The Education Secretary says that state education is improving and he now wants pupils in state schools to benefit from the same standards as those in the private sector.
Michael Gove wants to break down the ‘Berlin Wall’ between state and independent sectors, the Mail reports.
Speaking at the London Academy of Excellence, a new free school in East London, Mr. Gove said that English state education is starting to show a ‘sustained and significant improvement’, with better results, more pupils taking tougher subjects and fewer weak schools. He believes that state schools could become the best in the world by tapping into the expertise of the independent sector.
He wants to push state schools further, so they will become indistinguishable from private schools by:
- staying open for nine or ten hour days, allowing more time for after-school activities
- more testing, with pupils sitting the ‘robust’ Common Entrance exam taken by 13 year-olds in private schools
- secondary school pupils taking the international PISA tests.
“Under the changes we’re making, it’s becoming easier for state schools to match the offer from private schools,” Mr. Gove said. “Instead of reinforcing the Berlin Wall between state and private, as the current Labour leadership appear to want, we should break it down.”
The NUT’s Christine Blower questioned the idea of state pupils taking the Common Entrance exam: “Why would we imagine that that is an appropriate examination? He’s not discussed that with anybody, he’s not discussed it with any of the exam boards, he’s certainly not discussed it with the representatives of teachers,” she said.
Whether you work in the private or independent sector, what do you think of the Education Secretary’s latest suggestion? Share your views with the Eteach community!