Is this an offer that Simon Cowell can refuse? (Images: Getty)

Michael Gove offers Simon Cowell guided tour of ‘hundreds’ of state primary schools

12 February 2014 13:27

Michael Gove has been practising one of his favourite sports: winding up Simon Cowell. Last year, the education secretary lambasted the music mogul for encouraging youngsters to live the X-Factor… Continue reading

There are certain things in Britain about which it is impossible to speak frankly. The birth rate of the Muslim population is a prime subject.

Is the startling rise in Muslim infants as positive as the Times suggests?

10 January 2014 15:51

Today’s Times has a lovely example of positive spin.  The headline is: ‘Rise in Muslim birth rate as families ‘feel British’. The story which gives rise to this headline is… 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

A school has asked parents to refrain from swearing in front of their children. (GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/GettyImages)

My kids are bright enough to know when swearing’s not ok

25 November 2013 11:30

The head-teacher of a primary school in East Sussex has written to parents asking them not to swear in front of their children, although reading between the lines I think… Continue reading

Sir John Major has been doing a lot of talking recently.

Should state education be abolished?

11 November 2013 14:09

These days I find myself so drifting away from the bounds of acceptable opinion that I don’t even shout at Radio 4 for being biased, because I don’t even understand… Continue reading

Michael Gove supports teachers who do not having Qualified Teacher Status in academies and free schools. Photo: Getty Images.

Qualified teacher status – who believes what?

31 October 2013 20:31

Should pupils in free schools and academies be taught by teachers without Qualified teacher status? This question has become the latest game political ping-pong involving all three parties. So much… Continue reading

Image: Getty

Gove’s school choice can end social segregation. The old system entrenches it

29 October 2013 17:47

Like most foreigners who move to Britain, I was struck when I first arrived by how much people worry about which school their children go to. Even couples who don’t… Continue reading


Educating Yorkshire was, for the most part, self-indulgent pap

28 October 2013 9:28

I don’t know if you’ve seen the documentary series, Educating Yorkshire, which has been as depressing as you might imagine from the title. Some of the teachers in the film… Continue reading

Image: Getty

Genes do influence children, and acknowledging that can make schools better

17 October 2013 11:21

Every September teachers up and down the land welcome new classes of children. Each child they see in front of them is visibly unique and will present them with different… Continue reading

Image: Getty

There is no conspiracy against state school students going to Oxford, honest

16 August 2013 10:37

On A-level results day it was inevitable really. Of the roughly 14,000 applicants not to have received a place at Oxford this year, one of them, Alastair Herron, has done… Continue reading

Image: Getty

The rigour of the future that will deliver ‘secondary ready’ pupils

18 July 2013 11:03

On entering government in 1997, Tony Blair and David Blunkett set about transforming primary education. It was a sorry state of affairs that we inherited. In Maths and English, only… Continue reading


Finding Farage

27 June 2013 14:10

The old boys of Dulwich College have closed ranks, if their online presence is anything to go by. I hear that super-sleuth Michael Crick has been digging into the past… Continue reading

Prime Minister David Cameron Speaks At The Conservative Spring Forum

Michael Gove’s planned national curriculum is designed to renew teaching as a vocation

2 April 2013 17:37

Michael Gove’s planned national curriculum, heavily influenced by American reformer E.D. Hirsch, came under strong attack over the weekend. Critics claim that it will de-professionalise teachers. NUT activists and their… Continue reading


Our brightest children are falling behind their peers in other countries

22 February 2013 10:19

Today’s jobs market is highly competitive and globalised. It is no longer enough simply to see if we are doing better than we did last year, or the year before,… 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

Michael Gove’s plans for profit-making schools

10 January 2013 8:50

Coffee House readers won’t be surprised by the Independent’s report that Michael Gove has been telling friends he has no objections to profit-making schools: he explained his position on the… Continue reading

Former Downing Street policy chief James O'Shaughnessy argues that weak schools should be turned over to education management organisations. Picture: Getty

Why for-profit companies should take over weak schools

17 October 2012 14:49

The basic question in my report for Policy Exchange on school chains, out today, is simple: we’ve got a big education problem in this country and what can we do… Continue reading

David Laws has previously said it would be 'unwise' to rule out profit-making schools. Picture: Getty.

The pupil premium and profit-making schools could be a winning combination

20 September 2012 12:35

Ask any Liberal Democrat what their party has achieved in government, and the answer will involve the words ‘pupil premium’. It was a key manifesto pledge in 2010, and is… Continue reading

Daniel Moynihan's letter argues that schools don't need sweeping playing fields of their own to offer good sports lessons. Picture: Getty.

You can’t judge a school by its sports fields

23 August 2012 9:35

There’s a glass case in the hall of Number 10 at the moment which contains a large sports bag with two shiny Olympic medals poking out. This wasn’t left behind… Continue reading

British Education Secretary Michael Gove

Ministers fail to sell themselves on playing field sell-offs

17 August 2012 12:55

If you’re a minister, or even the Prime Minister, and you take to the airwaves holding a page of figures aloft, it’s always a good idea to make sure the… Continue reading

General Election - Education

The ideological row over profit-making schools

15 August 2012 15:20

Earlier this week IPPR published a paper which made the case against for-profit schools. Two of the leading proponents of such schools, Toby Young and Gabriel Sahlgren, have since responded.… Continue reading

British actor and performer Eric Idle si

Labour plays a sensible game on school sport

13 August 2012 16:07

It would be wrong to say that David Cameron has had a bad Olympics. After all, the Games went extremely well, both in terms of logistics and Britain’s wonderful medal… Continue reading

Conservative Party leader David Cameron

Cameron digs a hole on school sports

10 August 2012 13:20

The Prime Minister today criticised schools for filling their compulsory two hours of weekly sport with ‘sort of Indian dancing classes’. He said: ‘Now, I’ve got nothing against Indian dancing… Continue reading

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron,

Cameron’s big sporting society

8 August 2012 11:20

David Cameron made a spirited defence of school sport this morning when he appeared on LBC radio. Waving a sheet of paper triumphantly, the Prime Minister argued that the 20… Continue reading

Chelsea Ladies Coaching Q and A

How state schools can boost their Olympic chances

3 August 2012 15:00

Lord Moynihan’s comments about the dominance of private school athletes in Team GB have caused a stir.  He suggests that  the fact that half of our medals in Beijing were… Continue reading