Schools don't need permission to do right

30th November 2012 at 00:00

I was with John Bangs as I read his letter ("International evidence points the other way", 23 November), right up until his conclusion. Yes, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's indictment of the coalition's reforms is seismic. Yes, Andreas Schleicher's remarks support the conclusion that Michael Gove's policies are based on ideological zeal, not evidence-based pragmatism. And yes, we need autonomous and creative professionals, not overburdened and directed plebs drilling kids in exam technique. But for Bangs to conclude that professionals need to wait for Gove to do a U-turn before they can change makes it sound as if he has already thrown in the towel. Schools, whatever their status, don't need Gove's permission to be "rebels". As was apparent at last week's Whole Education conference, many are using the freedoms available to them now to great effect and sharing their experiences without feeling the need to ask sir if it's OK. We need the profession to be confident, not constrained, and that means teachers not allowing themselves to be bullied into doing what they know is wrong.

Ben Gibbs, Consultant and associate governor, Ely College.

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