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Curse of Gove revisited

Peter Henley | 10:17 UK time, Monday, 6 September 2010

Michael Gove

Ready to Go?

An e-mail arrived at 9:50 this morning with the long-awaited list of Free Schools, the new programme of state funded schools.


There's one in West Sussex on the list. The Discovery New School is a Primary age Montessori School for Crawley set up by two parent/teachers.

It's clear that Surrey MP and Education Secretary Michael Gove is very pleased with the result:

...there are parent-led, community-led, sponsor-led and teacher-led proposals; there are faith and non-faith proposals; there are proposals for large secondary schools and for small primary schools. All of these proposals have been driven by demand from local people for improved choice for their young people and I am delighted that so many promising proposals have come forward at such an early stage.

But within minutes the "Curse of Gove" strikes!

Echoing the chaos of the Building Schools for the Future cuts we get a second email marked "Revised - Please disregard previous version".

Barely fifteen minutes has passed from the earlier announcement so I place the two side by side to work out what has changed and discover this sentence has been shortened:

My Department has received a number of promising proposals for 2012 and 2013 and we will be making further announcements about taking these forward in due course. Equally, new proposals are frequently being submitted to the Department and it may be that some of these are also able to open in 2011.

Now changes to:

My Department has received a number of promising proposals for 2012 and 2013 and we will be making further announcements about taking these forward in due course. New proposals are frequently being submitted to the Department.

So there won't be any more schools able to open in 2011? That looks like a reasonably substantial difference in policy, not a simple typo.

The poor press officer responsible has been made to put his name and number on the bottom of this one - but we can only guess at the confusion behind the scenes.

I'll let you know if the programme gets "revised" again in the next fifteen minutes!

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