"Honk if you hate Gove" - just one of the slogans to greet the Education Secretary as he visited Marling School

Stroud News and Journal: Education Secretary Michael Gove visits Marling School with Stroud MP Neil Carmichael Education Secretary Michael Gove visits Marling School with Stroud MP Neil Carmichael

A VISIT from Education Secretary Michael Gove brought traffic to a standstill in Stroud today, Friday, as nearly 200 protesters lined the streets outside Marling School.

Labour, Green Party and Stroud against the Cuts members took to the streets outside the school in Cainscross Road holding placards and shouting slogans such as ‘Gove Away’ as they waited for the arrival of Mr Gove – who met with students during a tour of the boys grammar which recently received an outstanding from Ofsted.

A number of Marling and Stroud High School students, as well as pupils from other schools, joined the protests as they left for the day to voice their concerns about the recent decision to scrap January exams.

Connie Gleeson, 17, who is in Year 13 at Archway School, said: “It is really unfair that our whole lives are now going to be determined by one exam and one day.

“For the past three years we have been taught through a module system and now our education has been completely changed during the most important year in our school lives,” she said.

Marling School Year 13 pupil Lawson Falshaw, 17, who was holding a placard with the slogan ‘how foolish is Gove from one to eight’, said there is no consistency in current education policy.

“It seems that every year something has changed,” he said.

“How will an employer be able to measure and compare candidates against each other in the future if everyone has been educated by a completely different format?”

In response to the large number of student protesters awaiting his arrival at the school Mr Gove said it was a reflection on how well they have been taught.

“Marling is an outstanding school and the young men, and women in the sixth form, are a credit to the community.

“Political engagement is very important. I remember being a teenager myself and it’s part of what growing up is all about.”

Mr Gove said he did not have enough time to meet with the protestors, however invited anyone interested in visiting him at the House of Commons to get in contact with Stroud MP Neil Carmichael.

Many of the protesters were concerned with the proposals for a free Steiner school in Stroud, which has caused a huge amount of controversy in the district.

Labour’s parliamentary candidate and former Stroud MP David Drew shared his concerns about the free school initiative saying it could hit other schools with surplus places hard.

Mr Gove explained: “Before any free school is accepted we always think about the impact on other existing schools.”

Since the initiative began the Department of Education has received more than 1,000 free school applications however according to Mr Gove only one in four have been accepted.

Mr Gove also attempted to calm fears about the future education of the 35 pupils who attend St Rose’s in Stroud.

The special educational needs school, which last year celebrated its centenary, could face closure because it is no longer financially viable due to a substantial fall in the number of pupils.

“We will always make sure that children who have special educational needs are looked after,” said Mr Gove, who also visited Bournside School and Sixth Form Centre in Cheltenham earlier in the day.

“However we need to make sure the school is run in a way that gives the tax payer value for money.”

Mr Gove also attempted to set the record straight about his opinion of Blackadder after he accused ‘left-wing academics’ of using the TV show as a propaganda tool for teaching children about the First World War this week.

“I am a fan of anything that Stephen Fry is involved in and Tim McInnerny (who used to attend Marling) is a brilliant actor,” he said.

“It was an interesting argument and I am glad to live in a country where people are interested in history rather than indifferent.”

Comments (18)

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6:55pm Fri 10 Jan 14

rhiannon.blake says...

I would just like to say that it was not just Marling and Stroud High pupils that were protesting but there were also a few from Archway School - including myself and Connie Gleason who was interviewed.
I would just like to say that it was not just Marling and Stroud High pupils that were protesting but there were also a few from Archway School - including myself and Connie Gleason who was interviewed. rhiannon.blake
  • Score: 11

7:38pm Fri 10 Jan 14

GlawsStudent92 says...

Just ludicrous from Gove and his nodding dog who bears a striking resemblance to our MP. They talk about value for money for schools - the proposed free school would cost over £6m to set up, and the National Audit Office says set up costs are £57,000 a pupil. Why are we not using this money, if available, to improve our existing provision especially as there over 600 spare school places in Stroud district.

Unsurprisingly, it is only the Labour Party and David Drew who show the principle to place their heads above the parapet to show their opposition to the free school and Gove/Carmichael. The sooner we get rid of them and the likes of David Drew back in, the better. Roll on 2015.
Just ludicrous from Gove and his nodding dog who bears a striking resemblance to our MP. They talk about value for money for schools - the proposed free school would cost over £6m to set up, and the National Audit Office says set up costs are £57,000 a pupil. Why are we not using this money, if available, to improve our existing provision especially as there over 600 spare school places in Stroud district. Unsurprisingly, it is only the Labour Party and David Drew who show the principle to place their heads above the parapet to show their opposition to the free school and Gove/Carmichael. The sooner we get rid of them and the likes of David Drew back in, the better. Roll on 2015. GlawsStudent92
  • Score: 18

8:41pm Fri 10 Jan 14

A Stroud Worm says...

