Thursday, 9 September 2010

Back to school

I've written the cover feature for this week's Public Finance, analysing how Michael Gove's education policies look at the start of the new school year. You can read the article here. Here's a sampler:

As a new school term begins, Education Secretary Michael Gove hopes to breathe fresh life into his troubled education plans. The pace of reform has been slow and headlines have focused on Gove’s botched review of Labour’s school building programme. Only 23% of people think the coalition is doing a good job on school reform, according to last month’s polls, with 42% saying it is doing a bad job.Gove is hoping to regain the initiative – and his reputation as one of Prime Minister David Cameron’s star performers – with plans for a pupil premium, an overhaul of the curriculum and a review of capital investment in schools. But the success of these measures will depend on how his department fares in October’s Comprehensive Spending Review........Gove entered government with a ­reputation for radicalism and sure-footedness and many Cameron supporters saw his reforms as central to their project in power. That reputation has been seriously dented in the coalition’s first four months in office, and the extent to which he can recover will depend on his ability to advance his radical agenda while minimising the frontline impact of Treasury cuts this autumn. How he negotiates that difficult balancing act will determine not only whether his reputation for radicalism survives the pressures of government – but the futures of millions of schoolchildren and their teachers as they return from their summer holidays.

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