David Blackburn

Gove the bully?

Gove the bully?
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There has been a telling development in the resistance against ‘free schools’ this morning. The Evening Standard reports that Brian Lloyd, the headmaster of a school in Bromley, claims he is being ‘bullied’ by Michael Gove into adopting academy status.

In a matter of weeks then, Gove has morphed from ‘miserable pipsqueak’ into Judd Nelson in The Breakfast Club – an odd transformation even in caricature. But depicting Gove’s schools revolution as the agent of draconian central government is a cunning ploy by local education establishments.  

However, test Lloyd’s case and the real picture emerges. Hundreds of parents have contacted the Harris Federation, an academy provider, to terminate Lloyd’s regime, with which they are profoundly dissatisfied - only 46 percent of pupils secured 5 A*-C GCSEs last year. Fiona Murphy is one such parent, and she wrote of her campaign for the Spectator.

Gove has given parents and reform-minded teachers the ability to whip failing schools into shape; the government has broken the fetid monopoly of men like Lloyd and those councillors who support him. If that’s ‘bullying’, then so be it.