The Week

9th July 2010 at 01:00

First the Tories came for Becta. Then they came for the QCDA and the GTC. Now, this week, they came for the teaching assistant training budget, Building Schools for the Future and the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile. (What's an education journalist to do with all this accumulated, but now redundant, acronym knowledge? Throw it away? What a waste.) Soon there will be no edu-quangos left. Oh, and no local education departments. Just Michael Gove, his mobile phone and 30,000 schools. What interesting times we live in.

Well, that was one helluva week, eh? It's almost as if the Government is rushing out announcements before the end of term and the beginning of the school and parliamentary holidays. It probably is. Sunday saw the announcement of the wholesale reform of A-levels (or not, if the head of Harrow gets his way), Monday the death of BSF, Tuesday a review of early years and Wednesday an overhaul of teachers' search powers.

Where teachers can only search for concealed weapons, now they can rifle through their pupils for most of life's pleasures. What's that in your bag, little Jonny? Some Dutch porn? I'll have that. Tracy, what's that I see concealed behind your back? A 25-year-old single malt? That'll be coming with me. Sam, is that some miaow-miaow you appear to be pocketing? I'll be dishing that out at the end-of-year staff disco (or is it now illegal?).

But p'raps the most significant moment of what was a fairly momentous week went almost unmarked by Her Majesty's Fourth Estate. This was, of course, when Michael Gove almost flippantly announced on Tuesday that next year's Sats would go ahead unreformed. So there you have it. It's almost as if May's boycott never happened. Almost as if Gove had never promised a review. Ah well, better dust down that "no more useless tests" placard.

And then, of course, there was that Panorama programme on Monday. But we can leave an analysis of its many failings to the chap on the left.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a TES/ TESS subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


Get Tes online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to Tes online and the Tes app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off Tes Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the Tes online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order today