Michael Gove backs University of Buckingham MEd course

14 June 2013

University of Buckingham students challenged Education Secretary Michael Gove on his views about running secondary schools in a lively debate as part of their MEd course on Friday.

Professor Anthony O’ Hear and lecturers Peter Ireland, Graham Dawson and Janet Downes were present as well as Julie Robinson, Director of Training for the Independent Association of Prep Schools.

The teachers, all of whom are headteachers or prospective headteachers, had been set the task of saying how they’d improve standards at a fictitious school. While Mr Gove suggested getting rid of many of the teachers was the solution one student countered that extra training for some of the teachers could be a viable alternative. Mr Gove agreed there were a number of options but added: “You will not recruit great teachers unless you get rid of inadequate teachers.”

Students spoke out about why they had chosen the University of Buckingham MEd course instead of its competitors. The consensus was that the University has a better balance between the theoretical and the practical – the University course was rooted in real life. Mr Gove agreed: he said the University of Buckingham MEd was like reading an article written by an experienced, enthusiastic expert in a car magazine, rather than ploughing through a car manual.

Peter Ireland said: “It was a pleasure to have Mr Gove ‘s company for three hours. The University of Buckingham MEd has already been endorsed by HMC, GSA and IAPS – the most prestigious professional associations in the independent sector; it was good to be able to add his name to the list.”

The students also asked Mr Gove about his planned changes to GCSEs. He agreed with one student’s suggestion that the changes may lead to a dimunition in the number of GCSE subject choices. He added that a future aim would be to cut down the number of GCSE exam boards.

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