Gove on Academies Bill on Today programme

19 Jul 2010

 It was very disappointing to hear Michael Gove resorting to the tactic of 'playing the man instead of the ball' when he was interviewed on Radio 4's Today programme this morning. I had hoped that he would live up to David Cameron's aim (and, I think, laudable achievement) of avoiding 'Punch & Judy politics'. 

Most of the time Mr Gove shows commendable politeness and courtesy but he does have form in attacking the messenger when he feels he is in a tricky position. 

This morning he repeatedly attempted to turn the attack onto the BBC and onto the interviewer herself when Sarah Montague was asking perfectly reasonable, if tough, questions.

On the substance, he was on shaky ground in justifying the rushed progress of the Academies Bill by referring to the legislation Labour introduced to abolish the Assisted Places Scheme. The latter was a narrow measure in legislative terms  (whether one agreed with it or not) but the Academies Bill could have major repercussions (good or bad) for the entire school system.

He was also on weak ground in arguing that the Bill had been preceded by a 'Green Paper' produced 3 years ago in opposition. That, Mr Gove must know, is not the same thing as a Green and White Paper in government.

Equally unconvincing is the argument he used that the plans had received extensive debate during the election campaign. Not so - as there were very few details given then about how the Academy plans would be put into effect.

To be fair to Mr Gove, he made some good points in other parts of the interview. On BSF, he has not received enough credit for the fact that he has promised a review of capital sending and that means that some school building projects will go ahead....eventually.

It was also a far point fair to note that under the Blair government a couple of successful former private schools did become Academies, so extending the programme to 'outstanding' schools is not a totally new departure. It is also true that Blair and Lord Adonis wanted to transform the Academy programme. However, this still does not justify the speed of legislation on such a major Bill, which still plans to go well beyond anything that has happened with Academies before.






User Comments

Rob Spence - 19 Jul 2010

Gove and academies

I'd hoped that he might have been asked a practical question about this. As I understand it, Academies are independent schools, separate from Local Authorities and therefore a new employer. This means that TUPE (Transfer of Undertaking) law applies for all staff transferring. They must be consulted on the proposed change. The consultation period is 90 days, not including holidays, so how can Gove have these new academies in place for September?

MB Comments: Interesting point.

Caz - 19 Jul 2010

Academy Schools

This is a tragedy unfolding and very, very few are aware of it. These buildings are closed units with central control panels, the heating, temperature, humidity, lighting, can all be controlled. This has an effect on consciousness and is described as 'human re-engineering' or more specifically 'euthenics'. I strongly suggest people go to the following link and pay particular attention to the comments section which includes links to solicitors letters written by Schillings law firm on behalf of Ark Academies. It is an ugly story. Eugenics is back.

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