Thursday, 21 June 2012

Education - a sore point!

Michael Gove
Michael Gove is he a true Conservative?
This lunch time on the BBC's Politics Show businessman Digby Jones articulated what most of us have known for many years and that is that kids educated by the state education system are by and large unemployable. There are of course exceptions mainly those that have intelligent parents or grandparents who can identify problems missed by teachers and tackle them.

For 10 years (1987-1997) I was heavily involved in training 16-18 year olds who had left school and hoped to gain employment. It was my job in one capacity or another to assist them into their first jobs and I am still in contact with some of them who have been extraordinary successful.

During that time I was appalled at the education standards but at least we did, at that time, have something to work on and in most cases we could bring the youngsters up to scratch. According to Digby Jones that is not now possible and companies are having to install remedial programmes to guarantee that young people can cope with the basic skills.

So along comes Michael Gove, our Education Secretary, who suggests that we improve state education by ditching the present system of GCSE's and return to the exam based GCE's. 

Wow! You would have thought that he had declared nuclear war on the education system. As I write Andy Burnham is bleating on 'Question Time' about the second class citizens that good education would create. Earlier Nick Clegg looked aghast at the very thought of children having a fair grading system. Currently we have a plethera of exam boards who compete for the largesse of schools by making exam papers easier.

We need one national examination board. We need a national grading standard that does not allow teachers or exam boards to 'adjust' the marking system. Those politicians and Trade Union bosses who have vested interests in keeping the education system at a low level will always try to prevent improvement. 

Michael Gove has set the bar at a high level. He seems to want to improve the system. That old rogue Ken Clarke has just stated live on national television that the committee that will decide on Michael Gove's proposal is chaired by Nick Clegg and vice chaired by himself! 

These two people will then ensure that nothing changes because neither bats for Britain. If any Minister wants to change the system he faces (a) the Public Service Unions and (b) the Modernisers. When almost every front bench politician is now a 'moderniser' it is almost impossible for a true 'Conservative' to introduce a policy which would be good for the public. Maybe that is the clincher! A member of the Cameron government can float an idea which seems like a Conservative policy but has no chance of being accepted.

Michael Gove is highly placed in the Cabinet. Like David Cameron he is articulate and presentable. He would not be in the Cabinet if he was not a moderniser. He is pretending to be a Conservative. Sorry folks but if you want to understand the man look at his mates.

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