thu 29-Apr-10 13:01:40

Dear Lady BlahBlah

Thanks for your question. The whole approach we take to sen is that the parent sghould be in the driving seat - we want to remove the existing bias in favour of inclusion - my experience is that many more parents wants their chidlren in special schools and are denied that right - but we absolutely respect the right of parents who want a mainstream eduication for their child.



MichaelGove Thu 29-Apr-10 13:03:42

Dear SSM,

Most people call me Michael, but please feel free to call me anything you like and the reason I'm here is I worship Justine...

goldenticket Thu 29-Apr-10 13:05:01


MichaelGove Thu 29-Apr-10 13:06:32

Dear Slug and others

My daughter and son are at a faith school and its a great school - over-subscribed, with a great methods, great head and socially comprehensive intake.

Faith schools are hugely popular and I wouldn't want to deny parents the chnace to choose the education they want for their children.

But I know there are lots of partents who don't want their childrento go to faith schools and are frustrated the best schools in their area are church or faith schools - that's why I'd like to see morr organiosations coming into the state sector who have philosophies, and offer pedagogies, which reflecvt what parents want...

Oracle Thu 29-Apr-10 13:06:48

Training is now not the biggest issue. There is some really good training but training teachers is not changing their attitudes towards some children with SEN

SethStarkaddersMum Thu 29-Apr-10 13:07:20

And so you should, given that she let you repost your message to correct the typos!
Not everyone is allowed to do that you know.

MichaelGove Thu 29-Apr-10 13:08:08

Mrs Duffy certainly wasn't a bigot - she was a Labour supporter who spoke for millions...

Nick Griffin is a holocasut-denying, hate-mongering, voter-scaring bigot - he's the real thing

SethStarkaddersMum Thu 29-Apr-10 13:09:28

(don't worry too much about the typos by the way, it adds to the aura of sincerity and authenticity. if Tony Blair had ever come on here he would have had lots, carefully placed.)

BigBadMummy Thu 29-Apr-10 13:12:24

Good afternoon Michael

It is said that the government wants to introduce IB to secondary schools. Why is this?

My understanding of it is that it is much more difficult to gain the points needed for University Entry (versus A Levels) and that many universities still prefer A levels. It is therefore seen as not a great choice for anything other than the "top sets" in a school.

In fact one college in our area is no longer offering it as an alternative.

My children are privately educated and the school is only offering IB as a six form option so they will be leaving because I do not have any confidence that they will be offered a university place with it.

Would be interested to hear your views

<and pass you a biscuit>

MichaelGove Thu 29-Apr-10 13:12:52

Dear westwingfan

Well I can't gurantee president bartlett would back our proposals but president obama is calling for something very similar - more charter schools along the lines of the new schools we support.

And the States do offer a model of the sort of thing we're talking about. their KIPP charter schools (the initials stand for the knowledge is power programme) are hugely sucecssful schools which have been started by teachers and operate outside local authority control.

They have high standrads,longer hours and ensure that children in nieghbourhoods where a majority didn't even graduate from high school are now goi9ng on to elite colleges.

They've only been made possible because ther syatem was freed up ibn certain states to allow teachers to open new schools in respobse to parental demand. President Obama wants that in all states.

I want it in the UK.

At the moment solicitors and doctores can set up their owen practices but teqachers can't set up their owen schools in the state system. i think that's wrong and I've been really encouarged that lots of teachers - incluidng some alumnae from teach First - have been in touch with us about opening KIPP-style schools here.

johnworf Thu 29-Apr-10 13:15:36

Hilarious comment re Nick Griffin!

vanillacupcake Thu 29-Apr-10 13:16:22

Congratulations on your realistic policy of top up fees for pre-schools. If councils don't pass on enough funds, how else are nurseries supposed to survive? It's such a shame the press are being so one-sided and unrealistic about this issue.

I sincerely hope parents consider the full story before voting, as the best nurseries in this country are in danger of closing.

Top-up fees are essential!

MichaelGove Thu 29-Apr-10 13:17:09


I understand that the league table system can cause problems but we do need accurate information on how children and schools are doing and that means externally set and marked tests. The SATs in Year 6 are the only externally set and marked tests which occur at any point in primnary. And we need accurate information on how our primaries are doing.

The people I've met who're most passionate about keeping SATS are heads and parents of great schools in poorer areas who've previously been written off as attending or working in a sink school. Great SATS results prove to the outside world what a great job they are doing.
However, I do think there's a case for improving what we do at the moment to make the tests better and we propose trialling them at the start of Year 7 to allow more time in Year 6 for teaching.

LadyBlaBlah Thu 29-Apr-10 13:18:46

Michael Gove wrote: 'we want to remove the existing bias in favour of inclusion - my experience is that many more parents wants their children in special schools and are denied that right'

That does somewhat contradict what DC said the other day. He said he would make it easier for parents to get what was right for their child, be it inclusion in mainstream schools or a special school education.

You are now saying that you want to remove a none existent bias to mainstream schooling - there is NO bias to inclusion at the moment so your 'experience' that people are denied that right is VERY puzzling. This is exactly the issue raised by Mr Bartley

Oracle Thu 29-Apr-10 13:21:49

The comprehensive schools where I live ignore the year 6 SATS results and do their own testing so what is the point of the SATS then? I also know schools who turn SEN children away in the fear that they will impact negatively on their SEN results. So passionate Heads can also be quite discriminatory to.

LadyBlaBlah Thu 29-Apr-10 13:23:34

Michael Gove wrote: "Mrs Duffy certainly wasn't a bigot - she was a Labour supporter who spoke for millions.."

Don't you think the language she used ("flocks of Eastern Europeans") could be classed as bigoted........and do you think that people should hold these views? I would argue that it is your job as politicians (especially one who would oversee schools and education ) to educated people on these sorts of views and attempt to create harmony rather than stir up ill feeling. By saying her views are not bigoted or at the very least ill informed, you are saying you agree with her ("All these Eastern Europeans, coming over here stealing our jobs" etc etc)

goldenticket Thu 29-Apr-10 13:23:41

So continuing ridiculous pressure and crap Y6 under the Conservatives too. Whoopie doo hmm

MichaelGove Thu 29-Apr-10 13:24:02

Hi herbietea,

Too many parents don't have the chnace of getting their children into a good school - in some parts of London as many as half of parents can't get their children into a school they're happy with.

That's why we'd make a series of chnages to improve education.

We'd reform the curriculum to give teachers more freedom over how to teach - enhancing the professional status of teaching.

We'd give teachers more powers to keep discipline in the classroom - making it easier for all children to learn,

We'd move resources from quangoes to the frontline - giving professional not bureuacrts control of budgets.

