Day 109 – The Start of the (Political) Football Season

Yesterday, Michael Gove (the Shadow Education Spokesman) had a lot of media coverage as he put forward some of the Conservative Party’s visions for education.

Many in Education must have felt their heart sink – not at the prospect of a change in Government (although for some that may be true) but at education being used as a political football yet again.

Both main parties realise that education is close to many voters’ hearts; that it is (relatively) easy to do something to for a Government, and that nobody will be able to prove whether the reforms have worked or not because (and this is crucial) the Government controls or at least influences strongly the assessment measures.

Here we go again. A new Government would mean wholesale changes in assessment, just at the time that schools are facing a massive expansion of post-16 education as this becomes compulsory and changes in post-14 education come online.

A change in assessment (by awarding different value to different GCSE or A-level subjects) would mean that Bedford would need to re-examine its results relative to the national average – and who knows what will come out of that. Importantly, schools would then need to redesign the focus of their curriculum if they wished to maximise their points scoring under the new system.

Amidst all this change in curriculum and assessment, Bedford Borough are proposing a huge chaotic switch to a different system of schooling, one that actually doesn’t fit the 14-19 curriculum very well ! It does indeed beggar belief that we will waste public resources in this way during a world recession.

Here is a link to Michael Gove’s BBC interview – SMS will leave it to their contributors today to discuss the implications of the detail.

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