Gove plans further takeover of schools

Michael Gove

Michael Gove has further extended his policies over schools to encompass food served in the cafeteria.

Michael Gove has extended his tyranny over schools to include the food served in cafeterias. Gove is set to implement policies that ration the amount of fatty foods and sugary snacks served.

The number of deep fried products will be limited to two servings a week while sugary juice will be rationed to 150ml servings, in an attempt to combat child obesity. These policies will also cover new academies and free schools, which did not previously come under the food policy umbrella.

These restrictions follow a long line of controversial policies set out by Gove. Earlier this year there was uproar in response to changes proposed for the English literature curriculum. These encouraged the study of English authors such as Shakespeare, thereby limiting study of international authors.

Many teachers, students and parents resented this imposition as it could lessen time allocated to classics such as Harper lee's "to kill a mockingbird" and Steinbeck's "of mice and men." This may inhibit an education in a diverse range of literature.

Gove, the education secretary, has regularly been slated for his tsarist policies. His heavy handed curriculum reforms have not been eagerly received by all. While they are intended to drive up standards in schools, encouraging those in the most deprived areas to reach the same standards as fee paying schools, many fear that some students will be let down and left behind by the new system.

Earlier this year Gove enrolled his daughter in the Grey Coat Hospital school, an all girls comprehensive in Victoria, London. This suggests his support of his own policies as the school will be forced to submit to the curriculum changes he is enforcing.

Most controversially Gove intends to reform the examination system, making changes to both the existing A-level and GCSE systems at the same time. These proposed reforms include getting rid of the AS level so that A levels are examined at the end of the 2 year course, a change which has been slated by the head of admissions at Oxford.

Gove also intends to stop the re-sit culture by ensuring that only the first attempts count towards a schools position in the league table. These reforms may disadvantage those students who respond better to the modular system. While Gove's supporters claim he is lifting academic standards, many resent the heavy handed reforms.

His popularity also dipped in Birmingham where last week he was accused of demonising communities with his response to the Trojan horse scandal. He had accused multiple schools in Birmingham of submitting to a Trojan horse take over plot by hard line Muslims. One governor at Park View school was furious at the allegations, claiming that there were no conspiracies to islamise the school.

The Secretary of State for Education also has intentions to raise the standards across the country to bring British education, which on a measured scale has been slipping, up to compete with the rest of the world.

A recent OECD study found the UK was 28th for mathematics, 25th for reading and 16th for science, well below most of its European neighbours.

However Gove's sweeping and dramatic reforms have not been readily accepted by much of the public, presenting problems for the implementation of his policies and for his popularity. 

Educational reforms to drive up standards across the United Kingdom are necessary to ensure the UK continues to produce high quality professionals who are competitive on a global scale. However these reforms must be introduced with sensitivity to ensure they are willingly, rather than begrudgingly, undertaken.