We'd emphasise the importance of teaching by ability - so every child cabn have an education tailored to their needs.

We'd reform Ofsted so it concentrates on teaching and learning - not the 18 or so bureaucratic boxes that have to be ticked at the moment.

We'd reform our exam system to measure our qualifications against the world's best.

We'd welcome new poroviders into education so we can have more small schools with smnaller class sizes.

And we'd stress the importance of education as fun - inspirational and exciting - by getting more and more talnetd people into the classroom to inspire chidlren with a love of learning...

MichaelGove Thu 29-Apr-10 13:25:12

Dear Pronoia and others who asked about the curriculum

I've never said that all children should learn in a single way. I've just given voice to a style of learning that i think many parents would like to see in a school system that better reflected their wishes.

The whole point of our policies is to give schools more freedom and to create as much diversity as possible - which would give more parents the option of more traditional schooling for their children.

When parents have the resources to send their children private that's overwhelmingly what they choose - I'd like those of us who don't want to go private to have the same choice

But those parents that don't want their children sitting in rows could send them to a different type of school.

Oracle Thu 29-Apr-10 13:26:09

Well said lady BlaBlah. I think Gordon Brown's biggest mistake yesterday was that he apologised to a bigot.

HerBeatitude Thu 29-Apr-10 13:26:20

Michael can you tell me how a conservative government would support people in abusive, dysfunctional relationships, to break their cycle of poor personal relationships and bad parenting?

MichaelGove Thu 29-Apr-10 13:27:01

Dear LBB

The closure of special schools - and the behaviour of some of the local authorities I've had to deal with certainly suggests there is a bias in favour of inclusion - and that was also Lady Warnock's view...

all we want to dio si give parents a proper choice...and that's what DC has always maintained

MichaelGove Thu 29-Apr-10 13:28:53

One of my best friends (and Justine's too)begged me recently to keep SATS because - in her words "it was the only time I was absolutely certain my children were learning anything" - I don't share her view but there are many, many parents I know who want accurate info on how their children, and schools, are doing...

animula Thu 29-Apr-10 13:30:17

Dear Michael - surely one of the problems in many of the "not-so-good" schools is that children are entering them disadvantaged by economic and social factors impacting on homelife.

Simply improving discipline, increasing emphasis on academic achievement (which are not bad things, in themselves) is, simply, not enough.

Do you see a role for increasing the provision of more "wrap around care" in (some) schools?

Would that be the role of academies?

Would there be "free schools" for middle class, non-disadvantaged children, and academies, with more "care"-style intervention for disadvantaged children?

MichaelGove Thu 29-Apr-10 13:32:24

Dear BigBad Mummy

There are some universities that are taking a bit of time to get used to the IB - but increasingly unis are saying to me that they value both the IB and the new Cambridge Pre-U more than some A elvels because the IB has held its value consitently over time in a way some A elvels haven't and the Pre_U guarantees knowledge in depth. We want more state school children to ahve the chnace to do these qualifications - and to do the IGCSE - because they are increasingly in demand from top unis and employers...

LadyBlaBlah Thu 29-Apr-10 13:33:28

With respect, Mr Gove, I would expect you to know there is a bias for inclusion based on FACT. I would not expect a Schools and Families Minister to make important decisions based on feelings and suggestions

westwingfan Thu 29-Apr-10 13:33:49

Dear Mr Gove - thanks for your comment. From what you have said the US model sounds like it is being done by teachers - that makes sense as they are the professionals. What worries me is that the Conservative proposal as I understand it is that groups of parents can club together to create independently run state schools. I am a parent of 2 school age children and while comfortable that I am ( so far!) doing okay as a parent I just don't know how as a well-intentioned layperson could presume to understand what it takes to be in charge of educating children.

Also will all schools be entitled to the pupil premium or just the new ones?

LadyBlaBlah Thu 29-Apr-10 13:34:41

SATS decision - based on sample size of............1


MichaelGove Thu 29-Apr-10 13:35:02

Dear Animula

I agree that we can't rely on what happens between 9 and 3.30 alone. That's why we need better support in the early years (particularly through better parenting advice) and schools which are ready to offer breakfast and after-school clubs, extra-curricular activities and Saturday schools. Academies like Mossbourne already do this...

MichaelGove Thu 29-Apr-10 13:36:41

Dear LBB

SATS decision based on overwhelming view of parents who make deicsiions on schools based on objective facts...used just one example to illustrate that pro-SATS view is held equally passionately.

The real question is not, however, tests yes or no, but what sort of tests....

Ivykaty44 Thu 29-Apr-10 13:37:14

So by taking the children into scholl from 8-6 this will get children away from parents and let the sate take over? saturday school aswell getting the children out of any type of family life..

Nessarose Thu 29-Apr-10 13:37:35

I took my DS's out of one Primary School, there were a lot of reasons, but the main ones were class size they wanted ds1's yeargroup to form one big class of 39 children.
And Bullying. The school did nothing about it I got fed up with the dayley heartache to get him to school. The other school in our area is a faith school and we could not get them in there as we are the wrong religon. My dh and I dont drive so we pay for a taxi to get them to school and back. We asked for assistance from the LEA but were told no as there Is a school within walking distance.Yet if my son had been the bully we would hvae got transport for them. How is this fair?

MichaelGove Thu 29-Apr-10 13:38:42

Dear WWF
There are some great charter schools (and free schools in Sweden) which parents agitated for and helped set up but I expect the KIPP model - or equivalent - to be the predominant model here.

And our plan on the pupil premium is to restructure all funding across England to ensure all state schools get more cash for their disadvantaged pupils

duffy Thu 29-Apr-10 13:39:27

Hi Michael,
What's the worst political gaffe you've made in your career so far? (And do you have any sympathy for Gordon Brown over his?)

LilyBolero Thu 29-Apr-10 13:39:53

As a parent of 3 (soon to be 4), with 2 in primary school, 1 to start in September, I have SERIOUS concerns about your education policy. Specifically;

i) The 'return to traditional values' you cite, including 'sitting in rows, learning dates by rote' and 'rewriting the National Curriculum from Day 1'. Surely teachers should be allowed to adopt the methods MOST SUITED to the class AT THE TIME rather than having some edict from Whitehall, constructed on the whim of some 'return to traditional teaching'. For what it's worth, my children (Year 4 and Year 2) spend a good amount of time learning tables/facts etc, but are also INSPIRED by creative and imaginative teaching and cross-curricular work, which would be impossible under your scheme.

ii) The use of so-called 'celebrities' to advise - Carol Vorderman for example is not 'one of the greatest minds of our generation' and I fail to see how she is qualified to advise on the education of our children. It feels like sensationalist headline grabbing, and I would be VERY concerned if this was to happen.

iii) The idea of parents setting up their own schools. Firstly, WHERE are these schools supposed to be? In our area there is a chronic shortage of primary school places, but no sites suitable to set up a school. Also, it would inevitably lead to parents setting up schools specifically aimed at THEIR children, and would not help the neediest in society - as the TOday programme put it, it would help 'middle class parents with the sharpest elbows'.

