No love for Gove


- Credit: Archant

Many will have been perplexed at your report that the main issue raised by Sidmouth voters in the recent county council elections was gay marriage (Herald, May 17, page 5).

The county council has no authority in such matters, but it is, crucially, our local education authority.

What do the electorate think of the way our secretary of state for education was heckled and jeered by the National Association of Head Teachers at the weekend?

I have 50 years’ experience as a teacher and educationist. I found this a regrettable but striking symptom of one of the most pressing issues facing society.

The relentless campaign of Michael Gove (whose name does not rhyme with “love”) to intensify the “nu Labor” programme of contempt for professional teachers by deploying a gang of ignorant bullies (academies and Ofsted) to enforce – in state schools only – a reductive curriculum intended to eliminate creative enquiry and produce compliant unquestioning wage slaves at minimum cost, is in my view a betrayal of our heritage and of our future. Resistance is not useless.

I note the Sidbury county councillor Claire Wright’s view (at “The cabinet ... including Gove, seem to resemble a bunch of ruthless hatchet men who spend about five minutes thinking through their plans for ‘reform’.”

I believe this view is shared increasingly widely here in Sidmouth. Let us hope that the new Devon County Council is courageous enough to support the concerns of our nation’s headteachers. I would therefore urge responsible citizens to support any education authority councillors who take this issue seriously.

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Robert Crick

Glenisla Terrace