James Forsyth

Will the Gove schools be so successful that the Scots and Welsh adopt them?

Will the Gove schools be so successful that the Scots and Welsh adopt them?
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When I was writing my column this week on the Tories’ education policy, I realised that there’s a new test for policy: will it be so successful that the devolved administrations end up adopting it. 

Michael Gove’s plan for a supply side revolution in education – allowing any group of people to step up schools—promises to transform education. But there will be no new Gove schools outside of England because education is a devolved matter.

If the Gove schools are obviously working, though, and a clear improvement on what went before, I expect there will be significant pressure from the voters for them to be allowed north and west of the border respectively. 

Since devolution, all the major public service reforms have been pioneered by Westminster. Indeed, today the Scottish NHS acts as the control to demonstrate the worth of the limited Blairite reforms to the English one. But the Scots have yet to be persuaded to adopt these reforms. It would be a major coup for Gove if his initiative was so successful that the voters forced Holyrood and Cardiff Bay to adopt it.   

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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