Once upon a time, there existed a Twitter account by the name of @toryeducation. Its existence was short-lived, due to reasons that will soon be transparent. However, while it existed, it was an influential player in the education policy discourse centered around the former education secretary, Michael Gove, typifying the methodology of the Department for Education at that time. While Gove himself could come off as educated and likable, his social media conduct, as well as his off-the-record operations were pugnacious and personal at times.
Critics and political colleagues would be attacked, with their vulnerabilities, including mental health, being ridiculed. One opponent was infamously labeled as a "lazy, incompetent narcissist obsessed only with self-promotion" for criticizing the management of the department. This often put opposing individuals on the defensive, taking attention away from the significant issues at hand. Petty social media spats would crop up regarding inconsequential policies, allowing significant concerns to be obscured.
Ultimately, the @toryeducation account and the political leaders surrounding it went too far with their personal attacks on critics, political opponents, and journalists, leading to official complaints being filed. The Conservative party was forced to denounce the account, and officials within the DfE were compelled to curtail its operations in an admission that certain individuals surrounding the secretary of state had violated civil service codes.
Gove was fired as education secretary, with the government being accused of becoming toxic to teachers. His special advisers vanished into obscurity temporarily, only to resurface during the referendum campaign, with Dominic Cummings returning to the public consciousness. The apparent double act between Cummings and Gove helped achieve Brexit by October 31st.
Despite the propaganda, seductive rhetoric, and dirty tricks employed by Gove and his team, their period of education policy appears flawed and inconsiderate of children’s futures. Although standards have increased, as have the number of good and outstanding schools, this is no different from labor’s time in office. Exams are more challenging, but the percentage of pupils passing remains almost unchanged due to grade inflation.
The new GCSEs appear to discourage lower-achieving pupils while disadvantaging those with special needs. Creative subjects are on the decline, and free schools that achieve stellar results are being used to justify Gove’s policies, but a few schools do not make a system.
School funding cuts, local government austerity, a demoralized workforce, and an insufficient number of teachers increasingly threaten the futures of disadvantaged children Gove wished to rescue from the "bigotry of soft expectations." According to the Education Policy Institute’s annual report on Education in England, the gap between the best and worst-off children for GCSE results has slowed to a point where it would take 560 years to close. The report predicts that this gap may foster a real risk of expanding in the near future.
Lastly, the mass academization effort is failing to deliver enough school places, given that it is an expensive, inefficient policy experiment rammed hastily through parliament. This has led to "orphan" schools with no takers and pupils being off-rolled, contributing to the loss of local accountability.
In summary, after careful examination, it is evident that the Brexit initiative that Gove and Cummings are unreasonably committed to, will ultimately result in reduced wealth for the nation, consequentially impacting public sector expenditure and creating further disadvantage for the underprivileged. They have emerged as the main obstacles hindering progress. This outcome was anticipated and not unexpected.