Battle lines drawn in fight to remove politics from education

2nd April 2010 at 01:00

This election is a good time to push hard for education to be taken out of politics. It is time to take control of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment away from the amateurs in Government and put it in the hands of those who by training and professional commitment understand the needs of young people and work hard to respond to them.

What is the alternative? Not a return to the "secret gardens" of mid-20th-century primary schools. Nor should we continue with what we have now: a set of formal gardens - open to all, carefully weeded, but everyone with the same layout and plants.

What we should look for are more creative gardens, where the gates are open, but the Government keeps out.

In classrooms all teachers should strive for wonders, developing the children as rounded human beings who can read, write, do sums, as well as think for themselves, express their ideas and enjoy learning and the world at large. Teachers would work together and they would also involve parents, governors, neighbouring schools, national bodies and local communities.

How could this come about? A start would be if members of the next Parliament realised that many teachers are angry, frustrated and despondent at the way national politicians, here today and gone tomorrow, think they know the answers to educational problems.

Send your views to and I will post them on

Emeritus Professor Michael Bassey, Nottingham Trent University.

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