Could you comment on these 3 concerns please?

MichaelGove Thu 29-Apr-10 13:40:08

I totally sympathise. Teachers at the moment don't have the tools they need to deal with bullying. We'd reform the rules so bullies can be dealt with more quickly and effectively.

animula Thu 29-Apr-10 13:42:38

Dear Michael,

Thank you for responding. Yes, Mossbourne was the model I was curious about. I suppose I was hoping for a little more information on how "warm" you might be towards that model, about funding, and about how admissions policies might have to change in order to "let a thousand flowers bloom". (!)

Rather jealous that you get to worship Justine in such proximity - am confined to admiration from afar.

LadyBlaBlah Thu 29-Apr-10 13:43:37

Could you put a bit of meat on the bones?

What does more freedom to discipline mean? Corporal punishment? Detentions? Exclusion in primary? What do you mean by this?

Do teachers want to do the budgets or would they prefer 'bureaucrats' to do them? Have you asked them?

Teaching by ability emphasised - from what age? How do you define ability - is it just Maths and English? Who measures, how?

These are the things that people want to know - you give no detail ?

LadyBlaBlah Thu 29-Apr-10 13:44:19

What rules about bullying? Again - what does that mean? What would you actually do about bullying?

spectacular Thu 29-Apr-10 13:44:46

Micheal - firstly where did you learn to spell like that? Although I note with interest that someone is sweeping along behind you clearing things up grin

I would like to know what research your policies are based on. Hunches and gut instincts and parading the views of a few celebs, do not make for a convincing basis for policy setting. It is most off-putting, indeed.

I am most interested in your instinct, gut or otherwise, that overwhelmingly parents who can afford to go down the private schooling route, choose a traditional setting for their children. I am one such parent, and I do not know of ANY parents in the same situation who wish for a return to traditional teaching methods, with children sitting in rows, chanting out the names of the long dead aristocrasy. Where does all of this rubbish come from and why have you no research based evidence to support your policies? Why is there no one filtering out the stupid ideas?

penguin73 Thu 29-Apr-10 13:46:03

As a new teacher who struggled for 4 years to find a job on completion of training I find it very demoralising to read about how you will bring in lots of new talent to improve teaching and learning when there are so many NQTs struggling to find work (particularly in humantities and MFL)
What provision (if any) would you make for existing teachers who want to develop but who have seen CPD funding disappear and cannot afford to fund it (plus their cover costs) themselves?

MichaelGove Thu 29-Apr-10 13:46:27

Dear LilyBolero

On 1 -I never actually said anything about learning by rote - and I totally agree with what I think is your overall view - teaching styles should be a matter of parental choice and professional autonomy - but my experience is that many parents want a rigrous knowledge-based education for their chidlren and aren't getting it. If they had money they could buy it in the private sector, I want those of us who are in the state sector to have the same choice.

On rewriting the curriculum I want to involve everyone who cares about the intellectuallife of our nation and Carol is passioante about maths and engaged with all the matsh bodies like ACME, the Royal Society and the Further Maths Netowrk.

On new schools - as I mentioned to wwf I expect it will be teachers even more than parents - and other socialentrepenurs too - who are keen to set uop new schools - and only ysterday I was talking to parents in wandsworth who've identified a sirte - I've worked with aprents in North ken who have as well - and in West Yorks - we're also amending planning rules to make it easier to convert the right sort of building

madly Thu 29-Apr-10 13:47:04

Michael, it would be interesting if you could respond to Kewcumbers question on adoption.

Are you aware that the system in the U.K. is dreadful and in dire need of a total overhaul?

westwingfan Thu 29-Apr-10 13:47:21

Re SATs. I know how my kids (and their schools) are doing by asking them what they learnt at school, by reading with them and doing times tables and looking at the homework they do. I lived in Scotland until recently and they do not do SATs there. I have not noticed any discernible change ( better or worse) in the quality of the education systems or my kids engagement. I don't know what more the SATs will tell me. My daughter will be sitting them next year and is already aware of them as they are coming up in classroom and playground discussions!
Maybe your best friend ( and Justine's) just needs to talk to his/her kids and ask how school was for them today.

sorky Thu 29-Apr-10 13:47:52

Do the Conservatives have any plans for Home Educators?

I personally support your idea for small scale education and parent run schools. Where parents wish to do so this should be an option which receives funding to support it.

Likewise, I would like to know your thoughts on reversing the trend in this country to schooling children at an early age, especially given your recent observations of the Scandenavian models where schooling begins at age 7 and is very successful.

Thank you

MichaelGove Thu 29-Apr-10 13:47:56

Dear Penguin73

I think we have the best generation of teachers ever - but we do have specific shoratges in maths and science which is why we've said we would waive the student laons of maths and science gradutes who enter, and stay in, teaching...

Oracle Thu 29-Apr-10 13:48:28

What would you do about teachers who bully autistic children by not accepting their diagnosis or their disability and who think that it is OK to say nasty things about the child that the rest of the class then think is an acceptable way to treat their autistic peer?

LadyBlaBlah Thu 29-Apr-10 13:48:53

Did you see Carol Vodermann on Question Time?

<cringe cringe cringe cringe triple cringe>

She may be passionate about Maths. But so what?

MichaelGove Thu 29-Apr-10 13:48:59

Dear Sorky

Totally support home educators - not a choice I'd make myself but anyone who does home educate is clearly a committed and idealistic individual

LadyBlaBlah Thu 29-Apr-10 13:50:07

Oracle - here is the point - they would put them in SPECIAL SCHOOLS !!

MichaelGove Thu 29-Apr-10 13:50:13

Dear Longfingernails and other who ask about the pupil premium

The premium will see extra money attached to pupils from poorer backgrounds. We believe that the current education system is weighted against the poorest who too often are left with the worst schools while the rich can buy their way to good schools either by going private or paying for an expensive mortgage. This is unfair.

By ensuring that poorer kids get more money new schools are more likely to want to set up in the areas that need them most.

