Schools minister refuses to answer grammar question after 'bitter experience'

10th May 2016 at 15:36
grammar
Minister steers clear of question about the sentence: 'My baby was born in hospital, in the hospital where my father works'

The schools minister declined to answer a grammar question after being quizzed in the House of Commons.

Nick Gibb told fellow MPs that he had "learned through bitter experience not to respond to that kind of provocation" after being questioned by Labour MP Helen Goodman.

Mr Gibb became the subject of a media storm last week after he apparently failed to differentiate between a preposition and a subordinating conjunction, when given a question for 11-year-olds, while appearing on BBC Radio 4's World at One.

'Bitter experience'

Asking a question following Mr Gibb's statement on leaks of key stage 2 Sats tests today, Ms Goodman, MP for Bishop Auckland, said: "I want to give the minister a second chance. In the sentence, 'My baby was born in hospital, in the hospital where my father works,' are the words 'where my father works' a preposition phrase, a relative clause, a main clause or a noun phrase?"

To laughter on the Labour benches, Mr Gibb responded: "Well it's a very clever, clever question she asks, but I have learned through bitter experience not to respond to that kind of provocation."

Want to keep up with the latest education news and opinion? Follow TES on Twitter and like TES on Facebook

 

Loved these articles?

Log in or register for FREE to continue reading.

It only takes a moment and you’ll get access to more news, courses, jobs and teaching resources.

Login/Register now

Comments

Related Content

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now