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WEBCHAT GUIDELINES: 1. One question per member plus one follow-up. 2. Keep your question brief. 3. Don't moan if your question doesn't get answered. 4. Do be civil/polite. 5. If one topic or question threatens to overwhelm the webchat, MNHQ will usually ask for people to stop repeating the same question or point.

MNHQ have commented on this thread

Webchat with Conservative Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, TUESDAY 28 April at 11.30am

144 replies

RowanMumsnet · 24/04/2015 17:01

Hello

We're pleased to announce the second of our three politics webchats this week with Nicky Morgan, who was Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities until Parliament dissolved earlier this month. She will be joining us for a live webchat on Tuesday 28 April at 11.30am.

Nicky is the Conservative candidate for the Loughborough seat. She has done a couple of webchats with us before; in one of them she made some headlines after saying that 'no option is off the table' when questioned about whether the Conservatives should consider all-women shortlists to improve women's representation in Parliament.

Since becoming Secretary of State for Education, Nicky has been perceived by some as taking a less combative approach to teachers and the education sector than her predecessor, Michael Gove. She has emphasised the importance of 'freedom' for schools, and has said that tackling unnecessary workload is a priority. There has been some controversy about her vote against the Equal Marriage Act; she has also announced plans to include issues like consent in sex education lessons.

Do join us at 11:30am on Tuesday 28 April to talk politics, education and other important issues with Nicky. As ever, if you can’t make it then, do leave a question for Nicky on this thread. And please remember our webchat guidelines.

Thanks
MNHQ

Webchat with Conservative Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, TUESDAY 28 April at 11.30am
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sickofsocalledexperts · 27/04/2015 14:06

Would you consider a root-and-branch review of autism education in this country? It's all a bit lacklustre, delivering poor results for our kids and we lag behind the US 30 years eg in our use of behavioural methods like ABA, which are pretty mainstream over there now. I am not talking about the mechanisms and legal framework, which I know you have revamped, but the actual teaching methods (which remain stuck in the dark ages, little more than childminding in some schools)

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dixiechix1978 · 27/04/2015 16:09

Is there such a thing as consistency in our primary schools. My 6yr old son has had 10 teachers in his first 18months of School and has covered the same topics term after term. I am struggling to make sense of it all let alone him?

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ZoeTedders · 27/04/2015 16:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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clopper · 27/04/2015 16:39

Why go to all the expense and effort of a workload survey without offering any concrete solutions, just promises about having a longer lead in time for new initiatives? You say that many aspects of workload are down to senior managers in school and that is true, but most school based workload by SMT is generated by fear of ofsted.

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LineRunner · 27/04/2015 17:09

You voted against the Equal Marriage Act.

Why are you homophobic?

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mak123 · 27/04/2015 17:40

You voted to end EMA in 2011. How can this be in line with support for equality as many poor students face material deprivation and this enabled them to stay in education and research showed it was effective.

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Redlocks28 · 27/04/2015 17:53

She has said that tackling unnecessary workload is a priority.

Why have you done nothing at all so far then?

What WILL you do to alleviate the problem should you get back in? You have annoyed a lot of teachers with your workload survey and its utterly useless outcome.

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wickedwaterwitch · 27/04/2015 17:58

What are your priorities as minister for women and equalities and do you consider yourself a feminist?

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ZoeTedders · 27/04/2015 18:00

Do you agree that Free Schools should be able to set admission policies that exclude students from the local area and give priority to students who live in areas further away?

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DoctorLawn · 27/04/2015 18:05

Teachers in this country are looked down upon by parents, government ministers and the media as being workshy whingers. How will you support teachers in becoming better understood and respected as professionals as they are in countries such as Finland and Singapore?

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LineRunner · 27/04/2015 18:09

Oh and Q to MNHQ. How will you be selecting questions for the MP to answer?

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ElizabethHoover · 27/04/2015 18:18

Its seems only fair to ask...

Nicky, you too have a tremendous head of hair. What are your top tips for looking unruffled in PMQT?

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sassytheFIRST · 27/04/2015 18:59

How hard has it been to deal with Gove's legacy? Especially as he is still rumoured to be hanging around the DofE?

On a related matter, the new A levels are a complete shambles. Would you like to take another year to re evaluate or are you happy to damage the prospects of this year's 16 year olds to save face?

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ILoveMyCaravan · 27/04/2015 19:20

What are your views on Home Education for children?

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candlesAtDawn · 27/04/2015 20:41

Some areas are desperately short of school places, and other areas have a surplus. The National Audit Office says that a surplus of 5-10% is required to give parents a small amount of choice.

If that is the case, would you agree that Local Authorities that deliberately aim for 0% surplus in their school place planning strategy, resulting in massive over-subscription and long waiting lists at the majority of schools, and significant numbers of families not getting any of their 6 preferences, yet which still claim not to 'need' more places because after the annual 'drop-out' they usually (but not always) manage to squeeze everyone in somewhere by September, are putting unacceptable stress on families and fueling an exodus to the private sector, which is therefore profiting on the back of ruthless public-sector cost-saving strategies?

