Take a break, Gove, your reforms aren't wanted

26th April 2013 at 01:00

It is open season in the press on education secretary Michael Gove and, to a lesser extent, on Ofsted's Sir Michael Wilshaw, as our increasingly Tesco-ised education system continues to be dragged into a sewer that makes Tony Blair's manic managerialism look like A.S. Neill's Summerhill School.

However, we need to be careful not to assume that these many admirable, cogently reasoned critiques will have any impact. For there are certain individuals who are not only impervious to logic and rational argument, and whose overriding drivers are ideology and personal ambition, but who, even worse, thrive and draw energy from such critiques while deluding themselves that they are the rational ones.

If progressives are going to find the best line for defeating the GoveWilshaw ideological offensive, I fear we are going to have to find more creative ways to do it; certainly, rational argument is not going to do the job. And I'm all too aware of the irony that this letter will itself only serve to feed this alien foreign body that is invading and capturing the whole education field.

Dr Richard House, Senior lecturer in early childhood studies, University of Winchester.

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