Michael Gove is changing education with his reforms to education poliocy and practice that particularly feature academies and free schools, which allow headteachers and local schools to make radical improvement, away from the dead hand of local authority control. All this at a time when the Coalition have managed to protect the 4-16 years budget from the cuts that other departments have faced. The interesting question is what does Labour think of the reforms?
We know that the Liberals are absolutely committed. I and my Hexham headteachers recently met David Laws in Hexham QEHS, and were very impressed by his reforming zeal, his grasp and his commitment to change for the better for the pupil and the individual school.
Only yesterday this is what Michael Gove said about David Laws:
‘I think that it’s certainly the case that there’s a lot of momentum in the department for education at the moment for continued reform. One of the great things about having David Laws as a Liberal Democrat colleague is that he’s as enthusiastic as I am about seeing more academies and free schools established; like me wants to see the prestige of the teaching profession enhanced, including with some of the changes that we’re talking about today. He like me wants to say rather more about how we can improve school leadership even further in the autumn, and he like me wants to reform the funding system so it’s fairer overall. So there will be a lot more coming from us, right up until the election is called.
‘What I think will be the case is that rather than scorched earth, what we will have done is that we will have moved the ground of the education debate to such an extent that the next government I think will accept the basis of what we have done because as the Populus poll reinforces, it’s in line with what the public want."
Recently Stephen Twigg effectively accepted that free schools and academies are a force for good. The Labour party will have to make up its mind about performance-related pay and some of the other changes that are coming through the system.