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Leading head teacher complains to Michael Gove

Video. A leading head teacher, who has embraced many of the government's new education policies, is criticising the Education Secretary over last minute changes to rules over GCSE exams.

Simon Spiers, of King Alfred's Academy at Wantage in Oxfordshire, has written a scathing letter to Michael Gove. He says the changes will cause chaos and affect his school's results - and has hit back at claims that schools are "gaming" the exam system.

But the government says the changes are in the best interests of students.

Christine Alsford has this exclusive report.

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  1. National

Michael Gove: People voted for UKIP 'as a protest'

The Conservative Education Secretary Michael Gove told Daybreak that UKIP's success in the Eastleigh by-election is purely down to "protest."

He said: "People from Lib Democrat ranks and Conservative, were voting UKIP because they wanted to register a sense of pain and frustration at a difficult time for the country."

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East Sussex County Council responds to Gove's school standards criticism

Education Secretary Michael Gove has criticised school standards in East Sussex and says more there need to be turned into academies. But East Sussex County Council says his comments are unfounded and have challenged him to meet them face-to-face. The local authority's statement is below.

“We continue to be puzzled by this inaccurate criticism of our attitude to academy status and are surprised the Secretary of State continues to make it. We would welcome the opportunity to give Mr Gove an up-to-date briefing in person so that he can understand the position in East Sussexbetter. Almost half of our secondary schools (11 out of 26) are now academies, and we are co-sponsors of three secondary academies in Hastings and Eastbourne.

Also, last year, together with the Department for Education, we brokered sponsors for four primary academies. In addition to this we have been in close dialogue with Govt officials, and a number of potential sponsors, about a number of under-performing schools and academy status. So it is simply not accurate for the Govt to suggest we are resistant to schools becoming academies.”

– Cllr Nick Bennett, Lead Member for Learning & School Effectiveness, East Sussex County Council

The academy effect

A year ago Heyworth Primary School in Hayward's Heath in West Sussex was ordered to become an academy. A local secondary school was brought in to help as a sponsor. A year on - exam results are up and applications for the school have increased by more than 30 per cent.

Our social affairs correspondent Christine Alsford went to visit. She spoke to Steve Davis, the headteacher of the newly named Warden Park Primary Academy, the chief executive of the sponsoring Warden Park Academy Trust, Steve Johnson - and the proud pupils.

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