Reshuffle: Gove moved and Nick Gibb reinstated

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kenm
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Reshuffle: Gove moved and Nick Gibb reinstated

Post by kenm » Tue Jul 15, 2014 12:25 pm

The Prime Minister has announced some major changes to his Cabinet. Gove is moved to Chief Government Whip. Hague becomes Leader of the House of Commons. The new SoS for Education is Nicky Morgan, who is a lawyer. In her time as MP (since 2010) she has shown some interest in educational (mostly university) affairs and has an offspring of primary school age. She retains her post as Minister for Women, which I see as a downgrading of Education by Cameron. The Cabinet loses Ken Clarke and Sir George Young, whom I regarded as stabilising influences, and David (two-brain) Willetts, but sacking Owen Paterson from Environment must be a good decision.* Liz Truss takes over at Environment, so we lose her from Education. George Osborne, Theresa May, Jeremy Hunt and Iain Duncan Smith, none of whom has shown outstanding competence, remain.

When I started this thread, I viewed these changes with some foreboding, but they are all more than compensated by the return of Nick Gibb, which I didn't know then.

* From BBC News: "Andy Atkins, of Friends of the Earth, said the organisation welcomed the appointment of Liz Truss as Environment Secretary and hoped to work with her to "clean up the mess left by her predecessor". He said Owen Paterson was the "worst environment secretary the UK has had for decades". Earlier this year, some victims of persistent flooding were also critical of Mr Paterson."

IMO flooding was pretty directly the result of budget cuts. Worse failures were the idiotic persistence with the badger cull when expert studies (albeit not conclusive) suggested that they were so unsuccessful that they would worsen bovine TB; and not implementing previous policies aimed at coping with climate change.
Last edited by kenm on Wed Jul 16, 2014 12:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"... the innovator has as enemies all those who have done well under the old regime, and only lukewarm allies among those who may do well under the new." Niccolo Macchiavelli, "The Prince", Chapter 6

chew8
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Re: Reshuffle: Gove moved

Post by chew8 » Tue Jul 15, 2014 3:37 pm

The good news is that Nick Gibb is apparently back as Minister of State for Schools.

Jenny C.

kenm
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Re: Reshuffle: Gove moved

Post by kenm » Tue Jul 15, 2014 5:10 pm

chew8 wrote:The good news is that Nick Gibb is apparently back as Minister of State for Schools.
Yes! Very good news!
The Telegraph web site wrote:However while Nick Gibb, who has been brought in as an Education minister, attended Bedford Modern School in Maidstone, a public school but went on to a grammar school and the comprehensive as Elizabeth Truss.
Is this muddled sentence an indication that the reporter doesn't know that Bedford Modern School is in Bedford? It is "Modern" because it was renamed in 1873, when its "modern" curriculum contrasted with that of Bedford School (founded 1552). BMS's origins were in 1566, when it was "The Writing School". Gibb went to Maidstone Grammar School later.
"... the innovator has as enemies all those who have done well under the old regime, and only lukewarm allies among those who may do well under the new." Niccolo Macchiavelli, "The Prince", Chapter 6

JIM CURRAN
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Re: Reshuffle: Gove moved

Post by JIM CURRAN » Tue Jul 15, 2014 6:10 pm

Yes Jenny, great news about Nick Gibb.

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Debbie Hepplewhite
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Re: Reshuffle: Gove moved and Nick Gibb reinstated

Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Tue Jul 15, 2014 7:38 pm

I've taken the liberty of adjusting the title of this thread to include 'and Nick Gibb reinstated' because this is such big news for RRFers - and much welcomed. :grin:

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Susan Godsland
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Re: Reshuffle: Gove moved and Nick Gibb reinstated

Post by Susan Godsland » Fri Jul 18, 2014 7:16 am

http://www.bognor.co.uk/news/local/mp-v ... -1-6181790
Mr Gibb said he was still committed to the phonic method of teaching reading.

“Phonics is absolutely key to that. We’ve had three years of phonics testing of six-year-olds taken each June.

