Once every five years the teaching profession get a small break in the onslaught of bright ideas from the government. The next six months before the general election will see the cabinet focussing on re-election, all other bets are off. The new Minister for education, Nicky Morgan may wonder what her job actually is. Having replaced Michael Gove, more to stem his radical views in the election run up rather that a question of ability, she is now faced with toeing the line big time.
This may be music to the ears of teachers. No rushed half baked educational initiatives to confuse, disorientate and disrupt, perhaps well into the next academic year. Then the possibility of a complete new look from a completely new government, and a completely new educational policy from the new secretary of state for education. Doesn’t bear thinking about too much.
In the meantime we see some of Michael Gove educational initiatives falling apart at the seams. The free school concept, which has always been contentious and potentially fraught with operational issues, is wobbling. The use of converted old buildings, vacated by the local police etc. may not always be in the ideal location and costly to convert to a school. The staffing inevitably has to centre on attracting younger teachers who are prepared to take a significant career risk. School governers drawn from enthusiastic parents may loose enthusiasm once their cohort of offspring leave the school. Stir the melting pot and we have low attendance levels, a teaching crew of average age in their mid twenties , and overrun establishment costs which result in annual operating costs of £36k per pupil. There are exceptions; some free schools are showing healthy buds but we have to wait for a generation before the experiment can be proven. Either way we could see the next government throw it on the educational scrap heap, such is the way of things.