Michael Gove is called ‘Mr Sloppy’ for making a basic error

The Telegraph is reporting that a speech Michael Gove made last month has had to be put right in its online version…

Michael Gove has made much of how his policies are “evidence-based,” but the Education Secretary has retrospectively had to go through a speech that he delivered to the Policy Exchange last month with a red pen.

“In schools like Woodpecker Hall Primary in Edmonton or Durand Academy in Lambeth, far more children than the national average are registered as having special educational needs,” he told the assembled gathering. “But every child – regardless of the challenges they face – achieves far above the national average in numeracy and literacy.”

It has since been changed in its online rendering to: “In schools like Cuckoo Hall Primary or Durand Academy, far more children than the national average are registered as having special educational needs. But the vast majority of children – regardless of the challenges they face – achieved at or above the expected level in numeracy and literacy.”

Gove’s spokesman tells me: “Our website makes clear that the published version of the speech was corrected for accuracy. The Secretary of State mistakenly cited Woodpecker Hall, instead of Cuckoo Hall. Both Durand and Cuckoo Hall have far more children than the national average registered as having special educational needs and 90 per cent and 94 per cent (respectively) of their pupils achieved at or above the expected level in numeracy and literacy…

Kevin Brennan, Labour’s shadow schools minister, was quick to give Gove a caning: “Oh dear, it appears Mr Sloppy has struck again.” …

More at:  Michael Gove is called ‘Mr Sloppy’ for making a basic error

Unimpressive grasp of facts from the education secretary or can he be forgiven for confusing a Woodpecker and a Cuckoo? Please let us know what you think in the comments or via Twitter…

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  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Gove’s policies are evidence-based; he cherry picks evidence to defend his policies, only this time he got caught out

  2. acet2001

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove Unfortunately Gove’s evidence isn’t evidence-based. Cherry-picking sums up his approach perfectly.

  3. PartridgeISM

    SchoolsImprove Plenty of more substantive issues to take issue with Gove on. This is a blue cod…er, red herring..

  4. MarkCarter35

    I agree I have been asking for this for ages. I believe electoral promises need more scrutiny, see how they like the idea of performance related pay for making unfulfilled promises.

  5. MarkCarter35

    Office For Politically Right Inspections and checks
    OFPRIC…how about that for a name? Couldn’t think of a word beginning with with k…

  6. Janet2

    It wasn’t just a case of Gove confusing Woodpecker and Cuckoo.  What he said was that Cuckoo/Woodpecker and Durand Academy had far more SEN pupils than the national average and EVERY child in these schools attained above the average in literacy and numeracy.  Gove repeated the claim in newspaper articles in Standpoint and Conservative Home although he didn’t name the schools.
    But there are no schools in England in this situation.  It appears this was an attempt to ratchet up pressure on all schools to ensure their pupils achieved “above the average” (which is, of course, impossible).
    If this wasn’t bad enough, the DfE then rewrote history by “updating” a speech which had already been made.
    For more detail see Local Schools Network which first broke the story:

  7. Janet2

    @PartridgeISM SchoolsImprove It’s not a red herring (or even a blue one).  It’s important.  Gove said schools in challenging circumstances had ensured EVERY child achieved above the national average in literacy and numeracy.  But such a school doesn’t exist.  No doubt this impossible and unachievable target will be used to browbeat schools.
    See the Local Schools Network where the story first broke:

  8. JobbingTeacher1

    SchoolsImprove Will #Ofsted red flag Mr Gove then? Maybe he needs a bout of #special #measures to sharpen him up. Any volunteers?

  9. LearnWLesley

    SchoolsImprove we all make mistakes whether you like Gove or not. Let he who ‘never makes an error’ cast the first stone!

  10. LearnWLesley

    BalfePaula SchoolsImprove thank you I just felt that even though he is not my cup of tea he is human like all of us 🙂

  11. kitandrew1

    LearnWLesley SchoolsImprove difficulty is of his own making-if he was less bellicose of profession then perhaps he may be afforded leeway

  12. LearnWLesley

    kitandrew1 SchoolsImprove absolutely u reap what u sow however I can’t criticise someone for making a silly innocuous error.

  13. PeteBeaumont68

    JobbingTeacher1 SchoolsImprove Monty Python would have sent a knight to hit him with a rubber chicken. Several times a week. #toosilly

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