Nick Gibb was on BBC Radio 4 spouting nonsense about academies | ukgovernmentwatch

160329Nick Gibb

It was lucky for the Conservative Government that its current Schools minister is a product of publicly-funded education.

Otherwise ‘Minister for Exclamation Marks’ Nick Gibb’s oft-repeated line that “we can’t have two systems of education” in one country would have rung even more hollow on Radio 4’s Today programme yesterday than it did.

Apparently he feels inferior when in the company of his Eton-educated colleagues and often moans about the quality of his education. One cannot help but wonder why, when Cameron, Osborne and the others behave like imbeciles and zombies.

Obviously we do have two systems of education already – schools which are funded with public money, and those that are privately-financed – so any suggestion that academies can’t live alongside local authority schools is ridiculous.

This Blog has already pointed out that LEA schools outperform academies, so it seems more likely that the full academisation of English schools may be an attempt to hide the fact.

Here in Wales, some of us are looking forward to it. Our schools will streak ahead of England and may enjoy a welcome boost in pupil numbers as a result.

Anyway, as UK Government Watch points out, English education has pretty much always been fragmented:

English education has long been one of several systems or even many systems which separate and segregate children and parents and teachers: obviously there’s the private and public division, with private schools being left out of this whole debate anyway. Then there is the religious, non-religious divide– and religious schools are also divided between ‘voluntary controlled’ and ‘voluntary aided’. There are old Foundation schools where the land and school is held by the Foundation Trust and not by the local authority. Then again in counties like Kent there are ‘grammar schools’ i.e. selective schools, and the other ‘high’ schools which are to all intents and purposes, ‘secondary modern schools’.

Mr Gibbs didn’t leave it there, though. Goodness no. He had far too many other nonsense claims to put forward, such as:

  • The one about how academy chains free heads up to co-operate with each other.

Headteachers and schools across local authorities have been co-operating for decades. Some of the best work on co-operation has happened this way – Tim Brighouse’s work is one of many examples. The Language in the National Curriculum project was another (£20 million invested then thrown away because Tories didn’t like the ‘autonomy’ given to teachers!)

  • The one about ‘local authority bureaucracy’.

LA’s have people who run education. These have in the past included experienced teacher advisers who have helped schools. But ‘‘abolishing bureaucracy” is typical populist government talk. What do we think that the appointment of tiers of management and supervision coming from the new Regional Commissioners and the people sitting in the academy chain HQs is all about? Are they not bureaucrats?

  • The one about ‘autonomy’.

The man talking about ‘autonomy’ this morning sent a letter to the Times Educational Supplement’ ‘clarifying’ the use of exclamation marks. When I joke that he is the Minister for Exclamation Marks, I’m only half-kidding. This is central control as never before. And he talks about ‘autonomy’.

Source: Nick Gibb Was On BBC Radio 4 Today Spouting Nonsense About Academies | ukgovernmentwatch

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24 thoughts on “Nick Gibb was on BBC Radio 4 spouting nonsense about academies | ukgovernmentwatch

  1. Carole

    Grammar schools were in the public domain. Privately funded (fee paying) schools did not participate. It is a tautology to say he was private educated in a Grammar school

      1. Crumbleaddict

        Wikipedia says Maidstone Grammar – this is a state maintained school and always has been. Do check your facts!

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        You know what? I was put off saying he was a product of publicly-funded education by other articles on this matter that said he was a product of the private side.
        Otherwise my article would have started by saying it was lucky for the Conservative Government that its current Schools minister is a product of publicly-funded education.

        Otherwise ‘Minister for Exclamation Marks’ Nick Gibb’s oft-repeated line that “we can’t have two systems of education” in one country would have rung even more hollow on Radio 4’s Today programme yesterday than it did.

        Thanks for the heads-up. I’ll correct the text now.

        Oh, and don’t be patronising, there’s a dear!

      3. wildswimmerpete

        @Mike
        I was pointing out that I attended a local authority funded grammar school – as did my contemporaries during the 1960s when there were only three options: grammar, secondary-modern and private schools like my local Catholic “public” school. When I posted mine was the only comment however because of the way you moderate I wasn’t aware of others’ comments until their and my comments are published. That’s why comments are sometimes out of context or apparently pointless.

      4. Mike Sivier Post author

        To what end, though?
        It’s acknowledged that local authority grammar schools exist, along with privately funded grammar schools.
        The error in the article appears to be that Nick Gibb attended local authority grammars rather than private ones – an error due to misinformation in other articles.

  2. Neilth

    If he was at public school then it was probably a registered charity so he was being subsidised with public funds as well. The hypocrisy of the Tories knows no bounds.

    1. NMac

      Hear Hear. Spot on. The Tories don’t like anyone questioning or giving publicity to the charitable status of public schools. I really cannot fathom out what is charitable about Eton.

  3. weebles1703

    Please can you clarify whether the minister went to a private school or a grammar school (part of the state school system).

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Many grammar schools were privatised when the comprehensive system was introduced, but kept the ‘grammar school’ title, and my understanding is that he attended several of these.

      1. hayfords

        It looks like he went to at least 4 schools in different parts of the country (look at his Wiki entry). At least one is an independent public school.

  4. Terry Davies

    here is another inferior tory – in his own perception- who wants to escape his educational background. Crabb of the DWP is similarly escaping his family background. both are Cameron and osborne’s lackeys to be thrown to the wolves when blame is apportioned.

  5. NMac

    The so-called “public schools” are in fact heavily subsidised by public money in that they are allowed to classify themselves as “charities”. There is nothing remotely charitable about Eton, Harrow and the other public schools, they are big business’s and as such should not be allowed charitable status. It is a gross insult to genuine charities.

Comments are closed.