On your specific question on extending quasimarkets in other areas of public policy - we will do so where the evidence shows that it will make a real difference particularly for the least well off. For example we would use quasi-markets in the welfare system to ensure as many people as possible get back into work and in the rehabilitation of offenders where outside expertise can make a real difference.

patienceplease Thu 29-Apr-10 13:50:17

Please, oh please whatever you do, (if you get in) when you introduce new initiatives, give teachers and schools the time to let things work. We are sick of being told one thing, and given a new way of doing things and then have it all change a year/ term later.
Stop the meddling and Bureaucracy!
and spectacular if you're going to be picky about spelling it's usually Michael

Oracle Thu 29-Apr-10 13:50:25

How can we have the best generation of teachers ever - when half od then have not received any SEN training? This does not bode well for a fully inclusive system.

LilyBolero Thu 29-Apr-10 13:52:04

Thank you for your reply - I think what you said was;

"“I’m an unashamed traditionalist when it comes to the curriculum,” Mr Gove said. “Most parents would rather their children had a traditional education, with children sitting in rows, learning the kings and queens of England, the great works of literature, proper mental arithmetic, algebra by the age of 11, modern foreign languages. That’s the best training of the mind and that’s how children will be able to compete.”"

That is surely a large component of rote learning?

With regard to finding sites - yes I'm sure there are areas that have available sites, but in our area there are NO sites, and literally not enough school places - with significant numbers of primary school children being offered NO place last year. Setting up a new school is not the solution in this scenario.

sorky Thu 29-Apr-10 13:52:57

Al Murray has the right idea Patienceplease, whoever gets in should do nothing for a year, that way there can be no major gaffes with policy.

Oracle Thu 29-Apr-10 13:53:21

Sadly special schools are all too often not special We need autism specific units if not schools. Research carried out by Simon Baron Cohen the leading expert in autism in the UK states that 1 in every 66 children being born will have an autistic spectrum condition. We have to stop ignoring this fact.

SethStarkaddersMum Thu 29-Apr-10 13:53:58

Lily - no that's not rote learning - you are confusing what you learn with how you learn it.

penguin73 Thu 29-Apr-10 13:54:23

Thank you..I hpoe you are more honest and successful with this than Labour who did the same for MFL but refused to pay until a permanent post had been secured. With a shortage of jobs and mass over-recruitment many of us incurred the debt but failed to secure the permanent post in time for the promise to be honoured. Please be a little fairer than they have!!!

LilyBolero Thu 29-Apr-10 13:55:07

Just to add, you say that history should be 'taught as a narrative'. This is how it was done in the 50s (my mum remembers this well) - but she dropped history before O Level, so only got up to 1850 or so and has NO knowledge of 20th centure history, which would include both world wars.

foxytocin Thu 29-Apr-10 13:55:09

Can we have you come back and next time answer questions on families as it seems that so far all the responses has been about schools.

MichaelGove Thu 29-Apr-10 13:55:38

Dear Ronshar

Like you, I'm really disappointed that the Government have abanoned their gifted and talented programme.

I would do a number of thinsg. Facilitate more setting and streaming so gifted children can be stretched in the subjects where they excel and weaker children supported.

I would allow children to score higher than a level 5 at KS2, so we recognise higher ability in primary...

I would make the curriculum - particualrly in maths more flexible so we can encourage ybright younger children to be introduced to more sophsiticated concepts eralier

I would enciourage more secodnaires to have sixth-froms so we can have the very best teachers available in all state secondraies

And I would exapnd organisations like Teach First which recruit acdemic highflyers with real leadership potential so we enhance our cadre of those with deep subject specialist knowledge...

MichaelGove Thu 29-Apr-10 13:55:56


MichaelGove Thu 29-Apr-10 13:56:19

sooory - anytime foxytocin

LilyBolero Thu 29-Apr-10 13:56:24

Seth - that is just the quote from the article for the Times, which describes children 'learning poetry by heart, reciting kings and queens' etc. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article7052010.ece

Nessarose Thu 29-Apr-10 13:56:26

Michael, Thanks for responding to to my question. But how would you change the rules and what to? and How will it help my sons?

ChoChoSan Thu 29-Apr-10 13:56:39

Hello Michael,

I understand that most people here are interested in schooling and childcare, but I am interested in exactly what the 'Families' element of your role means...may I copy and past my question (hope that's not off protocol)

Mr Gove,

Your party has positioned itself as the party of 'the family' in its recent campaigning, and believes that "the relationships [families] foster are the bedrock on which society is built."

In his speech on 8th October 2009 David Cameron stated:
"If you want to raise a family, we’ll support you."

In the light of that quote, as Secretary of State for Families, please could you make clear your party's policy on the funding of IVF on the NHS for those people suffering from conditions leading to infertility and sub-fertility?

ahundredtimes Thu 29-Apr-10 13:56:57

Right. Cuts!

Seemingly everyone across all parties acknowledges there will have to be cuts in public spending.

Can you tell us how and what cuts will effect education please? Thank you.

LadyBlaBlah Thu 29-Apr-10 13:58:07

<<wonders what Michael will say about me as he gets in his car>>

SethStarkaddersMum Thu 29-Apr-10 13:58:07

yes please to more setting and streaming.
You didn't get a chance to answer my q further down on academic selection - I'm resigned to the fact that we're not going to get it but setting and streaming is the next best thing.

sorky Thu 29-Apr-10 13:58:09

May I ask what the Conservatives plan to do with the mass cutting of funding to Science programmes?

It's been underfunded for so long now, we need to sort it out!

MichaelGove Thu 29-Apr-10 14:00:06

Dear PatiencePlease

I have a lot of sympathy. I think there are some bad things we need to sytop and some good lessons from abraod, and from the best state schjools, we need to appy more broadly. But I agree that we need less interfrence overall - nwhich is why on the curriculum I would chnage things and then leave well alone for at least a decade. And I would get rid of screeds of the things whioch schools have to do art the moment for ofsted,etc,,,

MichaelGove Thu 29-Apr-10 14:00:30

Dear LadyBlahBlah

I shall keep a pokerface

MichaelGove Thu 29-Apr-10 14:01:02

Dear Sorky

govt treatmernt of science - outargeoes - I agree

LeninGrad Thu 29-Apr-10 14:01:20

Arf! Got to give him that one.

DastardlyandSmugly Thu 29-Apr-10 14:01:23

Michael - I've already written to you about this and received a response from your assistant which I replied to but have heard nothing since.

I'm afraid that I fall into something of a no man's land with regards to education. I have an expensive mortgage, in a good area, which prohibits me bneing able to pay for private education for my son, yet I can't get him into a local primary school.

We applied to 4 of the 5 closest schools to us, including our closest school, and were turned down for all. We have also made late applications to two other nearby schools, and can't get him into those schools either.

