Mr Gove's bright ideas fail to impress

6th January 2012 at 00:00

A friend ordered a shower tray from Ikea. It took three deliveries from Cardiff to Oxford before he got the size he ordered. A plumber friend ordered one from the main local supplier. It sent the wrong size. My daughter ordered a jacket in a size 8 from HM online. Not only did it take twice the promised seven to 11 days, but it arrived as an outsized man's jacket.

Anaesthesia is managed in operating theatres worldwide by computers. Some shops have no checkout staff. A graduate with a first in psychology finds work arranging fruit and vegetables in a supermarket. A garage attendant uses a calculator to find the cost of two 14p Mars bars. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is developing computers to copy the electrical and chemical signals in the human brain that control data analysis, reactions and related thought, and then decisions.

We do not need a new curriculum, Mr Gove, so much as a pathway to the survival of the human brain as a powerful, reflective and practical machine. The majority of present and past education policy has little in it to achieve this.

Mervyn Benford, Information officer, National Association for Small Schools.

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