Saturday, 29 January 2011


Secondary education in my area (Kirklees Metropolitan District) is now national news and featured on the BBC's "World at One" yesterday. Two groups want to set up "free" schools: the ruling group on the council pointed out that, if they are approved, then there will be 1000 surplus secondary places, which , in a time of cuts, is obviously idiotic. Michael Gove's contrition was to claim that there are always "vested interests, opposed to innovation."

The proposals for "free" schools come from a group of parents living in a mainly white area of an essential multicultural district, and a former grammar school which refused to take part in comprehensive re-organisation way back in the 60s and 70s, went private and, since the withdrawal of assisted places has found itself not viable and so wants to return to the state system (I had understood as an "academy" rather than a "free" school, but I may be wrong, and am not sure of the difference anyway.)

So, according to Gove, these two groups are "innovators" and our democratically elected (and pretty representative, it is a fairly evenly balanced three way split) council are a vested interest.

Newspeak indeed.

(As far as I know the above comment is accurate and unbiased, but in the interests of full and fair disclosure, I record that I was a pupil at the above-mentioned grammar school and spent some of my most enjoyable and fulfilling years as a teacher there.)

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