October 26, 2004
Ken says Mike Tomlinson has the intelligence of a small gnat

More about Mike Tomlinson, from a guy called Ken. He said something nice about something I wrote yesterday for Samizdata, and I followed him back to this.

This Ken does not sit on the fence, Tomlinsonwise:

What is it about education and the teaching profession that gives morons a long career path? Mike Tomlinson has always seemed to me to have the intelligence of a small gnat – I saw him absolutely taken apart by the Education Select Committee, and yet no-one picks up the fact that this may make him somewhat unsuitable for the commissioning of a report looking for the complete overhaul of secondary education as we know it. I admit, I have an in-built hatred of the man following the abysmal and utterly outrageous whitewash of the inquiry into A-Level marking in 2002. But for him to have become the head of Ofsted to me beggars belief – going far, far beyond the Peter principle. He must surely have been promoted three or four levels (at least!) above his level of competence.

His report into the overhaul of secondary education merely confirms this to me. Admittedly, there are some good ideas hidden within it – most notably, the realisation that good students can be fast-streamed and reach their potential more quickly than others can – but this is lost in a stream of egalitarian rhetoric of the worst kind. Unfortunately, none of the alternatives hit the point any more, despite the fact there is so much consensus regarding the problems facing our education system. Worse still, there is no constructive political opposition to prevent the adoption in some form of the recommendations of the report.

If you like that, read the other half.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 12:25 AM
Category: Examinations and qualifications