Michael Gove at the National College of Leaders Conference: Seizing Success

With the news from the Daily Mail of leaked papers on the changes of GCSEs to a more O-Level type exam, here are the other changes that Michael Gove announced last week as part of a ‘Transformation’ of Education

Michael Gove spoke last week at the National College of Leaders Conference. With the focus of the three day event being ‘Seizing Success’ Gove’s speech concentrated firstly on the progress in leadership development in our schools, moving on to how the government are planning to transform the next generation of quality teachers.

This is the summary of the main points that stood out from the keynote speech:

‘Talent you have nurtured want to spread their wings’

Schools would soon be becoming more involved in nurturing and creating their own great teachers and education leaders – taking more control over training and working with Universities to train while teachers worked. While Mr Gove admitted that this would in turn make your great teachers move onto better things it would be a price worth paying.

Further to this the BBC have reported that critics are concerned this will create a loss in university expertise as it is believed that around 300 courses will be closed or merged in the next year. What are your thoughts?

London Transformation
Mr Gove concentrated on examples of a strong transformation in London Schools, relating this to the build of new Academies.

Facts: 62% of children achieve five good GCSEs with English and Maths compared with 58% nationally.

Gove continued with what he described as ‘startling results’ where pupils on free school meals achieved a much higher grade (52%) in inner London than the rest of the UK (35%).

So what has created this leap? Mr Gove amounts this success to ‘The sponsored academy revolution’.

Increasing outstanding teachers and the importance of teaching:

‘The third key strand of the London Challenge was a focus on increasing the number of outstanding teachers through professional developments and recruitment of the best graduates’. Mr Gove talks about the initiative first set up with Teach First, later confirming funding for the company with a plan to train 1,500 graduates a year.

The next step however was not to concentrate on companies to train, but to take these successes and apply them to the entire Teacher Training System. This was the big focus.

Teaching Training Schools

‘But it’s not just about ensuring that we recruit the very best talent available. We need to make sure that our very best educators are at the heart of training each new generation of teachers’

Teaching Schools were set up in 2010, where the very best schools are put in charge of teacher training and professional development for the whole system. 200 Teaching Schools have already been set up with the government’s plan to increase this to 500 by the end of parliament.

School Direct Pilot
The School Direct Pilot was launched earlier in the year where Teaching Schools were offered to bid for teacher training places in partnership with Universities. This was to provide Schools with more control, and it was reported that they had been overwhelmed with enthusiastic school applications.

Mr Gove announced that due to the enthusiasm and success of this pilot the programme is going to grow significantly over the next few years. By the end of parliament Mr Gove is expecting around 10,000 students a year that could be trained by schools that are either using Schools Direct places or are full providers of teacher training.


As these programmes grow, more and more schools will be able to recruit, train and hire their own teachers.

Gove’s next step was to discuss these changes in relation to PGCE courses and Universities, announcing some strong changes:

–          Training Schools will allow teachers to be trained with the expectation of employment at the school

–          To ensure best providers remain committed to teacher education: Universities and others with ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted will be guaranteed their existing level of places for the next two years

–          They will no longer offer guaranteed places to institutions rated good or lower. They will compete via School Direct. If the schools do not rate the provision they will go out of business.

–          Shutting down providers who are not good enough: if a provider isn’t delivering or if they receive two ‘requires improvements’ judgements under new, tougher Ofsted framework, they will be de-accredited.


Attracting Career changers

Mr Gove announced the closure of the GTP (Graduate Teacher Programme) due to what was described as some serious flaws over restrictions. There will be the creation of an employment based strand of School Direct which will be available for candidates who a have already gained at least three years valuable experience in other careers. (From September 2013)

By the end of this parliament well over half of all training places will be delivered by Schools whether through direct provision; Teach First; School Direct; or our new employment-based route.

Did you listen to the speech? What is your opinion? Join the conversation here!

News Update!: #GOveLevels
The Media are reporting that  Michael Gove plans to scrap GCSEs for England and return to O-level style exams. This would be the largest change in our education system for years. To follow people’s opinions you can go to Twitter.com and search the hashtag #GoveLevels

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