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Burnham For Mayor

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

New league tables will have devastating effect on morale.

I am worried that Michael Gove’s new league tables will have a devastating effect on morale in our schools and create a new generation of failing schools.

Labour supports academic rigour, which is why we included English and Maths in performance tables and promoted an increase in the take up of separate sciences. But we also support student choice which this prescriptive and narrow English Bac will take away.

This Government preaches autonomy and choice, but its actions are top-down and backward-looking. Michael Gove’s message to young people – that they can study Latin but not ICT – show he is not living in the real world.

The Secretary of State seems intent on rubbishing the achievements of heads, teachers and students who will struggle to see the fairness in why they should now be judged on something they only learned about seven weeks ago.

You would think that Mr Gove had learned his lesson from recent U-turns he has been forced to make. But yet again we see him rushing through his changes at breakneck speed and with no consultation.

As a result, improving schools in some of the most challenging areas will see themselves plummet down the league tables – putting at risk all of the progress they have made. It will knock the stuffing out of them, particularly those that have worked hard to improve standards for all children and offer a mix of academic and vocational learning.