I thought I would headline my article with one of those observations more suited to a 13 year old child. No, not just to show the adolescent, inner me, but merely to reflect on Mr. Gove’s own rather infantile attempts to ridicule his opponents. The trouble for Mr. Gove is that the vast majority of his opponents are the electorate. Mr. Gove, using Twitter to connect to the hoi polloi who may well have voted Mr. Gove’s party in, resorted to name calling insults. The Education Secretary labelled campaigners against turning Downhills Primary School in north London into an academy as “Trots”. This unbelievably disrespectful view from the education secretary was delivered to MPs on the Commons Education Select Committee.
I would be more inclined to believe the statistics in the adjacent bar chart ( http://www.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/7191828/the-schools-revolution-in-action.thtml ) from the Harris Federation regarding past ‘A’ level results under the LEA and those under the new Academy status were it not for the fact that the Academies – by the above definition – always achieve better results. That simply isn’t possible, in the same way that no school in the world can genuinely produce above 90% success in ‘A’ level results without marginalising academically weaker students. They are playing politics with our children’s education. The Harris Federation, by the way, takes its name from its founder, Lord Harris, the ex-Tory party treasurer.
Taking part in the Twitter exchange, the Save Downhills campaign sent a Tweet demanding: “We are parents! Listen to us!” Campaigners at the school, including governors, have argued that they should not be forced to adopt academy status. It was only this week that Baroness Warsi asserted that it is the duty of Conservatives (not just the party’s politicians) to support the NHS Bill. Now we have Mr. Gove apparently forcing Academy status on the parents of a school. Don’t look at me, I didn’t vote the vegetables back in.