Education reform


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

This week 50,000 parents will have been sent rejection letters. Mockup: Carla Millar

Is Gove’s school reform genie out of the bottle?

19 April 2013 13:24

Will Michael Gove’s reforms outlast him? They are perhaps this government’s single greatest accomplishment. Within three years it has gone from legislation to a nascent industry, and much of it… Continue reading

Michael Gove today said the voice of unions was diminishing. Picture: Getty

Michael Gove: Unions need to do a better job

18 April 2013 15:11

Cometh the Gove, cometh the angry trade union representative. It was inevitable that the Education Secretary would have at least one exchange with someone from one of the two largest… Continue reading

Michael Gove has given schools guidance on performance-related pay for teachers. And the unions aren't happy. Picture: Getty

Michael Gove the evil overlord strikes again

16 April 2013 18:08

Michael Gove is at it again. Today he’s taken it upon himself to ‘heap further misery’ onto teachers with ‘reckless’ plans that would damage children’s education. At least, that’s what… Continue reading

This image, from the film 'Waiting for Superman', hangs on Gove's office wall. "The fate of our country won't be decided on a battlefield," runs the slogan. "It will be determined in a classroom."

Yes, Gove has lost a battle. But he’s winning the education war

8 February 2013 9:59

Michael Gove’s enemies will have savoured his defeat yesterday, and enjoyed every second of his Commons speech admitting that his pet project, the EBacc, was ‘a bridge too far’. Gove… Continue reading

Michael Gove

Even the best laid plans of Michael Gove can go awry

7 February 2013 8:56

Coalition ministers and commentators like to study Michael Gove as an example of a successful reforming politician. The Education Secretary is most definitely man not mouse, taking on some of… Continue reading


If Nick Clegg doesn’t think his local schools are much cop, then he should say so

25 January 2013 13:06

Normally, it is really rather tiresome when a politician is pilloried in the media for choosing to send their children to a private school above the local state schools. There’s… Continue reading

A student receives their exam results. The government today announced reforms to A-levels. Picture: Getty

Why meddling with A-levels won’t work

23 January 2013 14:07

Conservatives will, no doubt, welcome the government’s announcement about A-levels today. Modules will be abolished. We will return to one tough exam at the end of the two years of… Continue reading

Michael Gove

Gove to Treasury: let schools borrow!

28 December 2012 10:51

For all the good intention of Michael Gove’s school reforms, there have been only a few dozen new schools so far. When I interviewed him for The Spectator earlier this… Continue reading


Michael Gove’s schools ultimatum pushes up standards

14 December 2012 17:36

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… Continue reading

From the teaching unions' response to the decision to introduce performance-related pay into the teaching sector, you'd think Michael Gove had put Voldemort in charge of teacher pay. Picture: Getty

Do teaching unions not trust head teachers?

7 December 2012 12:45

Michael Gove had a very good autumn statement: not only did he get £1bn for new free schools and academies, but he also got performance-related pay for teachers. Gone will… Continue reading

Michael Gove and David Cameron hold a meeting with Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw, who today criticised the way some local authorities handle underperforming schools. Picture: Getty

How will Michael Gove respond to Ofsted’s attack on councils?

27 November 2012 8:51

Ofsted’s annual report, due out later today, will launch a scathing attack on those responsible for underperforming schools. But rather than taking aim at the teachers or the schools, it’s… Continue reading

Children learn to bake at a Steiner school. Picture: Getty.

The quiet country lane hosting a schooling revolution

14 September 2012 13:58

The location hardly suggests revolution. A few miles down a Somerset country lane, a new school opened this week. It will do so on the site of a tiny old… Continue reading