Why the Government Needs a Little History Lesson (FORUM 3)

Author: MELISSA BENN

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Publication date: September 1, 2014

MELISSA BENN

The decision by ex-Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove to send his daughter to a state school caused much press comment and was discussed in a widely read article by Gove’s spouse, the Daily Mail columnist Sarah Vine. In this piece, Vine praised non selective state education, drawing on her own personal experience and that of her friends to support this decision. Her arguments were, in many ways, sound but they also left a great deal unsaid. No reference was made to the long history of struggle within this country for high quality comprehensive education and the fact that it was the progressive left that largely fought for its introduction, often fiercely resisted by many within the Conservative Party. Thus Vine, rather like the government of which her husband is a prominent member, presents a distorted view of modern educational and political history.

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