The NUT described Michael Gove as “a demented Dalek on speed who wants to exterminate anything good in education”, but what legacy does this radical reformer leave?
Over the last four years Michael Gove‘s reforms dominated the education debate and they were often influenced by his own upbringing, prejudices and passions, the Telegraph reports. Many of the changes he made were controversial and his confrontational approach alienated part of the education establishment, who he described as ‘the Blob’.
He leaves a significant legacy including:
- the introduction of performance-related pay for teachers
- almost 60% of secondary schools are now academies and there are more than 300 free schools open or approved
- the qualifications system in England is now more traditional and exam-based
- the curriculum has been rewritten, with an emphasis on greater academic rigour
- school league tables no longer place total reliance on five ‘good’ GCSEs.
Mr. Gove’s confrontational approach fuelled teaching unions’ resistance to his reforms and their leaders welcomed his departure. NUT’s Christine Blower said he had “clearly lost the support of the profession and parents for justifiable reasons” and that: “His vision for education is simply wrong. His pursuit of the unnecessary and often unwanted free schools and academies programme, the use of unqualified teachers, the failure to address the school place crisis and endless ill-thought out reforms to examinations and the curriculum has been his hallmark in office.”
ATL’s Mary Bousted said: “Time after time he has chased newspaper headlines rather than engage with teachers. The dismantling of the structures which support schools, the antagonism which he displayed to the teaching profession and the increasing evidence of chaos in the bodies he established has led Cameron to one conclusion – Gove is more of a liability than an asset.”
Michael Gove now takes over the less senior role of Government Chief Whip. Although Downing Street denied that this is a demotion, his salary has been cut from over £135,000 a year to just under £98,740. Talking about his new job, he joked: “I’m happy to be in this role. Demotion, emotion, promotion, locomotion, I don’t know how you would describe this move, though move it is, all I would say is that it’s a privilege to serve.”
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