Sunday, 4 December 2011

The Dead Hand of Michael Gove

I take no pleasure in being right, and I genuinely hate to say “I told you so.” But I told you so. The latest “funding agreement” published by the Department for Education sets out conditions for Academies and “Free” schools to receive funding. Included in those conditions is the rule that they have to teach the “importance of marriage” over all other types of relationship.

This represents the perfect example of what I said would happen; academies and “free” schools would soon come under the direct control of Whitehall. In effect all these schools are now controlled by Michael Gove.

This comes after the incoming Tory-led government told us that these schools would be controlled by local people, and gave us a lot of talk about local control of public services, as part of the “big society”. I warned then that the opposite was going to happen. Now parents of children in these schools will lose control over their child’s school as elected parent governors are replaced by those appointed by the private company or group of religious zealots which controls the school. But, in a double whammy to local democratic control, the dead hand of Michael Gove now hangs over every “free” school and academy in the country, as he dictates what can and cannot be taught in those schools. Local control has been replaced by the Stalinist control of one of the most partial and extremist members of the 1%.

The result of this is nothing less than a slimmed-down, dumbed-down, rigid and uninspiring curriculum imposed on our children and a sustained effort on the part of Gove to reintroduce the homophobic Section 28 through the back door.

The Tories, especially Michael Gove, were fond of describing the local control of schools as the "dead hand of local authority control". This has always been a myth, eagerly propagated by the 1%-controlled media. Local authority schools have always been independently run, with parents having a majority on the governing body. I know I have served as a school governor, an elected one not an appointed one. Now these schools will be controlled by people appointed by, guess who? Yes, representatives of the 1%. The 1% who have wrecked our economy, are now in control of a large chunk of the nation's schools...

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