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I take a serious interest in education. But need a bit of help from you young experts..GOVE V Melissa Benn?

(11 Posts)
chill1243 Tue 30-Aug-11 11:33:47

Michael Gove is the Tory education Minister .His "FREE SCHOOLS" up and running today.

Melissa Benn (Tonys daughter) has, I am told a book out in September.

The above pair clearly see our school sytem through different eyes. I assume Miss Benn will be defending the Comprehensive idea.?

How is this debate going to play out in the next 4 years. (Or even 40 years?)

Currently Minister Gove will be calling the shots,I presume. Do the Libs back him unreservedly? Have labour any new ideas?

I seek opinions from people who know a lot more than I do. Which makes me Mr Modesty in this context.

crazynanna Tue 30-Aug-11 11:38:00

Michael Gove is a plank wink
<wise words of wisdom..part 1>

mustdash Tue 30-Aug-11 11:44:10

Gove undoubtedly is a plank, but he is a plank in government.

A good piece on Melissa Benn here

I'm with Melissa. In four years Gove et al will have all but destroyed the state system. After that, it will be a long time before any government has the money to put it back together again.

chill1243 Tue 30-Aug-11 11:50:43

Yes, I sort of agree. Govey does have more power than his ideas warrant.

Is he by any chance related to Toby Young? (who seems to turn up all over the media.)

cory Tue 30-Aug-11 12:24:57

Have just been reading in Swedish press about some of the mess the introduction of their famous free schools has left them in. Not encouraging.

wordfactory Tue 30-Aug-11 12:38:59

I do think that the state school system was due a shake up.
The top down micro management has become stiffling. We need to let our teachers do what they do best...

But whether Gove's free schools are the best way forward, I don't know.

inkyfingers Tue 30-Aug-11 13:36:45

Comprehensive has to continue to be the way forward. No govt, despite all the knee-jerk calls for grammars, will bring them back. But make them damn good - with much more ambition and pace for the top sets (like a grammar), strong ethos etc. Maybe I'm describing Toby Young's free school (which he has always said will be comprehensive, so why people say it's selective, I don't know).

So many comps are good to fairly good and get the requisite GCSE passes, but many kids could still do better - and it's their parents who eye up the local privates with a view to the RG unis.....

jackstarb Tue 30-Aug-11 13:52:25

I agree with wordfactory. Our state school system is due a shake-up. A few years ago Milissa Benn would have been arguing the same. Although, this is not the 'shake-up' she would have wanted , I'm sure.

I'd argue that Gove and even Young are trying to make the 'comprehensive school model' work. Gove by injecting some 'competition' and autonomy into the system and Young, bless him, just believes that all children will benefit from an academic 'grammar school' education, whatever their ability.

Other free school types are opening schools in deprived areas. They tend to be teachers or parents who believe they can run a school better than the state can.

These are not evil people (though possibly naive) and, however the Free-school experiment works out, some of it's detractors have made themselves look mean spirited and somewhat hypocritical.

My own opinion is the state comprehensive system has been broken for years and I doubt there is much we can do to fix it. But, I'd love to be proved wrong - and I wish Gove, Young and the others good lick.

jackstarb Tue 30-Aug-11 13:55:55

luck obviously not lick blush blush and eeuw!

jackstarb Tue 30-Aug-11 17:06:54

Just spotted this Melissa Benn versus Rachel Wolf Debate.

Both sides of the debate well argued IMO.

chill1243 Thu 01-Sep-11 11:34:55

Thanks for your posts. Its a learning curve for me. I appreciate views from all sides

Yes Toby Young does say his school is for all abilities. I am a bit suspicious; but he is an interesting cove. Labour Daddy, who he reacted against. There has even been a recent film about his rumbustuous early years. His "free school" will be followed by lots of media features when it is up and running. It is reported today that the first batch of free schools are in largely middle class areas; but the next batch will be more varied.???

serious as it all is. We must not lose our sense of fun . Toby or not Toby,
that is the question.....and , surely, there is no such thing as a FREE SCHOOL?

Looking back I think I would have benefited from one to one tuition. From Dr Jonathan Miller or Stephen Fry....How about that?

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