‘Demented Dalek’ loses Education in UK re-shuffle

| 15/07/2014

(CNS): Michael Gove, once described as the “most hated Education Secretary in history”, who spearheaded a number of major reforms of education including the transformation of many schools into academies or free schools, has been stripped of his portfolio in Prime Minister David Cameron’s Cabinet re-shuffle. As Britain gears up towards the next election, Gove’s unpopularity among teachers had become a liability. Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said the prime minister had “belatedly realised that Michael Gove’s ideological drive is no substitute for measured, pragmatic reform of the education system”.

“Time after time he has chased newspaper headlines rather than engage with teachers,” she said. “The dismantling of the structures which support schools, the antagonism which he displayed to the teaching profession and the increasing evidence of chaos in the bodies he established has led Cameron to one conclusion – Gove is more of a liability than an asset.

“Successful education systems value the views of the teaching profession, which Gove insulted when he called them ‘the blob’.”

A recent poll by the National Union of Teachers found that 79% of teachers believe that the current government has had a “negative impact on the education system” and more than 80% opposed the academies and free schools programme. 75% thought that morale in the teaching profession has fallen since the last general election.

Recently described by the NUT as "the demented Dalek on speed who wants to exterminate anything good in education that's come along since the 1950s”, Gove departure has been celebrated by teachers across the country.

Christine Blower, the NUT's general secretary, said Gove’s “vision for education is simply wrong. His pursuit of the unnecessary and often unwanted free schools and academies programme, the use of unqualified teachers, the failure to address the school place crisis and endless ill-thought out reforms to examinations and the curriculum has been his hallmark in office.

“Michael Gove’s search for headlines over speaking to the profession has clearly angered teachers. We remain in dispute over the direction of Government policy, which we believe is undermining the education service.”

Gove has been replaced by Nicky Morgan, the Minister for Women and Equality. While he and Cameron claimed that his new non-Cabinet position of chief whip was not a demotion, it is generally perceived as such.

However, the Ofsted chief, Sir Michael Wilshaw, said he was "surprised and shocked that this has happened".

"I'm a great admirer of the Secretary of State, I think he's been a transformative and radical minister of education." He said Gove had made some "substantial changes" to education, which would be lasting.

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  1. Anonyanmous says:

    Since we need help with our education and development policies why don't we ask Barbados they seem to be taking the right approach.





    • Anon says:

      I gather they have followed the old English 1944 Education Act selective  system for many years and focus on their bright kids. I presume like every other country in the world they have kids who are NOT bright. What do they do with them?

    • Anonymous says:

      Just to point out that kids leaving secondary education in Cayman are better qualified than in any other Caribbean nation including Barbados……..

  2. Anonyanmous says:

    Dear Hon. Education Minister, I trust that you will find this link useful.


  3. Anonyanmous says:

    Why are we working so hard to follow that which does not work? adopt the system that 
    Barbados, Cuba, Finland, Greenland and Luxembourgh has it is documented that these countries have 100 to 99.8 literacy rate in the entire world.  It is a fact that these countries make up the top 10 list of the best educated populace in the entire world.  Why do Cayman and our politicial always try to reinvent the  world? Cuba is next door and Barbados is in the Caribbean and a lot closer to Cayman than the UK, ask our neighbours for help with our education model because it is documented that their system works. 

    • Anonymous says:

      I am a primary school teacher here. You would not believe how incredibly slow and unprepared for and uninterested in education many Caymanian kids are and their parents do not even come by the school to see how they are doing. There is a HUGE problem but it is not only or mainly in the schools.

  4. Anonymous says:

    This is exactly why the press here needs regulation, for those bothered/educated/interested enough in this, it wouldn't take muchto realise that this is only one extreme view, unfortunately most readers won't read beyond this article and will amke their opinion based on that.

    Well done CNS again.

