Coffee House

Conservative conference: Michael Gove’s facts on the ground

9 October 2012

The speed with which Michael Gove is going about his education reforms means that he is creating facts on the grounds, facts which Labour will—I suspect—have to accept by the next election. Parents with children at new free schools and academies are not going to vote for a party that is going to abolish their child’s school. For example, the mother of a child at a Birmingham free school—Geraldine Henry—spoke at Tory conference today in favour of free schools. I expect that Henry would never have expected to find herself speaking at a Tory conference but she clearly felt compelled to come and promote and defend her son’s school.

As is now traditional at the education session of Tory conference, most of the time was given over to parents, pupils and teachers. Gove confined himself to a short—but powerful—speech without notes. The education secretary and his team believe that is the testimony of those at the coal face of education that will persuade people that their reforms really are improving schools.

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  • AndyinBrum

    Of course most teachers are part of Unions, it means if some scrote makes an allegation against you, they help with your defence, most teachers i know can’t stand the political side of it

  • andagain

    Grant Maintained Schools were facts on the ground. And they were done in within a year. Why should academies be any different?

  • In2minds

    I saw the specs and thought it was James Callahan!

    • Dimoto

      To me, he seems to be morphing into Alfred Hitchcock !

  • don logan

    Why isn’t the Spectator featuring the Jeremy Hunt speech, it was a real belter from a man who just oozes charisma from every pore….

  • ToryOAP

    Michael Gove, a great Secretary of State for Education and a man we can trust with our children, unlike those disgusting trolls Jimmy Telemachus and Jimmy Guevara, so quick off the mark today. The more that the education-destroying labour party and the teachers unions hate him, the more certain we are that Mr Gove is right.

  • telemachus

    Gove is a

    Last year on
    the fringe of the party conference Gove went out of his way to sing the praises
    of Rupert Murdoch. Gove admitted that he remained “a great admirer of
    Rupert Murdoch, he’s a force of nature, a phenomenon, he’s a great man”.

    So that
    attests to dear Michael’s judgement

    What is not so
    well known is that Michael Gove has met Murdoch seven times, and News
    International executives more than another dozen times, since taking office.

    Why? What have
    they discussed and should we be worried?

    Gove, of
    course, used to be a senior member of the editorial team at The Times and was
    apparently being groomed as its future editor. His wife is still a journalist
    on the paper. As recently as 2009, The Times paid him £60,000 for occasional

    Gove is
    certainly someone Murdoch feels at home with. But what on earth can they have
    had to discuss in their seven meetings?

    What he was discussing with Gove was how he
    can make money out of the British educational system.

    Murdoch has
    identified education as the great new commercial opportunity in our neo-liberal

    Murdoch has
    publicly boasted that half the teachers in British schools can be dispensed
    with if the new technology is embraced. This would allow Gove to break the
    teacher’s trade unions once and for all, and create the “free market
    schooling” that he dreams of.

    Part of Gove’s
    agenda for education is the breaking of the teachers’ trade unions. 73% of
    teachers are trade union members, compared with 26% of workers overall. The
    strength of teacher’s unions is a massive obstacle to turning schools into
    profit-making enterprises for big business. They have to be broken.

    So Murdoch is back through Trojan horse Gove

    • dalai guevara

      Give the Queen a yacht? Wuhahaha, you must be a dairy-cow-pleb!

      • Dimoto

        Careful ! Eric Pickles has a ‘photo of you !

    • Chris lancashire

      Oh dear, Gove is obviously doing an excellent job if we have to drag Murdoch into it. It would be far more credible if Gove had been talking to someone at Pearson rather than News International.
      No doubt we will find in due course that Gove once spoke to the friend of a secretary of Scardino.

      • HooksLaw

        Agreed, any tory with doubts about Gove can rest easy after jimmy’s rant.

    • Angela

      It’s a good smear against the man and probably scripted by your head office but what about the policy? I presume you are a grown man so do you really believe Gove’s motivation in reforming education is simply to provide profit for the free market?

      A few days ago you announced you are a Tory. I find that quite hard to believe after reading this comment.

      • telemachus

        Hear this telemachus has no head office
        Like most of us telemachus believes in the sanctity of education an the role of the noble teaching profession in moulding malleable young minds forge good of our future society

        • Angela

          I’m a teacher and I certainly don’t believe in “moulding malleable young minds”. That sounds like indoctrination of the sort unfortunately practised by some left wing Labour activist teachers. I’m quite surprised that you admit to that.

          • HooksLaw

            Well said, jimmy shows both his ignorance of education and also delivers to us the true intent of socialist education policies. parents of the nation beware and vote tory if you want a good education for your kids.

          • telemachus

            I fundamentally do not believe any teacher when they say they do not wish to mould the young
            From the Jesuits on that has been the fundamental purpose of education

        • ToryOAP

          Jimmy Telemachus – Stay away from our children.

        • Fergus Pickering

          Schoolteachers have no business moulding malleable minds, you fool. They are supposed to teach children things. Moulding indeed! A sort of intellectual rape – Jimmy Savilles of the mind. Read ‘The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie’..Though I don’t suppose you read much, do you?

          • telemachus

            Jean Brodie produced la creme de la creme just because she was prepared to put some effort into her girls

      • ToryOAP

        Angela, you are to be commended for a first-class post. Telemachus is a labour party sponsored troll and is as far from a tory as it is possible to get – he was at the labour conference ffs. He and his disgusting fellow trolls, lindsay, guevara and amergin spend all their welfare-funded time disrupting the good honest folk here on Coffee House.

        • telemachus

          Yes TOAP and I was at the Tory Conference the last time they were in Birmingham in 2010
          I was in the hall to hear Caroline Spelman saying she was going to play hardball with Europe over the CAP
          So where did that get us?

          • ToryOAP

            Push off Jimmy. You are a fool and have nothing to say but keep on saying it.

    • ToryOAP

      Sir Jimmy, another ridiculous rant from a seriously deranged mind. Please seek help before I have to contact my chums in the Met to come looking for you.

    • ButcombeMan

      If education worked as well as a Sky + box, I would be delighted. Yes the unions and more importantly the educational establishment do have to be shaken out of their comfort zone and made to perform.

      It has been letting us down for years. Just why should those who can afford it (by paying directly or moving home to a good state school catchment) get a good education for their kids, when so many children have to put up with the mediocre and very ordinary.

      Only some who has Balls has his god, would think like that and defend the indefensible.

      Our future as a nation needs Gove to shake the tree.

    • Fergus Pickering

      But Rupert Murdoch is indeed a great man. Why do you doubt it, Tel old son? he broke the power of the printing unions and for that alone scribblers should be eternally grateful.

  • dalai guevara

    Gove the British Netanyahu? What an interesting analogy.

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