Michael Gove vows to break down education's 'Berlin Wall'

Education Secretary Michael Gove is vowing to break down the "Berlin Wall" between state and private schools in education. In a keynote speech today, Mr Gove said state schools were no longer 'bog standard'.

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Labour: Raising quality of teaching must be priority

Schools standards will only improve once the quality of teaching in classrooms is raised, shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt has said.

Michael Gove earlier put forward proposals to shake-up the education system which he hopes will end the "Berlin Wall" divide between state and private school sectors.

Raising the quality of teaching in the classroom must be the priority, according to Labour. Credit: PA Wire

"Improving school standards starts with a qualified teacher in every classroom. Until Michael Gove commits to this, he is ruling himself out of any serious debate about how we raise standards in our schools," Mr Hunt, said.

"Whether on discipline, delivering extra-curricular activities or on improving learning outcomes, it all hinges on the quality of the teacher in the classroom.

"Raising the quality of teaching - that is where the focus needs to be and that is what Labour is concerned with. The Tories have lost sight of this and are undermining school standards as a result."

Read: The key points in Michael Gove's speech

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Gove should stop 'messing' with national curriculum

Christine Blower, leader of the National Union of Teachers has accused Education Secretary Michael Gove of "messing with the national curriculum" and challenged him to visit more state schools.

"We would like him to walk around a lot more state schools, not just free schools and academies that are state funded. He would see there are plenty places doing after school clubs, sport and drama," said Blower.

"It would also be a good idea if Michael Gove stopped messing about with national curriculum and allowed the kind of curriculum freedoms that exists in some schools to exist in all schools," she said.

Blower added that Gove was "absolutely wrong" on his suggestion that more testing in schools is needed and claimed his calls for more power and freedom for teachers' to discipline students implied that state schools are "chaotic".

Michael Gove speech: the key points

Education Secretary Michael Gove said he wants state schools to become indistinguishable from private schools in a speech in East London, with a focus on more rigorous testing, increased power and freedom for teachers and longer school days.

  • He called for more testing, including taking the common entrance exam by 13 year olds in some private schools. Gove also backed plans for individual secondary schools to be able to take the OECD's international Pisa tests.
  • Head teachers need to be granted more power to search pupils and "to discipline pupils for behaviour beyond the school gates," he said. Teachers should also be free to give same day detentions to students who misbehave without giving parents notice.
  • State schools should introduce longer school days and replicate the independent school model where pupils spend nine or 10 hours at school a day, making more time for after curricular activities and study sessions.

Gove: 'Politeness' in schools should be 'second nature'

In a speech in East London, Education Secretary Michael Gove has said that head teachers need to be given "more power and freedom" to ensure pupil's behaviour is "exemplary".

Education Secretary Michael Gove gives a speech at Conservative Campaign Headquarters in central London.
Education Secretary Michael Gove gives a speech at Conservative Campaign Headquarters in central London. Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

The education secretary said pupils should not just be complying with "basic rules", but head teachers need more power to ensure "politeness" becomes "second nature".

He said teacher's powers to search pupils have been strengthened, not just for items to cause harm, but for any item deemed inappropriate.

"They do not need to give parents notice, they can remove responsibilities and privileges," he said."We trust the professionalism off our teachers," he added.

Gove vows to break down education's 'Berlin Wall'

Education Secretary Michael Gove will vow to break down the "Berlin Wall" between private and state schools in education - opening up the opportunities available in the independent sector to more pupils than ever before.

Education Secretary Michael Gove. Credit: PA

Mr Gove will say in a keynote speech that his ambition is to raise standards in the state schools in England to the point where they are indistinguishable from their fee-paying counterparts.

He will say the evidence shows "beyond any reasonable doubt" that English state education is starting to show a "sustained and significant improvement", in a speech at the London Academy of Excellence.

The Education Secretary will say that England's state schools can become the best in the world by tapping into the expertise of the independent sector - which has already resulted in many independent schools sponsoring or co-sponsoring state academies.

His speech comes against a backdrop of bitter wrangling within the coalition, with the Liberal Democrats accusing Mr Gove of trying to "politicise" the schools inspectorate, Ofsted, following the removal of its chair, the Labour peer Baroness Morgan of Huyton.

Read: Gove - Government appoints people to public bodies 'on merit'

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ITV News readers share views on school punishments

ITV News readers have been sharing their views on new guidelines for teachers on dealing with misbehaving pupils in school.

The proposals include writing lines as well as more controversial, community-service style sanctions like picking up litter and cleaning up graffiti.

Having taught in behavioural schools where some of the hardest-to-teach children can be disciplined, I assure him [Michael Gove] there is little he can teach most in the profession. How about handing some power back to them instead of constantly undermining them.

– Karlene

Something needs to be done. I am sick and tired of my sons' education being disrupted by unruly kids who the teachers have no control over.

– Annie

Children are a product of their environment, change the environment with loving support, clear enforceable and reasonable boundaries - then you will have children and later in life individuals worth knowing.

– Tracey

What does Michael Gove mean by 'strong discipline'?

Education Secretary Michael Gove is due to release new guidelines next week on what forms of discipline are appropriate for teachers to use, the Mail on Sunday reports.

As well as writing out lines hundreds of times, the reportedly measures include "community service" style sanctions:

  • Writing lines
  • Reporting early to school
  • Losing privileges such as participating in non-uniform days
  • Picking up litter in playgrounds
  • Weeding
  • Tidying classrooms
  • Cleaning up graffiti

Union: Schools do not need 'one-size-fits-all advice'

The head of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) union has said that schools do not need more "one-size-fits-all advice".

Responding to guidelines for teachers on discipline, due to be released next week, Mary Bousted told BBC News:

While he [Education Secretary Michael Gove] says he wants to give school leaders and teachers the power to make the right decisions for their schools, he takes every opportunity to tell them what to do.

– Mary Bousted, general secretary, atl

Gove: Teachers should not be afraid to 'get tough'

Education Secretary Michael Gove, who has long railed against "trendy" teaching methods, said he wanted to send a message to teachers that they should not be afraid to "get tough" on bad behaviour in school.

Writing lines is tedious, monotonous, boring - and a perfect punishment for bad behaviour. Children need to learn the importance of strong discipline and to understand that misbehaving at school has consequences.

We are making crystal clear to teachers that telling children to write lines is an entirely appropriate punishment.

These new guidelines will give teachers the confidence to be tougher on bad behaviour and ensure every child has the chance to learn in a controlled, orderly environment.

– Education Secretary Michael Gove
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