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Wednesday, 28 August 2013 00:00

Muddled Gove trying to return to grammar schools

It is blatantly clear that a two-tiered system of state education, leading to the return of grammar schools, is on the Tory agenda.

However, there is no evidence that "joined-up" thinking featured prominently in the forming of this agenda. Gove's lack of suitability for the post of education tsar has been frequently made obvious, but none more so than with the news that many teachers are calling for GCSE exams to be scrapped (M Star August 23).

As Education Secretary, he should have realised that his constant criticism and meddling would inevitably lead to double-entry of borderline C/D students, the use of iGCSE examinations, and schools becoming what even a CBI bigwig calls exam factories.

Contradictory pressures on schools to improve their results, and on Ofqual not to let them, will no doubt be ignored by the opposition.

Miliband must appoint a shadow minister who is sympathetic to the needs of the teaching profession and is also prepared to take advice from those with first-hand experience in education.

Above all, perhaps, the new appointment must be prepared to challenge Gove's often ridiculous claims about the failings of the education system - something the current incumbent seems unwilling to do.

A Labour leader entering an election battle without the support of the country's education workers is taking an inordinate risk, one he would most certainly live to regret.

Bernie Evans


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