Sunday, November 21, 2010

Kim Il Gove

Michael Gove has just received the Dunford 'Sporting Glory' treatment (sorry, SGS in joke) as an exciteable Andrew Marr refers to him as Kim Il Gove. Gove busily denied being more centralising but he shouldn't defend himself too hard - all Education Secretaries want to decide what is taught and how, and this is not necessarily a bad thing, given that there are almost as many different ideas about what is right for schools as there are teachers and education bureaucrats working for them. A bit of centralised decision making brings order, and decisions to remove GCSE modules, tighten up grammar and spelling, and even teach history sequentially (which many schools do as a matter of practice anyway) are likely to receive much support. There will be less support for the extraordinary decision to apparently cut back school sports spending, but we should hold back before becoming too hysterical. What Gove has done is remove the ring-fencing from a particular approach to providing sports - the School Sports Partnership. He thinks this is too bureaucratic and says schools are better off being given the freedom to provide their own competitive sports. More difficult, of course, if you're one of those schools with limited PE staff provision and a lack of playing fields as a result of the great playing fields sell-off scandal of a few years ago. But we'll see. Perhaps schools might be able to use a sports budget more effectively themselves - there are still plenty (well done SGS) who operate a range of competitive sports from their own resources after all. It just needs a will and a hefty degree of time commitment.

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