The BBC asks did Michael Gove really try to stop schools in England from teaching about climate change in geography?
His ministerial return, as secretary of state for the environment, food and rural affairs, has prompted a wave of claims that Mr Gove tried to remove the teaching of climate change when he was in charge of the education department.
“This is a man who tried to stop young people in our schools learning about climate change, who tried to take it out of the geography curriculum,” said Caroline Lucas, co-leader of the Green Party.
But the row about “climate change denial” goes back to a controversial rewriting of the geography curriculum when Mr Gove was education secretary.
In a draft version, climate change was conspicuous by its absence, prompting a wave of petitions and lobbying demands for its re-inclusion. And when the final version was produced, climate change had been reinstated.
But instead of ending the argument, there was still a lingering fog of claims about political attempts to stifle the subject. And the Department for Education had to publish a statement denying that climate change had been removed.
But what really happened?
People who were close to Mr Gove during this time say that the climate change allegations have taken on a life of their own, a Westminster version of an urban myth, without any foundation.
They say it’s a complete misreading of what happened – and that rather than downplaying the teaching of climate change, it was to be bolstered by moving it to science.
Should ministers, political figures moving in and out of departments, really get involved in the detail of what pupils are taught? Or should this be the domain of subject specialists and education professionals? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~Tamsin
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