‘Freedom works; and the word is spreading’
So said Michael Gove, then education secretary, in 2011 in a speech praising his academies and free schools’ policy.
What are we, seven years later, with evidence from the real-world of schools intruding on Gove’s heady ideology, to make of his claim that mass academisation would raise school standards?
A four-year study by academics from the Institute of Education Hierarchy, Markets and Networks concludes that, far from achieving freedom for schools, Gove’s education reforms have resulted in “chaotic centralisation”. School leaders, say the researchers, have been given “a semblance of autonomy and self-governance”, which is more than matched, in practice, by externally driven targets.