Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Conference Review - Michael Gove

This is really a review, not just of Michael's speech but, of the whole education piece.

One word - outstanding. It started steadily with two good speakers and then burst into life with the amazing Katharine, a head teacher who just oozed passion for education and explained how she had challenged her own left-leaning pre-conceptions and realised that the education orthodoxy of the left had failed generations of children.

Katharine got a standing ovation when she finished her speech - prompted, I feel, by a sense of real vindication for many in the conference hall who are so sick and tired of the failed policies and dogma of the left in education and who were finally listening to one of the left's own preaching not to the converted, but as one of the converted.. The huge clap was half for her and half a relieved, self congratulatory expression!

Katharine was followed by another speaker Dan (I think that's right?) who had the impossible task of following but managed to pull it off with another dazzling display of passion and forthrightness. He made a brilliant point:

'If I said I were going off to Brazil to set up a new free school everyone would slap me on the back - but here we are treated with distrust......' 


Then an American, confusingly named 'Canada' or Geoff Canada to give him his full name spent a long time debunking the myths of education and explaining why it is so important. He did go on a bit. I think he slightly misunderstood the purpose of the conference and thought it was an event designed primarily around him.. I guess that the reason the Q and A session was cancelled was largely due to him over-running.

The session was rounded off by an excellent speech by Michael which brought everything together. My only criticism would be the rather contrived way in which he raised his voice at sets points in his speech to indicate to the audience when to clap. He should have had more confidence in the power of his words - people would have clapped anyway.

Michael explained his new 'Martini Principal' (My name not his)- that Head Teachers will be given a new power to discipline kids on their way to or from school - anytime, anyplace and anywhere as he put it.

To emphasise his point, Michael hitched up his trousers to reveal a sparkling pair of rollerboots and skated elegantly off the stage to a roar of approval from the crowd..

Ok I made that last bit up.

Content 9.5/10

Delivery 9/10


Post a Comment