Posted tagged ‘michael gove’

Moving the goalposts

January 24, 2011

A truly British obsession

Recently I made a few comments about the good people of our children’s services department; suggesting that they tend to have a disproportionate influence over the council’s budget.

As if to serve some sort of karmic retribution I recently found myself sent to a meeting of my august colleagues from that very department. However, what I encountered there was absolutely fascinating. The reason for this fascination was that my visit to see my hard working colleagues in children’s services coincided with Michael Gove’s latest policy in his education revolution.

Mr Gove has stated many times that he is committed to shaking us out of our educational complacency and his latest tool of choice was what he liked to call the English Baccalaureate, the results of which were published on the morning of my meeting.

The concept of the English Baccalaureate is fairly simple. As the BBC explained:

Schools in England are now being measured according to how many pupils achieve grades A*-C in five core subjects – maths, English, two science qualifications, a foreign language and either history or geography.

The reason this change exorcised my colleagues so much was that many of the schools in our neck of the woods were scoring fairly well in the old league tables which prioritised schools based on the number of students receiving 5 A*-C grades including Maths and English. Under the new system many of these schools which had been improving for years had suddenly found themselves hurtling towards the bottom of the league tables.