A libertarian inclined blog for teachers and learners of all ages. Comments, emails and links to other educational stuff welcome.

Home

www.google.co.uk


Recent Comments


Monthly Archives


Most recent entries


Search


Advanced Search


Blogroll

A don's life
children are people
Dare to Know
Educating Outside The Box
Elemental Mom
Ewan McIntosh's edu.blogs.com
Green House by the Sea
HE&OS
It Shouldn't Happen to a Teacher
Joanne Jacobs
kitchen table math, the sequel
Life WIthout School
Mr. Chalk
Mortarboard
O'DonnellWeb
school of everything
Stay at home dad
Successful Teaching
The ARCH Blog
The Core Knowledge Blog
The DeHavilland Blog
To Miss with Love


Websites


Mainstream Media education sections

BBC
Guardian
Independent
Telegraph
Times


Syndicate

RSS 1.0
RSS 2.0
Atom
Feedburner


Categories

Adult education
Africa
Architecture
Asia
Australasia
Bias
Bits from books
Bloggers and blogging
Books
Boys
Brian teaches
Bullying
Business education
Canada
China
Class size
Comprehensive schools
Compulsion
Computers
Consent
Crime
dcsf
Diet
Discipline
Distance learning
Drama
Economics
Educational memories
Equality
Europe
Examinations
Exclusion
Famous educations
Gerald Hartup
Girls
Globalisation
Grammar
Grammar schools
Higher education
History
Home education
How the mind works
India
Initiatives
Intelligence
Languages
League tables
Learning by doing
Links
Literacy
Maths
Medicine
Middle East
Movies
Music
OFSTED
Parents
Physical education
Play
Podcasts
Politics
Primary schools
Qualifications
Quote unquote
Reading
Real life
Religion
Russia
Safety
School choice
Science
Scotland
Self education
Sex education
Socialising
South America
Sovietisation
Spelling
Sport
Targets
Teacher training
Technology
Television
Testing
The internet
The private sector
This blog
Three Rs
Training
Truancy
UK
USA
Video
Violence
Vouchers
West Indies


Other Blogs I write for

CNE Competition
CNE Intellectual Property
Samizdata
Transport Blog
Brian Micklethwait
(the personal blog)


Next entry: "Every child emerges with at least two A Levels and three quarters go to university ..."
Previous entry: Charles Murray on educational romanticism
Tuesday May 06 2008

Libby Purves in today’s Times:

One unalloyed good that new Labour promoted is music in schools: slowly it is creeping back to prominence, and the Music Manifesto includes a demand that children should sing for at least five minutes a day. So far, so good. But in a classic example of meddling overmanagement, Alan Johnson, the Education Secretary, announced last year a “national songbook” of 30 songs that every 11-year-old should know. This prissy, prescriptive idea has just been abandoned because nobody could agree on which 30. Instead, the Sing Up website has a hundred, ranging from Clementine to Polish skipping tunes, and puts new ones up weekly. It still hasn’t nerved itself to include Land of Hope and Glory, but it’s doing fine.

Yet Michael Gove, the Shadow Education Secretary, instead of tossing his hat in the air and singing “Let my people go!”, proved that he is well in training to be a modern minister (aka an annoying, bossy pest) by criticising the decision to abandon the compulsory 30-song list. “This Government,” he thundered, “is so paralysed by political correctness and terminally afflicted by dithering that it cannot even decide on a simple thing like the songs children should learn.”

I am sorry to hear a Cameroonian so infected with new-Labouritis. Michael, man, chill! It is not the role of ministers to prescribe which songs children sing. Insist they sing something, provide an online facility to help timid teachers, pop in the multiculti stuff - fine. But a compulsory list of songs to be learnt by 11? Mad micromanagement: bossy, borderline fascist. ...

Guy Herbert of Samizdata is also appalled, both by the government’s micromanagement and by Gove’s attitude.

Herbert goes on to quote various other gruesome stuff from www.curriculumonline.gov.uk.