Where did Michael Gove find that Mr Men Story?

May 15, 2013

In case you hadn’t heard, when Michael Gove was asked about the research for his Mr Men speech by the education select committee he said that:

The specific reference to a Mr Men lesson plan came from a blog by a teacher who writes under the pseudonym Andrew Old, a Labour party supporter as it happens but also a very informative voice in the education debate. Of course just because something appears on a blogpost, even if it is by a well-respected individual, you check. I visited the original site and I saw the material and was actually surprised by it.

Thanks to the friendly journalist (you know who you are) who transcribed it for me, and the whole exchange can be found here at about 5 or 6 minutes in (I can’t be more precise as I can’t play it on my Chromebook).

I really can’t figure out why people say he never listens to teachers…


  1. There was a time when Scenes From The Battleground was the place to go if you wanted to argue about important educational issues.

    It would seem that reblogs are more likely than original blogs and being mentioned in a Gove speech has become more important than highlighting an issue that might have profound implications to teachers.

    “I really can’t figure out why people say he never listens to teachers…”

    I believe this is an example of Gove listening to teacher rather than teachers. And while OA and Gove indulge in their mutual admiration, teachers are left to deal with the issues that make a difference.

    • Actually it was irony. Gove has been citing a lot of teachers recently. Nobody seems to care, because, as I said elsewhere, when people say he isn’t listening to teachers they actually means he doesn’t listen to them. More precisely, it usually means he doesn’t agree with them.

    • Sorry, I should add, that I have now decided to stop creating a new blogpost every time Gove mentions me (although I think he has stopped now, anyway) and I am cutting right back on the reblogs as the website http://educationechochamber.wordpress.com/ now exists for that.

  2. Listening is one thing. Pillorying in a major policy speech is another.

  3. What struck me about Gove’s session in front of the Education Select Committee was that Ian Mearns and Graham Stuart spent nearly 20 minutes (from 9.52 to 10.11) trying to get some information about the evidence base for proposed exam reform. Gove beat about the bush, said ‘Mm’ frequently and drank a lot of water. He eventually mumbled a reference that sounded like ‘Farr, Taverner and Wright’ (plausible) and said he’d write to the committee. Hmm.

  4. Perhaps they could also have investigated the evidence base for he last round of reforms we are currently having to work with.

  5. IIRC they did try.

  6. Reblogged this on The Echo Chamber.

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