Objections to Michael Gove’s educational reforms Watch

Fruli
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#1
Is anyone able to explain why there were objections to Michael Gove’s educational reforms?

I’m not a fan of the man at all, that said, I felt he was on to something when he introduced educational reforms, as they seemed to be bringing state school standards inline with private schools.
0
reply
nulli tertius
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#2
Report 1 month ago
#2
(Original post by Fruli)
Is anyone able to explain why there were objections to Michael Gove’s educational reforms?

I’m not a fan of the man at all, that said, I felt he was on to something when he introduced educational reforms, as they seemed to be bringing state school standards inline with private schools.
Gove’s reforms were free schools, widened academisation and curriculum and examination reform.

Free schools were always a political self-indulgence. An staggering amount of money was spent on schools in places where there was often insufficient demand. The programme was vastly under-managed and it never occurred to Gove that people might have ulterior motives for setting up such schools.

Academisation wasn’t Gove’s policy; it came from Blair. Gove merely expanded it enormously. He did so without effective controls. At one point academies were being supervised through his junior minister’s private office. Lack of effective supervision has meant a lot of fraud and things like the Muslim extremist takeover of some Birmingham schools. Again there was massive naivety about those wanting to run schools.

Gove’s curriculum and examination reforms appeared to be , and probably were, simply his own personal prejudices. Vast amounts of detail were lavished on history and English literature, Gove’s own interests, with virtually no consideration of science. It is a disgrace that lab work no longer counts towards science GCSE and A level grades. Only someone with no interest in science would have allowed that. Gove essentially wanted to replicate his own education for the nation. The virtual abolition of AS levels seems to have been due to no more than them not existing in his day.
5
reply
PQ
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#3
Report 1 month ago
#3
Plus since his “reform” of gcse English there’s been a 20% drop in students studying English A level.
1
reply
Fruli
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#4
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#4
(Original post by nulli tertius)
Gove’s reforms were free schools, widened academisation and curriculum and examination reform.

Free schools were always a political self-indulgence. An staggering amount of money was spent on schools in places where there was often insufficient demand. The programme was vastly under-managed and it never occurred to Gove that people might have ulterior motives for setting up such schools.

Academisation wasn’t Gove’s policy; it came from Blair. Gove merely expanded it enormously. He did so without effective controls. At one point academies were being supervised through his junior minister’s private office. Lack of effective supervision has meant a lot of fraud and things like the Muslim extremist takeover of some Birmingham schools. Again there was massive naivety about those wanting to run schools.

Gove’s curriculum and examination reforms appeared to be , and probably were, simply his own personal prejudices. Vast amounts of detail were lavished on history and English literature, Gove’s own interests, with virtually no consideration of science. It is a disgrace that lab work no longer counts towards science GCSE and A level grades. Only someone with no interest in science would have allowed that. Gove essentially wanted to replicate his own education for the nation. The virtual abolition of AS levels seems to have been due to no more than them not existing in his day.
Interesting. Thanks for the detailed explanation.

Superficially it looked to me as if he was trying to raise state education up to private school standards. How wrong I was.
0
reply
Tolgarda
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#5
Report 1 month ago
#5
(Original post by PQ)
Plus since his “reform” of gcse English there’s been a 20% drop in students studying English A level.
Maybe it is also because people just don't see the use in it anymore? Like, STEM is clearly the superior option these days.
0
reply
PQ
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#6
Report 1 month ago
#6
(Original post by Tolgarda)
Maybe it is also because people just don't see the use in it anymore? Like, STEM is clearly the superior option these days.
That wouldn’t explain the rises in psychology and sociology A level over the same period of time.
0
reply
Arran90
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#7
Report 4 weeks ago
#7
(Original post by PQ)
That wouldn’t explain the rises in psychology and sociology A level over the same period of time.
One could argue that they potentially have more relevance to the real world than Shakespeare and Chaucer do!
1
reply
Fruli
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#8
Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
#8
(Original post by PQ)
That wouldn’t explain the rises in psychology and sociology A level over the same period of time.
Absolutely! Even more relevant now, in light of all the social changes in a globalised and yet very polarised world.

I did psychology and also a postgrad in Organisational psychology. I now work for one of the big psychometric test providers and work on designing tests which people have to take in assessment centres. I haven’t done badly out of it. Working for a corporate isn’t something I plan to do forever as I am a corporate slave, but I’m grateful to be in a relatively good job and on the property ladder.

Looking at how society has changed and continues to change, I find it so fascinating to the point that I wish I had included a sociology minor in my undergrad. I think if I had included sociology then I may have gone for a career centred around social policy research, as that would have been more fulfilling for me.
0
reply
chazwomaq
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#9
Report 4 weeks ago
#9
He introduced the Ebacc - a league table measure in 5 core subjects. On this measure many schools performed dramatically worse. This is because for years schools had encouraged students to take easier GCSEs so as to get better grades and make the school look better. Unsurprisingly, many of these schools did not like the new measure.

He also reformed English and History to be more traditional i.e. focus on pre 20th classic literature and British history respectively. Those more on the left generally don't like this and want to focus on broader literature and non-British history, or at least be critical of British history.

Many reforms were done with little input from academics and experts in a pretty rushed manner.

My own editorial take would be that he was indeed trying to tighten up education and make it more like traditional private schools or grammar schools. However, this would have the effect of highlighting differences between the bright and "unbright" kids, which would make many schools look bad by holding everyone to the same standard.
0
reply
Fruli
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#10
Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
#10
(Original post by chazwomaq)
He introduced the Ebacc - a league table measure in 5 core subjects. On this measure many schools performed dramatically worse. This is because for years schools had encouraged students to take easier GCSEs so as to get better grades and make the school look better. Unsurprisingly, many of these schools did not like the new measure.

He also reformed English and History to be more traditional i.e. focus on pre 20th classic literature and British history respectively. Those more on the left generally don't like this and want to focus on broader literature and non-British history, or at least be critical of British history.

Many reforms were done with little input from academics and experts in a pretty rushed manner.

My own editorial take would be that he was indeed trying to tighten up education and make it more like traditional private schools or grammar schools. However, this would have the effect of highlighting differences between the bright and "unbright" kids, which would make many schools look bad by holding everyone to the same standard.
When you put it that way, it makes sense. I think this drive to compete to get the best grades at GCSE and A level by encouraging pupils to take easy subjects hasn’t achieved any positive good. Sure it helped loads of kids get into Russel groups and the like, but how does it happen that someone who went to Birmingham University ends up working in a call centre role today, in a role that requires no degree or qualifications, getting paid less than what they deserve, struggling to get into the property ladder.

I also think the focus on course work also helped inflate people’s grades, in particular with girls. The marking of coursework also had some subjectivity in it, meaning the girls who teachers liked would get As instantly.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

What offers have you received from universities?

Unconditional (5)
20%
Unconditional if firmed (1)
4%
Unconditional if insurance (0)
0%
Both unconditional and unconditional if firm/insurance (0)
0%
No unconditional offers (19)
76%

Watched Threads

View All