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Michael Gove exam u-turn: take the long view

Independent Voices

The Education Secretary is getting a bit of a pasting around the place today, though he's just valiantly defended himself in the House of Commons. This morning, Labour MP Stephen Twigg went for him on the Today programme. Now, as our we report here, teachers are welcoming his u-turn.

This morning's news is as good an excuse as any to pull out of the drawer an old column by Amol, in which he defended Gove and Govism on the grounds that it is restoring academic rigour to our education system. This caused some almighty arguments on the Independent Voices desk. Here's the pay-off:

"It is true that both Mr Gove and David Willetts, the Universities Minister, believe vocational training should be an important part of our education system. But they have placed a proper and profound emphasis on the wiser interpretation of education, which is the transmission of bodies of knowledge – subjects – from one generation to the next.

It is this social ritual, not vocational training, which will do most for our poorest pupils; and in enforcing the habits of real learning from a younger age, Mr Gove is pressing his case as a great social reformer. Call it "back to basics", Govism, or even an "overhaul": we seem at last to have an Education Secretary who believes in education."

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