Sunday, 5 December 2010

For Gove, ideology comes first, evidence a distant second

If there is one part of government where neo-liberal ideology is most clearly rampant, it is in education. Michael Gove has attacked universities long-standing role in providing teacher training, driven apparently by his belief that HE is a bastion of wishy-washy left-wing liberalism.

Now, it doesn't appear to matter to him one jot that HE actually has a better record of providing high-quality teacher training than his preferred choice of school-centred training. What is also apparent is that he appeared for a long time to be under the impression that HE-delivered training doesn't involve much school-based placements, which it very much does... it's almost as though he drew up his proposals without bothering to look into what actually takes place at the moment.

Sound familiar? Well, let's consider slow-motion train-crash that is his decision to destroy School Sport Partnerships, despite firm evidence that they have transformed access for state-school children to a wide range of sports (including 'traditional' competitive team sports) and have dramatically improved the numbers of children participating in sport.

Gove has, as many have pointed out, again not concerned himself in even looking properly at how SSPs function - apparently he has never even troubled himself to visit one. Again, his ideological distrust of anything that resembles state support meant that he made his mind up without recourse to facts.

However, with opposition growing and, this week, a march on Westminster on Tuesday, this sledgehammer approach might just backfire.


Peter Mortimore, over at Comment Is Free, on why parent-run Free Schools will lead to the privisation of the schools sytem.

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