Fact, fact, fact! Who put the philistines in charge?

22nd June 2012 at 01:00

How appropriate, in this Dickens anniversary year, that Michael Gove and his stooges should reintroduce "Hard Times" as the basis for a new educational philosophy. "Teach 'em facts, nowt but facts" is the new mantra. Like your columnist Amy Winston ("Use your imagination," 15 June), I would prefer to quote Einstein (who, by the way, is unlikely to have been able to pass his phonics test at 5 years old) and emphasise the importance of informed creative thinking and imagination. We all need to know things, and of course teachers want children by the age of 11 to read, write and be numerate. No one would argue that we don't care about standards and it's disingenuous to assert otherwise. Mr Gove's review is invalid. If half of the members of the panel disassociate themselves, surely it's time for a rethink? But let's make no mistake: there's a political agenda that remains paramount. Grammar schools, so-called "free schools" and privatisation for the few are the order of the day. Fortunately Mr Gove will come and go, while those who really care about making a difference to the lives of our children will remain steadfast. It's time to stand up and be counted and be clear about what we know is right.

Carol Machell, Headteacher, Broadgreen Primary School, Liverpool.

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