Thursday, 13 January 2011


Clive Betts MP [Sheffield South East] today congratulated the secondary schools and colleges in his constituency on their GCSE and A level performance in 2010.

Clive Betts said:
“I am delighted to see the continuing improvement in the achievements of local schools. Children, parents and schools should be proud of their results, which have been achieved through all the hard work they have put in.”

Clive Betts then went on to castigate Michael Gove, the Conservative Secretary of State for Education for his proposals to introduce the English Baccalaureate as the key measure of secondary performance.

Clive Betts said:
“The results are the best ever and reflect the determination of the last Labour government to tackle the appalling education legacy of the last Conservative government.

Everyone needs to understand that the most important reason why Michael Gove announced new education targets yesterday was to divert attention from the massive improvement that has taken place in education achievement over the last decade.

Under the last Conservative government, more than 1300 secondary schools in England failed to achieve the 5 A-C GCSE target. In 2010, it was just 82.

I am fully supportive of setting even more ambitious targets, because I believe the potential is there. With the right attitude, commitment and determination of children, parents and teachers and the continued investment in teaching resources and buildings, we can maintain the momentum of continuous improvement.

All Michael Gove’s bluster will not disguise the fact he is cutting the budgets of the majority of schools next year and the year after and the year after that.”

Clive Betts continued:
“Michael Gove’s proposal to introduce the English Baccalaureate as the key measure of secondary performance is simply ridiculous.

It’s a return to a narrow, elitest model of education, simply designed to boost the perception of private, selective, independent schools at the expense of the majority.

It is simply out-of-touch with the economic, social and environmental challenges of the 21st century.

How ludicrous can you get to propose that a GCSE ‘C’ grade in Latin is to be exalted and defined as education excellence, whereas a GCSE ‘A*’ in IT is written off as an irrelevance and a sign of failure?”