Gove's obsession with bygone era will fail pupils, says schools' chief

Children should be prepared for Star Trek society, Education Secretary is told

Education Secretary Michael Gove is hankering after "a bygone era where everything was considered rosy", the leader of the country's independent girls' schools says today in a damning verdict on his reform programme.

Louise Robinson, president of the Girls' School Association, argues schools should prepare pupils for the "Star Trek society" of the 2020's instead of looking back at the 1950's and 60's.

In an interview with The Independent, Mrs Robinson, headmistrees of Merchant Taylor's Girls' school in Crosby, Liverpool, added: "You can't be forcing a 1960s curriculum and exam structure on schools. These children are going to be going out into the world of the 2020s and 2030s. It is going to be very different from Michael Gove's dream of what it should be."

Her remarks show a significant rift is developing between Mr Gove and independent schools over his reforms which are based on a return to a more traditional academic model.

Mrs Robinson, who will make her plea for a more modern curriculum a key focus of her address to her annual conference later this month, is particularly critical of his planned reforms to GCSE. Under Mr Gove's blueprint, they will be replaced in the core subject areas – initially of English, maths and science – by his new English Baccalaureate certificate.

She said she feels the Government is "moving too far, too fast" on the reforms by not allowing time to pilot them in schools first.

"I don't think it is taking into account the future," she added. "I personally think we're going back to a bygone era where everything was considered rosy. I don't like the idea of the creative curriculum being forgotten about and treated as though it is second class."

Arts, drama and music are not included in the subjects for the new EBacc. Pleading for an emphasis on developing skills needed for the future, she added: "The Star Trek society is already here. We need to look at the way the world of the future is going. At present the way we run our schools is based on the 19th century."

A spokeswoman for the Department for Education said: "We make no apologies for wanting to raise standards across the board so that young people leave school equipped with the skills they need for work or further study.

"We have been clear that GCSEs are in desperate need of a thorough overhaul. Throughout the expansion of the academies programme and the introduction of free schools we are raising the number of good school places."

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
Buddy DeFranco
people
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
filmIdris Elba responds to James Bond rumours on Twitter
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones
film
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Recruitment Genius: MIS Officer - Further Education Sector

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Operating throughout London and...

The Jenrick Group: Maintenance Planner

£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance...

The Jenrick Group: Project Manager

£35000 per annum + Pension+Bupa: The Jenrick Group: We are recruiting for an e...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K - £45K: SThree: SThree Group have been we...

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones