Gove adds fuel to the fire

Whatever your view of this Thursday’s strike action, you would think this would be a time for cool heads. A tense situation needs careful handling yet, in piles the Education Secretary, urging parents to break the strike and take the place of teachers in the classroom.

This is dotty on so many levels. These parents would need to be supervised – so who would be free to do that? What exactly would they teach? What would happen, say, if there was an accident? Or a badly misbehaving pupil? Head Teachers and Governors would have a lot of explaining to do (and be without a leg to stand on) if something went wrong.

Aside from the practicalities, Gove is also sending the message that teaching is an amateurish pursuit which anyone can have a go at, and do to satisfactory standard at the drop of a hat. Causing offence and being provocative at such a time is a very peculiar tactic. The effect of such disrespect, rather than diffusing the situation, will be to rally more and more teachers to the union cause

More perniciously, Gove’s words seek to drive a wedge between the two most important people in a child’s learning and development: teacher and parent. Where there is trust, understanding and dialogue between teacher and parent, the child benefits.

Parents may – or may not – support the strike action. If they don’t, there is no reason why this relationship should collapse as a result; it should be strong enough and mature enough to withstand a difference of opinion.

But why should the Education Secretary decide to strain this relationship, to push it past breaking point, by saying it would be ‘great’ if parents, this Thursday, became strike-breakers.

When a dangerous fire is beginning to burn, Mr Gove, wouldn’t it be wise to dampen it down; to calmly put it out rather than adding more fuel?

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7 Comments

Filed under Michael Gove, Politics - general, Schools

7 responses to “Gove adds fuel to the fire

  1. damn! you got there first with many of the arguments that *I* was going to make… oh well: I will just have to go ahead and make them anyway…

  2. aaaaa

    How could a parent ever deal with a misbehaving child, or a child who had an accident? Doesn’t bear thinking about!

    • Do you see no distinction between parenting a child and managing the behaviour of a class of thirty? It’s not the same thing. And I’d be concerned about an inexperienced person being responsible for the safety of large groups of children. I don’t know if you are a teacher, but when you are taking a class and a child is hurt it can be an extremely challenging situation which needs careful handling – of both the child concerned and the rest of the class. You shouldn’t be so blase about these things.

  3. I am beginning to think Gove has no real understanding of how schools work. He is a danger to our profession when he should be championing teachers and education – not undermining us with his ridiculous nonsensical ideas.

    • totally agree with u! Goves so called ‘thinking’ will ultimately put children at risk! The trouble seems to be that Gove is to swayed by ‘typical tory views’, politics and education should be seperated! It’s ridiculous how much things change when a new party comes in – things should change for the better not just for the sake of it!

  4. What I find amusing as well as everything you mentioned above is that Gove said that closing schools on Thursday would cause families a lot of disruption (issues like childcare), well where are these parents coming from to take lessons then?! THIS MAN JUST DOES NOT THINK THINGS THROUGH! :O

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