Do you intend to do anything to ensure that parents do not suffer the stress, worry and upset that this has caused us? And do you have any suggestions, other than go private, on where we go from here?

We're appealing but not holding out much hope as the class size restriction seems to prohibit the success of most primary school appeals.

LadyBlaBlah Thu 29-Apr-10 14:01:27

Down with the kids MG smile

sorky Thu 29-Apr-10 14:02:36

I have to go, but might I just say, I do think you're doing very well. Not a hint of a lynching, well done and <snigger> at pokerface

you still don't have my vote.....yet

SethStarkaddersMum Thu 29-Apr-10 14:02:48

I like 'outargeoes'. Don't let them tidy up that one, please.

ahundredtimes Thu 29-Apr-10 14:02:49

lol @ poker face. He's funny!

goldenticket Thu 29-Apr-10 14:03:07

Could you make sure that schools don't know when Ofsted are going to visit please? It appears to be a complete farce currently with everything being repainted and children being coached to lie about what they do/how they're taught (or is that just our school? angry)

MichaelGove Thu 29-Apr-10 14:03:22

Dear ahundredtimes

I don't want to see education spending cut. And we will certainly protect frontline spending on scjools.

But we will cut

Ofsted (it inspects too much...)

The QCDA (you don't need a quango which costs £100 million every year constantly re-writing the curriculum)

And Contactpoint - we don't need another database to keep our children safe...

animula Thu 29-Apr-10 14:03:31

<lowers tone>

v. good pokerface joke.

Nessarose Thu 29-Apr-10 14:03:38

grin at pokerface.

sorky Thu 29-Apr-10 14:04:33

sod it I'll be late..

Honestly?!? You'll scrap Contactpoint?

MichaelGove Thu 29-Apr-10 14:04:53

Dear Dastardly and smugly

remail me later, if that's ok and remind me where you live and we'll get down into the detail to see if we can help

ThreeSilverBalloons Thu 29-Apr-10 14:05:39

grin at pokerface too.

Totally agree about unannounced OFSTED. Every teacher friend of mine works 1000-hour weeks in the run up to an inspection and gets mega-stressed. Not a proper reflection of a school's day-to-day performance.

Oracle Thu 29-Apr-10 14:06:32

It's looking like I am going to be voting for the holocaust-denying, hate-mongering, voter-scaring bigot because I have no faith or liking for Ed Balls and even less in the Conservatives

ahundredtimes Thu 29-Apr-10 14:06:48

Are the KIPP schools the ones that Malcolm Gladwell wrote about?

MichaelGove Thu 29-Apr-10 14:06:50

Yup - totally

MPs and slebs have been told they can keep their children off the database because its not 100% secure

well if its not safe for my children its not safe for yours...

and I don't believe a database state makes us safer - people looking out for each other in a society based on trust does...

SethStarkaddersMum Thu 29-Apr-10 14:07:06

you are right to scrap QCDA - someone I know was at a meeting there the other week and could not believe how broken the organisation was.

LadyBlaBlah Thu 29-Apr-10 14:07:24

Standing on the shoulders of giants springs to mind though........if the Tories get in, they have a pretty damn good education system to deal with, especially at primary level. Few tweaks here and there, bob's your uncle and fanny's your aunt..........bring on the champagne wink

MichaelGove Thu 29-Apr-10 14:08:16

Dear ahundredtimes

yes malcolm gladwell has written about them - and there's abook about KIPP called work hard and be nice which is bill gates's favourite book

MichaelGove Thu 29-Apr-10 14:09:20

Dear Oracle

PLEASE don't vote for the racist BNP -pleasde,please, please vote for anyone, anyone, else

Oracle Thu 29-Apr-10 14:09:23

Sorry but they would be picking up a pile of poo where SEN is concerned but I am not sure that SEN bothers them that much.

LadyBlaBlah Thu 29-Apr-10 14:09:54

less school hols
Sat schooling
Starting earlier finishing later

Sound horrific but they 'work' in making very productive member of society. Apparently.

Noone has ever looked at the confounding factors at play in their apparent success

Oracle Thu 29-Apr-10 14:10:19

I thought that you were talking about Nick Clegg - having two disabled children I would NEVER vote BNP BP EVER

LadyBlaBlah Thu 29-Apr-10 14:11:12

I don't think the BNP would be much help with SEN TBH Oracle shock

ahundredtimes Thu 29-Apr-10 14:12:05

Yes, they sounded great, I remember reading about it in the last book I think.

Not sure why I'm here agreeing with a conservative shock wink

I v much hope you will work hard and make your thoughts known and Nick Clegg listens and agrees re KIPP schools grin

LadyBlaBlah Thu 29-Apr-10 14:12:12

LOL @ DG calling Nick Clegg a holocaust denying bigot grin

MichaelGove Thu 29-Apr-10 14:12:34

Dear Spectacular

My research is based on work done by people like Michael Fullan, Michael Brabner and Fenton Whelan into the world's best education systems, the comprative reesearch done by people like the OECD and academic work done by people like Dylan Williams at the Institute of Education, Caroline Hoxby in the US and E.D. Hirsch...

Oracle Thu 29-Apr-10 14:13:02

I would rather stick pins in my eyes than vote BNP

ahundredtimes Thu 29-Apr-10 14:13:14

I'm sure Mr Gove would NEVER refer to Nick Clegg as a holocaust denying racist Oracle.

lolol sorry, this has made me laugh as much as poker face did. What an unexpected joy this web chat has been.

sorky Thu 29-Apr-10 14:13:37

I'm confused...I know everything is his fault at the moment, but really...I think calling NC a bigot is a step too far ;)

MichaelGove Thu 29-Apr-10 14:13:59

Dear CHoCHOSan

My colleague Grant Shapps (hinsef a dadthanks to IVF) has highlighted patchy provision - we want to fund properly and extend access

LadyBlaBlah Thu 29-Apr-10 14:14:22

Don't worry 100x - MG has been described as a true neo-conserv. To be fair he is the least of the worries if the Tories get in.

I present you....................George Osbourne shock

MichaelGove Thu 29-Apr-10 14:15:55

Dear ahundredtimes

Sorry if anyone was confused on Griffin versus Clegg

Griffin is unspeakable

Clegg an attractive, humane, thoughtful and constructive politician who fell in with a bad crowd...

ahundredtimes Thu 29-Apr-10 14:15:55

I thought it was quite persuasive though LadyBB. Essentially by seeking to to overcome any disadvantages children from difficult backgrounds had - so basically cut school holidays etc. Made quite clear that it would not suit all children though.

