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Inside Out - Clashing with school governors

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Even Mr Pickles could take lessons from Michael Gove when it comes to winning friends and influencing people. Mr Gove’s pronouncements on GCSEs seem to have won him some tweed-wearing friends from Tunbridge Wells but annoyed just about everybody else.

Now he has had a go at school governors and the unions. On the latter he has accused the National Union of Teachers of being a bunch of trots. Trotsky followers are rare but occasionally noisy enough to appear ubiquitous. I’ve got one at my council. I quite like their quaint approach. They’re hardly a threat and Gove’s statement is trying to discredit those who have genuine concerns about his approach, which he isn’t addressing.

His biggest mistake is having a go at school governors, calling them local worthies whose main interest is to attend pointless committees. In fact, they are probably the largest Big Society group of volunteers in the country.

I’ve been a school governor. It was impressive the contribution the governors made to running that school.

They brought skills that complemented those of the head and teachers.

As a chief executive I have had run-ins with governors. Once I was dealing with an underperforming head who had the support of governors. Their mistake was to be loyal to the head. It temporarily blinded them to performance problems. We all do that from time to time. We moved on and the school, with a new head and the same governors, is now doing well.

Meanwhile, we have yet again been accused of publishing Pravda ie our community newspapers. For younger readers, Pravda was the propaganda organ of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. It used to have some great insults for those who criticised the dictatorship in Russia, calling them “insects” and “running dogs of imperialism”, especially if they knew their detractors were right.

School governors and the unions are critical of Comrade Gove’s approach. What’s he going to come up with next…

Find out more LGCplus.com/5022821.article or email LGCinsider@gmail.com.

The one thing he won’t comment on is his identity…

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