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Gove says if you fail, it’s your fault

March 3, 2011

 On the one hand, this is the government of the Big Society. Collective responsibility. Self-reliance bolstered with communities working together. High aspirations and personal commitment to a better ourselves.

On the other hand, this is the government of the Big Seize. The cessation of Building Schools for Future. The reduction of Higher Education funding by 80%. The removal of Local Authorities from the education system.

A review of vocational study, by leading academic Professor Alison Wolf of King’s College London, warns that 37 per cent of students achieve neither maths nor English GCSE at grades A* to C. Of this group, only two per cent go on to achieve both by age 18.

There is little value forcing young people to retake and retake exams if you don’t acknowledge the conditions that aren’t enabling them to achieve in core subjects. Schools and colleges that force young people into vocational courses are failing young people. Governments that won’t rebuild crumbling schools and the removal of EMA are failing our young people. This government is closing libraries, removing funding for before and after school provision, not to mention its previous proposal to scrap BookStart.

Gove is talking about how low the standard of learning is, but not looking at the standard of teaching or the learning environment. He gives no indication of any intent to either. The message from the government to the public sector these days is ‘do more with less’. It looks like this is the message for our youth, too.

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