LadyBlaBlah Thu 29-Apr-10 14:16:12

unexpected joy indeed

I must go and get my train

Why not dump the rest of them MG - they sound like amateurs in comparison to you

Esp. that GO fellow. God almighty

LilyBolero Thu 29-Apr-10 14:16:34

If you're still there Michael, a quick question - if a parent was involved in setting up a school, would this guarantee their child a place at said school? And if not, how would you impose a fair and transparent admission system?

spectacular Thu 29-Apr-10 14:16:36

LOL - it took you a while to look that up didn't it!

ahundredtimes Thu 29-Apr-10 14:16:42

It was Oracle, Mr Gove.

I think it's all been cleared up now though

Oracle Thu 29-Apr-10 14:17:13

blush The fault is all mine I fear

LadyBlaBlah Thu 29-Apr-10 14:17:44

There you go - you and Nick would go together much better than the other charlatons (Clegg that is not Griffin, just to be clear)

JustAnotherMum2b Thu 29-Apr-10 14:18:19

Deafening silence on childcare...

animula Thu 29-Apr-10 14:18:29

MG didn't call Nick Clegg a "..., ..., bigot", he called Nick Griffin a "..., ..., bigot".

Oracle got her Nick's in a twist. That's what comes of mixing speed-reading and talking/typing about education with small children around, I guess.

Bless, you Oracle, for your shock at being thought a potential BNP voter.

And good response from MG, too. Yes, voting anyone else is better.

I'm laughing too.

gramercy Thu 29-Apr-10 14:18:59

I thought at the beginning it said one post per poster. There are a couple of posters here who just won't play by the rules and are very, very, very irritating.

whydobirdssuddenlyappear Thu 29-Apr-10 14:19:37

Dear Mr Gove,
What will your policies be on home education? Are you considering improving access to exams, for example?

animula Thu 29-Apr-10 14:20:39


Sorry, thought was one question. will go.

goldenticket Thu 29-Apr-10 14:20:48

Oh lord are we only allowed one question? Sorry, I asked two blush (although the second one didn't get answered - does that make me slightly less irritating?)

Oracle Thu 29-Apr-10 14:22:16

I can not remember reading anywhere that we were not allowed to comment - although in my case I should probably have kept my mouth shut either way.

gramercy Thu 29-Apr-10 14:22:22

No, it's not the people who inadvertently asked two questions, it's the people who continually make smart arse comments and spoil an interesting q and a session.

DastardlyandSmugly Thu 29-Apr-10 14:22:45

Michael - I have re-mailed Anna. Thanks for your offer.

MichaelGove Thu 29-Apr-10 14:22:57

V sorry have to go in a sec but just a few general rplies

a/totally support let girls be girls campaign - some comapnies are disgusting and creepy in the way they try to erode childhood and push our daughters into being little grown-ups -

b my tory candidate name (based on dad, first street and primary headmaster) would be

Ernest Erskine-Gillanders

(sounds like John Buchan chracter...)

c/worst political gaffe was when I was journo actually and went on BBC to defend timnes coverage of tory fundriaisng story and was cut to shreds by ed stourton - he totally kebabbed me -

as MP I think wors gaffe was appearing on Newsnight in summer 2005 after coming back from hiols in Scotland during which time I had bnot shaved - berads and me not a good look...

Nessarose Thu 29-Apr-10 14:24:00

We are allowed one Question and a follow up response after the firs question has been answered.

goldenticket Thu 29-Apr-10 14:26:02

Thanks for coming in Mr Gove - it's been entertaining and enlightening (and I never thought I'd say that).

Would be interested in an answer to my second question re Ofsted inspections if you ever return.

MichaelGove Thu 29-Apr-10 14:26:50

Dear Singalong mum and others - gottago in a second but on suretsart we won't cut funding - we will pay for MORE health visitors from NHS budget (ringfenced..)

on nursery entitlement - we back free entitlement - sad truth is that its not properly funded at moment and some nurseries charging top-ups already - we want to ensure proper funding for all..

Nessarose Thu 29-Apr-10 14:27:02

Thank you for coming and I hope you will return.

foxytocin Thu 29-Apr-10 14:27:09

thanks Michael, smile
feel free to take my question from yesterday with you and send your response to my private email. (Justine Mumsnet has it. ) grin

MichaelGove Thu 29-Apr-10 14:28:28

Dear Goldenticket

Thanks to you, and everyone, I am signing off now - and I can confirm we do believe there is a place in certain circs for unannounced inspections...

hope to come back after the election - if you'll let me...its a pleasure to talk to so many committed and thoughtful people

gramercy Thu 29-Apr-10 14:28:42

I think MG came across as quite humorous.

And I like the traditional curriculum idea. Many people do. Otherwise there wouldn't be the stampede for grammar schools.

SethStarkaddersMum Thu 29-Apr-10 14:30:11

thank you for coming, please do come back after the election (when we will give you a much harder time because then everything we don't like in schools will officially be Your Fault wink)

AitchTwoZone Thu 29-Apr-10 14:32:07

oh i missed this, vaguely knew Gove through uni stuff and can confirm he is very, very, very bright and funny and properly stands up when he thinks people are being ill-treated (practically a communist when leading strikes at aberdeen press and journal iirc wink).

it's such a shame he's a true blue. <sighs>

smugmumofboys Thu 29-Apr-10 14:32:12

My laptop had a wobbly at about 1.10. I've had a look but can't work out if he answered re MFL or not?

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 29-Apr-10 14:32:23

Thanks Michael - was an unexpected blast. And thanks to Mumsnetters for the top questions.

ahundredtimes Thu 29-Apr-10 14:33:08

Sorry gramercy. was that me? I asked one question, and then I did do the follow-up Gladwell q. Didn't mean to be smart arsey at all. Was genuinely interested - and then Oracle's confusion was funny. Sorry.

herbietea Thu 29-Apr-10 14:38:22

Thanks for the reply Mr Gove.

I fell asleep and forgot about this, but reading it back I see it was quite amusing and entertaining.

Oracle Thu 29-Apr-10 14:53:09

blush blush

SethStarkaddersMum Thu 29-Apr-10 15:01:55

tbh I think if everyone strictly limited themselves to 1 q and 1 follow-up and no comments it would be a lot less fun.
Hope my comments weren't annoying anyone though.

SethStarkaddersMum Thu 29-Apr-10 15:03:15

Aitch - that's interesting.
My dh heard him speak at a maths conference the other week and came back practically swooning because he was so much better than everyone else there.

