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What is Michael Gove really up to? Dissecting the new school wars...

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Katie O'Donovan.

Drinks and nibbles served. All welcome. Please contact Katie (ko271@cam.ac.uk) by 24th February if you are planning to attend. No charge for the seminar but we will be collecting for the Agona Asafo community library.

Leadership for Learning Supper Seminar with Melissa Benn

Education Secretary Michael Gove has launched a torrent of initiatives aimed at fundamentally changing the landscape of English education. Naturally, the rhetoric is all about school improvement. Yet nothing is quite as it seems with Gove’s so called ‘quiet revolution.’ In the name of autonomy and freedom, schools are passing away from the oversight of elected local authorities into the hands of a growing array of unaccountable charitable and other providers – including, it is now clear, for-profit companies – answerable only to Whitehall. Data now emerging on the performance of academies suggests, at best, a mixed picture of success. At the same time, academic rigour for all, within a non selective framework, is promoted as a central aim. Yet grammar schools are being allowed to expand, if on the sly, while vocational provision is being fundamentally reorganised. What will all these changes mean for our schools of the future in terms of both quality and equality? Is this a return to the stratification of the 1994 settlement via the quasi-market rather than the state? And how should those who oppose the Coalition’s direction of travel present the arguments for a more unified, fairer system in the 21st century?

This talk is part of the Leadership for Learning: The Cambridge Network series.

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