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Education Secretary Michael Gove says he "wouldn't want to inflict" himself on primary school pupils as a teacher

By jrmaidment  |  Posted: January 10, 2014

  • Michael Gove at Bournside School

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Michael Gove said he wouldn’t want to “inflict” himself on primary school pupils after he was asked if he would grant a petition request demanding the Education Secretary gain first-hand experience on the teaching frontline.

A petition, hosted by online campaign group 38 Degrees, is calling for Mr Gove to spend at least half a term teaching a primary school class before he makes any more “improvements” to the education system.

The petition currently has 105,000 signatures.

Mr Gove was asked if he would be willing to grant the demand during a visit to Bournside School and Sixth Form Centre.

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“The principle, that people in public service should get out there and learn about what is happening on the front line is absolutely right,” he said.

“One of the things I find incredibly useful in my job is days like today when I have the chance to meet students and teachers and also the elected representatives or soon to be elected representatives who are responsible for serving communities.

“I can understand why someone might think ‘the Education Secretary, let’s send him to teach for half a term’ but in a way I find out more from talking to teachers from a wide variety of schools during the course of the many visits that I make.

“I have an enormous respect for the job that teachers do and while there are all sorts of things that politicians are called on to do, if you are going to have a group of students who are going to be taught for half a term then they deserve to be taught by a highly qualified professional instead of having me inflicted on them.”

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  • AndreFaul  |  February 05 2015, 2:39PM

    Wow Gove is being so kind, helping that poor underprivileged young boy. I bet he can't even read and Gove was reciting the text to him in his comforting voice. What a hero

    |   3
  • Hadagmaja  |  January 12 2014, 12:49AM

    yet he creates free schools which don't have to employ qualified teachers. What a prat!

    |   5
  • Lecorche  |  January 11 2014, 2:18PM

    Ministers don't have to be able to do a specific thing to be good at their jobs. Barbara Castle couldn't drive a car but was a powerhouse as Minister of Transport. This is where any similarity ends where Michael Gove is concerned. He's a powerhouse of obfuscation with the memory of a goldfish.Face too. All in all,a Tory's Tory.

    |   3
  • Spud0  |  January 10 2014, 6:29PM

    Michael Gove doesn't know the meaning of respect.

    |   17
  • KathH3  |  January 10 2014, 5:32PM

    I thought Michael Gove didn't think teachers needed to be qualified?

    |   23
  • PMcCK  |  January 10 2014, 5:30PM

    How does Mr Gove's comment that children should be taught by "highly qualified professionals" fit with his push for unqualified teachers in the classroom? The sooner this man is removed the better! He has deliberately destroyed good relationships and working practices in schools for his Victorian view of the world.

    |   24