Education and Politics · Uncategorized

THE PROBLEM OF POLITICIANS AND EDUCATION: HARRIET HARMAN AND MICHAEL GOVE

So there I was sat in  my living room watching TV.  Skylanders, as it happens,  rather empty “headidly”. Admittedly it was with with the kind of ambivalence and apathy I usually reserve for professional development sessions titled “How to ask a question?” or “What is differentiation?”. Or most of them if I’m honest.

Advanced practitioners maybe fantastic in a classroom, even if some cynics (not moi obviously) say that their main talent seems to be their ability, to be able to do, exactly what they are told to do.  In professional development sessions, however,  they seem to combine a one finger prod through power points, with the kind of soporific monotonal delivery that would put an insomniac to sleep within seconds.

For those not familiar with Skylanders it’s an XBOX game whereby imaginary animals zap things. I cannot elucidate further, other than whatever it is that zaps whatever it is, costs me eight quid every time I go to Tesco. Amazingly enough the TV changed to something looking mildly intelligent. I don’t know how. Perhaps it was some kind of miracle. Anyway my initial impressions had deceived me. It wasn’t anything mildly intelligent, it was Michael Gove wearing a rather heavy framed set of spectacles. I know I know I’m being harsh, Gove went to Oxford and is far more intelligent than I. It’s my BLOG, I’ll say what I want.

If the spectacles were worn with the intention of making Michael Gove look intelligent, then it does kind of work. What did work spectacularly, was the sight of Harriet Harman sat next to him. Suddenly Gove looked like an intellectual giant. I tuned in, which is not that spectacularly tuned in I must admit. Andrew Marr posed a question, which went something like this, “you have just seen Michael Gove making a spirited defence of the removal of Baroness Morgan from her position at OFSTED, what do you think about that?”

Well, I positively began to salivate. Michael Gove was heading for a kicking. This was going to be fun. So many issues to play with, an open goal in front of you. the politicisation of OFSTED, political nepotism, the opposition to Free schools by OFSTED, where to begin was the only question.

Imagine my surprise when Harriet Harman said something along the lines of, “Well yes, all this education stuff is fine but what about women? You’ve just sacked a woman”. And then launched into a rant about women in politics. A noble cause but hardly Michael Gove’s fault. Even in the Guardian.

Gove said, well yes, I appointed Barroness Morgan to the position and I agree. Harriet Harman then made some inane comments about Gove appointing a woman and then sacking her, and asked Gove whether he was going to appoint another woman? Gove replied “Yadda yadda yadda selection process yadda yadda yadda”.

And that was it. I thought who on earth could make such  pointless, off topic comments, completely out of context and spectacularly missing the point. And then it struck me. Who better for OFSTED? Harriet Harman of course, a match made in Westminster. She could help them with their Inspection reports.

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