1. National

Gove adviser: Genetics claim

In a controversial thesis, special adviser to Michael Gove, Dominic Cummings has argued that an individual child's performance is primarily based on genetics and a child's IQ, rather than the quality of teaching.

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  1. Libby Wiener

Lord Baker dismisses 'unhelpful' genetics teaching claim

Lord Baker pictured in 2010. Credit: Empics

The former Education Secretary Lord Baker has waded into the row over a Tory special adviser's comments on the influence of genetics on school performance.

In a leaked memo, Dominic Cummings, who is stepping down as special adviser to the Education Secretary Michael Gove, suggested 70% of a child's abilities might be down to genetics.

He was quoting research from the behavioural geneticist, Professor Robert Plomin.

Lord Baker told ITV News: "I don't think that's accurate or helpful. If it's all genetics, why bother to have schools?"

He was speaking ahead of the launch of a new type of secondary school - a "career college" - which is backed by his educational charity, the Edge Foundation.

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