Gove's own 'Upstairs, Downstairs' at Department for Education
Richard Garner has been Education Editor of The Independent for 12 years and writing about the subject for 34 years. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a disc jockey in London pubs and clubs and for a hospital radio station. His main hobbies are cricket (watching these days) and theatre. On his days off, he is most likelt to be found at Lord’s or the King’s Head Theatre Club.
Wednesday 16 January 2013
Ministers and civil servants in Michael Gove's Department for Education lead an Upstairs, Downstairs lifestyle, the former Children's Minister has claimed.
According to Tim Loughton, ministers are ensconced in their ivory towers and actively discouraged from venturing around the building to discuss issues with officials. He told MPs how he occasionally managed to slip minders to go and have a conversation with officials in policy areas he was concerned about. "When I wanted to have a quick chat, I occasionally played hooky and went to another floor. There was a bit of the Upstairs, Downstairs about it."
He said it was all "a bit Mr Grace-like" – likening the relationship to that outlined in the TV sitcom Are You Being Served?; civil servants would be called together about only once a year for a social gathering and be told: "You've all done very well."
Mr Loughton, sacked from his job in the last reshuffle, spoke of his concern that children's welfare issues were being downgraded as the "bulldozer" of Mr Gove's schools reforms went on its way.
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Exclusive: UK approved £7m Israeli arms sales in six months before Gaza conflict
- 1 I'm A Celebrity 2014: Jungle security stepped up after murder and 'suspicious death' near to camp
- 3 Jeremy Hunt: 'I took my children to A&E because I didn't want to wait for GP appointment'
- 4 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
- 5 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
£30000 - £60000 per annum + Excellent: Austen Lloyd: Employment Solicitor - Ke...
£200 per day: Ashdown Group: Working within a business that has a high number ...
£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: We are currently recruiting f...
£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: Science Teacher -Full Time - ...