02 Nov 2007
Gordon Brown's first big speech on education as Prime Minister did not contain many surprises. It received some big headlines, mainly for the threat to close schools that failed to reach target for GCSEs, but frankly this was no great departure from previous policy.
However, what it does show, is that there is really no great difference between the Blair and Brown approach to education. The targets culture continues. So too does the waving of the big stick. Or should that be the 'clunking fist'.
What is disappointing is that now that we have more sophisticated measures of schools (value-added or progression measures) the government still prefers to make 'raw' results the main test of whether a school is considered viable or not.