"In response to the large number of student protesters awaiting his arrival at the school Mr Gove said it was a reflection on how well they have been taught."

Bless him.
"In response to the large number of student protesters awaiting his arrival at the school Mr Gove said it was a reflection on how well they have been taught." Bless him. A Stroud Worm
  • Score: 3

6:45am Sat 11 Jan 14

Fluffy Top says...

It's about time modular qualifications were done away with. They are utterly without value. Fail? Just re-sit. Fail again? Re-sit again. Result? Diluted, meaningless bit of paper. Exams, final exams, allow the student to demonstrate that they understand a whole syllabus of learning, not just what they have been shown in recent times and then can have as many attempts to "pass" that part of the course as required. The World is about dealing with pressure. These modular exams don't allow the children to experience that pressure in the same way as a final exam. It leaves them then completely unprepared for the effort that is required to succeed in the real World. Agree though that Stonehouse and Stroud will be better represented when Drewie gets back in.
It's about time modular qualifications were done away with. They are utterly without value. Fail? Just re-sit. Fail again? Re-sit again. Result? Diluted, meaningless bit of paper. Exams, final exams, allow the student to demonstrate that they understand a whole syllabus of learning, not just what they have been shown in recent times and then can have as many attempts to "pass" that part of the course as required. The World is about dealing with pressure. These modular exams don't allow the children to experience that pressure in the same way as a final exam. It leaves them then completely unprepared for the effort that is required to succeed in the real World. Agree though that Stonehouse and Stroud will be better represented when Drewie gets back in. Fluffy Top
  • Score: -5

2:49pm Sat 11 Jan 14

kjag23 says...

Fluffy top,
This fortnight I have 7 exams and 4 assignments.
My assignments cannot be redone and if I fail them, that's 15% of my final grade gone.
If I chose to resit my modules I will only have the opportunity to have a 'tolerated fail'. So I cannot resit to get a better grade.
Last year a fellow student of mine took his own life with the stress and pressure of the current school system.
I challenge you to sit my exams, and then tell me how watered down and pointless it all is.
Fluffy top, This fortnight I have 7 exams and 4 assignments. My assignments cannot be redone and if I fail them, that's 15% of my final grade gone. If I chose to resit my modules I will only have the opportunity to have a 'tolerated fail'. So I cannot resit to get a better grade. Last year a fellow student of mine took his own life with the stress and pressure of the current school system. I challenge you to sit my exams, and then tell me how watered down and pointless it all is. kjag23
  • Score: 6

3:49pm Sat 11 Jan 14

A Stroud Worm says...

I did GCE O'levels. No coursework. No modules. One exam per subject. Lots of revising needed. Its a lot easier now.
I did GCE O'levels. No coursework. No modules. One exam per subject. Lots of revising needed. Its a lot easier now. A Stroud Worm
  • Score: -4

4:21pm Sat 11 Jan 14

TigerTigerBurningBright says...

It isn't necessarily easier now, it is just different. Exams suit boys and coursework suits girls.

What is fundamentally easier though, is to get 'A' grades. Which is why they had to bering in A* because too many people were getting As. It used to be there were CSEs and O levels. Five pass grades at CSE and 6 at O Level (before they changed O Levels to letters) a top grade at CSE was an O Level pass. So maybe 9 or ten grades were passes. Now there are four A*, A, B and C.
So it is easier to get top grades than it used to be anyway, and then you have government Grade Inflation. Every government for 25 years has wanted better grades. What is the best way to do this? Grade inflation. Much cheaper than investing in schools properly.
It isn't necessarily easier now, it is just different. Exams suit boys and coursework suits girls. What is fundamentally easier though, is to get 'A' grades. Which is why they had to bering in A* because too many people were getting As. It used to be there were CSEs and O levels. Five pass grades at CSE and 6 at O Level (before they changed O Levels to letters) a top grade at CSE was an O Level pass. So maybe 9 or ten grades were passes. Now there are four A*, A, B and C. So it is easier to get top grades than it used to be anyway, and then you have government Grade Inflation. Every government for 25 years has wanted better grades. What is the best way to do this? Grade inflation. Much cheaper than investing in schools properly. TigerTigerBurningBright
  • Score: 0

9:34am Sun 12 Jan 14

Deltiologist says...

@ Kate Wilson.... "during a tour of the boys grammer which recently received an outstanding from Ofsted"
should be
"during a tour of the boys' grammar which recently received an outstanding from Ofsted"
@ Kate Wilson.... "during a tour of the boys grammer which recently received an outstanding from Ofsted" should be "during a tour of the boys' grammar which recently received an outstanding from Ofsted" Deltiologist
  • Score: -3

3:50pm Sun 12 Jan 14

dimreepr says...

The student can only do his/her best and that depends on what’s presented; we all know the reason, for this fiasco is the attempt to govern via accountancy; does history really teach us so little? Hint the 30’s...
The student can only do his/her best and that depends on what’s presented; we all know the reason, for this fiasco is the attempt to govern via accountancy; does history really teach us so little? Hint the 30’s... dimreepr
  • Score: 3

1:09pm Mon 13 Jan 14

Salendine says...

