There have been, on average, two negative comment pieces a week in press releases or speeches from Ministers, DfE or Ofsted in the last six months. Here are but a few of them.
2nd December 2011. Quoted in the TES Sir Michael Wilshaw: ‘If anyone says to you that 'staff morale is at an all-time low', you know you are doing something right".
4th January 2012. Michael Gove described those who object to the Government's academy drive as "happy with failure" and "enemies of promise” “…..It's the bigoted, backward, bankrupt ideology of a Left-wing establishment that perpetuates division and denies opportunity. And it's an ideology that's been proven wrong time and time again."
11th January 2012. Michael Gove said, in a DfE press release announcing the scrapping of the ICT curriculum for computer science:
“Our school system has not prepared children for this new world. Millions have left school over the past decade without even the basics they need for a decent job.”
13th January 2012. First sentence of DfE press release on changes to appraisal/performance management regulations “Shake up of system will allow schools to sack weak teachers in a term”
9th February 2012. Ofsted press release on Michael Wilshaw’s ‘no excuses’ speech: “Quite simply, I believe we need radical improvements to the education system in this country. My view is that we have tolerated mediocrity for far too long – it has settled into the system.
2nd March 2012. Ofsted press release says there is not enough music in music lessons and that “one in five of the schools visited were judged inadequate”.
10th May 2012: Michael Gove in a speech at Brighton College “We know we are making progress when we hear the opposition from vested interests - from those in trade unions who put adults interests before children’s, from those in local Government who put protecting their power before fulfilling children's potential, from those who have acquiesced in a culture of low expectations who resist any form of accountability for failure”.
10th May 2012: Michael Wilshaw’s speech at Brighton College "[teachers] too often make excuses for poor performance - it's just too hard, the children are too difficult, the families are too unsupportive, this job is far too stressful.”