Offensive side of Gove's academies reform

13th January 2012 at 00:00

How offensive of Mr Gove to make his recent pro-academy speech ("Gove vows to press on with academies reform", 6 January). I am a headteacher of a school rated as outstanding and a National Leader of Education and can reassure him that we are certainly not "happy with failure" - far from it. I and hundreds of my colleagues have spent years challenging underachievement and failure and ensuring that, in our schools and those we support, children get the very best.

We looked at academy status and felt that it wasn't for us, as have countless other headteachers and governing bodies. Indeed, to date, only 7 per cent of schools have gone down this route and just 2 per cent of primaries, which is a clear indication that this status isn't valued by the overwhelming majority of headteachers.

I honestly believed that Mr Gove was willing to listen to and work with professionals, but unfortunately, as so often happens, politics seems to be far more important to him than the view that more than 92 per cent of headteachers and governing bodies wish not to become academies.

I hope Mr Gove genuinely wants to work with all heads to secure the best for all children and isn't just listening to the few academy heads, since he will get a very skewed message far removed from the reality for most of us. This will be disastrous for England's children, who need schools that are led on the basis of sound educational reasoning, as opposed to the ever-changing political dogma that has plagued our schools for decades.

Dominic Cragoe, Headteacher, Sheringham Community Primary and Nursery, North Norfolk.

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