AitchTwoZone Thu 29-Apr-10 15:07:02

he's a brainbox, fo sho.

ahundredtimes Thu 29-Apr-10 15:09:17

See, now Michael Gove the perfect reason for a coalition or cabinet of all the talents. I'd love to be able to pick and choose ministers from across the parties, Gove, in (on the basis of one joke and SS's dh's reccomendation grin) Osbourne, out, Cable, in, Milliband at energy in, Clegg, in etc etc

CaptainNancy Thu 29-Apr-10 15:09:40

Aw... c'mon- I asked the 3rd question, and didn't get answered at all... unl,ess the reason for more faith schools is "me and Dave like them" hmm

AitchTwoZone Thu 29-Apr-10 15:11:46

so true, 100x. who would you have as PM, though? did you hear cleggie with eddie mair last night? <cringerama>

SethStarkaddersMum Thu 29-Apr-10 15:13:48

agree 100x.
and Gove clearly likes Clegg.... (his 'bad crowd' comment - doesn't that make it 2 jokes?)

ahundredtimes Thu 29-Apr-10 15:15:28

Yes. It was bad wasn't it? But it was the questions! I was shouting at the radio - I don't want to know when you last cried, I don't care whether you believe in God! Shuddup. I had sympathy with his slightly freaked-out laughter and fluffing it, tbh.

SethStarkaddersMum Thu 29-Apr-10 15:18:05

CaptainNancy (love your name btw) - he said something about faith schools at 13.06 - wasn't 'Slug and others' meant to include you? He just said something like 'parents like them' which is not much detail I grant but not just him 'n' Dave.

he didn't answer me on selection but fair dos, I was the only one asking it.

AitchTwoZone Thu 29-Apr-10 15:21:37

i thought the questions hilarious, eddie mair tres drole imo. it was like he was being interviewed by Black Type from Smash Hits circa 1988.

GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 29-Apr-10 15:24:36

MG didn't have time to type this answer, so we're posting in on his behalf:

MichaelGove: Dear Tambajam and others who ask about exclusion.

I'm sorry to hear about your bad experiences - it's because of stories like yours that restoring discipline is such a priority of mine.

The problem with appeals panels sending children back to schools from which they've been excluded is that it completely undermines the authority of the headteacher. There have been incidents where children expelled for carrying knives have been sent back, which is unacceptable.

I understand your concerns about children's rights, which is why we'd issue clear statutory guidance to schools on exclusions (making clear, for example, that if children have special needs that needs to be taken into account). The Governors of the school would also have to approve the exclusion and would be legally responsible for ensuring the guidance was followed.

NoseyNooNoo Thu 29-Apr-10 15:40:12

Hmm, my question which I posted on Tuesday wasn't answered - any reason?

Looks like it was a good webchat too.

I feel snubbed... and I've always liked Mr Gove... sad

PeppaPigot Thu 29-Apr-10 15:42:21

PISSED OFF that my q as su sylvester on here was utterly ignored
was only the third q and a really short one

gove you are crap.

and im a fucking teacher.

dawntigga Thu 29-Apr-10 16:55:11

Marking my place to come back and read when The Cub isn't being 'interesting'.


PeppaPigot Thu 29-Apr-10 16:56:52

i am gutted he dindt asnwer susylvesters q
a short one right at the beginning

has he ever been into a school and watched a whole lesson?

thats all

preggersplayspop Thu 29-Apr-10 18:15:38

He never answered my question either sad, which confirms what I thought about this policy of setting up schools yourself - its all guff. They don't get into the detail because they haven't got a clue themselves about how it would work.

johnworf Thu 29-Apr-10 18:27:24

A bit like Nick Clegg and his 20 kids per class eh? wink

OhGodItsCod Thu 29-Apr-10 19:03:52

so we can conclude he has NEVER been into a seconday school
mikey - how about the week after next.
come and see year nine.

foxytocin Thu 29-Apr-10 19:10:23

I'd love to host him.

Yr9 Set 3, lesson 6 on Thursday.


I think he can also concede that the party hasn't thought out any plans behind its 'more health visitors' pledge either which MG mentioned again but didn't elaborate despite me asking more than 24 hrs before the webchat.

<feels snubbed>

CaptainNancy Thu 29-Apr-10 19:16:12

OGIC- you spelled that correctly- either you're an imposter, or really concerned about this grin

sethstarkaddersmum (btw... how is he doing in Hollywood? wink - saying 'parents like them' is a bit akin to saying 'all them eastern europeans'- it's glib and meaningless. I am a parent- I don't like them. I know many many parents, many of whom do not like faith schools. As you say- not much detail there was there?

SanctiMoanyArse Thu 29-Apr-10 19:21:32

Oracle are you new to NMN? Just i;ve never seen you here before and your opiniosna re intriguing (though I disagree with some- my asd child thrives in a mixed SNU, and I have serious misgivings with some of Simon B-C's approach)

OhGodItsCod Thu 29-Apr-10 19:24:47

govey has answered the "new" posters qs
a nd not the teachers'

LadyBlaBlah Thu 29-Apr-10 19:35:01

People always answer the questions nearest to the time they are about to start. It is the same with every chat - get the questions as near to the start time as possible- and they will answer. Tis way of world - fraid he can't tell who is a teacher from the questions hmm

<can't believe I am defending him, but it is not him as such, just the same with everyone who does a webchat>

He was having a chat, not just doing pre prepared Q & A - think that is better don't you?

OhGodItsCod Thu 29-Apr-10 19:36:05

it was an easy q
if iw as on a web chat id ANSWER the qs in word BEFORE then paste the already posted ones asap

foxytocin Thu 29-Apr-10 19:38:28

BTW, Mr Gove, the constituency in which I teach is one in the Labour badlands heartland which this election your party has targeted as it now thinks it can win a seat here.

Hague was campaigning here just last Tuesday. Maybe a visit from you at our very big and pupular comprehensive can bring your party into the limelight here again.

I'm sure my headteacher will be happy to host you too.

LadyBlaBlah Thu 29-Apr-10 19:38:31

But most people dont get webchats and come totally unprepared and think it is as it says on the tin - a chat

preggersplayspop Thu 29-Apr-10 19:44:28

What is the point in opening the thread before the chat if there is no point in posting the Qs beforehand?

Bad form to come unprepared. David Cameron did the same. Surely they have slaves "people" to help them prepare for stuff like this?

lottiejenkins Thu 29-Apr-10 19:48:51

He didnt answer my question and i posted not long before it started! sad

loungelizard Thu 29-Apr-10 19:57:04

Didn't answer my question either re. 'fairness' and having a private education system in tandem with a state education system. Still not v surprised really....don't expect he wants to get into that can of worms, him being a Tory 'an all.

