It’s always nice to see a fair trial isn’t it? Gove has just set up a review into vocational qualifications for students between 14-19, and you couldn’t have a fairer assessment with Alison Wolf heading it. After all, she only has been quoted as saying that vocational education is:
“an organisational cat’s cradle, a regime of hyper-accountability to government plus non-responsiveness to either the labour market or to individual learners’ demands”.
Told you it was fair.
In seriousness, what is the point of even setting up the review if it is clear what the ‘findings’ and conclusion are before it has even started. We only need to read Wolf’s comments, such as that above, to know what to expect.
It was probably music to Gove’s ears that the government want to move to what they call a ‘long term’ approach, where ministers are not just moved around for political scoring or media attention. This is a positive change. Gove, however, would have most certainly been set for the chop if they had kept to the past administration’s practices (and it is yet to be seen, whether they will resist the temptation to use cabinet positions in the same vein as New Labour.)
In a break with my normal Yes Minister parallels I think this is rather like a plot in the Thick of It, where Hugh has to explain to a select committee why his views around ‘special schools’ have changed, whilst lying about the advice he sought out. The point is, he lied about the counter opinion he received so as to strengthen his own views – much like Gove has a clear view on what he wants to change about vocational education – and to make sure this happens, he has shored up his position with appointing someone who basically shares his concerns and views.
I couldn’t find the video, but this is one of my favorite scenes from the Thick of It – enjoy:)