The news this morning that GCE exams are to be revamped brought a deep groan from me.....the tinkering with the whole education system by successive governments has been driven by ideaology with little thought for the classroom teacher.
I'm afraid I have to declare a prejudice here. Every time I see a photograph of Mr Grove looking complacent I want to throw something at him which is not a good thing for a woman of the cloth!
Many of his ideas, ill thought out and rushed through hastily have had to be withdrawn or tampered with later. How teachers today cope I can't even start to imagine. Like many another ex teacher I would like put him into a classroom with 30 children and lock the door.
However having said all that there is one piece of good news in this morning's announcement.
Course work is going to be mostly scrapped. Hurray!
This new idea arrived in schools whilst I was still teaching. We were all a bit dubious but willing to give it a go as a great way of allowing the less gifted child the opportunity to work quietly and accumulate points to contribute to exam success.
We were also fully aware that it could be a trap for the unwary!
Now from teachers, friends, family members, etc I am aware that some distortion of acedemic achievement has been present by virtue of the fact that much of this work is done at home. Those with professional parents will clearly have a massive advantage over those who haven't.
What ever the ins and outs of this I wish almost anyone other than Mr Gove should have got rid of it!
The poor man is never going to get the credit for anything to do with education so maybe it's fitting that just one of his plans may be the right thing for the nations teenagers and of course the rest of the population.
The 1944 Education act by Butler set a standard in helping those from poorer homes and many of us grew up benefiting from its wisdom....in all the years since it still shines as a great achievement by a conservative minister! Gove will not live up to its excellence I'm afraid .