Chalk Talk: You're late again, Gove – see me after class
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.
Thursday 03 May 2012
Eyebrows were raised at last week's Commons Education Select Committee session when the star witness, Michael Gove, failed to turn up on time for his grilling. The penalties for such an offence can be horrendous – police have been known to be despatched to arrest those that fail to turn up.
Fortunately, the Education Secretary turned up only a few minutes late, to be given a tongue-in-cheek wigging from the chairman, Conservative MP Graham Stuart, who said he was in danger of getting a detention if behaviour like this continued.
Mr Stuart recalled the previous time Mr Gove had faced a grilling, when he had to ask for permission to take a "comfort break" in the middle of proceedings.
All has not been well with the Government's flagship free-school scheme of late.
The most damning publicity has been over the fact that more than half of the free schools scheduled to open this coming September still have not found premises to operate in.
However, there's better news of one project that The Independent has championed since its birth – plans for the Diaspora High School in south London, which is aimed at weaning teenagers away from the gang culture, are now well advanced.
The teachers planning the scheme – in which all pupils will have guaranteed work experience in a chosen job after reaching the school leaving age – have a meeting with department officials soon to discuss the project.
If all goes well, the school could be open by next September (2013) – encouraging news following the rejection it suffered when it was put forward as part of the first tranche of proposals for free school status.
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