Education cuts based on wrong figures

              Michael Gove can’t Count

Michael Gove Secretary of State for Education and Surrey Heath MP is dangerously bad with numbers. Worse than this he has used his incomprehension to justify all his sweeping changes to education in this country.

In order to justify the creation of academies and free schools he uses the figures from triennial international tests for 15 year olds for 2000. According to Gove these show us at 25th for reading, 27th for maths, and 4th for science. Unfortunately he has just received a letter from Andrew Dilnot, Chair of the UK Statistics Authority rebuking him for distorting the real figures. The real figures show us 7th in reading, 8th in maths, and sixth in science.

Michael Gove employs his figures to seek to justify a supposed decline in standards coinciding with Labour’s period in office. In fact more recent surveys put us in the world’s top five in terms of educational attainment beaten only by the Pacific Rim countries. In cognitive skills and educational attainment we are ahead of other European countries and the US according to recent research published by Pearson.

Genuine research also shows that despite the extra money Gove is channelling to academies, their performance is still not better than the schools managed by the local councils he continually maligns. Unfortunately he does not feel it necessary to justify his changes on the basis of genuine statistical evidence because all he needs is a smokescreen in order to see our schools taken over by private companies seeking to make a profit from their operation.

Murray Rowlands

Chair Surrey Labour Party

 

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