“The results are broken down in local authority areas and I will be looking at the disparities between them.

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Re: Reshuffle: Gove moved and Nick Gibb reinstated

Post by john walker » Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:07 am

I'm surprised that no-one has commented on Michael Gove's sacking. I replied to Philip Collins's piece 'Sack your most dynamic minister? Pathetic' in The Times as follows:
Terrific piece, Philip Collins! As you say, moving Michael Gove will not induce teachers to vote Tory at the next election. Cameron has shown yet again that he has abysmal political instincts.

What you didn't say about Gove is that he is the only minister of education for many years who has had a clear understanding of what is needed to put England back into the premier league of nations when it comes to education. He might have made some tactical gaffes but strategically he had no peer because he was interested enough to read the research; that and the fact that he cared deeply about the life chances of every child no matter how impoverished their background.

I've a fancy we'll look back in years to come and see this moment as yet one more in a long line of squandered opportunities for serious, long-lasting reform in education.
I've since been re-reading Melanie Phillips's All Must Have Prizes (in which Jenny Chew gets a number of nods of approval). Phillips's book, written in the nineties, shows just how difficult it is to effect change in education and how deeply embedded progressivist thinking is. Many of the current crop of publications arguing the case for structure, practice and rigour are to be welcomed but Phillips's diatribe against the blob is in a class of its own.
People might not have liked Michael Gove but, unlike most politicians, at least he could be classified as a vertebrate.
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Re: Reshuffle: Gove moved and Nick Gibb reinstated

Post by Susan Godsland » Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:55 am

John, Debbie collected the 'Gove Goes' stories together on her message board.

http://www.phonicsinternational.com/for ... .php?t=692

Melanie Phillips's All Must Have Prizes was the original Progressively Worse (Robert Peal)

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Re: Reshuffle: Gove moved and Nick Gibb reinstated

Post by john walker » Sun Jul 27, 2014 10:22 am

Thanks for this, Susan. :grin: I missed Debbie's post - I've been training and haven't had much time - and will have a look.
Peal is a superb writer, though with a starred first in history it's not surprising. Nevertheless, he's very modest and is punctilious about acknowledging his sources. For those who haven't come across him, you can read his blog here: http://goodbyemisterhunter.wordpress.com/
And his book Progressively Worse provides an excellent commentary on what's gone wrong in education and why.
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elsiep
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Re: Reshuffle: Gove moved and Nick Gibb reinstated

Post by elsiep » Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:54 am

I think Peal's book is awful. It's essentially polemic. He uses loosely defined terms, his data analysis is superficial, he cites only evidence that supports his case and admits on his blog that despite the claim in the book's title, data doesn't exist pre-1948 for us to determine what 'worse' actually refers to. He might be a brilliant historian, but appears to have little experience in research.

The value of his book is that it does provide an overview of policy changes in education from the 1960s to the present.

elsiep

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Re: Reshuffle: Gove moved and Nick Gibb reinstated

Post by john walker » Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:23 am

Oh well, I shouldn't joke but Peal's book rings so true to me. At first, I didn't realise how young he is and thought that much of his writing must have come from experience. I taught right across the educational spectrum from the end of sixties all the way through to, well, now and I thought he pretty much nailed it.
John Walker
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elsiep
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Re: Reshuffle: Gove moved and Nick Gibb reinstated

Post by elsiep » Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:52 am

As I said, it's a useful source of information on educational policy from Plowden to the present, but little data showing what has actually got worse and why.

He cites examples of extreme cases, which those of us who heard about them at the time will recall because they are extreme cases, but almost nothing on the situation pre-Plowden. Was the English education system at that time a shining example to the rest of the world? Well, it might have been if you managed to get into a grammar school - or not, depending on the school. If you left an elementary school at 14 or went to a secondary modern until 15 your experience might have been different.

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Re: Reshuffle: Gove moved and Nick Gibb reinstated

Post by elsiep » Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:53 am

And your dreadful pun is forgiven.

elsiep

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