Calling on Gove to not make Gladstone Park Primary School a sponsored academy

Earlier this week, I met with a parents with children at Gladstone Park Primary School who are concerned with the approach that the Department for Education are taking in forcing it to become an academy.

I have written to the Secretary of State Rt Hon Michael Gove MP on the issue. My letter can be found here – LINK1of2 LINK 2of2

 

What Planet is Gove Living On?

Usain Bolt
Usain Bolt (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tory Education Secretary Michael Gove is receiving widespread criticism for having a bit of “things used to be a lot better in my day” syndrome, with his plans to overhaul the Education system.

Silent in all of this so far, surprise surprise is Education Minister Sarah Teather.

In other news, the International Olympic Committee are considering changing the format of the 100 metre race on the basis that people are running it faster. I mean Usain Bolt running it it 9.78 seconds…. It took me 10 seconds just to watch it!

The Spanish Football Association are also considering using smaller goals and footballs made from cast iron metal on the basis that Cristiano Ronaldo and Leonel Messi are scoring 50 plus goals a season.

Just another day in Tory Liberal Britain.

Government Minister calls for new £60m royal yacht for the Queen while cutting Brent’s budget by £104m

Michael Gove with fellow Education Department Ministerial colleague and Brent Central MP Sarah Teather

The hashtag #TheGoveBoat is trending on Twitter as Secretary of State for Education Rt Hon Michael Gove MP has written a plea to his fellow Tory Liberal Government Ministers to be prepared to use taxpayer’s money to pay for a new yacht for the Queen.

The Guardian mentions that “Various efforts have been made to propose a new royal yacht, but have been rejected on the grounds of cost, estimated in 1997 at £60m.” (LINK TO GUARDIAN ARTICLE)

It is totally unacceptable to be spending £60m on a royal yacht while at the same time cutting Brent’s budget by £104 million and making unprecedented cuts to Brent NHS and Brent’s Police.

Unimpressed by Michael Gove

I was absolutely shocked at these comments from Education Secretary Michael Gove.

I felt physically sick and ashamed that a member of Government in this Country shared these views. I think the Cabinet members need to be more open and inclusive to the views of people in society that come from different cultures.

Sarah Teather has taken so many U-turns that she’s tied herself in a knot

I am really confused about what our MP believes in anymore. Before the election, she expressed concerns about taking power away from local authorities with regards to school education.

She told the BBC, “Unless you give local authorities that power to plan and unless you actually make sure that there is money available… it’s just a gimmick.”

However, today I’m reading in the Guardian that her Partner in crime, Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove is proposing direct management of state schools funding.

Sarah Teather’s Education proposals Con-Demned by her own Lib Dem Party members

The Liberal Democrats today gave their overwhelming backing to a campaign against the expansion of Sarah Teather’s Education policy on school academies and have called for a boycott of free schools in the strongest public show of concern by rank and file activists over the party’s role in Coalition Government. They called on all Lib Dems to actively “urge people not to take up the option” of creating the “free” schools championed by Tory Education Secretary Michael Gove and Brent Central MP and Education Minister Sarah Teather.

Teather branded it an “illiberal boycott” and according to the BBC, Teather pleaded to delegates “Don’t vote for a boycott, don’t tie councils’ hands.” However, Former Lib Dem MP Dr Evan Harris argued that it was not illiberal for Lib Dems to be allowed to campaign on issues they felt strongly about.”We must be free to fight the Tories at a local level up and down the country,” he said.

While Sarah Teather pleaded with members of her party to vote against the motion, her Department’s policy was ConDemned for treating pupils like tins of beans.

According to the Guardian, Lib Dem Councillor Peter Downes, who moved the motion said, “Just as the supermarket drives the corner shop out of business, so it will be with schools. When Sainsbury’s provides some new products to lure people away from their competitors, the unsold items in the failing shops can be returned to the wholesaler or sold off in a sale. But not so in schools. Pupils are human beings, not tins of beans.”

What the motion said:

F23. Free Schools and Academies

In relation to ‘free schools’, conference calls on all Liberal Democrats to urge people not to take up this option because it risks:

1.       Creating surplus places which is prejudicial to the efficient use of resources in an age of austerity.

2.       Increasing social divisiveness and inequity into a system which is already unfair because of the multiple tiers and types of schools created by successive Conservative and Labour governments and thus abandoning our key goal of a high quality education system for all learners.

3.       Depressing educational outcomes for pupils in general.

4.       Increasing the existing complexity of school admissions and exclusions.

5.       Putting at risk advances made in making appropriate provision for children with special needs.

6.       Putting in jeopardy the programme of improving school buildings.

7.       Wasting precious resources, both human and material, at a time when all efforts should be focused on improving educational outcomes by enabling effective teaching and learning to take place in good local schools accessible to all.

Point 6 is particularly interesting as it indicates that Lib Dem members want to ditch the ‘Free Schools’ policy and revert back to a scheme similar to Labour’s Building Schools for the Future programme.

However, Sarah Teather responded “I will take into account what they say but it is not going to change government policy, because Government policy is formed by Government ministers,” Potentially rendering the whole episode entirely useless in terms of delivering change.

Meanwhile, out on the doorstep, resentment was strife among residents who had voted for Sarah Teather in May 2010. A former Labour supporter who voted for Teather said “I’m quite distraught because what I voted for was totally the opposite to what I got. I didn’t vote for a Tory Government basically and I will definitely be voting Labour next time.”

I imagine many who voted for a Lib Dem MP across the country will be doing the same.

Ed Balls leaves Sarah Teather with a lot of explaining to do

Labour leadership candidate Rt Hon Ed Balls MP takes the theme of University Challenge to ask some uncomfortable questions to the Con / Dem Government Education Ministers, One of which is Brent Central MP, Sarah Teather.

Also highlighted was the two Education Ministers’ Oxbridge backgrounds with Michael Gove being referred to as ‘Gove, Lady Margaret Hall (Oxford University)’and Sarah Teather as ‘Teather, St John’s (Cambridge University)’. It will now be interesting to see if Teather now implements the same Tory policies that a few months ago she said they don’t have a clue about.