Primary Education News

4 Jun '14

News Education: extreme politics | Editorial

There is a legitimate debate about the best way of tackling home-grown terrorism - but it requires cooperation, not confrontationMichael Gove, the education secretary, has decided he needs to act to root out what he believes is a Militant Tendency-style operation to radicalise Birmingham schools. Not for the first time, he is paying little attention to proper process. In his determination to justify the replacement of some governing bodies he stands accused (again) of undermining the independence of Ofsted, as schools suspected of being implicated in the so-called Operation Trojan Horse are downgraded and placed in special measures. Some educationists believe he is sacrificing the integrity of the inspectorate for political purposes.That is serious enough. But there is more. The 25 Birmingham schools under investigation have become the latest battlefield for a deeper debate within Whitehall about the relationship between extremism and terrorism which pits Michael Gove against the home secretary, Theresa May, in a very personal confrontation that proves the divide between polemicist and pragmatist can be every bit as damaging as any policy disagreement. Add in a potential leadership bid and you have all the elements needed for a potential cabinet earthquake. Continue reading...

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