Gove under fire again as evidence of "defeatism" in East Durham schools collapses

MICHAEL Gove faced a storm of fresh criticism for his attack on “defeatism” in East Durham schools tonight (March 4) – after his evidence collapsed in the Commons.

The Education Secretary, pictured below right, told MPs that he based his case on a gloomy teacher who had warned that his pupils should give up on any hope of ever getting a job.

The Northern Echo: GOOD NEWS: Michael Gove at Stockton Conservative Party headquarters

The teacher had said: “In the past, children turned right to work in the shipyards or left to work in the coal mines. Now they might as well walk on into the sea.”

A defiant Mr Gove said the “telling remark” – uttered to Andrew Adonis, a former Labour Education Secretary – summed up the “spirit of defeatism” in East Durham.

And he told MPs: “I absolutely will not apologise to the people of East Durham for standing up for better education for their children.”

But The Northern Echo can reveal that the remark was uttered at least ten years ago – about a school that has since closed and reopened as a privately-sponsored academy.

Exam results – at Red House Academy, in Sunderland – have improved dramatically since it replaced the failing Hylton Red House comprehensive, in 2009.

Last year, 89 per cent of Red House pupils achieved five good GCSEs at grade A*-C – up from just 22 per cent back in 2002 and 13 per cent in 2000.

Later, Mr Gove admitted he had not visited a single school in East Durham, but insisted he had been “alerted to the problems” on a trip to the north of the county.

The Northern Echo: Lord Adonis

Last night, Lord Adonis, above, told The Northern Echo: “I don’t think Michael Gove would get a GCSE pass for accuracy or relevance.

“He has taken a quote of mine, from ten years ago, completely out of context - about a school that has since closed. That is not what I expect an Education Secretary to do."

And Phil Wilson, the Sedgefield MP said: “It is his use of language that is so wrong.

“It knocks the confidence of these schools, when we need to build that confidence up. Schools are improving, but they need to improve more.”

Mr Wilson has now written to Mr Gove, inviting him to visit Wellfield Community School, in Wingate, to view the improvements made.

But, in later exchanges during education questions, Mr Gove name-checked the school among many in the area that had “underperformed dramatically”.

He listed Dene Community School of Technology, Seaham School of Technology, Easington Community Science College, Wellfield Community School and St Bede’s Catholic Comprehensive School.

And, pointing out results were worse than the national average in the English baccalaureate, Mr Gove accused all five of failing to “provide the quality of education that children deserve”.

Defending his earlier attack, he said: “I was first alerted to the problems in East Durham schools when I visited schools in North and North-West Durham.

“Those who were responsible for raising attainment in those schools shared with me their concerns about the underperformance in East Durham.”

 

Comments (7)

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7:39pm Mon 4 Mar 13

Traser says...

Has Phil Wilson MP even read the Ofsted reports!!!???

www.ofsted.gov.uk/in
spection-reports/fin
d-inspection-report/
provider/ELS/114315

Wellfield was judged inadequate and has serious weaknesses!!! Obviously serious weaknesses and inadequate standards qualifies a school to be judged as 'good' by Labour!

Try another of the ones mentioned by Mr Gove:

www.ofsted.gov.uk/in
spection-reports/fin
d-inspection-report/
provider/ELS/114313

Inadequate again!

So schools can aspire to be 'inadequate, can they Mr Wilson? And you consider that to be acceptable for East Durham children? SHAME ON YOU!!!!
Has Phil Wilson MP even read the Ofsted reports!!!??? www.ofsted.gov.uk/in spection-reports/fin d-inspection-report/ provider/ELS/114315 Wellfield was judged inadequate and has serious weaknesses!!! Obviously serious weaknesses and inadequate standards qualifies a school to be judged as 'good' by Labour! Try another of the ones mentioned by Mr Gove: www.ofsted.gov.uk/in spection-reports/fin d-inspection-report/ provider/ELS/114313 Inadequate again! So schools can aspire to be 'inadequate, can they Mr Wilson? And you consider that to be acceptable for East Durham children? SHAME ON YOU!!!! Traser
  • Score: 2

7:39pm Mon 4 Mar 13

argo2013 says...

an attempt to denegrate state schools,so he can press forward with academies/grammer schools, any deafeatism is not a surpise considering the state of the country.
an attempt to denegrate state schools,so he can press forward with academies/grammer schools, any deafeatism is not a surpise considering the state of the country. argo2013
  • Score: 3

8:30pm Mon 4 Mar 13

Blankface says...

They have just changed the way they grade schools, so one that was satisfactory is now under performing, changing the goal posts to suit their needs.
They have just changed the way they grade schools, so one that was satisfactory is now under performing, changing the goal posts to suit their needs. Blankface
  • Score: 1

9:53am Tue 5 Mar 13

Mod says...

I don't understand how the Northern Echo can assert that the "evidence of defeatism has collapsed". The details in the article seem to support Gove's view.
I don't understand how the Northern Echo can assert that the "evidence of defeatism has collapsed". The details in the article seem to support Gove's view. Mod
  • Score: 0

12:52pm Tue 5 Mar 13

loan_star says...

Mod wrote:
I don't understand how the Northern Echo can assert that the "evidence of defeatism has collapsed". The details in the article seem to support Gove's view.
It was written by Red Rob so it needs a pro Labour stance to it! It seems he spends all his working week looking for ways to slag off anyone but Labour and the Echo lap it up like a begging dog.
[quote][p][bold]Mod[/bold] wrote: I don't understand how the Northern Echo can assert that the "evidence of defeatism has collapsed". The details in the article seem to support Gove's view.[/p][/quote]It was written by Red Rob so it needs a pro Labour stance to it! It seems he spends all his working week looking for ways to slag off anyone but Labour and the Echo lap it up like a begging dog. loan_star
  • Score: 0

6:52pm Tue 5 Mar 13

janee says...

Anecdotal evidence would seem that Ofsted is biassed and is likely to give poor ratings to some schools in order that pressure can be put on them to be converted to academies. Pity that no action is taken about those academies which, despite light tough and generous ratings, are still found to be failing.

Perhaps Mr Gove should start with those.
Anecdotal evidence would seem that Ofsted is biassed and is likely to give poor ratings to some schools in order that pressure can be put on them to be converted to academies. Pity that no action is taken about those academies which, despite light tough and generous ratings, are still found to be failing. Perhaps Mr Gove should start with those. janee
  • Score: -1

7:18pm Tue 5 Mar 13

Mod says...

"Anecdotal Evidence" the factual basis for every Conspiracy Theorist.
"Anecdotal Evidence" the factual basis for every Conspiracy Theorist. Mod
  • Score: 0

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