Good bye Mr Gove – Does the future of education look rosier without him?

Hurrah – the dragon is slain – Mr Gove – the education secretary has gone and we teachers can now have a jolly good party! Is that really true? It really depends on how you look at things – as a parent or as a teacher. Are parents really interested in all the politics or do we just want the best for our children?  Many will argue that there is no conflict between having a minister who strives for high standards and who is also well liked by teachers. I cannot remember any government minister that has enjoyed any real popularity among teachers in the past. It is just the nature of the beast. As a leader, be it a headteacher, the manager of a football or rugby club or a government minister, it is irrelevant if you are well liked or not. It helps if you are respected and it is even more important if you are successful in delivering results.

What we have had in the last decade or so is a world in which GCSE and A-level exam results in British Schools continues to improve, whilst at the same time – PISA – the Programme for International Student Assessment has deem British youngsters to be falling behind their counterpart in the world. Action needs to be taken to improve standards. Michael Gove – the former secretary of education until three or so weeks ago – has had to make some very difficult decisions in in his quest to improve standards. Unsurprisingly, not many of those changes have met the approval of a large number of teachers. It is nothing new for teachers to oppose new changes, irrespective of how popular those changes are among parents. It is natural to object to change as we all like to protect our turf. It is important for any secretary of state for education to seek the co-operation of teachers and other professionals as he or she tries to bring about changes that are aimed at improving standards. However, there are situations in which tough decisions have to be made and it will not always be possible to carry the teachers along as changes are brought in.

Judging by among other factors, the popularity of GCSE and IGCSE globally, the British Education system is still very popular all over the world. However, there is no room for complacency as there is a need to maintain standards and also to ensure that the fall in PISA’s ranking is addressed and that British young people can compete with those in other countries, in a world in which completion is becoming fiercer. In the global market place that we now live, a well informed and learned workforce is vital and the way we educate our young people is key to future economic success of the country.

Just like in many things the Brits are world leaders when it comes to the upper end of the market – as can be seen in Rolls Royce. Standards in some schools are very high and are the envy of the world.  One really admires the young people in the top performing schools in Britain. We are not just talking about academic standards; we are also talking about sports, music, science and the arts. The reality is that this very high standard really only exists in a tiny minority of schools. Mainly in the top public schools (Independent fee paying schools), some grammar schools and a handful of mainstream schools – Comprehensives, Academy or Free schools.

Now that Mr Gove’s regime is over, we hope the new education secretary will continue reforms in education in a way that will lead to an improvement in standard.  It is hoped that Nicky Morgan – the new secretary of state for education will bring about changes in education – ensuring that a high standard is a lot more widespread and that the school system is less of a lottery. We look forward to a day when securing a good education for your child does not depend so much on if you can afford to buy a house in certain well sort after places. We live in hope.

For or against please let’s know your view on this. We really do value your comment so please comment below.

Related blogs and links:

Comment from the Telegraph –

What the BBC has to say –

Some comments and twits from Gurdian readers: 

Other Excel in Key Subjects blogs on education matters

Falling Standard of education

Are exams getting easier?