NUT: “Michael Gove needs to understand that adults who do not agree with him are not always wrong”

Commenting on the speech given today by the Education Secretary to The Spectator Schools Conference, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“Unsurprisingly Michael Gove has decided to ignore the overwhelming criticism from education professionals and commentators for his proposals to replace GCSEs with O Levels and a CSE equivalent.

“Michael Gove would do well to listen to the views of the teaching profession. Teachers work daily, often in very difficult circumstances, to get the very best for their pupils. They are not against reform. They are however against systems which merely ensure that the Education Secretary grabs news headlines, but which in reality are impractical and unfair.

“The assertion that GCSEs are failing young people is far from the mark. Introducing a two-tier examination system will certainly ensure that many pupils are consigned to leaving school with qualifications that will be viewed by employers, colleges and universities as second rate.

“Children and young people need to feel that whatever their disadvantages outside of school, they can at least aspire to achieving equally in school. These proposed reforms to GCSEs, alongside cuts to benefits aimed at supporting poorer students and their families, will ensure equality in state education is set back decades.

“At a time of school budget cuts Michael Gove’s proposal to set up a fund to support new academy sponsors is simply wrong. There is no evidence to support the idea that academies result in school improvement and no real appetite for academies amongst parents, teachers or local communities.

“Michael Gove needs to understand that ‘adults’ who do not agree with him are not always wrong. This is state education, funded by the taxpayer. It is time that the Education Secretary stood back to consult and consider, rather than hurtling head first down a route that is neither wanted nor needed.”

END pr109-2012
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