Imagine a classroom a few decades ago with a young Michael Gove. Do you think he sat quietly at the back of the class, or was he at the front, constantly raising his arm: “Sir, I know Sir, pick me, me Sir, me, me..”? Did he surround himself with quieter boys, less fond of the limelight, who would make him look and feel the centre of attention?
The flurry of news stories surrounding the Education Secretary – on testing, appointments to Ofsted, school discipline and the state-private school ‘Berlin Wall’ – are really all about Michael Gove and his big speech, rather than raising standards or helping children to reach their potential.
Mr Gove wanted to remind teachers of the powers they already have, so here’s a reminder of his role. It’s unfortunate that there are so many areas of responsibility and that they have become so party political and confrontational.