(An example: www.thisisourtownrichmond.co.uk/no-room-at-the-school-3/04271252#more-7200 )

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candlesAtDawn · 27/04/2015 21:12

A question for MNHQ: I just watched the video clip of the Tristram Hunt web chat. I'd assumed he actually read the questions as written, and then typed a response. However, it looked more like you read, and in fact paraphrased, the questions, and he gave a verbal answer. Is that right? It would be helpful to know because I would have worded my question differently if I thought you might try to paraphrase it (good luck with that!) Smile

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Springtimemama · 27/04/2015 21:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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CamelHump · 27/04/2015 21:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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Coastingit · 27/04/2015 21:40

Can you summarise the Conservative party's position on wraparound childcare in schools please? Tristram Hunt was on here earlier and his response as far as Labour's plans go, was far from satisfactory. Will you commit to ensuring all schools offer guaranteed wraparound childcare? I accept that this will have to be at least partly funded by parental payment, which is fine - independent schools manage this. Who will look after the children under Tory plans? Thanks.

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noblegiraffe · 27/04/2015 22:07

It was recently announced that a Conservative government would force children who do not achieve the expected level in Y6 to resit their SATs in Y7, in exams that would be marked by teachers - adding to workload and encouraging teachers to inflate figures to avoid government penalties if fewer than the target of 80% pass.

Given the poor reception this policy received, on here and elsewhere, how can you defend yet another attempt to fatten a pig by weighing it?

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IceBeing · 27/04/2015 23:12

What is your position on the morality of religious discrimination against four year olds?

I know children who have been refused a place at their local school, the one all their friends from nursery are going to because they are the wrong religion or no religion.

Is it moral to discriminate and is it even sensible to segregate education by religion given our climate of fear of extremism?

Personally I would support integration all the way, and an end to faith schools.

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mrshuggybear · 27/04/2015 23:35

Can you tell us how you plan to re-gain the trust of parents who feel you do not trust them with their own children? Many parents I speak to feel this way due to your policies regarding term time holidays, attendance and sickness. Policies that state medical notes are needed after 3 days sickness(Doctors will not see children with many childhood illnesses), that 90 per cent attendance is required but include authorised sickness absence within the statistics so a bout of chicken pox could ruin attendance figures and even result in fines, and make criminals out of parents who simply want to spend some time on holiday with their child.
It isn't about cheaper holidays although of course it plays a part, it is about families spending time together, some can't during holidays due to their working hours, finances or child's needs.
All these policies say to parents is we don't trust you, we don't trust you to judge when a child is sick or to decide if a holiday is right for your child. Your policies say you don't trust that parents are intelligent enough to co-educate with schools, work with schools, show their children the world, teach their children about languages and different cultures and spend precious time with their children. Education doesn't just happen at school.

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pingwing · 27/04/2015 23:52

Dear Ms Morgan. If Ofsted isn't political (as you repeatedly claim it isn't) why is it going to be used to force schools to teach Ebacc by effectively marking them down if they refuse?

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DFSMum · 28/04/2015 00:07

I would like to ask Nicky Morgan why the Durham Free School was treated so starkly differently from schools with far worse OFSTED reports and with much less scope to improve. Whilst the findings of the Ofsted report are widely disputed, the school accepted that there were some issues that needed addressing, however they were making significant improvements under the new Headteacher and yet have been treated vastly differently to other schools in special measures who have had equally bad (if not worse!) Ofsted reports recently. They were all given numerous monitoring inspections by Ofsted (which they have repeatedly failed) and yet they all remain open, however you announced your decision to close Durham Free School the day before their first monitoring inspection was due - why was that??

How can you claim to have made an 'informed' decision without waiting for the results of this monitoring inspection? We all strongly believe this inspection would have shown that the school had made significant progress and been well on the way to coming out of special measures, yet it wasn't allowed to take place - were you afraid of being proved wrong (and thereby having to do another u-turn) or was there a hidden agenda here?

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DFSMum · 28/04/2015 00:16

Nicky Morgan - do you still feel your decision to close the Durham Free School was right when we are now hearing reports from other parents of bad homophobic bullying happening to ex-DFS pupils on their first day at new schools? A lot of the children are very vulnerable, have SEN needs and/ or troubled home lives and a number of them actually transferred to the school to escape bullying elsewhere, so this news is naturally very concerning. Incidentally, although I won't name them on here, these schools have all been rated 'good' by Ofsted.

Also, how is forcing pupils to transfer to new schools mid-year in the 'best interests' of these children? Surely it would have been better to have allowed them to stay in the school they loved (and were making excellent progress in) until the end of the summer term ie. an extra 3 months, which would have also given the acting Head time to prove that he was indeed capable of turning the school around. Or, was it timed to fit in with the election?

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