A hundred reasons to listen

5th April 2013 at 01:00

Michael Gove recently responded to the 100 academics who criticised the weaknesses of the new draft primary curriculum with a ferocious attack, labelling the group "Marxist" and "enemies of promise". Although I may be the least of the 100 signatories, perhaps I might reply.

The fact that Mr Gove has identified that three of the signatories have political views he finds abhorrent is a mischievous diversion. I know few of my fellow signatories personally, but according to even Mr Gove's arithmetic it would seem that at least 97 of the 100 who signed have agreed with the critique of a poorly designed curriculum, not to an agreement with any other's political ideology.

The criticism was a response to his blinkered, almost messianic, self-belief that appears to have ignored the expertise and wisdom of the people he claims to have consulted.

Mr Gove falsely accuses us of criticising things that we do not, while ignoring issues with the curriculum that have been raised. Children's futures depend on getting the new curriculum right, and people in high office would do well to listen carefully, rather than respond with outbursts bordering on hysteria.

Ralph Manning, Lecturer in primary education, University of East Anglia.

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