Education reform

First Aid Kit: IES free school alumni

How to repair a free school – the next stage of Michael Gove’s reforms

28 February 2014 15:36

Any government can set out on a journey of reform – the question is whether they can stay on course upon hitting turbulence. The coalition is entering this phase now.… Continue reading

Image: Getty

The education big tent is collapsing

10 February 2014 17:14

The pegs are definitely coming out of Michael Gove’s education big tent, although it’s not just the Secretary of State who is pulling them out. Time was when Stephen Twigg… Continue reading

Image: Getty

Michael Gove and the fight for the moral high ground

3 February 2014 15:56

Michael Gove’s speech today was, as James explained at the weekend, a pitch from the Tories to be the optimists of the 2015 election. He wanted to have a little… Continue reading

Boris Johnson Attends The Opening Of West London Free School

What the National Audit Office really said about free schools

11 December 2013 8:52

Is the free schools project unnecessary and costly? If you take your news from the BBC, then you might be forgiven for answering ‘yes’: the Beeb’s reporting on the National… Continue reading

General Election - Education

PISA rankings are a shot in the arm for education reformers

3 December 2013 10:52

Like measuring water by the handful, calculating the success of the education system at a time of rampant grade inflation is an impossible task. If exam results go up every year… Continue reading

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Tories give Tristram Hunt grief over ‘car crash’ interview

31 October 2013 17:53

It was quite strange yesterday that Michael Gove’s allies were quite so happy to concede ahead of his first proper scrap with Tristram Hunt that it was going to be… Continue reading

Michael Gove

Twist in teaching debate as speaker rejects government attempt to calm row

30 October 2013 11:40

Oh dear. As I explained yesterday, the most likely thing the Coalition parties could do to defuse Tristram Hunt’s troublemaking teaching qualifications debate this afternoon would be to table an… Continue reading

Prime Minister David Cameron And Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg Pledge Upto £1200 A Year Government Support For Childcare

Nick Clegg isn’t the only senior Lib Dem who could damage free schools

20 October 2013 13:08

After Nick Clegg decided to have a grump about free schools in a paper whose own polling suggests they are popular with the public (more on this from Fraser), the… Continue reading


The truth about Tristram Hunt’s ‘conversion’ on free schools

13 October 2013 9:45

Much rejoicing in the ranks of education reformers today as just one sinner repents. Tristram Hunt has toldthe Mail On Sunday that Labour doesn’t think free schools are just for… Continue reading

Both Michael Gove and Stephen Twigg want to tackle abuse of multiple exam entries. Photo: Getty Images.

No need to fret Stephen Twigg, Gove is already tackling multiple exam entries

22 August 2013 19:10

At last, something Michael Gove and Stephen Twigg agree on. Both the Education Secretary and his opposite number agree that efforts need to be made to tackle pupils entering the… Continue reading


Michael Gove: a Labour government would have no choice but to continue my reforms

24 July 2013 18:07

Will Michael Gove’s education reforms really have a lasting impact? It’s a question that perturbs his supporters no end, as the Education Secretary is attempting to do a great deal… Continue reading

Posters in Tynemouth shops supporting the new Kings Priory Academy. Photo: Sebastian Payne.

Parents vs. the system: which side is Labour on?

12 July 2013 17:45

Should Labour support private schools joining the state sector? Yes, is probably your immediate response but in reality, Labour’s position is unfathomable. A case in point is the battle for… Continue reading


The View from 22 — why the Met always gets it wrong, Miliband’s Clause 4 moment and nationalising private schools

11 July 2013 8:17

Why has the Met Office become so inaccurate at predicting weather in the UK? On the latest View from 22 podcast, author Rupert Darwall explains why out of the last… Continue reading

Stephen Twigg was conspicuously absent from Gove's fantasy Labour education team. Picture: Getty

Michael Gove’s fantasy Labour education team

24 June 2013 16:57

Michael Gove and his colleagues have enjoyed poking Labour on education policy recently. His catty letter exchange with Stephen Twigg last week left Twigg with the victory for style with… Continue reading

Michael Gove

Michael Gove kindly warns Stephen Twigg: people think you’re weak

19 June 2013 15:59

What a lot of fun Michael Gove is having with Stephen Twigg’s latest policy pronouncements. The Education Secretary has written a fabulously long letter to his Labour shadow following up… Continue reading

Michael Gove

School choice is not a scandal: Gove nails Twigg’s rum brand of localism

17 June 2013 15:14

Michael Gove is naturally having some fun with Stephen Twigg’s schools speech. The Education Secretary has responded to Twigg’s plan for ‘parent academies’ by saying: ‘Labour’s policy on free schools… Continue reading

Stephen Twigg joined his Labour colleagues in trying to wrest localism from the Tories. Picture: Getty

Labour is after the Tories’ localism crown

17 June 2013 11:55

Stephen Twigg is, as he probably expected, coming in for a bit of flak on his U-turn on free schools this morning. Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary has launched his own… Continue reading

GCSE students take an exam at Maidstone Grammar School, in K

Where the teaching unions have a good point

14 June 2013 10:05

The teaching unions have spent a lot of this week getting angry about one thing or another, but one of their number, the National Association of Head Teachers, did make… Continue reading

Michael Gove, fighting for tougher teaching in schools. Photo: PA.

Michael Gove is vindicated by Ofsted – our brightest kids are being let down

13 June 2013 16:45

Ofsted has provided an independent boost for Michael Gove today. Just days after his plans to toughen up GCSEs were finally confirmed; a survey lambasts non-selective secondary schools for systematically… Continue reading


The View from 22 — Gove the revolutionary, a society without religion and will the EU referendum split the Tories apart?

13 June 2013 9:26

How much love is there for Michael Gove on the opposition benches? In this week’s Spectator cover feature, Toby Young argues, quite a lot. The Education Secretary has the policies… Continue reading

Diane Abbott

Diane Abbott, darling of the reforming Right

11 June 2013 14:09

Perhaps the Bilderberg conference has had a lasting effect on Parliament, after all. Today we saw what can only be a conspiracy between the Labour left and Michael Gove’s band… Continue reading

Stephen Twigg

How should Labour deal with the teaching unions?

11 June 2013 11:40

While dealing with the teaching unions is a simple stand-off for Michael Gove, spare a thought for poor old Stephen Twigg, Labour’s shadow education secretary, who has to work out… Continue reading

A demonstrator carries a placard that re

Teaching unions: don’t reform exams, you might upset someone!

11 June 2013 9:07

Critics and fans of Michael Gove alike accept that sometimes the Education Secretary can be a little too pugnacious. He often encourages the pantomime boos that accompany him, and will… Continue reading

Michael Gove

Michael Gove’s love of a good scrap sometimes leads him up blind alleys

11 May 2013 11:29

Michael Gove is right about almost everything, but like most know-it-alls, he has a habit of putting people’s backs up when telling them he’s right. That’s the theme of a… Continue reading

Party Faithful Attend The Annual Conservative Party Conference

Michael Gove: wind-up artist

9 May 2013 17:52

Michael Gove likes to make mischief. Every so often he stokes London’s liberal elite into fits of righteous indignation. If he does this out of pure joy, then his latest… Continue reading