Gove doesn’t like bureaucratic interference unless it’s his bureaucratic interference

The Education Secretary has hitherto opposed government intervention in the classroom; now he wants sweeping reforms of the primary curriculum. How come?

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Education Secretary Michael Gove doesn’t like government interference with education.

He boasts:

” We’ve given all schools the opportunity to break free from local and central bureaucracy with more money for the poorest pupils. Schools want the freedom to decide what is best for pupils. .”

And:

“we’ve been working hard to increase autonomy for all our schools. Part of this has been about reducing central and local government prescription for all schools to give heads and teachers the space to focus on what really matters.”

And:

“The Coalition government trusts teachers to get on with their job. That’s why we are taking steps to reduce the bureaucracy they face and giving them the powers they need to do a good job. We believe that teachers – not bureaucrats and politicians – should run schools.”

It’s with some surprise, therefore, that we hear news today of Gove’s plans for sweeping reforms of the primary curriculum in a bid to restore ‘traditional values’ in the classroom.

The Daily Mail reports:

“Like generations who went to school before the 1970s, times tables up to 12 will have to be known by age nine under the new curriculum. Currently, children are given until age 11 to learn up to 10 times 10.

“Children will be made to learn how to calculate using decimal places and fractions, a key preparation for algebra. By the end of primary school, pupils will also now be required to confidently ‘read, write, order and compare numbers up to ten million and determine the value of each digit’, or its place value.

“The current National Curriculum expects pupils only to ‘show understanding of place value up to 1,000’.”

These reforms may, in and of themselves, be a good thing; they may not. However, it’s pretty odd that someone who claims to be so staunchly against government having a say in how teachers teach should seek to implement their own wide-ranging, top-down design for primary education.


See also:

Left-wing snobbery does state schools no favours 15 May 2012

Academisation, academisation, academisation 5 April 2012

Non-academies do just as well as academies 3 April 2012

Think tank Reform’s school academy claim lacks academic rigour 28 March 2012

Time to rethink our approach to teaching 16 March 2012



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21 Responses to “Gove doesn’t like bureaucratic interference unless it’s his bureaucratic interference”

  1. leftlinks

    Left Foot Forward – Gove doesn’t like bureaucratic interference unless it’s his bureaucratic… http://t.co/15ZgPSAQ

  2. Michael

    Gove doesn’t like bureaucratic interference unless it’s his bureaucratic interference – http://t.co/UZz53FkQ

  3. John McNeill

    Gove doesn’t like bureaucratic interference unless it’s his bureaucratic interference – http://t.co/UZz53FkQ

  4. Katie Stanton

    Michael Gove can't decide whether he wants the govt to "interfere" with teaching or not http://t.co/720WRpQU @EdnFoundation

  5. Yrotitna

    Gove's apalling double standards http://t.co/coH37p17 #Govemustgo he really must

  6. Ben Phillips

    @schooltruth Apologies – should have been this: http://t.co/jeQUnOhX

  7. Ben Phillips

    @NUTonline Possibly of interest? http://t.co/jeQUnOhX

  8. Blarg1987

    I think if we change some wording such as freedom fromt he state system to privatisation, and less bureaucrats to less accountability, then we may see the real plan.

    It is good that teacher should have a bigger saay in how schools are run, but the acadamies and the idea that liberelising the school system is the best way to do it is not right.

    The next phase will be the profit motive and just like all profit motive schemes it will end with less accountabiity, more bureaucrats and tax payers paying more but oh well.

  9. Anonymous

    No, the next phase involves the groundwork for charging for compulsory education.

    Gove’s also showing that he can’t get away from the addiction to testing and declaring students to be failures at an early age.

  10. Blarg1987

    ironic paradox, the conservatives hate large goverment, yet think everything can be measured as the orivate sector apparently measures everything, which involves hiring large numbers of people to monitor and test which causes large goverment :S.

    Still I could be wrong 🙂

  11. Anonymous

    Most of them don’t hate big government, though. This is what I mean about FPTP forcing major parties to be coalitions – there are a lot of Stateists in the Tory (and Labour) parties who in a PR system would never remain in a party with many of their small-government colleagues!

    I’d also point out that the Tories have indeed abolished important (and cheap) measures of measuring many aspects of the country.

    Plenty of cash for paternalistic measures, though, dictating morals.

  12. BevR

    RT @leftfootfwd: Gove doesn't like bureaucratic interference unless it's his bureaucratic interference http://t.co/a2YcIbEu

  13. Jerry Hall

    Gove doesn't like bureaucratic interference unless it's his bureaucratic interference http://t.co/hm6OIO1G by @BenPhillips1989

  14. Mark Smithson

    RT @leftfootfwd: Gove doesn't like bureaucratic interference unless it's his bureaucratic interference http://t.co/a2YcIbEu

  15. Angus Carruthers

    Following on from this piece yesterday http://t.co/nDCfMmos, a govt education adviser has called Gove's reforms "fatally flawed"

  16. Katie Stanton

    @SchoolDuggary @govewatch In regards to Andrew Pollard's comments, we were saying the same thing yesterday…! http://t.co/720WRpQU

  17. LadyRoisin

    Following on from this piece yesterday http://t.co/nDCfMmos, a govt education adviser has called Gove's reforms "fatally flawed"

  18. Alan199

    Following on from this piece yesterday http://t.co/nDCfMmos, a govt education adviser has called Gove's reforms "fatally flawed"

  19. Katie Stanton

    Cameron needs to stop praising Gove, considering the rest of the country is flagging up his failures http://t.co/Nb7qzkKK #PMQs

  20. Wales education minister: Gove’s way of announcing GCSE reforms was “bonkers” | Left Foot Forward

    […] See also: • Gove doesn’t like bureaucratic interference unless it’s his bureaucratic interference 11 Jun […]

  21. Mother Ofdamascus

    Michael Gove is in the pocket of Rupert Murdoch, a man who wants all teachers sacked and replaced with computers – even spending millions on a computer teaching system that was so disastrous that he was forced to abandon it. I wouldn’t trust Gove with one school, never mind an entire education system!

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