Michael Gove ran office ‘like something out of The Thick of It’ – Nick Clegg

The Guardian is reporting that the Lib Dem leader has suggested the former education secretary treated the department as a ‘personal fiefdom’ that reminded him of the parody TV show…

Nick Clegg has likened the Department for Education under Michael Gove to the parody TV show The Thick of It, saying the former education secretary was known to keep a handwritten list of medieval monarchs that he believed schoolchildren should be required to learn.

Speaking on the Liberal Democrat general election campaign bus on Tuesday, Clegg described the situation as “absurd”, and suggested Gove had come to regard the department as his personal fiefdom…

Clegg added that, although he was a big supporter of the government’s free schools policy, there had been a “near departmental obsession” under Gove with opening a small number of new schools: “Some of which were being opened in areas where there wasn’t a particular pressure on school places, when the much larger issue of how you properly finance 24,000 schools across the whole school system was much more pressing…”

He said the free schools policy would not have been passed if it were not for his party, but there were “a tiny, tiny number of cases” where state schools were crying out for extra investment and the money went instead to open new free schools, even though there was no pressure on places. “That just seems to me to be an irrational use of scarce resources, in effect, for ideological reasons,” said Clegg…

More at: Michael Gove ran office ‘like something out of The Thick of It’ – Nick Clegg


I understand Michael Gove speaks very highly of Nick Clegg too!

Seriously though, what do you make of these claims? Anything more than pre-election posturing?

Is there any significance to the suggestion that investment was made in “a tiny, tiny number of cases” to free schools despite no pressure on places rather than state schools crying out for extra investment?

It will be interesting to see if there is any reaction from micahel Gove’s former advisor Dominic Cummings @odysseanproject on Twitter.

Please let us know what you think in the comments or via Twitter…


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  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove I don’t doubt that Nick Clegg is right but it ought to be pointed out that he is desperately trying to save his career

  2. stevendobner

    SchoolsImprove I thought the Deputy PM might have been able to do something about that. Oh hang on! It’s the teachers fault, silly me!

  3. h_emoney

    SchoolsImprove “a tiny, tiny number of cases” where state schools were crying out for extra investment… Mr Clegg is delusional.

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