Nicky Morgan…a welcome change?

The educational world seemed to rejoice with the recent government reshuffle. Cameron had listened to the petitions, the unions, to the people, about their unhappiness with Gove and his changes to the education system, and now he’s gone.

But is he really? Feminists saw it as a ‘welcome change’, Twitter rejoiced, teachers danced in the corridors and yet, did anyone actually think about who this relatively unknown entity was and what she stood for? Had they considered this a little more carefully, they may have thought twice about their jubilation.

Morgan, a privately educated, ex corporate lawyer who is fiercely religious and anti gay marriage was hardly ‘a breath of fresh air’. Prior to her first appearance in the House of Commons as Education Secretary, it seemed pretty obvious that, whilst there was a new person in power, they weren’t about to reverse the changes that Gove had already put in place – and even if they wanted to, they couldn’t.

Changes to the exam system for GCSEs, now based on a linear ‘knowledge based’ system with alterations to the syllabus such as a focus on British rather than global history and to offer an option to move away from Steinbeck classics in favour of more contemporary literature, are already in implementation. As are the many other syllabus changes to all levels of education that Gove forced through whilst in power. However, last week there still remained hope for the campaign against free schools and the employment of unqualified ‘career dipping’ teachers within them. But lo! Morgan has shattered all dreams by announcing herself to be a Govist, who is going to look to continue Gove’s legacy and be radical where he has not been radical enough, especially when it comes to free schools.

Furthermore, she is really ‘clear’ on her path of fining parents who take their children out of school, meaning that should you wish your child to attend your wedding, a funeral, gain cultural experience on a once in a life time opportunity abroad, you will be punished. (or you end up teaching your children to lie, but we’ll save that one for another time).

It would seem, therefore, that whilst Twitter may have had good reason to rejoice that Gove has got his comeuppance, his legacy will live on. Despite the fact that Morgan claims that she will be ‘nice to teachers’ and has an intention to listen more carefully to ‘the blob’ in order to improve relations with the education system, the fundamentals will not change. The celebrations were premature, Gove is not dead and you can almost hear the chant of ‘long live Gove’ from Morgan, who openly admires his work and has pledged to see it come into fruition.

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