X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

Please note: Previously subscribers used a 'WebID' to log into the website. Your subscriber number is not the same as the WebID. Please ensure you use the subscriber number when you link your subscription.

Coffee House

Michael Gove’s schools ultimatum pushes up standards

14 December 2012

5:36 PM

14 December 2012

5:36 PM

Michael Gove’s reformation of the education system from top to bottom has so far been unstoppable. Often though, the Education Secretary’s detractors bellow there is a lack of proof that his reforms are doing any good.

Today’s news (£) that hundreds of primary schools have benefited from Gove’s tougher approach to internal management adds credence to the view that his freeing up of our education system is working. This year, the number of schools below the government’s baseline target dropped by more than half:

‘League tables of this year’s primary school test results showed that 521 were beneath his minimum threshold. Of these, 37 have since been replaced by academies with new sponsors or governance, and seven have closed. This compares with 1,310 primary schools whose results were below target a year ago.’

The sudden change can be attributed to the threat — from the Prime Minister no less — of management takeovers and conversion to academies if targets are not met. Gove’s self-determined goal for primary schools is for 60 per cent of pupils to reach expected levels for maths and English by the end of primary school. Gove raised this from 55 per cent under Labour, and the Times suggests the rapid rise may push the level up again to 65 per cent.

[Alt-Text]


Focusing on subjects, 84 per cent of 11 year olds now reach the expected government levels for maths (up four percent) and 87 per cent at English (up 3 per cents). The number of schools meeting the required level for English and maths combined is 86 per cent for academies, compared to 79 per cent for other schools.

With these improvements, it is hard to deny that giving schools freedom is having a positive effect on pupil’s education. But the teaching unions try to deny it anyway. The National Association of Headteachers grudgingly accepts the rise is a good thing, but claim leadership and determination are the key, as opposed to the school itself.

This is rather ironic, given Gove’s plans for 2013. Fraser interviewed the minister for our Christmas issue, where he reflects on his achievements so far and looks to the Education Secretary’s battle next year over teachers’ pay. Setting him for another collision course with the teaching unions, Gove is taking the drastic step of shifting from pay-by-time served to pay on merit. Attacking the unions’ power on pay bargaining and empowering headteachers is a bold move, one that could result in a nationwide teaching strike.

But Gove has consistently proven throughout this parliament the Department of Education is the one place where radical thoughts can actually be turned into radical actions. If there is a minister who can take on the full collected might of the unions and win, it’s Michael Gove.

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.


Show comments
Close