Posts Tagged ‘Unions’

Gove Versus Reality

September 28, 2013

I’ve reblogged a piece from The Uphill Struggle and one of the comments on it criticising Michael Gove’s contemptuous attitude to the profession and pointing out just how hard teachers really work. This was in response to Gove’s plan to increase their workload, showing that he doesn’t have any appreciation for the true amount of work teachers already put in. The Uphill Struggle herself is a teacher, and the comment I reblogged was from a teaching assistant. My posts can be found here, at and here, respectively.

I also found this short film, Michael Gove Versus Reality on Youtube. The film is only 6.44 minutes long. In that short space of time, it manages to refute every aspect of Gove’s education policy. It disproves his selective use of statistics, which ostensibly show that Britain’s educational performances is declining. According to the Ontario professor shown in the film, actually Britain’s educational performance had improved. The apparent decline is simply due to the number of countries included in the statistics doubling. It also refutes the Tories’ claim that academy schools and the effective privatisation of education automatically leads to an increase in quality. Gove cites Sweden has one example, but any increase in educational standards there has been accompanied by concerns about greater social exclusion and increasing division. Gove also tries to cite American Charter Schools as also examples of better educational performance through schools, which are independent of the public (state) school system. Yet the statistics there show that 47 per cent of Charter Schools are no different in their educational results from state schools. Indeed 37 per cent of Charter Schools are actually worse than those in the state sector.

The video also shows that, despite Gove’s rhetoric about the nobility of the profession, teachers actually feel that the minister does not respect and value them, and the majority of the profession feel demoralised because of Gove’s negative attitude. It considers that the true motive behind Gove’s reforms are not a concern to raise standards, but to lower teachers’ wages and working conditions. Of course the true motive is profit. He wishes to privatise education, so that it can be run for profit by private companies. Gove has challenged the teaching unions with the accusation that their opposition to his reforms are ideological. This shows that the opposite is true: it is Gove’s reforms that are ideological. The video is at I also include it here below.


Regarding Gove’s claim that the academies somehow outperform British state schools, in some parts of Britain the opposite appears to be demonstrably true. In Somerset all the failing schools are academies. Some of this may simply come from the fact that the system was introduced by Labour to transform failing state schools. The point remains that if this was the originally intention, then it has not been fulfilled. The schools are still failing despite their independence from state management. I’ve no doubt a similar situation also prevails in other parts of the UK as well.