Gove’s replacement Nicky Morgan ‘not up to the job’, says Sir Anthony Seldon

The Times is claiming that Michael Gove ally Sir Anthony Seldon has suggested his successor Nicky Morgan might not be up to the job (although he doesn’t appear to have actually used those words)…

In a column in the paper on what he describes as an “arms race” between Nicky Morgan and Tristram Hunt over the issue of character, Sir Anthony is quoted as saying of Morgan that “She came to the job knowing little about schools and with no great interest in education. Unlike Gove, she is busy nursing a marginal seat. A big ask for anyone, let alone with only nine months in post before a probable departure at the election.”

He goes on to make the point that if either Nicky Morgan or Tristram Hunt is to succeed in encouraging schools to develop rounded, resilient citizens they must be prepared to embrace far more radical approaches than either they, or Michael Gove, have supported so far. In particular, he advocates a greater role for the independent sector.

The Times claims that Sir Anthony’s comments come amid what it describes as ‘jitters’ among supporters of Mr Gove’s school reforms over the future direction of Conservative policy, such as a push by some Tories for more grammar schools.

More at: Gove’s replacement Nicky Morgan ‘not up to the job’, says Sir Anthony Seldon (subscription may be required)


See also Sir Anthony’s column from the Times: Build character and you close the class divide (subscription may be required)


Is the Times making a mountain out of a molehill here or is this evidence of infighting over the future of education policy within the Conservative party? Please give us your take in the comments or via Twitter…


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  1. TW

    One excuse is as good as another – when did this bloke ever not want a greater role for the independent sector?  Wonder how he would see his role in such added importance.

  2. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove The telling bit of this is the “Gove’s friend and ally” part. Self-publicist & little of consequence to say about state ed

  3. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Find insinuation Gove is an expert on schools laughable. What Gove knows about state ed would only fill half a postage stamp

  4. neilayates

    SchoolsImprove I’ll wager that very few knights of the realm have the experience or qualifications to comment credibly on state education

  5. AndyDefinite

    SchoolsImprove it’s ok Anthony she takes after you +your peculiar choice of friends!Just keep on demonstrating the collapse of your gang!

  6. Janet2

    Seldon’s foray into the state sector hasn’t been very successful – Wellington Academy still requires improvement (Jan 2014) despite the ‘determined’ principal who’s ‘rooted out’ practices which ‘compromise’ the expectations of the sponsor.   And that was after the previous head was sidelined suddenly in August 2013 and Seldon parachuted in.  Seldon’s comments have always been deeply condescending and patronising – based on the premise that independent schools are bound to be superior to state ones.  And boarding, he said, was beneficial: 

    But boarding at Wellington Academy was judged Inadequate.

  7. HamdonEducation

    SchoolsImprove Ah. A bit like Seldon himself, then, when he tried to run an academy. We all meet our Waterloo sometime,don’t we,Sir Antony?

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