  5. Knot S Smart says:

    I am wondering how CNS was able to come up with the perfect title for this photo…

  6. Anonymous says:

    Tara Rivers will not be taking note because she is on an ideological mission which she has singularly failed to outline in any coherent way.  The changes she and C4c want are driven by one simple fact….they want to be able to sack under performing teachers.  Yet they do already have Performance Management in schools.  The problem is that status holders and caymanians cannot be sacked no matter how bad they are and they will continue to be hired into the system. Our state system obviously needs reforming in light of the findings of the David Moore report but, call it a novel idea, how about helping teachers get better at teaching, helping heads to become better leaders, giving new recruits jobs based on ability and not on nationality and implementing in john grey a behavious policy that has a chance of working.


    • Anonymous says:

      I am sure you are not recurring to Caymanian teachers.  Check how many their are employed.   They give them an hard time and they walk away.  

  7. Anonymous says:

    Dear 17:52.  Dont worry you are not recruiting any more from the uk as teachers from the uk mainly stay away.  The majority of recruits come from "non unionised" jamaica.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Alas Cameron decided it was better to fire polticians that were getting things done and rocking the establishment and replace them them bland candidates with the chromosomes that matched his new advisor's election strategy.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Oh my Lord.  I can't believe all the gullible readers posting comments about how Cayman is making the same "mistake" as the UK making schools self governing.  

    This article is completely one sided mostly based on comments from the head of the teachers union.  Of course the union head hates Gove and opposes his independent academies.  Independent academies are allowed to fire plead teachers when all unions do is protect them.  Academies are not bound by collective bargaining agreements that preclude performance related pay and promotions.  All teachers unions care about is teachers, not students.

    The CNS talking points against academies are all straight from the NUT propaganda:





  10. Anonymous says:

    Hope the jokers scribbling those editorials about education at the Washington Post (Cayman Compass Division) are taking note. Probably not as they are seemingly fixated on all things American. Breaking News : Cayman is not part of Washington D.C. (Check your maps!)

  11. Anonymous says:

    Has the Minister asked the teachers what they consider are the issues? Any sensible manager engages their staff, however if this is her first managerial assignment then ….hiccup…… we are probably fxxxted.

  12. Anon says:

    Anyone who pisses off UK teachers as much as Gove must have some good qualities and introduced some necessary reforms. They are a dire bunch of self indulgent unionised "don't touch me I know best" people. And we recruit the worst of them here. And we have been doing it for years.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if MLA Rivers has been holding conference calls with this guy?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Wont be supprised if he gets a job here to sparehead education reform

    • JTB says:

      That would be the best thing that could possibly happen to Cayman's school system

  15. Anonymous says:

    Wow.  At least this piece wasn't one sided!  So much for reporting the facts.

    In the hope of providing some balance, here is a link to the Economist's take on Gove.


    • Anon says:

      Thank you for this link, 14:41. Trust the Economist (and Bagehot) -the best magazine in the world -to get it just right.

  16. Savannah Resident says:

    I find this article nothing short of hilarious.  I'm willing to wager that no education expert will chime in to promote the "great UK education system" we adopted.   I hope the Ministry of Education/ Education department take note of the failing in this system before adopting these same principles into our school system.

    My two cents.

  17. Anonymous says:

    And this is the dude that our Education Minister wants to emulate? IMHO – the local education system does need reform – at the administrative level. The managers are completely out of touch. BUt the curriculum and majority of teachers are sound. Also – resources and budget need to be better allocated to ensure that students at both ends of the spectrum get their special needs met. Despite the well publicised negtives – the fact is, the majority of students are passing. The key is more resources, more teachers, smaller class sizes, more individual attention. It is possible. It just takes budget, commitment,planning and support. As usual in Cayman, those in the field suffer from the incompetence and confusion at the top. The Compass publisher, is using criticisms of our public education system to justify discrimination of Caymanians in the workforce. And the politicians elected to help us are stupidly falling in line. Very worrying for concerned Caymanian parents like me who can't afford private school tuition.

  18. Anonymous says:

    WELL WELL!!!! What do we have here? Seems we are in a similar position in Cayman. SMH.

    Why can't we lead instead of ALWAYS following others?

  19. Anonymous says:

    "substantial changes" to educatiaon which would be lasting……… lasting but perhaps in a negative way.  Reformers of our education system please take heed forthe sake of our children.