This is the last article I will post on Local Schools Network. It’s time for me to stop chasing stories about the goings-on in the English education system and properly retire.
I shall miss being a keyboard warrior. This feeling will not be shared by the Department for Education. It will no longer have to answer my Freedom of Information requests. Although, never say never. I might chase something up for someone else.
I couldn’t have done this wthout the help and encouragement of this site’s founders: Fiona, Melissa, Henry and Francis. They allowed me to contribute to their site (some people might think I took it over).
I have had some successes in the last nine years. Our campaign, along with Full Fact, to puncture the Gove-myth about ‘plummeting down league tables in ten years’ was successful – eventually – although the myth was still being quoted in Parliament well after it ought to have died. The DfE explained this resurrection of dodgy data by saying schools minister Nick Gibb had used them ‘inadvertently’.
But my greatest success, which still makes me laugh, was when I discovered that the then education secretary Michael Gove had used dubious surveys to uphold his belief, stated in a Mail article, that English pupils displayed ‘disturbing historical ignorance’. My finding that Gove had used such polling stars as UK TV Gold and Premier Inn as evidence was repeated in, among others, the Independent, the Guardian and on the BBC.
I’d also like to thank all those who’ve read my stuff or taken the time to comment. Your inbox will have fewer LSN articles clogging it up.