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Gover the top; Ex-schools chief pays for rattling trendies.

I'VE seen some much-hated political figures come and go over the years.

Maggie Thatcher, obviously. Ted Heath, Enoch Powell, Denis Healey and Jim "Crisis, what crisis?" Callaghan to name just a few.

They had their admirers too. But I can't think of a frontline politician who attracted such widespread loathing as now-departed Education Secretary Michael Gove.

The abuse reminds me of the possibly made-up story of a footballer who'd joined Sheffield United and asked an old sweat why everyone seemed to take an INSTANT dislike to the then boss Neil Warnock. "Because it saves time," came the reply.

Almost everything Gove ever said was misrepresented by left-leaning newspapers and seized upon by the hideously left-wing teachers' unions as evidence he was mad or bad.

When he vowed to expand the English literature curriculum, headlines shrieked about him wanting to "ban" John Steinbeck's modern American so-called "classic" novel Of Mice And Men (one of the dullest books ever written, by the way) and force pupils to study only works by long-dead white Brits like Jane Austen.

d Gove plaintively replied he'd meant no such thing.

THE "dying" His denials fell on deaf ears.

. The damage had been done.

,Part of the problem, I think, was Gove's appearance.

e , He looks - not to put too fine a point upon it - like a speccy, smug swot.

goes on. I'd say all unqualified doctors who almost no yet work in hospitals already assist in the to a considerable degree, although they may not aware of it.

a e The fact he comes from a humble background with none of the privileges of Cameron's gang of silver-spoon rich kids should have counted in his favour. Yet it never did.

Mainly, though, Gove wanted kids to learn things, not just to "grow" and "find themselves."

A teacher I know with more than 30 years' experience stunned me last week by passionately defending Gove's reforms.

"It's no use asking pupils to imagine what it was like being a foot-soldier in Wellington's army," she said. "They should be taught the reasons for the Napoleonic Wars and what the outcome meant for England and France. Facts, facts!" And I'd always thought she was further to the left than a fish fork.

assisted debate wf fi ed up wp Our trendy, wishy-washy education system was summed up by a primary school head who wrote to her final-year pupils telling them not to worry about exam results.

those foreign speak English our pu pa ab She blathered that the tests "dmo process "do not know you can play a musical instrument or dance or paint a picture.

or be fr th la "They do not know that your friends count on you to be there for them or that your laughter can brighten the dreariest day."

So never mind if you can't write your own name - you can paint a picture.

Good luck in a few years' time with your job interviews, boys and girls.

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Title Annotation:Features; Opinion Column
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Jul 20, 2014
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