Oracle Thu 29-Apr-10 20:40:09

SanctiMoanyArse actually I am 'old' here although I have not posted here for a long time. Probably just as well given the mistake I made today blush

I do not think that there is a one size fits all approach for autistic children because they are all so different. We require a menu of provision but I am not sure that we will ever get it.

Re Simon Baron Cohen even with out his stats the numbers of children with autism do appear to be rising so that needs to be taken into account.

OhGodItsCod Thu 29-Apr-10 20:40:36

whose question DID he answer

goldenticket Thu 29-Apr-10 21:08:26

He answered mine and I'm not "new" <stern look>

TheFallenMadonna Thu 29-Apr-10 21:56:14


No answer for me either. And he had plenty of time to prepare. Posted it on Monday.

Couldn;t join the chat today, 'cos I was working. In school.

TheFallenMadonna Thu 29-Apr-10 21:57:26

And he could tell I was a teacher because I said so. Hmm.

SanctiMoanyArse Thu 29-Apr-10 22:26:06

Oh absolutely I agree Oracle about rising (you probably know me as Peachy? 2 kids with ASD, half an MA in ASD LOL) but my issues with Simon baron Cohen are that he focuses so heavily on HFA kids, which is only a aprt of the picture, and I am afraid that his argument about not terminating ASD chidlren becuase it may result in a loss in maths geniuses or similar completely missed the point of the individual worth of disablee chidlren in themselves

Totally agree about a mixed menu- atm I have one in an SNU and one in MS looking at AS Base in 2011

slug Fri 30-Apr-10 09:11:33

Damn, I missed it. Otherwise I could have pointed out that he completely failed to answer my question. In fact, I'm quite annoyed that he seems to have deliberately missunderstood what I said. I don't want any more divisive faith schools. I don't think they give a better education. I just want the local schools that are funded by my taxes to be open to all children, not just the select few.


NormaSnorks Fri 30-Apr-10 10:21:05

Damn - I missed it - it looked like a great webchat too - one of the best so far..

Loved 'pokerface' - he sounds a really nice bloke with good commonsense.

and <whispers> I find that photo of him strangely sexy blush


jonicomelately Fri 30-Apr-10 10:42:14

He didn't answer my question. Will this message get deleted if I call him a ts*r?

nighbynight Fri 30-Apr-10 11:43:02

MG's always been good at turning a joke or witty debating point (memories of university). When running the country, I wouldnt trust him to get the job done though. He is def one of the reasons why I wont be voting tory.

nighbynight Fri 30-Apr-10 11:46:29

And that run your own school stuff is nonsense. dd2 has been at one of these run your own kindergartens in germany - it was a nightmare for me!
Hello, I have to keep a roof over our heads, I havent got time to be down at the school running it. I expect well trained professionals to be doing their jobs while I get on with mine.

SanctiMoanyArse Fri 30-Apr-10 13:37:54

I'd like to be over the school helping to run it but I have a sneaky that Mr Runs My Own School won't be taking in my SN kids and they will be left elsewhere to fester!

I'm not voting Tory becuase I can't pay any taxes and I think that make sme bottom of their list. Worse, I think it makes m,y chidlren bottom of the list.

(When I say Ic an't, Dh does but no, I suspect, enough)

BoffinMum Fri 30-Apr-10 18:40:09

Oh My Actual God.

Teach First alumni let loose with taxpayers' money to set up their own schools?

Am I the only person that objects to 23-year-olds with just four weeks' teacher training 'lite' being encouraged to do this?

They'll be getting people who've dabbled at a bit of dentistry in their gap year to take out wisdom teeth next.

<fans self and waves smelling salts in front of nose>

AitchTwoZone Fri 30-Apr-10 20:31:29

haha nightby, we MUST have met in a previous life. i always liked gove, i must say. remember him covering the election when major got back in... absolutely delighted while pretending impartiality for sky.

AitchTwoZone Fri 30-Apr-10 20:31:52

did you know ian and chris and that crew?

animula Sat 01-May-10 11:30:49

BoffinMum - Well, I think our area is going to see the first. My guess is the first few won't be allowed to fail. So it'll take a while for the more, erm, interesting examples to appear.

In the meantime, I'm guessing they will need a lot of money and support to actually make sure they don't fall apart. Money and support redirected from other schools in the area.


SuSylvester Sat 01-May-10 11:35:43

lo at run your own school
no feucker wants to be a school governor/.

nighbynight Sat 01-May-10 17:01:52

Aitch - yes, I do.

Gove is a good talker.
IMO, the most genuinely talented, honest and hard working politician from our generation at Oxford is Andrew Mennear.
Though there are several more that I like personally.

(I dont count David Cameron in that assessment, btw. He seems OK, but he only ever mixed with other nobs at Oxford, so I dont know himgrin)

nighbynight Sat 01-May-10 17:18:36

were you at the MN knees up btw? I didnt see anyone I knew, but I thought that as a mn contributor you might have been there?

SuSylvester Sat 01-May-10 17:19:37

i was! ahem.

nighbynight Sat 01-May-10 17:35:10

I meant aitch, actually Su! I know you were there.
Agree about the school governers though.

MailyDail Sat 01-May-10 20:09:18

i was invited but it was a bit of a schlep for one night from up here in the end. agree gove a good talker. in fact i probably didn't know him well enough to get beyond that, to be fair, i only knew him a bit. was v surprised when he never came out of closet, for example, our crowd always assumed he was gay, despite girlfriends etc.

nighbynight Sun 02-May-10 06:42:54

I had a backstage view of the union in the aftermath of MGs presidency.

Aitch Sun 02-May-10 19:52:04

do tell...

ronshar Sun 02-May-10 22:08:04

Yah MG answered my question and I'm def not new.

Although I always feel that none of the politicians actually give the details of any of their answers. Doesnt seem to matter which party they are from.

I loved the Poker face. Bloody well timed.

Piamom Mon 03-May-10 13:17:21

What security will you provide for really positive intervention strategies such as Playing for Success that boost confidence and motivation in middle of the road learners?

gibrock Wed 02-Jun-10 00:23:32

Please look into why my bright child has not been entitled to his full statement or any help in the school. Barking & Dagenham say funding for special needs does not apply to a child but in general for all children. My child is being made more disabled by this being home taught on part time and part time school due to funding. I therefore have to rely on benefits both becoming more dependant where if things worked correctly my child is capable of then becoming more independant to a degree and so would I. If parents could have a voucher to go with our child per term then it would protect his entitlement.Then unnecessary meetings with appeals for help which never gets you no where only the civil servants wages made bigger with nothing being done.HELP to change this.Also what is the point of statements if it cannot be inforced.

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