Govern by accountancy? Please explain. My Comprehensive education is not quite up to that one.
Govern by accountancy? Please explain. My Comprehensive education is not quite up to that one. Salendine
  • Score: 1

1:25pm Mon 13 Jan 14

dimreepr says...

Essentially, for me, it’s running a government by assigning numbers and creating targets for all aspects of our lives; which is then presented as evidence of their governing competence. Unfortunately, with this method, when the targets aren’t met, the figures are fudged either by reducing the rigor of an exam paper or creating new categories to hide the numbers; the knock-on effect of this also creates bureaucrats that are good at ticking the correct box by turning a blind eye and not doing the job correctly.
Essentially, for me, it’s running a government by assigning numbers and creating targets for all aspects of our lives; which is then presented as evidence of their governing competence. Unfortunately, with this method, when the targets aren’t met, the figures are fudged either by reducing the rigor of an exam paper or creating new categories to hide the numbers; the knock-on effect of this also creates bureaucrats that are good at ticking the correct box by turning a blind eye and not doing the job correctly. dimreepr
  • Score: 2

1:32pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Salendine says...

OK, I understand your concern, but you aren't presenting an alternative. Are the protesters?
OK, I understand your concern, but you aren't presenting an alternative. Are the protesters? Salendine
  • Score: 1

7:16pm Tue 14 Jan 14

dimreepr says...

The solution is implicit in my previous post, we should concentrate our collective efforts into teaching our children properly, league tables for schools is absurd, especially given the socio-economic diversity at almost every level; like it or not money has a huge influence on the educational levels of our children.
We also need to change the status of charity bestowed on the public schools (a grasser example of how the wealthy exploit the system would be hard to find) and vastly increase the scholarships from these schools, available to all.
The solution is implicit in my previous post, we should concentrate our collective efforts into teaching our children properly, league tables for schools is absurd, especially given the socio-economic diversity at almost every level; like it or not money has a huge influence on the educational levels of our children. We also need to change the status of charity bestowed on the public schools (a grasser example of how the wealthy exploit the system would be hard to find) and vastly increase the scholarships from these schools, available to all. dimreepr
  • Score: 0

9:05pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Salendine says...

Then I think we are in agreement, although I will argue that parental influence is the real key. After that it is equal access to all in further education. Bin the idea that so many should go to university, and give means tested grants to those that do go to uni. I know, sounds like the old days, but I am an example that it works.
Then I think we are in agreement, although I will argue that parental influence is the real key. After that it is equal access to all in further education. Bin the idea that so many should go to university, and give means tested grants to those that do go to uni. I know, sounds like the old days, but I am an example that it works. Salendine
  • Score: 1

9:07pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Salendine says...

Oh, and please no more free schools promoting religion or off beat philosophies, and taking funds from sectarian state schools. . I even found myself with our Mr Drew on that one!
Oh, and please no more free schools promoting religion or off beat philosophies, and taking funds from sectarian state schools. . I even found myself with our Mr Drew on that one! Salendine
  • Score: 1

9:27pm Tue 14 Jan 14

dimreepr says...

Whilst I agree parental influence is a prime factor in education, it’s not always a good influence; the Dunning-Kruger effect determines the benefice of this influence.
Whilst I agree parental influence is a prime factor in education, it’s not always a good influence; the Dunning-Kruger effect determines the benefice of this influence. dimreepr
  • Score: 0

9:34pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Salendine says...

Well a quick glance at X Factor tells that the effect exists, but probably in a minority of cases.
Well a quick glance at X Factor tells that the effect exists, but probably in a minority of cases. Salendine
  • Score: 1

7:28pm Wed 15 Jan 14

dimreepr says...

I was rather simplistic in my previous post; I think there are three factors that determine the efficacy of parental influence:

1. The Dunning-Kruger effect, which basically states, the less a person understands a particular subject the louder and more vociferous they are on that subject.

2. Awareness of one’s incompetence, even a doctor will be unaware their knowledge maybe faulty.

3. Culture, which unfortunately amongst other things, is highly wealth related.

A bad combination of the above could easily subvert or unduly influence a young mind, the only hope for such a child is our education system; at present the system is woefully unable to affect these children positively.
I was rather simplistic in my previous post; I think there are three factors that determine the efficacy of parental influence: 1. The Dunning-Kruger effect, which basically states, the less a person understands a particular subject the louder and more vociferous they are on that subject. 2. Awareness of one’s incompetence, even a doctor will be unaware their knowledge maybe faulty. 3. Culture, which unfortunately amongst other things, is highly wealth related. A bad combination of the above could easily subvert or unduly influence a young mind, the only hope for such a child is our education system; at present the system is woefully unable to affect these children positively. dimreepr
  • Score: 1

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